TENS of thousands of fans and a growing number of North-East MPs are calling for answers from the Premier League about its handling of the failed Newcastle United takeover.

Four months of negotiations, which would have brought an end to Mike Ashley’s 13-year tenure at the club, ceased on July 30 when the purchasing consortium withdrew its interest.

One reason cited was the lengthy delay in a decision from the English Premier League about whether the proposed buyer – fronted by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media – would be approved.

At least a dozen MPs from the region have contacted EPL bosses, raising concerns about the delay in a decision and calling for greater transparency about the process.

And more than 90,000 people have signed an online petition calling for a Government investigation into the EPL takeover process and chief executive Richard Masters.

Started by a fan, named Sean H, the Change.org petition calls on the Government to look at why confidential information was leaked and the influence of people who have an interest in seeing the talk collapse.

The page reads: “Despite the takeover being a confidential process, much of it was played out in the public domain and by the end of the Newcastle United takeover saga, it was apparent that the dispute was only with the Saudi backing due to their apparent human rights and piracy abuses.

“However, many of the concerns were initially raised by outside influences who would directly benefit from this particular takeover attempt failing or who already have personal issues with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).”

It continues: “As a result of the EPL's negligence and Qatar influences around the Newcastle takeover, the city of Newcastle has been deprived of some well-needed investment into the local football club as well as the city as a whole.”

Newcastle United Supporters Trust and fans urged politicians to echo their call for answers, saying the North-East region ‘missed out on potentially hundreds of millions of pounds of investment'.

On the Trust's website, it states: “The Premier League may have sound reasons for drawing out the takeover process for more than four months and the Premier League may have done everything they needed to do to protect their business and Newcastle United.

"However, there must be transparency after the process has completed. Answers must be provided about decisions which affect millions of people in our region.”

Among those MPs to call for a response from the EPL, were Conservative MPs for Bishop Auckland and North West Durham Dehenna Davison and Richard Holden and Labour’s Durham City MP Mary Foy.

Ms Foy tweeted: “Whatever you think about that deal, the club has been in limbo for months.

“I will be supporting NUFC Trust’s attempts to get answers from Richard Masters.”

She told The Northern Echo the deal would have brought investment to the region, including potential infrastructure, youth and community projects.

But, she added, there remain ‘serious questions’ about the human rights record of the Saudi state, and the potential use of the PIF sovereign wealth fund to pursue a strategy of so-called ‘sports washing’.

"As a result, I think it is absolutely right that the Premier League investigated both those issues in relation to the bid, as well as any potential broadcasting piracy.

"As someone who is passionately committed to international human rights issues, I have to say that there is more to being ‘fit and proper’ owners of our football clubs than bringing money to the region.

"The issue here is the length of time that process has taken and the lack of transparency for fans of the club.

"They have a massive stake in these developments, and they deserve to be treated with respect, to know the reasons behind the collapse of the takeover bid and why it has taken over 17 weeks," she added.

Ms Davison said: “Lots of constituents have been in touch raising concerns over the Premier League’s handling of the Newcastle takeover process.

"I know how passionate people get about football, and I've been getting a bit of stick from Sunderland fans for taking action on this matter. Never fear, I don't take sides – what I care about is what is best for our region.”

In her letter to the EPL, she wrote: “I share their disappointment, not least because of the impact this may have on the North East with a loss of hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, at a time when such investment and job creation is crucial.”

The move did see some MPs face backlash from constituents, who question the suitability of the consortium as a football club owner and the need for MPs from outside Newcastle to get involved.