According to The Times, while the British government has made supportive noises about the £300 million bid of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to buy Newcastle United, it has insisted that it cannot be involved in the Premier League’s vetting process of the takeover in a leaked letter.
A campaign group, just like Amnesty International and beIN Sports, has called for the Magpies takeover bid by the Saudis to be rejected, and that has prompted the government to react thus:
“There is no government role in this [Premier League] process. The UK government supports Saudi Arabia’s continued diversification efforts under its Vision 2030 strategy.
“Saudi Arabia’s investments through its PIF form part of these efforts. The PIF invests in many sectors internationally, with their potential stake in the ownership of Newcastle United FC part of this wider investment.”
The letter from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has got Newcastle fans excited as it clearly states that the UK government supports the PIF’s efforts to boost their economy.
While it won’t interfere, the government definitely would love to see the Magpies takeover go through for so many reasons, and here is how some of the St. James’ Park faithful have reacted to the leaked letter on Twitter:
This is a very positive sign. #nufc
— The Clocktoys (@clocktoys) June 12, 2020
Boris is a geordie
— Jack (@jchaytor16) June 12, 2020
Who would've guessed it, our government love the Saudis. Now please hurry up and approve it @premierleague
— Robert Brown (@robertbrownnnn) June 12, 2020
It would be in the government's best interestest to help push it through even if they "can't". We sell 70% of our arms to them so if they tried to stop it, it wouldn't be good for their relationship.
— 💗Angel💗 (@AngelNUFC) June 12, 2020
Essentially that’s the governments way of saying “we like Saudi Arabia”
— MrPeterPickle (@faaaaantastic) June 12, 2020
The government cannot be involved in the Premier League's vetting…. but backs up the case for PIF and the takeover.
Sounds like our Saudi friends have used their influence in our government.
— Philip Peppiatt (@PhilipPeppiatt) June 12, 2020
I think that's why it's taking so long, the PL are wanting to knock it back but there is Gov pressure to approve. It would be embarrassing to the Gov if the PL say this group aren't fit to run a club but we sell them billions in goods including weapons.
— Ian Biggins (@IanBiggins) June 12, 2020
This is quite telling imho. This is the government politely reminding those involved it is allied to the Saudi investment strategy. Hopefully will prompt the premier league to conclude matters and strike a deal with PiF to ‘assist’ over ‘piracy’ situation
— chris tucker (@christuckersluc) June 12, 2020
In an economy that could be decimated by COVID19 and brexit, it would be pretty weird if this particular gov pushed back against possible local investment.
— ⚕ ᑕᕼᖇIS ⚕ (@kicka11) June 12, 2020
They can't be involved but I bet they can make suggestive suggestions. Nudges in the right direction etc
— Phil Clark – forever pro EU (@striker990) June 12, 2020
World Trade Organization has ruled that Saudi is behind beoutQ – a pirate satellite station that illegally broadcasts Premier League matches that rightfully belong to beIN Sports – and their report is due to be made public in a fortnight.
It’s believed that the Premier League will make a decision on whether the would-be Newcastle owners have passed their Owners’ and Directors’ Test afterwards, and it will be interesting to see how it goes following more than 10 weeks of talks.