Proposed takeover of Newcastle United not government’s purview

Britain's sports minister has said a Saudi-backed consortium's proposed takeover of English Premier League side Newcastle United is a football matter and that, while he is "keeping an eye on it", he will not interfere.

The EPL's board has been examining the proposed takeover as part of its "owners and directors test", which evaluates the suitability of ownership groups.

"I'm very uncomfortable with the level of expectation of involvement on government with things that are very clearly decisions for football," Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston said.

"There is obviously the fit and proper persons test to go through with any acquisitions of this nature and that is absolutely appropriate.

"It's something that I'm keeping an eye on, but it is a decision for those involved. It would be inappropriate for me to interfere at that kind of level."

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has called for clarity on the proposed takeover, so the club could start planning for next season. - REUTERS