The Premier League has been urged to block the sale of Newcastle United to Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund by multiple different parties.
Just imagine, Newcastle United qualifying for European football, Newcastle United playing in massive, hotly-contested clashes with teams like Liverpool and Manchester City, Newcastle United lifting the Premier League title. With a takeover from filthy-rich Saudi Arabian public investment fund looming, these ideas have gone from impossible to possible in the blink of an eye.
After all, we’ve seen with both Manchester City and Chelsea what a new, rich owner can do for a football club. Newcastle would be entering the same boat if the sale goes through. However, there are some issues as you would expect, when it comes to a nation as controversial as Saudi Arabia.
The Premier League has been criticized for potentially allowing this sale to go through – and by multiple parties no less.
First, BeIN Sports have called for the deal to be blocked by Premier League directors and executives, due to Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in the illegal streaming of football matches, which draws millions away from the Premier League and broadcasting networks annually.
Given the massive role that broadcasters have in the income of Premier League clubs, this is a significant obstacle that the league faces.
“We consider it essential for the Premier League to fully investigate the potential acquirer of the club, including all directors, officers and other representatives from the KSA PIF or other Saudi Arabian entities involved in or otherwise providing any financing for the acquisition…Our request is purely based on Saudi Arabia’s past and present theft of your and your member clubs’ intellectual property rights.” – BeIN Sports CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly
Additionally, the Premier League has been urged to block the takeover by the fiancee of late journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The CIA came to the conclusion that Mohammed bin Salman, who is leading the charge to buy Newcastle, ordered the murder of Khashoggi.
Lastly, the Human Rights activist group Amnesty International has also chimed into the issue to voice their opinion. They have claimed that Saudi Arabia’s Newcastle takeover is simply a PR stunt being done to distract from the nation’s awful human rights record.
It certainly makes for no easy decision from those at the top of the Premier League ladder. Newcastle’s takeover is an exciting prospect for many, but it has the potential to bring some bad light to the league and the team, which might be harmful in the long-run.