By Noel Whelan

6th Jul, 2021 | 9:51am

Whelan: Ashley and Staveley playing with Premier League as UK Gov roped into Newcastle takeover

Noel Whelan insists Newcastle United’s prospective new owners are working with Mike Ashley to put pressure on the Premier League.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, compared the current situation to a game of cards.

On Monday (5th July) Amanda Staveley, the financier leading the takeover of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PiF), spoke to Sky Sports and insisted she would not be deterred in her bid to buy Newcastle.

She also called for the UK Government to intervene as the takeover saga continues to drag on.

Staveley’s comments followed Newcastle’s 1st July statement calling for transparency in their ongoing arbitration case against the Premier League.

The arbitration is a confidential process by default but both parties can agree for the case to be made public.

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Newcastle want this to be the case as the Toon Army remain in the dark over the future of their club.

When asked if Ashley and Staveley are trying to put pressure on the Premier League, Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “Oh absolutely, no doubt about it.

“They are forcing the Premier League’s hand, as you would say in cards.

“Ashley and Staveley know exactly what they are doing. Everyone wants the Premier League to stand up and be honest.

“Again, like cards, they have been told, ‘fold’ or ‘show your hand’.

“Ashley and whoever are all saying ‘show us what you’ve got’ to the Premier League. It’s a huge development.”

The news of this fresh takeover bid, backed by PiF, broke last summer.

The bid is fronted by Stavely along with her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi and David and Simon Reuben.

In other news, Kieran Maguire rages at Mike Ashley’s ‘contempt for fans’ after Newcastle United update.