Today is the deadline for the Premier League to respond to the anti-competition claim launched by Newcastle United back in April.
Mike Ashley is desperately trying to resurrect the Saudi takeover, after a deal was agreed last year.
The Premier League spent 17 weeks conducting their Owners’ and Directors’ test last summer, with PIF eventually walking away with no decision imminent.
The Premier League were unwilling to say yes or not to the deal. They did offer arbitration, however, which was rejected by the consortium.
Now arbitration will take place as Ashley’s first legal assault on the Premier League. That is expected to kick off at the end of this month, as they look to settle the debate over whether the Magpies would be state-owned.
However, that will not be the end of Ashley’s legal challenge.
In May, it was confirmed that the club had filed an anti-competition claim against the Premier League.
Ashley is seeking damages, interest, costs and an injunction to allow the takeover to go ahead.
After Newcastle’s claim, the Premier League requested extra time to respond.
CAT extended the deadline, giving the Premier League until June 11th to respond.
Premier League must respond to Newcastle claim today
Today is the day. And according to the Chronicle, the Premier League will put forward a claim that the hearing should not go ahead.
With arbitration also set to begin in the coming weeks, this is a crucial period for the Newcastle takeover.
Ashley is putting the Premier League under severe pressure, having been denied a £305million route out of St James’ Park.
The CAT challenge appears to be much more complex. It is a case that might not be completed in the near future.
According to the Athletic, it could take six to 18 months to reach a conclusion if Newcastle don’t make a case for urgency.
But Ashley is turning the screw. He is putting the Premier League under pressure. He’s doing all he can to get this deal back on track.
If only he put this much effort into actually running Newcastle United. Perhaps then fans wouldn’t be so desperate for him to leave.