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Why the Premier League did not comment on Newcastle United takeover before letter to Chi Onwurah

The Premier League did not comment on Newcastle United’s takeover because individuals and organisations have a ‘proper expectation of confidentiality’ with ‘all issues of commercial and sporting sensitivity’, according to chief executive Richard Masters.

The Magpies’ takeover collapsed on July 30 after the buyers – Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley – withdrew their offer because of ‘the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty’.

The consortium immediately released a joint-statement while Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director, issued a comment a day later. However, the Premier League kept their counsel until Masters wrote a letter of reply to Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah on Friday.

Due to ‘widespread speculation’, Masters felt it was ‘appropriate’ for his responses to Ms Onwurah’s questions to be made available to the wider public after thousands of supporters got in touch with their local MPs who, in turn, contacted the Premier League.

‘Our approach is to be as transparent as we reasonably can be,’ he wrote. ‘The details of our owners’ and directors’ test – the rules governing any potential change of club ownership – as with all of the rules relating to the governance of the Premier League are publicly available on our website and on several previous occasions, we have issued short statements once a positive decision has been made.

‘However, as in all issues of commercial and sporting sensitivity, where the individuals and organisations involved have a proper expectation of confidentiality, the Premier League has not commented in public nor briefed in private although we recognise that others in this matter have done so.’