Newcastle United's long drawn out takeover by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium could finally be nearing completion, according to sources at the Premier League.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund has been on the verge of buying an 80% stake in the Magpies for over three months now, with businesswoman Amanda Staveley and brothers David and Simon Reuben sharing the remaining 20%.
Newcastle fans have been holding their breath ever since the takeover was rumoured to be close to completion, but complications over Saudi Arabia’s involvement with piracy has made the deal stall.
Qatar-based beIN SPORTS is the official Premier League broadcaster for the Middle East region, but pirate channel beoutQ, which broadcasts out of Saudi Arabia, has been showing Premier League games since 2017.
This week, two separate Saudi authorities have made moves to end that dispute, allowing the Premier League to potentially approve the takeover.
The Official Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property has stated that it will shut down any websites involved in illegal streaming, while the Saudi Arabian Football Federation has admitted it has a ‘responsibility’ to fight piracy.
The two authorities making statements on the same day is said ‘not to be a coincidence’, and could mean the Premier League passes Newcastle’s takeover, which has been subject to the Premier League’s owners and directors test since April.
Newcastle fans will be hoping they see the back of Mike Ashley’s tenure, which has seen them relegated twice in the 13 years of his leadership.