Luke Edwards delivers verdict on Newcastle United takeover after WTO report

Newcastle United
Newcastle United

The World Trade Organisation has released a report yesterday that could have a major impact on the Newcastle United takeover process.

The 125-page World Trade Organisation (WTO) report states that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was behind beoutQ – a pirate satellite TV and streaming service that illegally broadcast sporting events.

In fact, KSA facilitated the piracy of Premier League matches and failed to stop the beoutQ pirate operation and blocked moves to shut it down.

The Telegraph journalist, Luke Edwards, who has been covering the Newcastle takeover saga, has delivered his understanding of the report in a series of tweets.

Edwards believes that the Premier League were waiting for the report before delivering their final verdict. The Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said yesterday that they are serious about the issue of piracy but has refused to comment on the Newcastle United takeover.

The ruling now raises serious questions over whether the Premier League can approve the £300m takeover bid from the Saudi consortium, especially as it has previously tried unsuccessfully to take legal action in Saudi Arabia against the piracy.

The WTO report states Saudi Arabia breached article 61 of the organisation’s Trips [intellectual property] agreement. However, FIFA, football’s highest governing body, has said that the KSA have provided active involvement and support in the past three years.

It’s a dicey situation at the moment and the verdict could go against the would-be owners if the Premier League find they have provided misleading or inaccurate information during the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

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