Newcastle United takeover: Mike Ashley could force Big Six to hand over takeover 'evidence' as part of fresh Premier League legal bid

Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, with managing director Lee Charnley.Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, with managing director Lee Charnley.
Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, with managing director Lee Charnley.
Exclusive: Fresh court case could see Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs and Co involved in Premier League dispute over Newcastle takeover

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is confident he has enough 'killer evidence' to push through a takeover of the club.

Ashley has launched a fresh legal bid against the Premier League as the dispute over the breakdown of the sale of the club to the Saudia Arabia consortium continues.

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And in a stunning development, NationalWorld can reveal that the 'Big Six' could be forced to hand over evidence of their involvement in the case.

Ashley has instructed his legal team to take the Premier League to the high court over what Newcastle believe to be anti-competitive behaviour in their Saudi takeover decision-making process, according to the Shields Gazette.

It is understood the Premier League were served with fresh case legal papers last month, as Ashley looks to force the top flight to wave through the PCP Consortium deal, agreed 13 months ago.

United's legal team are understood to be keen to secure disclosure of documents, private communications and correspondence from the Premier League, their key executives, lobbyists, including Quatari broadcaster beIN Sports and, crucially, some Premier League clubs which they believe may have put pressure on the Premier League over the proposed takeover.

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That includes members of the ‘Big Six’ – Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea – who were infamously involved in the proposed breakaway European Super League.

The collapse of that plan, and the subsequent fall-out, has generated more bad headlines for these clubs, while fans continue to protest against their ownerships.

The disclosure of any documents and correspondence between these clubs and the Premier League over the Newcastle United takeover could add further embarrassment to the Big Six.

Ashley already believes he has enough evidence in terms of communications from the Premier League to launch a strong case.

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In a statement yesterday he said: “It is now time for the dark forces that are preventing this football club from becoming the powerhouse that the fans deserve, to step aside.”

A £300m deal to buy Newcastle collapsed last year after the consortium – the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Rueben Brothers and Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners – walked away after becoming frustrated with the Premier League’s failure to make a definitive decision on the sale amid a dispute over the involvement of the Saudi state.