Premier League clubs 'want Newcastle takeover blocked over TV piracy row'


Premier League clubs have suggested Newcastle’s potential takeover by Saudi owners should be blocked due to a row over TV rights.

A £300m takeover of the Magpies, which is being funded by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, controlled by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, is edging closer.

But a host of top flights club have questioned whether the potential new owners could pass the “owners and directors test”.

The issue stems from accusations of piracy aimed at Saudi Arabia for illegally streaming Premier League games.

Currently beIN Sports have the rights to air England’s top flight in the Middle East.

Newcastle’s potential new owners have been criticised

They have subsequently written to every Premier League club and chief executive Richard Masters and asked them to “fully interrogate” the takeover, reports The Sun.

Top flight owners are fearful of the financial impact should beIN decide to cut payments if the issue is not resolved.

beIN chief Yousef Al-Obaidly told the clubs that his request was “purely based on the Saudi Arabia government’s role in the past and continuing theft of the commercial interests of your club, the Premier League, all its broadcast partners and football in general”.

Clubs are already suffering financially due to the affects caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

beIN Sports are at the centre of the row

League Rule F1 states “a person shall be disqualified from acting as a director and no club shall be permitted to have any person acting as a director” if they are in breach of regulations.

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And that includes “engaged in conduct outside the United Kingdom that would constitute an offence had such conduct taken place in the UK”.

An example of that could be “Dishonestly receiving a programme broadcast from within the UK with intent to avoid payment.”

Premier League chiefs are aware of beIN’s views and have made efforts to take legal action in Saudi Arabia.





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