IN WRITING: Amanda Staveley pens open letter to the Government
Amanda Staveley has written an open letter to the Government ahead of the arbitration hearing regarding Newcastle’s collapsed takeover, calling for “intervention immediately to force the issue out into the open.”
Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners, backed in large part by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the Reuben Brothers, reached an agreement with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley in April last year to buy the club.
But after a 17-week wait for the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test to be completed, the consortium withdrew its offer in July as the commercial agreement between the two parties expired.
An arbitration hearing is due to take place later this month, and on Thursday Ashley challenged the Premier League to allow Newcastle’s claim against it to be heard in public, urging the Government to intervene if it refuses.
On Sunday, PCP Capital Partners’ Mehrdad Ghodoussi tweeted an open letter from Staveley to Tracey Crouch, the Conservative MP who is chairing a fan-led review into football governance that the Government brought forward following the failed European Super League breakaway in April.
The letter said: “A closely guarded lack of transparency from those responsible for the regulation of football does not generally promote good governance.
“In particular the use of arbitration to resolve disputes within football raises an effective shield against public scrutiny – and one might justifiably ask why that model is so favoured by those responsible for regulating the sport if they have nothing to hide.
“You may have seen NUFC’s press announcement from Thursday. Fans surely deserve absolute transparency from the regulators across all their processes – to best ensure that they act responsibly. They are performing a function like that of a government regulator – but without the same systems for accountability.
“This is very much a chance for those to be involved to be seen to take a robust stance – just as the Government so decisively and effectively stepped into the European Super League debacle. But there is real urgency – given the NUFC arbitration hearing is due to take place this month.
“We need intervention immediately to force the issue out into the open. It is my view that it is likely that that would be enough to make those involved behave more responsibly and signal the Government’s intention to take effective action in the interests of the country.”
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