Luke Edwards reacts to reports that Newcastle United takeover is in turmoil with deal struggling to pass Premier League checks due to piracy


According to the Mirror, the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund’s £300 million bid to buy Newcastle United is struggling to pass the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test because the league itself has been pursuing the Saudis for two years for illegally broadcasting games.

BeoutQ – allegedly owned by the Kingdom – has cost the EPL’s broadcast partners (including Qatar’s beIN Sports) billions over the years, and that has seen the league hold back from quickly approving the takeover.

The World Trade Organization has ruled that Saudi is firmly behind beoutQ and has already submitted a 123-page report of their findings and proofs to the Premier League.

The WTO report is set to be made public soon, and it remains to be seen if the Magpies takeover will go ahead with such kind of red flag.

Many reckon that the PIF shouldn’t bear the brunt of piracy crimes allegedly committed by Saudi as it is its own entity, but the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the chairman of the PIF, and separating both looks complicated.

The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has reacted to the Mirror’s Newcastle update thus on Twitter:

Rejecting the Saudi-backed bid should see American businessman Henry Mauriss come forward with his £350 million back-up bid, with the California-based media mogul already with a team in place to get the deal done.

His legal team has claimed that he could pass the Owners’ and Directors’ test in three weeks, but the Amanda Staveley-brokered deal will have to completely collapse before that chance can arise.

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