Newcastle’s proposed takeover in ‘serious doubt’ following WTO ruling – Guardian

The latest word spreading across the media this evening suggests that the big-money Saudi takeover of Newcastle United could be on the verge of collapse.

Bin Salman’s Newcastle takeover efforts

Despite top-level football in England having of course been at a standstill since early in March following the outbreak of COVID-19, action has continued at a typically-frenetic pace behind the scenes at a number of Premier League clubs.

Ongoings at Newcastle United have proven the main talking point amongst many circles for over a month now, as the Magpies attempt to move into a potentially-prosperous new era.

Widespread reports have, for some time, assured that the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (one of the richest men on the planet) will imminently formalise a takeover at St. James’ Park.

Any potential deal would be worth a fee in the region of £340 million, with Dubai-based financier Amanda Staveley (who runs PCP Partners) acting as an intermediary.

WTO ruling

The speculation surrounding their side of late has understandably seen excitement begin to build amongst Newcastle’s fans, as the turbulent Mike Ashley era finally appeared set to come to a close.

As outlined above, however, if the latest reports emerging this evening are to be believed, then enthusiasm may need to be curbed for the time being.

According to the Guardian, Mohammed bin Salman’s takeover at St. James’ Park has today been thrown into ‘serious doubt’.

This comes after the World Trade Organisation concluded that the Saudi Arabian government is behind beoutQ, a pirate satellite service that offers illegal access to a host of sporting events, including the Premier League.

‘While the WTO’s 130-page final report will not be published until mid-June, it is understood that the independent ruling firmly establishes that the Saudi government is behind beoutQ.’

This could pose a major stumbling block in Newcastle’s changing of hands, with the WTO ‘the highest judicial body that could rule on the matter.’

It now remains to be seen whether these findings simply delay bin Salman’s Magpies takeover, or completely derail it.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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