In a year which has seen the coronavirus pandemic decimate all sports including football, 2020 could’ve been the year that Newcastle United finally took their place amongst the Premier League big boys again.
A potential takeover by a Saudi wealth fund would’ve made them comfortably the richest team in the English top-flight, but consistent lobbying against the takeover from supporter groups and elsewhere, eventually saw the potential deal collapse.
Not only did that mean that the long-suffering Magpies supporters continued to be lumbered with Mike Ashley as their owner, it also meant that the retail magnate was unable to secure the millions of pounds he would’ve received upon completion of a successful sale.
Now, according to BBC Sport, the Magpies are to take legal action against the Premier League because the latter supposedly broke a confidentiality clause when it leaked information to a supporter group.
The Newcastle Consortium Supporters Ltd (NCSL) had sent a letter to the Premier League, “questioning the body’s conduct in the owners’ and directors’ test,” according to BBC Sport, but then received a response from the club’s lawyers confirming there was already a legal dispute with the club.
“Bird & Bird has confirmed that the club is currently in a legal dispute with the EPL regarding the proposed acquisition, which may lead to a duplication of the issues raised by the fans consortium. The EPL has said it would therefore be premature for us to bring our claim now,” the NCSL told the Shields Gazette.
That, in turn, has prompted the legal action from Newcastle against the league.
It never rains but it pours in the north east.