Newcastle get much-needed takeover boost with Saudi Arabia to end piracy war

Newcastle United's takeover hopes have been given a much-needed boost with Saudi Arabia set to end their piracy war with Premier League broadcast partners beIN Sports.

Saudi Arabia first announced their intention to buy Newcastle and turn them into title challengers last summer, but their bid hit the buffers amid rows over alleged state involvement in piracy of Premier League games in the country.

But good news looks set to be on the horizon for Magpies fans with the four and a half year ban on beIN Sports – who have shelled out £400million for the rights to show the top-flight in the Middle East and North Africa – set to be quashed.

It will mean that for the first time in years there will soon be a legal way of watching Premier League football in Saudi Arabia – whose sovereign wealth arm, the Public Investment Fund, wanted to pay £305million for the Newcastle.

They turned their back on the Amanda Staveley brokered deal last summer after it became trapped in legal complications and stalled.

An arbitration hearing set for January 3 will finally decide whether the Investments Fund can return to the table with their bid for the Toon and end the Mike Ashley era.

Lifting the ban on beIN Sports – which could see the firm acquire another 40million customers – is a huge boost for Newcastle.

Do you think the Saudi Public Investments Fund should be allowed to buy Newcastle? Let us know in the comments section.

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It has removed a divisive commercial obstacle from the takeover bid, but there will still need to be a ruling on whether the Saudi state would effectively became a director of Newcastle, according to the Daily Mirror.

Saudi are expected to quietly lift the ban on subscribing to beIN Sports and their website. It means the beoutQ piracy operation will be stopped for good and the Saudis look set to settle with the broadcaster in their $1bn arbitration case.

The Saudis have recently been cooperating and removing prate websites showing Premier League football when informed of them by beIN Sports.

Even if the situation between Saudi Arabia and beIN is resolved, there are still important ethical questions to be considered about the proposed takeover.

There will still be objections from some parties to Newcastle being owned by Saudi Arabia, including their human rights record and the state involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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