A much needed update on the prospective takeover of Newcastle United arrived from the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope on Tuesday night.
His latest ‘exclusive’ states that the ‘moral, political and legal’ difficulties presented to the Premier League by this proposed Saudi takeover are likely to mean future owners’ and directors’ tests are revamped, but insists these concerns look unlikely to derail their £300m purchase at St James’ Park – just delay it.
With this in mind, he reports that it’s likely we hear news of Premier League approval (and an announcement) next week – partly due to the fact the current testing does NOT account for piracy complaints.
Here’s a snippet from Craig Hope’s piece for The Mail, which helps explain just why things have dragged, along with his message to a Newcastle fan on Twitter:
‘The moral, political and legal difficulties presented to the Premier League by Saudi Arabia’s proposed takeover of Newcastle United is likely to see a revamp of their owners’ and directors’ test.
‘The £300million deal, backed by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, is awaiting the League’s approval but that process is understood to have been held up given the complexity of broadcast piracy allegations against the Saudi state.
‘We are told that the likelihood remains that the deal will be approved, in part because the Premier League tests are badly drafted and do not take issues like piracy specifically into account
‘Sources close to the deal suspect a decision could even be delayed until next week, especially as the matter of if and when Premier League football can return will be taking priority.
‘We are told it is the framework of the owners’ and directors’ test that has left the PL exposed to criticism and, as such, a review of the process of examining prospective new owners is expected once the Newcastle takeover is resolved.‘
So, this seems like a lose/lose situation for the Premier League – but one that’s exposed the flaws in their owners’ and directors’ test as much as anything.
That being said, this looks likely to be good news for ourselves, with the report essentially saying the PL will be criticised for approving this Saudi deal, but will put more stringent measures in place for future tests as a result of the shortcomings this takeover has flagged up.
The wait is unbearable, incredibly tedious and nerve wracking, however it feels like the current test doesn’t have the capacity to block this deal.