According to the PA news agency, Mike Ashley is ‘privately delighted’ by the latest Saudi takeover ‘exclusives’ released by the Daily Mail and The Chronicle in recent days.
The Mail’s piece claimed that Mohammed Bin Salman urged Boris Johnson to support after the Premier League’s ‘wrong’ decision to block a £300m takeover, while The Chronicle’s piece shared a host of previously unseen emails between the Government and top flight chiefs – which saw DCMS supremo Oliver Dowden suggest PIF and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman were ‘separate entities’.
The PA news agency – one of the more reliable outlets – also claim that Ashley is ‘eagerly awaiting’ further developments and believes there are a host of questions that the Premier League must answer after a series of emails showed a Saudi-backed buyout was just ‘days away’ at one stage.
Here’s a snippet from their latest piece:
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is eagerly awaiting developments amid reports Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene in the proposed sale of the club.
The PA news agency understands the sportswear magnate is privately delighted by both the Daily Mail report that Bin Salman urged the British Government to help remove stumbling bocks in the £300million-plus takeover, and the emergence of an email chain between Government departments and the Premier League as it carried out its owners’ and directors’ tests last summer.
Ashley, who is waiting for an ongoing arbitration process to reach the hearing stage, believes there are questions to be answered with a series of email exchanges between Whitehall and the governing body published by the Evening Chronicle suggesting that at one point a decision might have been just days away.
It’s interesting to read that Ashley has seen both reports as ‘positive’ revelations, with some describing Mohammed Bin Salman’s alleged intervention as a Saudi own goal that does little to play down his involvement in the deal.
That said, Mike Ashley is closer to this deal and the upcoming arbitration hearing than any journalist out there, so we’ll have to hope his ‘delight’ at recent developments aren’t misplaced and that a positive outcome arrives before long.