NEWCASTLE UNITED have confirmed they are involved in an ongoing legal dispute with the Premier League over the collapse of a proposed takeover involving Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

In the immediate aftermath of the breakdown of takeover talks, Mike Ashley issued a statement in which he pledged to pursue ‘all relevant options’ in order to challenge the Premier League’s refusal to rubberstamp Amanda Staveley’s proposed Saudi-led takeover, and accused Premier League chief executive Richard Masters of ‘not acting appropriately’ during the ratification process.

Ashley appointed QCs Shaheed Fatima and Nick de Marco of London law firm Blackstone Chambers to assess his legal options, and while Newcastle officials had refused to publicly comment on where those assessments had led, the Premier League broke its silence earlier this week when it replied to a legal challenge from a group of Newcastle fans to announce that legal proceedings with Newcastle were ongoing.

That prompted a statement from Newcastle yesterday which said: “The club is aware of public reports which state that, on 17 November, the EPL referred to legal proceedings with the club (e.g. social media posts referring to the “club’s own legal case”) in a letter to Newcastle supporters.

“The source of some of the reporting is said to be the EPL. It appears, therefore, that the EPL has leaked the contents of their letter to some of those commenting in the public domain.

“The club understands that these will be matters of great concern to its fans and therefore considers that, in light of the information disclosed by the EPL, it has no choice but to respond and update its fans in response to this coverage.

“The club makes no comment on the substance of the arbitration, but it can confirm that it has issued arbitration proceedings against the EPL.

“It is unclear when those proceedings will be resolved, given the approach of the EPL and its lawyers, Bird & Bird. Nevertheless, the club will continue to use its best efforts to press for a fair, full and timely hearing of its claim.”