UK government members call for scrutiny of Newcastle’s Saudi takeover, with BeIn Sports and Amnesty International raising vital piracy and human rights concerns
- A Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United looks set to transform the club
- However, serious concerns have been raised over their fitness to run the club
- The Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ test stand in their way
- BeIn Sports and Amnesty International have called for scrutiny and raised issues
- The chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Football has done the same
The UK government have been urged by its own members to take an active role in scrutinising the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United following calls for the deal to be blocked.
The consortium of Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben Brothers have had a £300m bid for Newcastle accepted, with only the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ test standing in the way of the acquisition.
BeIN Sports has raised the issue of Premier League rights worth hundreds of millions of pounds being allegedly pirated by state-backed broadcasters in Saudi Arabia for the past three years.
Newcastle are set for a monumental transformation under their new Saudi ownership
Questions have been raised over the new ownership, with saying the sale should be blocked
The consortium involving Amanda Staveley are aiming for the Champions League
The Qatar-based media group’s CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly wrote to league chief executive Richard Masters, as well as the chairmen of all 20 top-flight clubs, in a bid to raise awareness of the issue.
The letter states that the prospective new owners have ‘caused huge damage’ to clubs and the league’s commercial revenue, while also stating that the ‘future economic model of football is at stake.’
And for the first time, government voices have raised concerns over the impending deal, with the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Football Clive Betts calling the issue a ‘priority’.
Fans will be delighted to see the back of Mike Ashley, but there are new concerns
BeIn sports have called for scrutiny amid their own battle over piracy of their broadcasts
‘The beoutQ piracy issue should be an immediate priority for regulatory scrutiny surrounding the Newcastle United takeover,’ Betts said in a statement on Friday.
‘While the Premier League needs to seriously look at any potential conflict between the ownership of a football club and the alleged 3 year theft of UK media rights by the future owner, the government should take a role, not sit on the bench.’
BeIN Sports are not the only body to raise concerns about the imminent change of owners at St James’ Park.
Amnesty International have also written to the Premier League to raise awareness of the kingdom’s human rights record, while the wife of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has also criticised the proposed takeover.
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