A consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is taking over Premier League club Newcastle United after around 18 months of deadlock. The obstacle so far has not been dealing with human rights – but with TV rights.
After four and a half years, Saudi Arabia will end its blockade of beIN Sports, according to concurring media reports. The Qatari sports broadcaster, which owns the TV rights for the Premier League in the region, will now also be allowed to broadcast its expensive football pictures in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Until a few months ago, the station BeoutQ operated from Saudi Arabia, copying the signal from Qatar, and retransmitting it illegally. For the Premier League, this condition was still decisive not to agree to the takeover in the spring of 2020.
Now the way is clear, Saudi Arabia finally pushes on the world stage of professional football, with the Premier League confirming the takeover in October.
The Price Tag: 350 Million Pounds
Qatar owns Paris Saint-Germain, from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates Manchester City is managed. Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have so far lacked a comparable tool to cleanse their own image and at the same time compete with their rivals and neighbors.
In the geopolitical bickering on the Arabian Peninsula, the glittering world of football plays an important role in raising the country’s profile.
For 300 million British pounds (the equivalent of about R6.316.757.079,00), a group of investors with significant participation by the Public Investment Fund, a Saudi state fund under the control of the crown prince, will now take over Newcastle United.
The club is not currently known for the most enchanting football and bets in the world, like the ones in this 1xBet Online Casino review. Saudi Arabia will probably have to pour many more millions into the currently losing team in the Premier League to bring it up to par with Qatar and Paris as well as Abu Dhabi and Manchester City in the medium term.
Premier League ‘Vets’ New Owners
New club owners are vetted by the Premier League through a process. Sacha Deshmukh, executive director of Amnesty International’s U.K. branch, said, “We have called on the Premier League to urgently change the vetting of its owners and directors and address human rights issues.” The term “human rights” did not even appear in the test, he said. So far, there has been no response from the league.
Other issues were crucial: The League’s condition was that Newcastle not be under the control of the state of Saudi Arabia in the future. The sovereign wealth fund would indeed be the majority owner of the club and thus also Crown Prince bin Salman.
According to the BBC, however, the fund would be considered “separate from the state,” which is what made the takeover possible in the first place.
A Large Proportion of Newcastle’s Fans Are Thrilled
Among Newcastle United fans, there is only tentative opposition to the new owners. Any misgivings are wiped away by the joyous prospect of getting rid of the unloved previous club boss Mike Ashley.
Several fans celebrated at the stadium. “The anticipation and excitement is huge, we’ve been waiting 14 years for this,” said Thomas Concannon, vice chairman of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust fan organization in an interview.
Mike Ashley, the previous boss, has made himself extremely unpopular with supporters during his 14 years as owner of Newcastle United. The central accusation: he failed to make necessary investments in the team, the stadium and the training ground. “He neglected the club for 14 years,” says Concannon.