PIF facing new problems in Newcastle takeover


Newcastle United are in a fantastic place at the moment.

The Magpies demolished Bournemouth 4-1 earlier this week while Steve Bruce appears to be earning plenty of plaudits.

He was shortlisted for the Manager of the Month award while star man Allan Saint-Maximin is up for the Player of the Month award.

On top of that, the Toon Army could finally see the back of Mike Ashley this summer.

Newcastle are subject of a £300m bid from the Saudi Arabian Prince Investment Fund but even if that falls through, it's been claimed the current Magpies chief will depart.

However, there are problems, as supporters will be all too aware of.

Saudi Arabia is caught up in piracy claims while Mohammed bin Salman, the man at the heart and centre of the takeover is implicated in a murder.

Richard Masters has suggested that they're close to a resolution that could see PIF finally pass the owners' and directors' test. That has to be seen to be believed, though.

Mike Ashley

If this saga hadn't dragged on long enough, there are now further problems arising in Saudi.

That's according to political expert Hasni Abidi who revealed fresh issues when speaking to French outlet Foot Mercato.

The brunt of the discussion centred around PIF's interest in acquiring Ligue 1 side Marseille, but he went onto speak about Newcastle, revealing tensions in the Middle-East.

Abidi commented: "With Newcastle, there is a problem compared to Marseille. I have not looked at the laws for Great Britain, but it is difficult to buy a large club when one has setbacks with the trade rules.

“But the British government has made it clear: the Saudis must get it through with the Premier League. It annoys the Saudi politicians since MBS spoke out about the takeover of Newcastle. The Saudis saw that there was not overflowing enthusiasm for their participation." 


GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

If you consider this saga was annoying British MPs too, this news is far from helpful.

Tensions between the Middle-East and the United Kingdom are still lingering and with both governments now frustrated by the lack of progress, it's hardly surprising that PIF are looking into buying another club.

Abidi adds that France would welcome Saudi more than the UK but the Magpies can't afford to loosen their grip on their proposed takeover.


Though, the fact there is a lack of enthusiasm from those who are close to MBS represents another issue. If he's to have a successful tenure in Newcastle then he needs both Saudi MPs and British MPs on his side.

Ultimately, the Premier League will have the final say, but they're at risk of upsetting plenty of people by allowing the takeover to pass.

After all, one Member of Parliament stated that it would be humiliating if the top-flight wrapped things up.

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