Wednesday night brought shock news that Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly called on Boris Johnson last year to intervene in the Newcastle takeover.
The story even hit the front page, splashed all over the April 15th copy of the Daily Mail.
They report that the Saudi Crown Prince sent a message to the Prime Minister saying: ‘We expect the English Premier League to reconsider and correct its wrong conclusion.’
It was even claimed that Bin Salman warned that the issue could damage Anglo-Saudi relations.
The Daily Mail state that Bin Salman contacted Johnson on June 27th last year, six days after the government believed a decision was ‘imminent’.
As we all know, the deal wasn’t passed and the Public Investment Fund withdrew. Now Mike Ashley is involved in a legal battle with the Premier League.
But what does the latest news mean for the Newcastle takeover?
‘Massive own goal’
Telegraph reporter Luke Edwards believes the latest revelation could be damning for the club’s arbitration hopes.
The stumbling block in the deal was the involvement of Bin Salman. The buyers claimed he would not be involved and provided evidence, but it was not sufficient for the Premier League.
Now it has emerged that the Crown Prince tried to influence the deal with his power, which Edwards believes could be a ‘massive own goal’.
While we do not know how this will impact the takeover, it certainly didn’t help. If it did, we would no longer be owned by Mike Ashley.
Edwards has often erred on the negative side during this takeover saga, much to the anger of some Toon fans.
Bin Salman getting involved certainly does raise questions about his involvement in PIF’s takeover attempt. But in the same vein, Boris Johnson does not run the Premier League.
The fallout from this will be unclear until arbitration is completed, but the reported threat from Bin Salman is certainly a concern.