In an official statement released in the last few moments, Newcastle United have confirmed the club has “issued arbitration proceedings against” the Premier League – confirming legal action against the EPL is underway.
In this, Mike Ashley also states that the club “has no choice but to respond and update its fans in response” to recent coverage, saying it “appears the EPL has leaked the contents of their letter”.
Here’s the statement in full:
“The Club has previously not commented on the arbitration it is pursuing against the Premier League (‘EPL’) with respect to its conduct relating to the proposed takeover because of the confidentiality clause in the Premier League’s rules.
“However, the Club is aware of public reports which state that, on 17 November, the EPL referred to legal proceedings with the Club (e.g. social media posts referring to the “Club’s own legal case”) in a letter to Newcastle supporters.
“The source of some of the reporting is said to be the EPL. It appears, therefore, that the EPL has leaked the contents of their letter to some of those commenting in the public domain.
“The Club understands that these will be matters of great concern to its fans and therefore considers that, in light of the information disclosed by the EPL, it has no choice but to respond and update its fans in response to this coverage.
“The Club makes no comment on the substance of the arbitration, but it can confirm that it has issued arbitration proceedings against the EPL.
“It is unclear when those proceedings will be resolved, given the approach of the EPL and its lawyers, Bird & Bird. Nevertheless, the Club will continue to use its best efforts to press for a fair, full and timely hearing of its claim.”