Newcastle’s takeover by Saudi Arabia gains momentum again.
The ban Saudi Arabia imposed on the Premier League official broadcaster beIN Sports is about to be lifted.
beIN Sports paid £ 400m for the rights to broadcast the Premier League to the entire Middle East and North Africa region. However, Saudi Arabia banned the broadcaster in its territory due to political tensions with Qatar, where the broadcaster company originates.
But the Saudi kingdom is ready to lift the four-and-a-half-year ban. This could give a massive boost to the Newcastle takeover by a Saudi consortium.
The consortium made up of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund; the Public Investment Fund (PIF) tried to buy the club for £ 300 million from current owner Mike Ashley.
But the transaction was not completed because the Premier League indicated that members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling government would become directors of the club and should therefore be subject to the owners’ and directors’ test. This situation is under arbitration, and a hearing is scheduled for January 3, 2022.
Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the PIF could try again to acquire the club.
However, the situation does not look so promising since the PIF has failed to demonstrate its separation from the Saudi state because ruler Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman chairs it.
Furthermore, it is believed that the Premier League will not look favorably upon one of its member clubs being sold to a nation that has allowed the illegal broadcasting of their games, which represents millionaire losses for the Premier League.
For their part, Newcastle fans are excited about the news and would love to see the deal go through. This is because the Saudis have plans to turn the club into a powerhouse similar to Manchester City or Chelsea.