The Premier League wants Newcastle United’s Anti-Competition (CAT) case to be thrown out because they feel it covers many of the same arguments as the independent arbitration case, which has been underway for much of this year.
Representing the Premier League, Adam Lewis QC said it was unnecessary to hold both arbitration and CAT hearings simultaneously, as a victory in the arbitration case would make the CAT case unnecessary, while defeat would render it impossible.
Mike Ashley is claiming for damages and losses through CAT after insisting the Saudi-backed takeover was rejected by the Premier League last year.
The Premier League maintains they never rejected the takeover and are awaiting further information from the consortium as to whether they can prove a clear distinction between the Saudi element of the consortium (Saudi Public Investment Fund, 80 per cent) and the Saudi state itself. Only then, they say, can they complete their Owners & Directors Test.
At the hearing this morning, the Premier League also said Ashley and his holding company St James’ Holdings (SJH) have yet to suffer any loss or damage as the arbitration case regarding whether the takeover can be pushed through or not is still ongoing.
QC Lewis claimed it was an “abuse of process” to start the claims at the same time.
Some of this morning’s evidence was held in private as the live stream was halted. This is because it could have prejudiced the independent arbitration, and abided rules surrounding takeovers.
Mr Justice Miles, leading the panel, said the matter was of significant public interest, but agreed to hear a section in private while the stream was turned off.
Representing Newcastle United, Nick de Marco QC reiterated the club’s stance that they wanted all evidence from both cases heard in public. We are yet to hear his argument in the way of evidence.
During this morning’s hearing it was confirmed that the overriding arbitration would resume on January 3. The case had been paused in July due to issues with the disclosure of information.
The CAT hearing is ongoing.