Mike Ashley and Newcastle United have instructed leading lawyers in an ongoing battle with the Premier League after they claimed the sale of the club to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia was unfairly blocked.
Ashley has appointed Blackstone Chambers law firm in a bid to prove that the Premier League’s Owners and Directors test was not properly applied to the proposed buyers, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers.
It represents an escalation in the war of words between Newcastle United and the Premier League over the takeover which failed when the consortium publicly withdrew their offer in July.
Last week Newcastle United released a statement accusing the Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters of not acting ‘appropriately’ during the process of the Owners and Directors Test.
The Premier League said that claims about the takeover being blocked were ‘incorrect’ and that they were still waiting for ‘all appropriate information’ from the proposed buyers.
They also said it was incorrect to assert that any decision was taken by an individual, stating that the decisions were unanimously agreed by Premier League board members.
It is understood that Ashley, the billionaire owner of Sport Direct, wants to revive interest from Saudi Arabia after the £300m deal fell through and believes this legal action could be the doorway to renewed interest.