Newcastle United takeover would have endured ‘more stress’ under new regulations

Tracey Crouch has been talking about the Newcastle United takeover at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit

The Newcastle United takeover by majority shareholders PIF would have been under more ‘stress’ under new fan-led governance regulations, says MP.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, chair of the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance, Tracey Crouch MP, said she believes the introduction of a new 'integrity test' to the Premier League's owners' and directors' test, as advised by the review, may have brought a different outcome.

When asked whether proposed reforms, which will be assessed this month before any implementation, would have impacted the £305million takeover of United by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, PCP Capital Partners and R&B Sports & Media, Crouch said: “It is difficult to say as I did not know all the details of the takeover bid. I was asked when we published the report as it was in the immediate aftermath of that takeover.

“But what we do write into the regulations of the report is a new integrity test, into the owners' and directors' test.

“We actually split the ODT, so we have an owners test and a directors test. That's because they are two different skill sets really.

“Again this is not something we have just made up, there are integrity tests in things like banking and security - it would be similar, nothing more, nothing less.

“It will stress test any proposed takeover more than they are now.”

On proposals put forward in the report, Crouch is hopeful many, if not all, will be adopted into football law.

Giving a time frame on progress, she added: “I'm optimistic (the government will implement). We expect a response to the review in the next month or so.

“And if the legislation is not in the Queen's speech I will be very disappointed that it wasn't... There is an urgency to it. There is still an underlying fear about the financial sustainability in football.”