According to an accomplished football lawyer, prospective owners of Newcastle United have been backed to potentially pass the owners and directors check of the Premier League.
The author of Football Law, Thomas Horton, delved into the complex privatization process that saw the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia under extreme scrutiny due to concerns about corruption and human rights abuses in the Kingdom.
Claims that the World Trade Organization is about to issue a study that suggests the Kingdom is behind a pirate television channel broadcasting live football has led some to cast doubt on a successful outcome.
However, Horton claims that the PIF will finally get the green light to complete the deal and buy United from Mike Ashley alongside Amanda Staveley and the Reuben Brothers.
The barrister explains that because the PIF is separate from the ruling body of the Kingdom, i.e Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, that even a negative ruling over the piracy shouldn’t stop the takeover.
Writing on Football Law, Norton explained: “It is this author’s opinion that, unless it is demonstrated that the KSA PIF itself has facilitated or funded beoutQ, the degree of separation between the KSA’s system of government and the KSA PIF that is seemingly apparent – that the KSA PIF is a separate legal entity and is operated for the benefit of the KSA but not by the KSA per se – would be sufficient for the KSA PIF to avoid disqualification as a Director according to the ODT.”
The Premier League has remained quiet on the topic of the takeover with chief executive Richard Masters cagey when asked by reports on the test.
Meanwhile, the WTO refused to confirm or deny whether the Premier League had access to the report on piracy – which has been put together over several months after Qatar raised the dispute.
Despite the delay in getting the green light sources close to the buying side remain confident that the deal will eventually be signed off.