One of the largest abroad broadcast partners of the Premier League urged it to cross-examine the £300m takeover of Newcastle United completely. Yousef Al-Obaidly, the CEO of the Qatar-based Television giant beIN Sport wrote to the chairs of major-flight clubs about the agreement, that might see the Magpies acquired by a Saudi-backed group. Al-Obaidly blames the government of Saudi Arabia for the facilitation of the almost three-year theft of the commercial rights of the Premier League – and in turn, your commercial revenues of the club – over its support of the large-scale beoutQ private service.
Red flags have been raised over the potential takeover of Newcastle.
The Premier League has been warned by one of its largest overseas broadcast partners.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 22, 2020
Moreover, Al-Obaidly wrote to Richard Masters, the chief executive of Premier League, that it is no overstatement to say that the football’s future economic model is at stake. The TV channel beoutQ illegally broadcasting football matches – primarily in Saudi Arabia – regardless of the rights to show matches in the area belonging to beIN Sports. The football officials tried to close down the service last year, but they failed to do so.
Arabsat, the Saudi Arab based broadcaster, always denied that beoutQ used its frequencies to show games illegally and suspected beIN of late offense tries and deceptive campaigns. Al-Obaidly described the matter as the stuff of urgency. The coronavirus is putting the crippling economic effect on the sports industry at that time when football clubs want to defend their transmission revenue.
Public Investment Fund to acquire 80% stake in the Newcastle United club
Sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) settled to buy eighty percent stake in the club as part of the group, including billionaires, the Reuben brothers, and Amanda Staveley. Al-Obaidly says in his letter to Masters to the extent the reports about attaining NUFC are accurate, and they see it important for the Premier League to profoundly investigate the possible acquirer of the club, including all officers, directors as well as other representatives from the Public Investment Fund or other entities of Saudi Arabia involved in, or else providing any funding for the acquisition.
He added that several other parties calling for such as investigation because of too many reasons, their demand based on the past and present theft of Saudi Arabia of intellectual property of your club and your member clubs. All this comes at a time when both Qatar and Saudi Arabia involved in an extensive diplomatic conflict in the Middle East. The Premier League must need to support the takeover of Newcastle and understood to at present in the working process over paperwork connected to the agreement that might take two to three weeks.
Involvement of beIN came as Amnesty International, the human rights campaigners, also criticized the possible deal. The Premier League must choose if the consortium of investors financed by sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia meets its directors’ and owners’ test.