17 weeks on and somehow Mike Ashley is still in charge of Newcastle United.
This takeover saga has is now beyond frustrating. It has reached a point of mercy. Simply, everyone wants to know whether the Prince Investment Fund can buy a stake in the club.
For various reasons, the takeover has been delayed, with no verdict from the Premier League forthcoming. Given we’re now four months into proceedings and it’s become extremely tedious.
Controversies have surrounded the takeover like a bad rash.
One minute, it looks like things could be concluded soon before another stumbling block smacks Newcastle and the Saudi’s right in the face.
KSA’s human rights record has been questioned throughout proceedings but piracy of Premier League broadcasts has been the biggest problem.
And indeed, another setback occurred on Tuesday afternoon. It was revealed that Saudi Arabia had completely banned beIN Sports, handing them a hefty £2m fine in the process. An apparent TV deal that was in the offing is clearly no more.
That news, supposedly, was something that was the exact opposite of what the Saudi’s should be doing to get the takeover passed. Not good news at all.
However, speaking just before all of those revelations occurred, the Athletic’s George Caulkin issued an encouraging statement on his Twitter account.
Talking about all the setbacks that PIF have received in their bid to buy Newcastle, he revealed that it only made them even more determined to invest in English football.
Of course, this has been a goal for the Saudi’s for a considerable period of time – earlier in the year they were looking to conclude a commercial deal with Manchester United.
Speaking about things, Caulkin noted:
GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…
The timing of this whole debacle has been rather perplexing.
Only last week extremely positive steps were put in place to try and get the takeover over the line.
Saudi Arabia introduced new measures to protect intellectual property, thus marking one of their biggest moves yet in terms of preventing piracy in their country.
That progress came just days after KSA and the United Kingdom made progress in improving their existing relationship. The British government agreed that after a period of not doing so, they’d sell arms again to the Saudi’s.
This was a landmark moment for the two governments but the latest move to ban beIN Sport could put things in doubt again.
After all, at the time being, the Saudi people would have no way of watching Premier League football or Newcastle United.
It’s been claimed a TV powerplay deal could be on the cards but it remains to be seen whether an agreement can be reached.
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