The Saudi-funded consortium’s offer for Newcastle United is expected to be successful in the near future after the beIN Sport ban in the Gulf country is lifted.
An 18-month-long takeover saga that has seen the club embroiled in legal disputes with the Premier League is now closer to a resolution and the group, led by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley , could soon end Mike Ashley’s 14th birthday. -year of ownership of Newcastle.
The announcement on Wednesday that beIN Sport, the official Premier League broadcaster in the Middle East, will no longer be barred from operating in the kingdom means the buyout is about to be finalized.
In July last year, Staveley’s side pulled out of a deal to buy Newcastle after the Premier League failed to give regulatory approval. The problem was the separation – or lack of – between the Saudi state and its Public Investment Fund (PIF), which reportedly held 80% of the club’s shares. Staveley is said to have owned 10 percent and David and Simon Reuben, the British businessmen, the remaining 10 percent.
Saudi Arabia‘s involvement in the bid raises important questions about geopolitics, sport and human rights, but a recent poll conducted by the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) found that 93.8 % of its members were in favor of the takeover.
The revocation of the beIN Sports ban puts an end to a long dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
In 2018, Qatar filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) claiming that Saudi Arabia was preventing beIN – a Qatari company – from broadcasting in the kingdom.
The beIN company subsequently launched an international investment arbitration against Saudi Arabia for damages totaling more than $ 1 billion.
Qatar has also accused Saudi Arabia of failing to take effective action against alleged piracy of beIN content by beoutQ, a pirate broadcaster.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to revoke its ban on beIN Sport will result in the beoutQ operation being deactivated. The international investment arbitration of beIN Sport will also come to an end.
Saudi Arabia has also pledged to remove all pirate websites when notified by beIN.
Last year, the WTO ruled that Saudi Arabia helped break international piracy laws in connection with beoutQ. Saudi Arabia has previously denied aiding in Operation beoutQ and insisted that there was no link between its government and the alleged hack.
beIN Sports aired irregularly in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, with beIN commenting at the time: Monitor continuously.
âOur website is still fully blocked in Saudi Arabia and we have not received any official communication from the Saudi authorities suggesting that our license has been reinstated.
“However, like everyone else, we are hoping for positive steps from Saudi Arabia to allow beIN operations to return to the country after 3.5 years. We are waiting to see.”
Who is Amanda Staveley?
Amanda Staveley is a British businesswoman with close ties to the Middle East.
She played a leading role in the reigning families of Abu Dhabi and Qatar, making a Â£ 7.3 billion investment in Barclays in 2008. PCP Capital Partners, her firm, represented Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
Staveley was also involved in his Manchester City takeover in the same year.
Who are the PIF (Public Investment Fund)?
The Public Investment Fund (PIF), established in 1971, is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
It has an estimated total asset value of around $ 500 billion.
The PIF has stakes in Live Nation, Boeing, Facebook, Citigroup, Disney and Bank of America, the oil company BP and Uber.
The organization is chaired by Mohammad bin Salman, with Yashir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan as governor.