- The Saudi consortium wants to take on Newcastle but a ban on showing beIN Sport in the country put the brakes on any deal.
- The Gulf state has now settled its piracy case, paving the way for Toon’s takeover
- The takeover now expected to be approved, ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year rule
- £300m deal could spark spending spree Newcastle fans are desperate for
The Gulf kingdom settled its piracy dispute with Premier League broadcast partner beIN Sports after it approved the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United and assured who would control the club.
Sources close to the process have indicated that the lifting of a four-year ban on Qatar-based beIN Sports showing in Saudi Arabia, as well as the removal of all forms of piracy in the country, will now pave the way for £300 million. The agreement will be signed soon, ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership.
The proposed purchase was abandoned in the summer of 2020 when the consortium – led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and including Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers – headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin, was able to prove the separation between itself and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. were unable. Salman.
Mike Ashley (left)’s 14-year reign as Newcastle United boss appears to be coming to an end
The acquisition is backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, led by Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R).
The Premier League has now received assurances that the state will not be directly involved in the club’s operations and sources say the deal will be cleared in the coming days.
Ashley launched arbitration proceedings against the Premier League last year to revive the takeover, and that case was to be heard this January. However, that is not likely to happen now.
The Premier League delayed its decision to approve the deal – through the trial of its owners and directors – given concerns over the involvement of the Saudi state, which they believe has been stealing their product for several years. are behind.
But with the piracy issues now resolved and the Premier League satisfied that they will not sign off on Saudi-state ownership, Newcastle fans are finally ready to say goodbye to Ashley and welcome a new era that sees them as the best. Will look into one of the rich clubs. World.
A source told SportsMail: ‘If all this had been done 18 months ago, the acquisition would have already been signed.
‘The Premier League may not sanction a takeover whereby one of its member clubs would be owned by a state that has been convicted of piracy against the league and one of its broadcasting partners. The league has tried to prosecute the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nine times in connection with piracy.
‘That’s why the buyers had to prove their separation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was nearly impossible, especially given the revelations about Mohammed bin Salman sending a message to Boris Johnson and pressuring him to effect the deal.
‘But those issues, including piracy, have now been resolved. Importantly, the Premier League does not want to appear directly linked to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Sportsmail revealed in April that bin Salman had lobbied Mr Johnson last year in an effort to strike a deal. Bin Salman told the Prime Minister, ‘We hope that the English Premier League will reconsider this and correct its wrong conclusion. He also warned that Anglo-Saudi relations could suffer if the move was not approved.
High-level talks are said to have continued in recent weeks and an agreement has been reached, with the Saudis leading the talks.
We understand that as recently as last week beIN Sports sent a list of websites to the Saudi authorities, informing them of the ongoing piracy. Within days all those websites were shut down and assurances were given that the $1 billion damages claim would also be settled.
The impending approval of the takeover will see the Premier League criticized by human rights groups, most notably bin Salman named by the US intelligent services as signing off on the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It is likely that the league will attempt to circumvent such questions as to whether the PIF-led union – and not the state – owns the club.
It appears that there may soon be a new ownership group in charge of Newcastle United.
Steve Bruce’s team currently finds itself in second place in the Premier League table.
Before the deal collapsed last year, PIF was set to pick up an 80 percent stake, with Staveley and British businessmen David and Simon Reuben halving the remaining 20 percent. Stavley is said to be leading the acquisition in the short term.
Newcastle are currently second in the Premier League and are without a win in seven matches under the leadership of Steve Bruce.
Newcastle United Supporters Trust revealed this week that 94 percent of its members want Bruce to resign, although the takeover will almost certainly bring about a change of manager.
Meanwhile, the buyers have always emphasized that the investment will be gradual and their immediate focus will be on improving the club’s infrastructure as well as several other projects in the area.
Neither side will officially comment on the takeover on Wednesday night, although sources close to Ashley say they expect the deal to go through.
beIn Sports has settled a piracy dispute in Saudi Arabia, paving the way for a deal