Toon takeover sceptics share surprise optimism following Saudi’s beIN Sport ruling
Luke Edwards and Ben Jacobs – two journalists who have been publicly sceptical of the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle – have sent Toon fans into meltdown with their unusually positive response to the latest twist in the saga.
Saudi Arabia this afternoon reversed a four-year ban on beIN Sports, a decision that removes the key obstacle of piracy that saw the deal break down in July 2020.
Despite Amanda Staveley’s insistence that piracy was not an issue during the process, it has always been the elephant in the room as to why the Premier League were so hesitant to approve the takeover.
Arbitration in January is to decide whether PIF and the Saudi state are the same entity because, if they are, PIF would be denied the right to buy Newcastle on the piracy issue. However, this afternoon’s ruling by Saudi Arabia clears that up completely, unless the Premier League decides that they aren’t going to forgive and forget so easily.
Telegraph journalist Edwards has been staunchly opposed to any suggestion that the deal will go through, a view that has seen him become a somewhat unpopular figure on Toon’s Twitter.
His latest tweet shows a slight softening of the stance, a possible indication that this news really is as crucial as it seems.
See his post below, as he tells fans to get their #cans back in the fridge…
Jacobs, formerly of beIN Sports, has always tried to play Devil’s advocate towards Newcastle fans regarding the takeover, a move that has unfairly seen him labelled a Qatar shill.
He has openly been wary about the deal itself and whether it will go ahead. However, his latest tweet in reaction to today’s announcement is a lot more upbeat…
Newcastle fans will be celebrating – and rightly so – but both sides will see this move by Saudi as a win.
The Premier League will be glad to see one of their main partners, beIN Sports, be broadcast in a region it has faced difficulty in over the past four years.
The door is now open for a potential out-of-court settlement to be made before the January 3 arbitration date.
We aren’t saying that is what is going to happen, but the possibility is certainly on the table.
The next few weeks will be pivotal; let’s hope the top flight, NUFC and the buying side can open dialogue and come some form of resolution.