There are a few words and phrases that I never want to here again following the last couple of months.
“Red flags”, “in doubt”, “approve” “proposed” and the most recent one “ducks in a row”. However I’m going to use that last one one last time before I banish it to my box of pet hate vocabulary. Also contained in this box are “over the line” “corridor of uncertainty” and my absolutely most hated, the pluralising of single clubs or players, for example “they can’t compete with your Man City’s and your Liverpool’s of this world”.
We have maintained on this blog, right from the start, that this takeover will go through. It’s been rough at times, as the abuse myself and Olly have taken for sharing what’s out there and giving our OPINION on it all to try and make sense of the chaos has not been nice. That belief and confidence has been based on how it going through financially benefits PIF, BeIN Sports, and most importantly the Premier League. It also delivers a stunning victory in the battle against piracy, and secures fresh investment and a new narrative in the MENA region and The Premier League.
Well, in the last few days, ever since the hugely important WTO report, it appears all the ducks are indeed finally getting into formation. Merely hours after the report was made available for public viewing, BeIN executive Richard Bugden hinted that change to benefit everyone was needed, and indeed available to KSA should they wish. Then we had foreign secretary Dominic Raab giving a very scripted answer about welcoming Saudi investment into the country, as long as certain rules are obeyed. Then came the rumours that BeIN sports is actually now available for viewing in KSA.
Yesterday morning, reports surfaced from Saudi media that they were close to announcing rights to show Serie A games in the kingdom, rights currently owned by…..BeIN Sports. Hours later, the Saudi state announced it would be introducing 231 new anti-piracy laws, and handing out severe financial penalties and even prison sentences to any parties found to be breaching these rules or facilitating piracy. This ties in wonderfully with the WTO report, which accused KSA of not doing enough to stop the piracy, and subsequently recommending them to do so in future.
Then Dan Roan of the BBC reported that the head of the Saudi FA Yasser Hassan Almisehal has written to FIFA and the Olympic committee assuring them of KSA’s tough new stance on piracy:
As we awake on this wonderful Monday morning still basking in the glory of yesterday’s excellent 3-0 win against Champions League chasing Sheffield United, which even had an exciting attacking performance and a Joelinton goal thrown in for good measure, this morning’s newspapers are full of stories saying the takeover is ready to be agreed.
Significantly from certain publications and journalists who have certainly been responsible at times for whipping up negativity, and who seemingly love to play with the emotions of Newcastle fans due to not having had much else to write about. Here’s a select few below:
It’s happening. There are no more “if’s“ or “buts”, we are in Mike Ashley’s final few days, maybe even hours, as Newcastle United owner.
So, my fellow members of the toon army around the world, this is it. Cans, and lots of them.