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Premier League chief Masters admits Newcastle takeover 'complicated'

Premier League chief Richard Masters has spoken of the delays around Newcastle United's expected sale.

In April, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley agreed to sell the club to a Saudi-backed consortium for £300m.

But over two months later, the Premier League is yet to confirm whether it has the green light to go ahead.

There has been strong opposition to the deal from human rights groups and some MPs due to the involvement of the Saudi government.

Asked by Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliot if Newcastle fans should have been kept more informed, Masters replied: "I do appreciate the uncertainty.

"Obviously I cannot comment in terms of timing or the specifics on any particular takeover.

"But in a perfect world, takeovers would happen clearly, cleanly and in a timely fashion. Sometimes things get complicated.

"It is very difficult because it is an entirely confidential process that involves all sorts of due diligence and the application of the owners and directors test.

"We've always said those processes would need to be entirely confidential and when it drags on sometimes there is a requirement for information. It is a relatively rare occurrence.

"I think it is very difficult to keep a constant dialogue with fans about what is an entirely confidential process.

"We can't provide a running commentary on things and I can't really talk about the specifics of the process. There are legal requirements in place that need to be observed."

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Paul Vegas

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