Newcastle United takeover discussed by UK government

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Newcastle United's takeover has been a huge talking point over the last few months.

Supporters of the Magpies are waiting with bated breath after news broke two months ago about a prospective £300million deal to buy the club.

Amanda Staveley is the figurehead of the Saudi-backed consortium who are said to be leading the charge for the club, but so far there’s been no news of a confirmed deal.

The club are currently waiting on a verdict from the Premier League as to whether the £300million deal can go ahead.

That decision was delayed while the World Trade Organisation (WTO) investigated 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.

But despite the concern, it seems that the UK government will not intervene to stop the takeover.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil wrote a letter last week urging the sale to be blocked, saying: "Why is the UK government treating Saudi Arabia differently to any other government?

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"The rule of law applies to all, I would think – including when it comes to the protection of UK sport and UK exports."

However according to the Daily Mail, the UK's trade secretary Liz Truss has insisted that it's a matter for the Premier League, and not the government.

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.

A decision from the Premier League is expected this week, and while Luke Edwards has concerns, it still seems likely to go through.

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