According to Forbes, a decision from the Premier League on a Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United is expected to arrive “this week”.
Their latest report also revealed that an unnamed chief executive at a “top Premier League team” told them this morning that it’s a “flip of a coin” as to whether this £300m deal will pass the owner’s and director’s test or not.
Forbes also claim that the Premier League will make their final decision upon reading a report set to be released by The World Trade Organization (WTO) this week, with that expected to clarify the link between our would-be owners and the illegal pirate satellite TV service, beoutQ.
Here’s a snippet from their piece, which suggests the Saudi-backed buyout really is a 50-50 call and set to go right down to the wire:
It’s going to be a photo finish.
The sale of Newcastle United by Michael Ashley to a group financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and fronted by PCP Capital Partners for $375 million (£300 million) is 50-50 at the moment. “If you’re asking me which way the vote will go with the the owners and directors of the Premier League it’s a flip of a coin,” according to an executive at a top Premier League team I discussed the deal with this morning.
The Premier League is set to rule on the sale of the English soccer team in part based on a report by The World Trade Organization that ruled that Saudi Arabia is behind a pirate satellite TV and streaming service that offers illegal access to sporting events. Broadcaster beoutQ has been illegally showing matches—mainly in Saudi Arabia—despite the rights to show games in the region belonging to beIN Sports, who are currently in the middle of a three-year deal with the Premier League worth $500 million (£400 million).
A decision by the Premier League is expected this week. Newcastle United currently sit in 13th place in the Premier League, the same place they finished in 2018-19. After being shut down for more than three months due to the Coronavirus, the league will resume play June 17.
What a huge week this promises to be, then.
Not only are we finally returning to Premier League action on Sunday after several months away, it looks like this once exciting, now exhausting Saudi takeover saga may finally come to an end – one way or another.
After an excruciating wait, let’s hope and pray the result is a positive one so we can say goodbye to Mike Ashley and ‘hello’ to ambitious new owners.
We’ve got everything crossed.