Richard Masters faces pressure for handling of Newcastle takeover

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Premier League chief Richard Masters faces pressure for handling of Newcastle takeover… with Burnley owner Alan Pace speaking out at emergency meeting

  • Richard Masters is under pressure for his handling of Newcastle’s takeover
  • A number of clubs are angry at not being informed the deal was happening 
  • Clubs want more rigorous cost controls to prevent a Newcastle spending spree
  • Amanda Staveley is not expected to be named CEO of the Magpies
  • Elsewhere, the EFL are fighting Derby’s appeal against their 12-point deduction

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters remains under pressure for his handling of the Newcastle takeover, with numerous clubs still angry at being kept in the dark. 

Sportsmail has learned that Burnley owner Alan Pace questioned whether the other 19 clubs could have confidence in the Premier League at Tuesday’s emergency meeting.

The meeting was called to explain the £305million Saudi Arabia-funded buy-out, which was rushed through without the rest of the top flight being informed.

League chief Richard Masters is facing pressure for his handling of Newcastle’s takeover

Pace is a newcomer to the Premier League, with his ALK Capital Investment Group buying Burnley just last January, so the strength of his intervention took many at the meeting by surprise.

However, the American had the support of other clubs, with Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale also understood to have been vocal in her criticism of the Premier League executive.

Masters attempted to address the clubs’ concerns and said the Premier League have the power to step in if they suspect Newcastle are being directly run by the Saudi state, but many clubs do not regard the issue as being closed.

In addition to questioning the Premier League’s leadership, they are also calling for more rigorous cost controls to be implemented and enforced to prevent Saudi bankrolling a Newcastle spending spree.

While Newcastle fans celebrated the Saudi takeover, many Premier League clubs were furious


Amanda Staveley’s very public role as the face of the new Newcastle regime could be short-lived. The deal broker appears to have been passed over for the role of chief executive at St James’ Park, which she was expected to be given.

Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners firm have a 10 per cent stake in the club.

Perhaps significantly, the Premier League preferred to hold discussions with the Public Investment Fund themselves rather than Staveley (right) as the takeover process was concluded over the past few weeks.

Equally intriguing is the apparent absence of Saudi’s commerce and media minister, Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, from the Newcastle board despite having played a key role in negotiations. 

Al Qasabi’s disappearance may be down to the fact that in a letter sent to then International Trade Secretary Liz Truss last June, he claimed the Saudi government had not been held responsible for the piracy of Premier League rights by the World Trade Organisation, which was subsequently found to be untrue.


Marcus Rashford spent last weekend’s international break watching Halifax Town v Weymouth in the National League, as his ongoing rehabilitation from shoulder surgery prevented him from taking part in England’s World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.

The Manchester United striker turned up unannounced and bought his own ticket for the game at the Shay Stadium to watch Tyrell Warren, a 22-year-old right back who played with him in youth sides at Old Trafford before joining Halifax in August.

Marcus Rashford attended Halifax Town v Weymouth last week to watch his friend in action

Warren is given only two complimentary tickets for matches by Halifax and, having only recently signed for the club, did not want to ask for another for Rashford, whose car caused quite a stir among the usually quiet back streets of West Yorkshire.


 The EFL will argue that Derby could trigger a flood of clubs going into administration if they are successful in overturning their 12-point penalty in their appeal to an independent panel, which they launched this week. 

The club’s administrators are seeking to recover the points docked after owner Mel Morris opted to withdraw his funding last month, with the case set to go to arbitration. 

The EFL are concerned about the potential ramifications if Derby are successful and fear a host of clubs could use administration as a means of avoiding settling debts if the threat of a points deduction is removed. 

As revealed by Sportsmail last month, the EFL Board receive a watch list of clubs most at risk of financial collapse each month, with the most recent featuring Reading, Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon and Oldham.

Wayne Rooney’s Derby hope to overturn their 12-point penalty for going into administration

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