According to senior BBC reporter Ian Dennis, the WTO report has told the Premier League they would be “acting inconsistently” if they approved a £300m Saudi takeover.
The report from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is set to be released today, detailing the potential link between Saudi Arabia and beoutQ – the illegal pirate satellite TV service in question – however it seems a few reporters have now been given early access to the WTO’s findings.
One of those appears to be the BBC’s Ian Dennis, with him revealing how the WTO have warned the Premier League against passing this Saudi-backed bid:
“should the Premier League approve the Newcastle takeover by KSA, it would be acting inconsistently with its own decisions and factual evidence as part of the WTO proceedings”
While the above sounds damning, making many fear this will make the Premier League’s mind up, there is still a dispute that it’s not Saudi Arabia itself buying us – it’s the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), meaning the link may not be relevant to the actual buyers.
It’s an absolute minefield and utterly exhausting, however it seems a decision may be coming one way or another following the full release of this WTO report.
Given so many have stressed that the Staveley and the PIF expected to face these issues over piracy, let’s hope there’s still time for a solution – especially if this WTO report is seriously condemning a Saudi takeover.
If this tweet from The Athletic’s Matt Slater is anything to go by, it seems the Saudis are STILL in a position to resolve this, despite the ‘damning’ claims against them: