According to The Guardian, new legal documents have been sent to the Premier League questioning the Saudi government’s link to BeoutQ – the illegal pirate TV service that has previously threatened a £300m takeover.
The report claims these have emerged ‘over the past 24 hours’ and are likely to now delay the deal beyond this week – however The Guardian do insist that ‘sources close to the deal’ insist the buying side remain “very hopeful” a deal will still go through in the coming days.
It’s a frustrating ‘update’, adding an element of doubt to what was said to be an imminent deal, however there’s a few reasons to stay calm and positive in light of these potentially unsettling claims.
Firstly, this seems like a last minute attempt to derail a deal – something that felt inevitable given how hard the likes of Bein Sports (and others!) have pushed to stop their rival neighbours from blowing them out of the water in years to come.
Also, why is this only emerging now? It all feels a little desperate and convenient. Someone who doesn’t want it to happen has clearly been doing some digging.
Not only that, it seems to me that approving this takeover is a pretty clear solution if the Premier League don’t want BeoutQ to broadcast again (especially when it’s claimed the Saudis would stop BeoutQ and compete with Bein Sports next year for TV rights should it go through). After all, if they say no to a takeover, the Saudis then have zero motivation to block BeoutQ and the Premier League also lose out.
Another key point is, despite the fact ‘new evidence’ has emerged, The Guardian suggest the deal has been ‘delayed’, not derailed, with them also stating that the buying side remain confident it’ll be announced this week as planned.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s unsettling to see a report suggest there may be YET ANOTHER hurdle for the would-be owners to overcome, but it feels like this is another delay that’s not expected to stop it from going through – not something that’ll force the Premier League to say no.
This could be the greatest thing to happen to Newcastle United, but there’s only so much we can take – especially when many of us have little else to do than refresh Twitter every 5 minutes right now.
Fingers crossed folks.