Sean Ingle: WTO ruling clearly puts Newcastle United takeover deal in doubt

Mike Ashley

The latest report from WTO could have a massive bearing on the Newcastle United takeover saga. They will publish the report around 3 pm BST.

According to reports from The Guardian, the controversial £300m Saudi Arabia-funded takeover of Newcastle United now appears to be in serious doubt.


The World Trade Organization has singled out Saudi Arabia behind a pirate satellite TV and streaming service that offers illegal access to sporting events.

The report claims that the independent ruling firmly establishes that the Saudi government is behind beoutQ.

Previously Fifa, Uefa, the Premier League, La Liga and others have tried to take legal action against beoutQ in Saudi Arabia for illegal streaming but they couldn’t sue them on copyright claims.

This could have a massive impact on Premier League’s decision in giving the potential owners the green signal to go ahead with the deal.

If the green signal is given by the Premier League then the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will take 80% stake in the club, while PCP Capital Partners and the property developers David and Simon Reuben will take 10% each.

The Guardian reports: “It is also made clear to prospective owners that false, misleading or inaccurate information cannot be submitted to the Premier League.”

The fact that Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler is also the chairman of the Public Investment Fund, a clear legal link can be established between the beoutQ piracy service and the Saudi state.

The takeover saga is going on for over two months now, and the Premier League is expected to deliver their final verdict within this month.