Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia aren’t short of controversies.
Most recently, the country has been engulfed by a piracy scandal that has prevented the Premier League from passing the Prince Investment Fund’s bid to buy Newcastle United.
However, if they now sign a new TV deal, it appears as though the deal could go through. That’s according to journalist Alan Nixon.
It appears as though the top-flight are willing to forgive their misdemeanours and pass the takeover.
It would be about time too. The Toon Army have waited 11 weeks now for everything to be wrapped up.
Fresh claims from Hatice Cengiz could well put the takeover in doubt again after she revealed that she was confident the Premier League would still reject the bid.
However, it’s clear MbS has huge desires to buy the club. That was revealed by Dr. Kristian Alexander and Giorgio Cafiero who published a paper this week exploring whether Saudi Arabia can succeed in sports diplomacy.
They revealed the reasons behind Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to take Newcastle off of Mike Ashley’s hands.
In the paper, it read: ‘Saudi Arabia’s plans for acquiring Newcastle United are important to the Kingdom’s quest to improve its “soft power” influence in the West.’
It went onto reveal – ‘MbS also seeks stronger Saudi-British economic ties in the post-Brexit period as the United Kingdom struggles financially, while simultaneously bolstering the already well-established weapons trade relationship.
‘More specifically, this seems to be an attempt to soften the Kingdom’s image and to change many negative western perceptions surrounding Saudi Arabia by building a different narrative that puts a more positive spin on the Kingdom’s reputation.’
GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…
After the controversies surrounding Saudi Arabia during the takeover, it’s reassuring to know the reasons behind MbS’ attempts to buy Newcastle.
The piracy of Premier League broadcasts slightly ruined the relationship, certainly from a British perspective, but there’s only one way to mend that, take over Newcastle and run it professionally and efficiently.
They’ve already made attempts to renew relations, reportedly planning to agree a TV broadcast deal with the top officials in the Premier League.
Certainly, from a financial point of view, they could bolster the league and Newcastle significantly.
In a post-Covid-19 era this will be hugely important. The Magpies, among others, have found it difficult to retain cash flow given the empty stadiums and lack of football.
Thus, the arrival of Saudi Arabian influence couldn’t be more timely.
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