Well, that was something of an anti-climax wasn’t it.
The dreaded WTO report, the document which many believed would single the end of the proposed takeover, riding in like a Ringwraith on a flaming horse to crush our dreams, contains absolutely no new negative information. None whatsoever. In fact it’s a very positive read.
In addition, the report says nothing to suggest that there is even a legal link between PIF and the state, and there have been lawyers in this country claiming they are legal separate entities.
The report doesn’t even mention Newcastle United. It’s also worth noting, that all parties involved in the takeover have been privy to this information for a few weeks now. The report is available to public view now, so I’m sure everyone can read it until their hearts content over the next few days.
Both BeIN Sports, and the Saudi government consider the outcome a victory, which is certainly confusing, and it hasn’t stopped the usual journalists who seem to enjoy winding up Newcastle fans such as Luke Edwards and others giving out their usual negative comments for nothing more than attention and clicks.
It also hasn’t stopped the more negative minded Newcastle fans out there taking to social media, proclaiming the deal is off, and calling those who believe it will still happen “clueless” or “happy clappers” and sometimes even worse.
I wrote an article last week stating my positive opinions on why it will go through, I got an absolute volley of abuse in the comments, especially on Facebook. I’m 100% sure I will again, but yesterday’s proceedings have only strengthened my humble opinions.
I’m not a journalist, I have no inside knowledge, or ITK sources. I wrote my opinion purely based on what much smarter and intelligent people than me with experience in this field have written and said. With that in mind, watch this informative video below from the excellent Rhys Rosser and Redrose Michelle, toon supporting lawyers who regularly appear on the equally excellent GallowgateShots podcast. They dissected the 193 page report and gave their legal opinion:
Sadly and predictably, the positive headlines aren’t reported so much because this whole thing has become like a soap opera, at a time when tragically there is no actual football to report on. Negative headlines breed clicks and I dare say Newcastle fans will be holding certain journalists and publications in a more negative light from now on, and rightly so.
You only have to look at an article in Forbes, last week, titled “Newcastle United Sale Approval “A Flip Of A Coin” Says Premier League Chief Executive”.
No one with any knowledge of the deal, just some who is employed at another Premier League club. Literally the equivalent of Lee Charnley giving his opinion on the proposed takeover of another club, made out to be something serious, and the Newcastle Twitter lost its collective mind.
The cynicism after 13 years of Ashley is understandable, and added to that, the lack of direct and official communication from people involved or close to the deal has been zero, but this was of course expected due to NDA’s being in place. The only comment we’ve had is from the Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, who just said he can’t comment.
Well here is an official comment. This is a statement made yesterday by David Sugden, who is the director of corporate affairs for BeIN Sports. Literally one of their top dogs. The full statement was published in the Chronicle, but I’ll just leave you with the last paragraph:
“Sport cannot grow while Saudi Arabia continues to promote the theft of sports rights and ignore the international rule of law – hopefully, one day that will change, for the benefit of everyone.”
That last line, “hopefully one day that will change, for the benefit of everyone”…
Then I’d like to refer to the last line of the WTO report:
“the Panel recommends that Saudi Arabia bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.”
There is nothing to say KSA can’t work with the Premier League, the path is being laid out clearly for them.
To reiterate what was written last week on this blog, PIF, BeIN Sports and the Premier League are all multi-billion pound corporations, who if this goes through, will in time all become even richer, whilst simultaneously solving the piracy issue once and for all.
It’s getting closer. HTL.