Mark Douglas delivers Newcastle takeover update

Newcastle gates

If Newcastle's takeover was already confusing then the latest information we've been provided with is unlikely to help - such is the contradictory nature of it all.

The saga has been going on for over three months now and had it already been passed, last night's match against Manchester City would have been a Middle-East derby.

City is, of course, owned by Sheikh Mansour and if everything was wrapped up, he might well have been sitting close to Mohammed Bin Salman on Tuesday.

As it happens, the latter is still waiting for a decision from the Premier League to see whether the Saudi Prince Investment Fund can buy the Magpies.

At the moment, piracy is currently blocking any deal. Saudi have supposedly been stealing broadcasting rights and showing Premier League matches to the public for free.

Journalist Alan Nixon revealed a TV deal was being worked on between the top-flight and Saudi Arabia was in the works but there is still no streamlined agreement is in place. 

The delays are causing a stir not only in the House of Commons but also to Saudi MPs who are rather frustrated with the lack of progress.

Bin Salman

Investigative reporter Matt Slater suggested this week that the Premier League had been trying to lobby the British government to check in on Saudi for over a year.

That is rather remarkable given the current pleas from Parliament hoping that Newcastle's takeover isn't passed.

Had they looked at stuff earlier, all of the delays could have been avoided.

However, speaking in a Q&A for the Chronicle, Mark Douglas furthered claims that discussions between MPs and the top-flight had been taking place. He said:

"We've had the Government and the Premier League both say there's been no pressure exerted in public. But I can tell you that there is a very strong suspicion that there has at least been informal discussions and talk through back channels about this deal. Again, that trading relationship adds to the likelihood this deal happens in my opinion."


GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

Confusion surrounds this saga and these quotes have certainly added an extra layer to things.

Only on Tuesday, it was revealed that the United Kingdom would start supplying arms to Saudi Arabia again.

That sparked hysteria from certain Newcastle supporters on Twitter but it remains to be seen whether that has any impact on the Premier League passing PIF's plans to buy the Magpies.

St James' Park

From the outside, improved relations between the Middle-East and Britain should be a good thing, but it was just last week when one MP claimed a deal being agreed between PIF and the top-flight would be humiliating.

In short, things all look rather contradictory at the moment.

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