The takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudis looks to be back on after the Saudi state found a solution with beIN Sports over the illegal streaming of Premier League football. Talks over a takeover had collapsed last year after unsuccessful discussions over the details of the deal.
Newcastle United is on the hinge of being taken over by a Saudi Arabian consortium which would witness the end of Mike Ashley's 14-year ownership of the club. Talks have progressed after an agreement was found between beIN and the Saudis on Wednesday. The Qatari network was unable to broadcast in Saudi Arabia for the previous four-and-a-half years as part of an international dispute but the ban is set to be reversed to facilitate the takeover.
The Qatari station had been opposed to the Geordie club's takeover stressing over the ban and the piracy of its content which were damaging sports rights holders. As things stand only an agreement between the Saudis and the Premier League could be reached soon after terms were agreed between beIN and the Saudis. The takeover which would involve Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) would take a controlling 80 percent stake in the club as part of the terms of the takeover.
An initial attempt was rebuffed by the Premier League last year after they refused to be subject to the league owners' and directors' tests as part of the takeover process. An amicable solution and a new era is set to dawn at St James' Park, which is pending approval from the Premier League. Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie provided further details on the terms of the deal.
“There is growing confidence on Tyneside tonight that the £300m takeover, led by Amanda Staveley and backed by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia, could finally be pushed through, after 18 months of talks."That comes after a resolution was agreed between beIN Sports and the Gulf State over the illegal streaming of Premier League football in Saudi Arabia.”
“What must happen now, is that it must the ratified by the Premier League. That was the issue last summer. when the Saudi element of the consortium didn't pass the owners' and directors' test, with the Premier League looking for further information. It's our understanding that some of the elements have been agreed and this takeover could be pushed through sooner rather than later."