The takeover situation in Newcastle United has taken a shocking twist in the last 24 hours following the decision by the Saudi Arabia government to foreclose indefinitely broadcasting in the Kingdom to the Middle East media affiliate BeinSports, based in Qatar.
The piracy problem, as we all know, is the major factor that slows the acquisition process, and yet it is everyone’s guess what the outcome will be.
Potential buyers – a group led by Saudi Arabia (PIF), Amanda Staveley, and Reuben Brothers – are pursuing £ 300 m to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley, and a portion offer has already been made in advance.
Nevertheless, the Premier League needed 16 weeks to research the offer and still, they were not in a position to draw a decision.
Just when it was thought that Saudi Arabia ‘s Public Investment Fund was on the verge of taking ownership of St James’ Park, its new move had put further doubt on the acquisition.
While the timing of the announcement came as a surprise and unfortunate, sources close to the deal say the Newcastle deal shouldn’t be affected, according to the Guardian reports.
The report added: “Assorted sources were left puzzled at the timing; especially after Saudi Arabia issued a raft of new laws banning pirate broadcasts from the Premier League broadcaster’s Doha output.” A report from the World Trade Organization last month said the Saudi state facilitated the operations of the illegal, and now closed, beoutQ platform.
BeinSports , which has a £ 500 m contract with the Premier League that runs through 2022, has described the decision as non-sensitive at any stage. Yet the Premier League declined to comment on the issue.