Newcastle United have confirmed they have launched legal proceedings against the Premier League following a failed takeover bid in the summer.
The club claim the Premier League broke a confidentiality clause when it “leaked the contents” of a letter about the proceedings to a supporter group.
A Saudi Arabian-backed consortium pulled out of a £300m deal in June.
They rejected the offer from the Premier League (EPL) of arbitration to determine who would own the club.
Newcastle say they have not previously commented on the proceedings “with respect to its conduct relating to the proposed takeover because of the confidentiality clause in the EPL’s rules”.
It relates to Newcastle Consortium Supporters Ltd (NCSL) delivering a letter to the Premier League, “questioning the body’s conduct in the owners’ and directors’ test”.
The supporters’ club says it then received a response from the Premier League’s lawyers, Bird and Bird, confirming there was already a legal dispute from the club.
NCSL told the Shields Gazette: “Bird & Bird has confirmed that the club is currently in a legal dispute with the EPL regarding the proposed acquisition, which may lead to a duplication of the issues raised by the fans consortium. The EPL has said it would therefore be premature for us to bring our claim now.”
The club said in a public statement that it was aware of public reports which allegedly state “that the EPL referred to legal proceedings with the club”.
It added: “The source of some of the reporting is said to be the EPL. It appears, therefore, that the EPL has leaked the contents of their letter to some of those commenting in the public domain.
“The club understands that these will be matters of great concern to its fans and therefore considers that, in light of the information disclosed by the EPL, it has no choice but to respond and update its fans in response to this coverage.”
The club added it would not comment on the substance of the proceedings, but “can confirm that it has issued arbitration proceedings against the EPL”.
The Premier League told the BBC that it would not be commenting on the story.
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