Newcastle United have confirmed that they are suing the Premier League. The governing body has been accused of leaking confidential information relating to the proposed takeover of the club earlier this year.
The 350 deal was fronted by the investor Amanda Staveley, and she and the Reuben Brothers were the minority partners in the consortium. The majority shareholder was the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and it was their involvement that created a great deal of public scrutiny.
The Premier League sought clarification as to the links between the Fund and the Saudi State, at a time when the government of the Middle East kingdom was under investigation for its support of a local TV channel accused of pirating the rights to European football, including the Premier League.
Amnesty International also became involved in the matter alleging that the proposed acquisition was another attempt by the Saudi state to sports wash its human rights records.
Public opinion in the UK was predominantly against the bid with the exception of Newcastle United supporters themselves. They regarded it as a chance to rid themselves of their much-disliked current owner Mike Ashley, and to get instead new owners who were prepared to put money into the club.
However, after 17 weeks of waiting for the deal to be approved by the Premier League, the consortium decided to withdraw their offer, before any verdict on the case could be reached as to whether the proposed new owners had passed the leagues proper and fit test.
Now Newcastle have launched legal action alleging that the League leaked confidential information about the bid to supporters groups and the media. It is not clear when the proceedings will be revolved.
Ashley continues in his efforts to sell the club and has since held takes with a US-based investment firm.