Matt Slater explains how PIF-led Saudi takeover of Newcastle can go through

Amanda Staveley

When the Newcastle United takeover process started, it was initially thought that the Premier League would hardly take four weeks to deliver their verdict.

It’s nearly three months now, and no one has got any clue about what the outcome will be. Newcastle are doing well on the pitch but without any direction off the pitch, the Magpies are in limbo.


According to the Athletic journalist, Matt Slater, it is the issue of piracy that is yet to be resolved, and that is the only stumbling block at the moment.

In a discussion with the well-known journalist George Caulkin on ‘Pod on the Tyne’ podcast, Slater has given a fascinating take on where the takeover situation stands at the moment.

Caulkin says that he believes that the takeover will eventually go through. The reason being, the potential owners are confident about the deal, and secondly, money speaks.

If the Saudis take control of Newcastle, then the money will flow at the club, and in the Premier League as well. Therefore, the Premier League will see the bigger picture here, and try to make it work for everybody.

Slater argues that it is indeed a high possibility. But the situation is complicated.

The Premier League were well aware of the tension between Saudi and Qatar, the problem of piracy, and the tussle between BeIN Sports and beoutQ long before the takeover issue surfaced.

They have been asking questions to the potential owners, as we all know. But Slater says that there are certain aspects that they are struggling to answer in the test – like ‘have you done anything in your own jurisdiction that will be considered as an offence here? How much responsible they are for beoutQ? Is PIF a branch of the Saudi states? Has there a prosecution? Why hasn’t there been a prosecution?’

But the most important thing is whether they have dealt with the Premier League in good faith? Possibly not. Slater feels that this is something the Saudi owners can fix. They need to change their outlook and take necessary actions.