All Newcastle fans have wanted for the last few years is for owner Mike Ashley to leave the club.
And it appears they will soon get their way.
Ashley has agreed to sell the club to The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for £300m.
That deal involves Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who is worth £260 billion.
If the takeover goes through, Newcastle would be comfortably the richest club in the league.
Bin Salman is worth 10x more than Man City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, which is absurd.
Newcastle fans have, of course, been very excited by the takeover.
However, there have been concerns about Bin Salman’s human rights record.
Many have expressed their opposition to the takeover and now, BeIN Sports have got involved.
The Qatari based company, who are the Premier League’s biggest overseas broadcaster, don’t want the takeover to go ahead.
They’ve also written to every Premier League club urging the same thing.
That’s because they feel Saudi Arabia should be held to account for its involvement in a pirate network which illegally broadcasts Premier League matches.
The network, known as beoutQ, first began streaming sporting events illegally in 2017 and despite repeated attempts by sports governing bodies and rights holders to stop it, the piracy has continued.
Yousef al-Obaidly, the chief executive of beIN, has told all Premier League clubs: “The potential acquirer of Newcastle United [has] caused huge damage to your club’s and the Premier League’s commercial revenues”.
He added: “The legacy of the illegal service will continue to impact you going forward. When the Premier League season re-commences in the coming months, all of the league’s broadcasters’ content will continue to be readily and illegally available via the IPTV streaming functionality on the beoutQ set-top-boxes which were sold in significant quantities in Saudi Arabia and the broader MENA [Middle East and North Africa] region.
“Furthermore – given the crippling economic effect that coronavirus is having on the sports industry – this is all happening at a time when football clubs need to protect their broadcast revenue the most.”
Al-Obaidly has also asked the league to apply the fit and proper persons’ test.
It was never going to be easy, was it Newcastle fans?
It seems the proposed takeover could collapse if BeIN Sports get their way.
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