Premier League CEO Richard Masters has been asked about a potential Saudi takeover this morning as fans’ patience begins to wear thin – and he’s hinted that this ‘complicated’ saga could be concluded ‘shortly’.
A petition yesterday was set-up to try and force the Premier League to give some sort of clarity on the situation, with over 11,000 signatures already highlighting just how fed up our fanbase is.
It has been 14 weeks since a deposit was paid by Staveley and Co for the purchase of the club, and as the process usually only takes 3-4 weeks, it’s easy to see why supporters are incredibly agitated and utterly exhausted.
Here’s what he said in full after being quizzed by MP’s during a zoom call this morning:
“I do appreciate that uncertainty, I cannot comment in terms of timing or the specifics on any particular takeover but in a perfect world, takeovers would happen cleanly, clearly and in a timely fashion.
“Sometimes, things get complicated.”
“When they drag on, sometimes there’s a requirement for information.
“It’s a relatively rare occurrence. I think it’s very difficult to keep a constant dialogue with fans about what’s an entirely confidential process.”
“We can’t provide a running commentary on things and, as I said, I just can’t talk about the specifics of this particular process.
“There are legal requirements in place that need to be observed.”
Masters then made some telling comments after confirming Beoutq is now ‘off the air’, also insisting that he’d like to see this takeover saga be done and dusted ‘shortly’:
“I would like the process to conclude shortly”
“Beoutq is now off the air, and what we want, off the back of the WTO report, is for Saudi Arabia is to respond positively to the situation and to allow sports rights holders to protect their rights”
Masters also stated that there has been no political pressure to approve takeover, playing down ideas that government ministers have asked for the deal to be approved or rejected:
“You are suggesting we were put under pressure to go one way on the other. That has not happened.”
Supporters have never once asked for a running commentary on the situation – and we certainly do not expect one either.
All we ask for is a few words to summarise what stage we’re at so we at least know when to expect a final decision, not for a play-by-play breakdown of every nook and cranny.
The Premier League has shown themselves to be totally inept throughout this whole process. From a moral point of view, do they not have an obligation to its supporters over three months into this unbearable saga? You know, the ones who fund the beautiful game in the first place?
COVID-19 was thought of as an obstacle but the country is now easing its way out of lockdown. As was the Premier League’s “Project Restart”, which is three fixtures into its planned resumption.
Then we had the destructive hurdle concerning piracy, with that saga supposedly being ironed out by the WTO report last week and it appearing as though the Saudis have complied now BeoutQ is ‘off air’.
So – what are actually waiting for?
Richard Masters owes it to the supporters of one of his organisation’s 20 shareholders to give some proper answers, whether that means saying what we’d like to hear or not.
It used to sound cliche and self-victimising to suggest that if this had been Man Utd or Liverpool, the situation would have been done and dusted long ago. But it’s hard to not hold those sentiments now…