Nick De Marco has described Newcastle United supporters as 'some of the most friendly, funny yet passionate bunch you could meet'.

Mike Ashley has turned to De Marco and fellow QC Shaheed Fatima to represent Newcastle in the club's legal battle with the Premier League after a Saudi-led consortium encountered complications with the top-flight's owners' and directors' test last year.

This takeover saga has entered its next stage - arbitration - and the Magpies confirmed last November that the club were pressing for a 'fair, full and timely hearing'.

De Marco physically met with club officials ahead of Newcastle's FA Cup third-round defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates last month and it is easy to see why Ashley has appointed the sports lawyer and Fatima.

Although Fatima is a human rights law expert, the barrister has also dealt with high-profile commercial matters, stood in front of regulatory bodies and tribunals, and handled cases with a political edge.

There has often been an international dimension to Fatima's work and the QC previously acted for Prince Abdul Aziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, in relation to a claim worth more than £12m.

De Marco, meanwhile, has made his name as a sports lawyer and has represented players, clubs, sponsors, broadcasters, agents and sports governing bodies.

Lawyer Jason Kallis, who once served as a non-executive director at QPR alongside De Marco, previously told ChronicleLive that the QC 'will know what the regulatory bodies are thinking and how therefore to deal with it' and that will be quite an asset for Newcastle to have.

De Marco, clearly, is relishing his role in the case and the QC regularly interacts with Newcastle supporters on Twitter.

When one fan asked De Marco if there was anything he can't do, the sports lawyer said he was 'no good at sport, terrible at languages' and had 'a low tolerance threshold for boring things or daft people'.

Newcastle supporter Alex Parsons then quipped: "You have just described every Newcastle United fan."

In response, De Marco tweeted: "From my experience on here, most Newcastle fans appear to be some of the most friendly, funny yet passionate bunch you could meet."

The tweet certainly went down well with supporters and has already been liked by more than 400 users.