Yes, another takeover article. Believe me, we’re as bored and exhausted as you.
However last night’s article in the Daily Mail is worth touching on, as there have been certain rumblings and rumours in the last few days that are starting to make sense and offer light at the end of the tunnel.
If what emerged late last night is true, then it is seemingly backing up what many footballing pundits and financial experts have been predicting in the last week or so. The delay in the deal is due to the Premier League wanting to resolve the piracy issue, not use it as a reason to block the sale.
Here is the article below, which claims ‘Saudi Arabia is set to work out a peace deal over TV rights with Qatar‘:
It’s easy for Newcastle fans to be cynical about this deal finally going through. I totally get the cynicism, 13 years of rank ownership does that to football fans. That’s not to say some of the theories that have been coming out in recent days are beyond ludicrous. I saw one the other day that Ashley knew the deal would be rejected, and signed it purely to pocket the £17m non refundable deposit.
If you actually take a step back and then an objective look at things in a business sense, this latest article from the Mail makes perfect sense, and is a huge positive.
Last week there were stories that Richard Masters, the new Chief Executive of the Premier League has recently held meetings with BeIN Sports, who of course are opposed to the deal due to many reasons, but mainly over the issues over the TV rights in the MENA region. The NUFC social media brigade went berserk, almost collectively deciding that these meetings meant the death knell for the deal, and that the PL were siding with the Qatari based media giants, but the article from the Mail makes these meetings make far more sense.
There’s something people need to remember in all of this. The Premier League are in total control here, because what they are selling is their product, a product available to the highest bidder. We’ve seen it down the years with Sky, Setanta, ESPN, BTsport….the point being, BeIN Sports are merely customers. Important and lucrative ones yes, but still just customers at the end of the day. Not only that, they are customers who have a contract that expires for said product in two years. The idea that they have the clout to stop this deal is laughable. They have the right to take legal action of course if the current terms of their contract were to be breached, but if the terms were to be re-negotiated so that BeIN aren’t losing money, while the Premier League make money from signing a deal with new customers, then this whole affair becomes a horse of a different colour.
One thing I personally always thought would be an interesting caveat to this deal would be how Saudi football fans would be able to watch their sovereign states newly acquired football team. I mean, would Crown Prince Bin Salman be cheering on Bruce and the boys on an illegal stream on a BeoutQ top box? Something was always going to have to give.
BeIN Sports, PIF and The Premier League are all multi billion pound companies, and companies of this magnitude don’t establish themselves by always looking only at the short term. As this Daily Mail article alludes to, agreeing a deal suits all parties, especially the Premier League.
There have also been prominent voices in the game talking about The Premier League’s duty of care, and their moral obligation to financially look after all professional football in England considering it’s the top of the tree, and they have the most money. At a time when they need it, an injection of Saudi money is too tempting for them to ignore.
If Richard Masters is indeed the man who holds the key to bringing this whole ugly situation to a close, then just imagine if he manages to not only end the piracy issue, but then bring extra money into the English game which filters down and literally saves jobs and livelihoods.
Now there’s an interesting arc for the sports washing debate…..