What is happening to Newcastle United is unfair and, in the eyes of the Toon Army, is starting to feel intentional.
Sabotage is a strong word, and it is a major accusation to make against an individual or entity, but it is exactly what Richard Masters and other Premier League officials are doing to Newcastle United.
The takeover of any club, especially in the Premier League, is a significant transaction that requires proper vetting. This review process is great for English football, but why has it become a nightmare for Newcastle United?
Take for example the takeover of Manchester City back in September of 2008. I am well aware of the fact that different individuals called the shots in the Premier League then, but the owners’ test that is used today was implemented back in 2004.
The highly publicized and scrutinized takeover of Manchester City was reviewed and completed in 23 days. At the time of this writing, Newcastle United’s takeover has been “under review” for 54 days.
Several letters and reports have reached the office of the Premier League pushing for the deal to be blocked. The letters and reports accused Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Saudi Arabia of violating human rights and violating Premier League television broadcasting rights.
Based on what we all have read over the last month, the Premier League is primarily hung up on the piracy accusations. However, sources close to league officials claim that no evidence has been found to suggest that the Saudi government was involved in unauthorized broadcasting of Premier League games.
It is almost as if the Premier League are dragging this process out with the hope of coming across new evidence that will be enough to reject this takeover. Had this takeover involved one of the league’s elite clubs it would have been completed in a few weeks, which is the norm for the takeover review process.
The longer Richard Masters and the Premier League sit on this takeover, the more obstruction they cause. Some key players and promising youngsters have contracts that will expire in a few weeks, decisions need to be made on multiple loan deals, and transfer targets interested in Newcastle United will start looking at other teams.
All of this uncertainty is linked to the inactivity of the Premier League regarding this major takeover. It is difficult to remain patient when no other club has experienced such a grueling takeover process.
The Toon Army are recognized as the most passionate supporters in England, and after 13 years of being neglected by Mike Ashley, they deserve this deal.
My final message to Richard Masters and other league officials involved in this process is this: stop wasting time, stop protecting the status quo at the top end of the table, and approve this deal. Enough is enough.