By Kieran Maguire

13th Feb, 2021 | 10:00am

Maguire: Ashley has 'peerless' Newcastle secret weapon in case v Premier League

Newcastle United have a “peerless” lawyer on the payroll who will fight their corner in the upcoming case against the Premier League.

That is according to finance guru and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively about Nick De Marco, Mike Ashley’s QC who styles himself as the “Lionel Messi of sports law.

The world-renowned legal expert has featured heavily in the news of late after successfully representing the PFA in their salary cap dispute with the Football League.

He also secured Fulham a record £4million compensation fee in this week’s tribunal case over Harvey Elliott, who signed for Liverpool as a 16-year-old in 2019.

This bodes well for Newcastle in their legal wrangle with the Premier League over last year’s failed Saudi-backed takeover, claims Maguire.

He declares that if anyone could win the case it’s De Marco after he was hired last September.

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He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “Without seeing the evidence, it’s very hard to predict at this stage. But if I wanted anybody to defend me in a football case it would be Nick De Marco.

“De Marco is a barrister at Blackstone Chambers. He first came to prominence for many football fans after he worked on behalf of Queen’s Park Rangers when they were being prosecuted by the EFL. In my opinion, the outcome was pretty damn good for the football club.

“Since then, he has been very successful in defending clients. He successfully defended executives from Sheffield Wednesday from the charges of the EFL regarding breaches of Financial Fair Play rules. Critics were seeking a 21-point penalty last season and it’s ended up as a six-point penalty this season. That’s has given the club breathing space.

“He successfully defended Derby County, he successfully defended Stevenage. So Newcastle fans will be thinking they can’t have recruited a better person.

“In my understanding, his knowledge of sports law is pretty much peerless. He’s very thorough, he knows how to cross-examine a witness, and he knows how to put forward a convincing case for his client.”

A £300m joint takeover bid led by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia was effectively rejected by the Premier League in July 2020.

American billionaire investor Joseph DaGrosa has also recently renewed his interest in a St. James’ Park takeover, The Athletic reports.

In other news, a dispute between officials of Newcastle United and Watford meant a deal between the clubs was scrapped at the last minute.