Ben Jacobs has dropped some worrying insight on the potential takeover of Newcastle United involving Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
The Lowdown: MBS lobbying
Back in April, it was reported by the Daily Mail that Boris Johnson was personally lobbied by MBS with regards to the failed takeover at St James’ Park by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consortium.
Are the Premier League to blame for the Newcastle takeover collapse?
KSA crown prince MBS urged the British Prime Minister (PM) to ‘correct and reconsider’ the ‘wrong’ decision which was made by the Premier League (EPL) to nix the deal between Mike Ashley and the consortium.
MBS warned Mr Johnson last year that Anglo-Saudi relations would be damaged unless the decision was reversed, as the PM asked senior aide Lord Eddie Lister, an expert on the Middle East, to take up the complaint, which he said he would ‘investigate’.
The Latest: Jacobs on MBS lobbying
Jacobs has recently been giving his thoughts on the reported lobbying by MBS on the Primer Minister, to which the sports journalist – who has been closely following the whole takeover saga – claimed that the lobbying ‘affects arbitration’ and that it is a ‘practical example of a lack of separation’ between the KSA’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Arabia, or at least that is what the Premier League will argue.
He added that for MBS to get involved is the ‘last thing’ that Newcastle want going into their arbitration case against the EPL.
The Verdict: Worrying sign
The reported lobbying by MBS is a worrying sign in terms of whether or not the potential takeover on Tyneside can be pushed through.
The EPL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (ODT) with regards to the bid is set out to determine whether PIF are a separate entity from the Saudi state, and if this is not found to be the case, then the takeover cannot go ahead.
MBS’ involvement does not help in this matter, and his reported lobbying on Mr Johnson would be hard to argue for this.
Nonetheless, the chances of the takeover happening should become much clearer once the results of the arbitration hearing are disclosed, but one cannot help but worry whether they will judge in the favour of the Magpies.
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