Premier League: Newcastle United 0-0 Liverpool

Nathaniel Phillips was handed a Premier League start for Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s defensive resources having been further depleted.

With Joel Matip having joined long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the casualty list, Phillips was included along with former Magpies midfielder James Milner in two changes to the side which drew 1-1 with West Brom as Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum made way.

Newcastle Head Coach Steve Bruce made just one change in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester City, striker Callum Wilson returning from an ankle problem in place of Miguel Almiron.

Newcastle started brightly with Wilson forcing two saves from keeper Alisson inside the opening 12 minutes and giving as good as they got for much of the half.

However, Liverpool might have taken the lead 11 minutes before the break when Mohamed Salah stabbed wide having seemingly done the hard work, and it took a fine reaction save from Karl Darlow to deny Roberto Firmino in stoppage time and ensure the sides headed back to the dressing rooms with the scoreline still 0-0.

Salah was guilty of another glaring miss after the break and Darlow produced another stunning save to prevent Firmino from snatching the win two minutes from time as Liverpool once again had to make do with a point.

Classy Newcastle fans raise £19,000 for local food bank after pay-per-view snub

Last month it was announced that a handful of Premier League games will be made available to watch via pay-per-view for a fee of £14.95 – a price which many football supporters felt to be unreasonable.

That includes a host of Toon fans, who this weekend decided against paying to watch the match, instead choosing to donate 15 quid to a local food bank in the city.

The incentive has raised a phenomenal £19,000 claim the latest estimates, with donations from as far as London, Spain and the United States.

Newcastle fans are not best impressed with the Premier League right now, particularly after the non-approval of the Saudi-backed takeover of the club.

The £15 pay-per-view fee has added further disenchantment, but this weekend the supporters showed their displeasure in the classiest of ways.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley preparing for Premier League legal battle

Ashley has instructed lawyers Blackstone Chambers over a simmering row with the governing body after Amanda Staveley’s consortium withdrew its £340milion offer in July following a 17-week wait, ultimately in vain, for officials to complete their owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement on the firm’s official website on Monday said: “Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.”

Newcastle claimed last Wednesday that the bid had been rejected by the Premier League, who insisted the following day that it had not.

Having taken legal advice as he attempted to resurrect the deal, Ashley accused the governing body of not acting “appropriately” in repeatedly seeking further clarification over the relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF, a major stumbling block alongside the issue of TV piracy.

The Premier League responded by insisting the proposed takeover could only proceed to a suitability assessment once “all appropriate information” had been provided and repeated its offer of independent arbitration, something which had already been rejected by the prospective buyers.

Despite Ashley’s best efforts to rekindle the process behind the scenes, it appears to have reached something of an impasse, and the latest development represents an attempt to clear the path once again.

The PA news agency understands that far from simply seeking compensation, Ashley is trying to prove there is no case in law to block the takeover, and engaging two renowned barristers to fight his corner is an indication of his determination to leave no stone unturned.

Sources close to the Staveley camp described the league’s stance as “disingenuous” following the decision to withdraw the consortium’s offer having insisted it had provided all the necessary answers.

It is understood they are still monitoring the situation, but it would take a significant change in outlook from one side or the other to enable a breakthrough, and it appears Ashley is now attempting to force such an alteration.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley preparing for Premier League legal battle

Ashley has instructed lawyers Blackstone Chambers over a simmering row with the governing body after Amanda Staveley’s consortium withdrew its £340milion offer in July following a 17-week wait, ultimately in vain, for officials to complete their owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement on the firm’s official website on Monday said: “Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.”

Newcastle claimed last Wednesday that the bid had been rejected by the Premier League, who insisted the following day that it had not.

Having taken legal advice as he attempted to resurrect the deal, Ashley accused the governing body of not acting “appropriately” in repeatedly seeking further clarification over the relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF, a major stumbling block alongside the issue of TV piracy.

The Premier League responded by insisting the proposed takeover could only proceed to a suitability assessment once “all appropriate information” had been provided and repeated its offer of independent arbitration, something which had already been rejected by the prospective buyers.

Despite Ashley’s best efforts to rekindle the process behind the scenes, it appears to have reached something of an impasse, and the latest development represents an attempt to clear the path once again.

The PA news agency understands that far from simply seeking compensation, Ashley is trying to prove there is no case in law to block the takeover, and engaging two renowned barristers to fight his corner is an indication of his determination to leave no stone unturned.

Sources close to the Staveley camp described the league’s stance as “disingenuous” following the decision to withdraw the consortium’s offer having insisted it had provided all the necessary answers.

It is understood they are still monitoring the situation, but it would take a significant change in outlook from one side or the other to enable a breakthrough, and it appears Ashley is now attempting to force such an alteration.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley preparing for Premier League legal battle

Ashley has instructed lawyers Blackstone Chambers over a simmering row with the governing body after Amanda Staveley’s consortium withdrew its £340milion offer in July following a 17-week wait, ultimately in vain, for officials to complete their owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement on the firm’s official website on Monday said: “Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.”

Newcastle claimed last Wednesday that the bid had been rejected by the Premier League, who insisted the following day that it had not.

Having taken legal advice as he attempted to resurrect the deal, Ashley accused the governing body of not acting “appropriately” in repeatedly seeking further clarification over the relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF, a major stumbling block alongside the issue of TV piracy.

The Premier League responded by insisting the proposed takeover could only proceed to a suitability assessment once “all appropriate information” had been provided and repeated its offer of independent arbitration, something which had already been rejected by the prospective buyers.

Despite Ashley’s best efforts to rekindle the process behind the scenes, it appears to have reached something of an impasse, and the latest development represents an attempt to clear the path once again.

The PA news agency understands that far from simply seeking compensation, Ashley is trying to prove there is no case in law to block the takeover, and engaging two renowned barristers to fight his corner is an indication of his determination to leave no stone unturned.

Sources close to the Staveley camp described the league’s stance as “disingenuous” following the decision to withdraw the consortium’s offer having insisted it had provided all the necessary answers.

It is understood they are still monitoring the situation, but it would take a significant change in outlook from one side or the other to enable a breakthrough, and it appears Ashley is now attempting to force such an alteration.

Newcastle goalkeeper Dubravka injured

The 31-year-old Slovakia international, who has played every league game for the club since his arrival on an initial loan spell from Sparta Prague at the end of January 2018, is expected to be sidelined for several weeks by a heel problem.

As a result, he will also sit out his country’s Nations League fixtures against the Czech Republic and Israel next month.

A statement on the Magpies’ official website said: “Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will miss the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season after suffering a heel injury.

“The 31-year-old is likely to be sidelined for several weeks, meaning he will also miss Slovakia’s UEFA Nations League fixtures against Czech Republic and Israel next month.

“Dubravka has not missed a Premier League game since making his debut in a 1-0 win against Manchester United in February 2018 and won the club’s Player of the Season award for 2019/20.”

The news will come as a huge blow to head coach Steve Bruce who, like predecessor Rafael Benitez, has come to rely upon the dependable Dubravka.

He will now have to turn to Karl Darlow, who has served as Dubravka’s deputy in recent times, or summer signing Mark Gillespie with England Under-21 keeper Freddie Woodman having joined Swansea on loan for the season after signing a new contract at St James’ Park.

Newcastle sign midfielder Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer

The 28-year-old, who was out of contract at Burnley at the end of last season, has joined their Premier League rivals after making 139 appearances for the Clarets.

Hendrick, who was named in the Ireland squad for next month’s Nations League clashes with Bulgaria and Finland on Monday, told NUFC TV: “It’s a massive club and playing over the years, going to the stadium, it’s one of the best stadiums to play in, so I just want to get playing there.

“I’ve had over 100 games in the Premier League, but I want to keep going and keep improving with a different team. It’s going to be different for me, the demands with the bigger stadium, the crowd, how big the club is, so I’ve got to take that on and keep pushing myself and striving to get better.

“I’m looking forward to it – I can’t wait.”

Hendrick to sign for Newcastle in the coming days

The Magpies are set to bring Jeff Hendrick to St James Park within the next few days.

Hendrick turned down a new contract with Burnley and didn’t appear for them when the league restarted.

The Republic of Ireland international has not played since March though it seems he has been keeping fit thanks to help from his brother who is a strength and conditioning coach.

Hendrick will become the club’s second summer signing after Mark Gillespie, also a free agent, joined the club last month.

Investors pull out of Newcastle United takeover

The announcement comes after almost four months of waiting, with the drawn out nature of the deal putting off the potential new investors.

A statement from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners – who make up the consortium involved in the takeover – read:

“With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.

“We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.

“Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club’s owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities”

The news ends speculation over Steve Bruce’s future as Magpies manager, and will see Newcastle start next season with a similar budget to the one they had this campaign.

Newcastle fans around the globe are furious at the Premier League’s lack of communication throughout the owners and directors test, which was expected to be complete after a maximum of four weeks.

The test began in April.

MP writes to Premier League over slow Newcastle takeover

Member of Parliament for Jarrow, Kate Osborne, has claimed the Premier League’s delay in approving the takeover has caused ‘mental anguish’ in her constituency.

The consortium involved in the prospective acquisition of the Magpies, which involves Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers as well as the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, are awaiting the result of the Premier League’s owners and directors test.

The proposed £300m deal for the club has been in the pipeline since April, and the delay in communication from the Premier League has caused annoyance and concern among some Newcastle fans.