NEWCASTLE takeover ‘fixer’ Amanda Staveley will be forced to put the buy-out on hold – as she faces a High Court grilling over her challenge to sue Barclays bank for a staggering £1.6 BILLION.
It is the latest blow in the Toon saga with a Saudia Arabia-backed regime wanting the Premier League club in a £340million deal from Mike Ashley.
Staveley has been the key figure in the takeover which has been held up by controversy with critics claiming it will allow the kingdom to “sportswash” its appalling human rights record.
But with her out of the equation this week because of her High Court showdown, more delays will hit the buy-out.
She will appear in London’s High Court tomorrow and all week as she sues Barclays for £1.6bn in a high-profile case.
The Yorkshire-born financier has accusing Barclays of deceit and claims she was edged out of up to £1.6billion in fees after the bank unfairly favoured other investors over her firm, PCP Capital, as the bank sought to raise £7.3bn in cash during the 2008 banking crisis.
The sale of the Tynesiders has already hit trouble.
MPs are in outrage over the deal because of the Saudis miserable human rights record – and are lobbying the Government to tighten restrictions on the ownership of UK football clubs by states with poor human rights records.
It is also claimed they allow illegal streaming of Premier League matches.
While the latest incident to mar the possible takeover is the news that the fiancee of murdered Jamal Khashoggi, Hatice Cengiz, wants to meet Premier League chiefs before they rule on Newcastle’s takeover.
Journalist Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
Independent investigators claim Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was directly involved — which he denies.
And now the loss of Staveley, who was working hard to push the deal through with Ashley and Prem chiefs, is another huge setback.
The Daily Mail says in the High Court, Barclays bank will claim Staveley, 47, is an international finance rookie who has inflated her role in securing the Abu Dhabi investment 12 years ago to avoid a Government bail-out.
In response, she is set to paint the powerbroker at the time of the huge investment, Barclays’ former chief financier Roger Jenkins, as either “reckless” or “dishonest”.
However, he was acquitted of fraud earlier this year.
PCP received a fee of £30m at the time but claim that if it were not for the alleged deceit, it could have collected up to £1.6bn thanks to profits gained from share options.
All in all, if this case drags on in the High Court – while the campaign to kick out the Saudi takeover gathers pace – it could spell a frustrating and disappointing end for Toon fans eager to see Ashley out the door at St James’ Park.