WTO report looking like bad news for Newcastle takeover

St James' Park

BBC journalist Ian Dennis has shared a damning update on Newcastle’s potential takeover.

Taking to Twitter, he leaked part of the WTO report that is set to be released soon about PIF’s bid to take over the club from Mike Ashley.

He said in a tweet that was then deleted: “The WTO report says “should the Premier League approve the Newcastle takeover by KSA, it would be acting inconsistently with its own decisions and factual evidence as part of the WTO proceedings.”


The report from the World Trade Organisation is set to determine whether Saudi Arabia’s government has been involved in the illegal streaming of sports events.

When that full verdict will be reached isn’t quite known, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be good news for supporters wanting the deal to go ahead. 

The factual evidence that Dennis mentions appears to suggest that they’ll be found guilty, thus, leaving the Premier League in a difficult position when it comes to allowing PIF to buy the Magpies.

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

The piracy of Premier League broadcasts was always going to cause havoc with the takeover but this could be the final nail in the coffin for PIF and their attempts to buy.

There was initially good news yesterday when Ali Jassim, an advisor to Manchester City, was said to be involved in trying to broker the deal with Amanda Staveley but not even he can save the Investment Fund from illegal activities.

If WTO do rule against the Saudi government then the Premier League would be enormously controversial to allow the takeover to be completed.

As Dennis says, it would be acting inconsistently with its own decisions. This leaves any takeover from PIF in a perilous position.

It remains to be seen what the stance of Henry Mauriss is but if this deal falls out he should be ready with his cheque book. The American entrepreneur became a rival to PIF last week and he could now have a free run at Mike Ashley’s business.

Either way, things aren’t looking hopeful at all.

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