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Henry Winter makes big claim about Newcastle United takeover

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Henry Winter, the chief sports writer for The Times, is one of the most respected journalists in the country.

He has claimed on Twitter that several Premier League clubs are voicing concern over Saudi involvement in the Newcastle United takeover.

The potential Newcastle United owners – Amanda Staveley’s consortium — comprising her company PCP Capital Partners (10 per cent), the billionaire Reuben brothers (10 per cent) and the 80 per cent majority stakeholding of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – have submitted all papers, and they are waiting for the Premier League’s approval.

In fact, Staveley and co are very confident that the deal will go through, and as a result have paid a sum of £17 million to Mike Ashley already, while the remaining amount will be paid after they get the green signal from the Premier League.

Winter has suggested that some clubs are ‘getting fidgety’ because they fear what Newcastle could become. He says that some clubs have ‘self-interest’ in the Newcastle takeover process, and it will be surprising if they get involved (indirectly) in the takeover process.

The UK Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the issue was a matter for the Premier League to consider and that the government will not interfere. However, Clive Betts, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Football, said Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in pirate network beoutQ should be investigated as the broadcaster has been illegally showing Premier League matches in the Middle East.