The Premier League must have done something wrong when handling the proposed takeover of Newcastle United earlier this year, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Premier League forward delivered his verdict as the club confirmed they had opened legal proceedings over the matter.

The club refused the league’s offer of arbitration to determine who would own the club and criticised them for “leaking” the fact legal process was taking place.

Newcastle Consortium Supporters Ltd sent a letter to the Premier League whose lawyers revealed in their response that legal proceedings were ongoing.

A £300million deal was being negotiated with a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium in June before they pulled out over fears they would not pass a fit and proper persons test.

Asked by Football Insider what he made of the latest development in the Newcastle takeover saga, Whelan said: “There’s got to be something there or you won’t even entertain legal action because you’re up against a massive organisation. 

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“There’s got to be something there that the Premier League haven’t done properly. 

“We were arguing about why it took so long in the first place it was lingering on, lingering on, lingering on.

“There’s certain sides of this takeover and rejection that Mike Ashley and Newcastle United feel strongly about that some protocol has not been done properly by them.”

Newcastle United owner

Ashley initially invested in Newcastle in May 2007 and by July he had acquired 100% of shares for a total of around £134 million.

He has overseen nine permanent managerial appointments and two relegations to the Championship.

In other Newcastle United news, a top pundit has claimed a player’s agent “must be drunk” after a stunning transfer claim.