Simon Zekaria has dropped a controversial reveal involving beIN Sports and the potential takeover of Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: CAT revelations
The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) hearing between the Tyneside club and the Premier League over the stalled takeover deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) group finally got underway on Wednesday morning.
Are the Premier League to blame for the Newcastle takeover collapse?
As cited by The Daily Telegraph, the St James’ Park club were quite astonishingly threatened with expulsion from the top flight, and their separate arbitration case against the division will now take place on 3 January 2022.
The Latest: Zekaria on beIN
Journalist Zekaria has now revealed that St James Holdings Ltd (SJHL), the company owned by Mike Ashley who bought the CAT claim, have alleged that beIN Sports pressurised the Premier League to block the proposed takeover on Tyneside while discussing a three-year broadcasting rights deal to 2025.
He said: “I have learnt that SJHL’s competition claim alleges that beIN Sports pressurised the PL to block the sale of @NUFC while negotiating a three-year broadcasting rights deal to 2025.”
The Verdict: Controversial
Given that the KSA’s issue with piracy and the illegal streaming of games in the Premier League was reportedly suggested to be key in the delay of the takeover, it is not a surprise to hear that Qatari broadcaster beIN allegedly pressurised the top flight to block the sale.
However, it does not make it any less controversial, as decisions on the takeover should not be influenced by outside parties.
It will no doubt be interesting to see what the arbitration proceedings bring in terms of the direction of where the takeover bid is now heading.
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