(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is acting on a personal plea from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a £ 300 million ($ 413.34 million) deal to buy Premier League club Newcastle United, the Daily Mail newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The proposed takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium collapsed last year after the group refused to accept the Premier League’s independent arbitration offer to decide who would own the club.
The group, which includes Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, said last year they were ending their interest in the deal, which had been put on hold by tests of Premier League owners and directors.
The consortium blamed the lengthy evaluation for the decision to resign.
Mohammed Bin Salman has urged Johnson to “correct and reconsider” the “wrong” decision by the Premier League, which is accused of blocking the takeover of the club, the Daily Mail reported.
Johnson asked a senior assistant and Middle East expert, Lord Eddie Lister, to deal with the complaint, the report said. Lister was quoted in the Daily Mail report as saying he would investigate.
A British government spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters. The Daily Mail quoted a government spokesman as saying: “While we welcome foreign investment, it is a commercial matter for the parties concerned and the Government is not involved in any way in the takeover talks at Newcastle United.”
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Edited by Grant McCool