According to Arab News, people close to the Saudi-backed takeover bid are expecting Mike Ashley to win the arbitration hearing against the Premier League.
The report also claims that the consortium believe a decision on the case will be made over the summer – meaning they are confident they’ll be the new owners of Newcastle United in time for next season.
The piece highlights how the PIF were relieved to see the European Super League fail, with their ambitions at Newcastle likely to have been ‘severely impacted’ had the big six breakaway occurred – also highlighting that this could’ve seen the club’s value fallow below the £300m fee agreed.
Here’s a snippet from Frank Kane’s lapiece for Arab News:
One club, however, is more grateful than the others that the Super League plot has fallen apart. Newcastle United — harboring ambitions to be counted among the big boys of English football and whose potential has been recognized by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — would have been severely impacted if the English Premier League had been effectively wrecked by the Big Six walk-out.
It is hard to see how the £300 million valuation put on Newcastle by the PIF could have been maintained in that scenario.
Now that the Super League is no more, the Newcastle lawyers can get back to their efforts to force the Premier League to come clean on why they dragged their feet for so long on the planned PIF takeover.
People close to the takeover — which was formally withdrawn by PIF and its allies but which remains informally on the table and wanted more than ever by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley — say the English arbitration court judging the dispute will reach a decision in the summer.
They also expect it to go Ashley’s way, and for Newcastle to be majority owned by the PIF before the start of next season.
Big claims from the Middle East and more confidence from the Saudis it seems – but we did hear that last year and look where we are over 12 months on!
For what it’s worth, it’s been stated by a few journalists (Luke Edwards and Ben Jacobs) that the Premier League are extremely confident they’ll win the case, so we’ll have to wait and see which way it goes.
Either way, let’s hope this exhausting saga really is concluded before the summer is out.