Newcastle await Premier League decision following WTO report

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Newcastle United's proposed takeover is now firmly in the hands of the Premier League following the released report from the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The report has been issued after investigating whether Saudi Arabia's government has been involved in the illegal streaming of sports events.

Saudi Arabia were accused of failing to 'provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights held by or applied for entities based in Qatar'.

This relates to the blocking of beIN SPORTS and the Kingdom's links to beoutQ, which simulcasted the Qatar-based channel's broadcasts.

According to Chronicle Live, that 125-page report claims that Saudi Arabia had not provided 'criminal procedures and penalties' to tackle pirate pay broadcaster beoutQ.

While this case does not directly impact Newcastle United, it will have a knock-on effect to their potential takeover.

The Public Investment Fund, which is the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had agreed a £300million deal to buy 80% of Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.

While this report from the WTO doesn't stop a takeover happening, it will be taken into consideration by the Premier League who will make the final decision on whether to sanction the £300million deal.

But taking to Twitter after the report was published, Edwards said that he thinks it's a deal that will still happen.

He said: "(I) suspected PL were waiting for this report before making a decision.

"I don’t think it helps them make a decision conclusively either way though.

"If anything I’m back up to 60-40 it will happen.

"Think of it as a court case, Qatar the prosecution, PCP/SA the defence, PL the jury."

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

The takeover of Newcastle United is a hugely complicated situation.

Following the WTO's report on the Saudi government's role in the illegal streaming of sports events, things are cleared up slightly.

That report will be used as a key document in the Premier League's assessment of the Saudi-based consortium's suitability to take over the running of the football club.

This is why the whole thing is taking so long.

Luke Edwards sounds cautiously optimistic that the takeover will happen, but until the Premier League give their final decision nothing is certain.

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