Newcastle United’s arbitration claim should be heard in public, according to a top football journalist.
Liam Kennedy, a reporter for the Shields Gazette, has called on the Premier League to be transparent and allow football fans to discover how the case is dealt with.
Magpies owner Mike Ashley, who has been keen to sell the club for a number of years, remains frustrated with the Premier League’s failure to reach a decision over a proposed takeover by a Saudi Arabia-led consortium, which collapsed last year.
Ashley released an explosive statement last week, asking Newcastle fans, MPs and other high profile figures to urge the Premier League to allow the case to be heard in public, while Amanda Staveley has also accused them over a lack of transparency.
The claim centres on the way the governing body applied its owners’ and directors’ test when assessing a bid to takeover a club.
Newcastle has insisted, in a statement, that the club has “nothing to hide”.
Kennedy admits the Premier League are keen to keep the case out of the public eye as much as possible.
Speaking to Football FanCast, Kennedy said: “The Premier League have not wanted any of this process to be played out in the public domain.
“Arbitrations are often private but I would certainly argue that this arbitration and the anti-competition, which would be public if it gets to run, is of massive public interest because it’s not only about can Newcastle United Football Club be owned by a certain owner?
“This is about all football clubs in the Premier League, who has influence on what decisions and who is really making the decisions at the top table in the Premier League.”