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Report: Saudi investors will consider other options if Newcastle takeover held up indefinitely

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Mike Ashley

It seems like the potential owners are getting frustrated with every passing week as the Newcastle United takeover saga goes on.

Mike Ashley has already agreed a £300m deal to sell Newcastle, and a part payment has already been made, which is non-refundable. The potential new owners – the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners – are waiting for the final verdict from the Premier League.

Last week it felt like the deal would collapse. The World Trade Organisation released a report where it was stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was behind beoutQ. The ruling raised serious questions over whether the Premier League can approve the £300m takeover bid from the Saudi consortium.

However, in their latest move to secure the Newcastle ownership, the authorities in Saudi Arabia have written to the Premier League insisting that they will do everything to prevent piracy.

A letter from the head of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) has been sent to the Premier League, Uefa, Fifa and the International Olympic Committee assuring that the kingdom will act strongly to prevent piracy.

According to reports from Matt Dickinson of The TimesSaudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is providing 80 per cent of the money, will consider other options if the deal is held up indefinitely. 

The report claims that the PIF hierarchy still want the takeover to happen. However, they are also prepared to walk away to consider alternative plans if this saga drags on.

Already, a crackdown has been launched on websites illegally streaming broadcasts. In a statement, the Saudi Authority For Intellectual Property said: “We aim to block 231 websites that violate intellectual property regimes, with a view to shutting them down.”