The prospective takeover at Newcastle United is in turmoil as The Daily Mirror reported that the proposed £300 million deal between Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley’s Saudi Arabia-led consortium is struggling to pass the owner’s and director’s checks set out by the Premier League.
Will the Premier League approve the takeover of Newcastle?
As per the outlet, the English top flight has held back from quickly approving the Saudi-backed takeover in the North East because state piracy of television games has cost its broadcast partners billions.
The £300 million Staveley-brokered bid to buy out Ashley is struggling to pass the league’s ownership tests because England’s highest division itself has been pursuing the Saudis for two years for illegally broadcasting matches.
The deal to buy the Tyneside club is 80 per cent funded by the Saudi state’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), the head of state.
The takeover was expected to be waved through within three weeks, amidst claims from the buyers that there were not any red flags.
However, there are serious issues to solve at a high level, eight weeks after the bid was revealed.
The league’s executives and legal teams, who have to approve the deal, have waged a fierce battle against the Saudis for what the Premier League itself has said is piracy on an ‘unprecedented scale’ for the last three years.
Nevertheless, various Saudi law firms refused to take on the top flight’s cases and their courts were closed to the complaints.
One broadcaster, beIN Sports, has perhaps lost out to Saudi piracy more as it has potentially cost them several US dollars in lost subscriptions, advertising revenue, legal fees and technical reports.
Nonetheless, the takeover of the Magpies could be in turmoil if England’s highest division hold a grudge.
Geordies, will the takeover fall through? Comment below!
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