- Alistair McGowan
- BBC Games
The deal on Saudi acquisition of United in Newcastle is expected to be announced soon.
Approval from the English Premier League could come within 24 hours after an alliance involving the Saudi Public Investment Fund, PCB Capital Partners and Robin Brothers.
Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund is to provide 80% of the funding for 300 million euros, which will be viewed separately from the state.
The decision is believed to have been made after Saudi Arabia settled a piracy dispute with Qatar-based PIN Sports, which owns the rights to broadcast Premier League matches in the Middle East.
But before the reports could be received on Wednesday, sources spoke of an agreement between the Premier League and the coalition.
Saudi Arabia faces allegations of human rights abuses, but as public investment funds are treated as a separate entity, this issue and any other piracy issues will no longer be an obstacle to acquisition from a Premier League perspective.
The news will delight fans of the club, after 93% of members showed support for their acquisition in a United Supporters Association poll in Newcastle on Tuesday.
Many owners want current owner Mike Ashley to go, believing his 14-year tenure has been plagued by a lack of investment and ambition.
The Premier League and Newcastle declined to comment on reports of an immediate deal.
Whatever the reason for the settlement, it is expected to end 18 months of history.
A deal was struck between Newcastle and buyers in April 2020, but they backed down four months later when the Premier League arbitral tribunal ruled out who would own the club.
This should determine whether the public investment fund is separate from Saudi Arabia.
It is unclear how significant human rights violations or hacking in Saudi Arabia are in this case, but these allegations no longer apply after the public investment fund is classified as a separate entity from the state.
It comes despite allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the fund, has ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Kashoki. But then Salman denies this.
Progress in the acquisition coincided with earlier reports on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia had stopped showing illegal English Premier League and other football matches through “beoutQ” and lifted the ban on broadcasting “beIN game” channels.
BeIN Sports has signed a $ 400 million deal to showcase Premier League matches in the Middle East and North Africa over a three-year period.
The issue was at the heart of the World Trade Organization, which issued a statement in June 2020 stating that Saudi Arabia had helped violate international piracy laws.
Premier League chief executive Richard Master said in a letter to August 2020 that intellectual property was “very important to the league’s business interests”.
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