Multiple sources have confirmed that Mike Ashley will now officially enter a legal dispute against the Premier League, after hiring two of the world’s most effective sports lawyers.
Following the failed Saudi takeover, Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC will now act on behalf of Newcastle United in a dispute with Premier League – with the latter described as the “Lionel Messi of Sports Law” by many in the business after recently helping Manchester City win their huge legal battle against UEFA.
In light of the news, The Mail’s Craig Hope reports that Ashley is NOT motivated by compensation here, and instead wants to prove the Premier League didn’t follow their O&D test – believing the Saudis could ‘come back to table’ should his chosen lawyers win out.
The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has also suggested that the case could be heading to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the presence of such heavy hitters showing Mike Ashley is deadly serious here and that those he’s recruited must believe we have a strong case.
Let’s face it, they wouldn’t want to risk their reputations on a dispute they expect lose out on, would they?
Here’s what De Marco had to say in May about the possible takeover:
“Unless there is a clear and obvious link between an individual and an offense and that individual has been convicted in some court of law or tribunal, then it’s very difficult to see how they could fail the test.”
It may seem draining for so many, but it looks like this takeover saga is anything but done just yet.
Although this may not mean a takeover goes through, a successful legal battle by Ashley’s lawyers will clear the path for a PIF led bid in the future.
Who knows what will come of this, but it would be nice if we eventually got to the bottom of a SIX-month saga that gave us so much false hope – especially if the Premier League were exposed and forced to finally admit they went against their ‘objective’ Owners and Directors test.