The head of the Premier League has revealed the consortium which withdrew its bid to buy Newcastle United declined an offer of independent arbitration to help get the deal over the line.
Richard Masters commented publicly about the aborted takeover for the first time in a letter to a British MP, a copy of which was published on Twitter on Friday.
The league spent four months considering whether to approve the $A550 million takeover that would have seen Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund gain an 80 per cent share of the club.
The process was stalled by concerns about piracy by the kingdom and human rights complaints.
In the letter to local MP Chi Onwurah, Masters said that after an impasse was reached in the league's owners' and directors' test, the consortium was asked for more details about which entity would have control of the club so an assessment could be made about any possible disqualifying criteria.
"The Premier League recognised this dispute and offered the consortium the ability to have the matter determined by an independent arbitral tribunal if it wished to challenge the conclusion of the board," Masters wrote.
"The consortium chose not to take up that offer, but nor did it procure the provision of the additional information.
"Later, it (or PIF specifically) voluntarily withdrew from the process," Masters added, referring to the Saudis' Public Investment Fund.
Masters also dismissed suggestions that rival Premier League clubs vetoed the deal.
"The owners' and directors' test is delegated to and carried out entirely by the Premier League Board," he said.
"Other member clubs have no role whatsoever in the approval process."
The British-based Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley were also part of the PIF bid, planning to each buy the remaining 10 per cent stakes to end the ownership of retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley.
The Premier League faced calls to block the takeover by Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of murdered journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.
The assassination and dismemberment of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in late 2018 has been linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees the fund, by Western intelligence services and US lawmakers.
The takeover bid was also complicated by the World Trade Organisation recently ruling that Saudi Arabia failed to stop a broadcasting operation pirating sports coverage - including of Premier League games - and blocked moves to shut it down in a proxy of the Gulf economic and diplomatic dispute with Qatar.
The Qatar-owned beIN Sports network, which is banned from operating in Saudi Arabia, holds the Middle East rights that are being pirated by beoutQ.