Newcastle United would-be owners were dealt a huge blow on Tuesday after the World Trade Organization ruled that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was behind pirate satellite TV beoutQ.
The Public Investment Fund wants to own 80% of the Magpies and have bankrolled a £300 million bid that is awaiting approval from the Premier League.
Passing the Owners’ and Directors’ Test is the only hurdle left for PIF to scale, but the WTO report hasn’t done their chances any good.
Nevertheless, the popular belief is that the Newcastle takeover will eventually go ahead despite more than 10 weeks of similar claims, and The Athletic’s Chris Waugh says he has heard whispers that it could be close.
Hi. Thanks! I'm afraid we don't know for certain where the PL is at, no. We've heard whispers & others have reported it could be close but we've heard that before. Unfortunately I'm just not sure.
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) June 19, 2020
With the WTO report out, the Premier League is expected to deliver its verdict on the takeover, and that could happen any moment from the now.
The EPL legal team has had two months to assess the deal and would most likely have reached a conclusion by now.
Many are expecting a drawn-out legal battle if Saudis Newcastle bid is knocked back, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
The Premier League broadcast partners beIN Sports are clearly against PIF owning the St. James’ Park after beoutQ’s unprecedented scale of piracy cost them one billion US dollars in lost subscriptions, lost advertising revenue, legal fees and technical reports.
The UK government supports investment that can help grow its economy and will very much want the Saudi takeover to go through, and the EPL is facing a huge dilemma without a doubt.