The consortium of Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben Brothers have had a £300m bid for Newcastle accepted, with only the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ test standing in the way of the acquisition.
BeIN Sports has raised the issue of Premier League rights worth hundreds of millions of pounds being allegedly pirated by state-backed broadcasters in Saudi Arabia for the past three years.
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The Qatar-based media group’s CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly wrote to league chief executive Richard Masters, as well as the chairmen of all 20 top-flight clubs, in a bid to raise awareness of the issue.
The letter states that the prospective new owners have ‘caused huge damage’ to clubs and the league’s commercial revenue, while also stating that the ‘future economic model of football is at stake.’
And for the first time, government voices have raised concerns over the impending deal, with the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Football Clive Betts calling the issue a ‘priority’.
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BeIn sports have called for scrutiny amid their own battle over piracy of their broadcasts
‘The beoutQ piracy issue should be an immediate priority for regulatory scrutiny surrounding the Newcastle United takeover,’ Betts said in a statement on Friday.
‘While the Premier League needs to seriously look at any potential conflict between the ownership of a football club and the alleged 3 year theft of UK media rights by the future owner, the government should take a role, not sit on the bench.’
BeIN Sports are not the only body to raise concerns about the imminent change of owners at St James’ Park.
Amnesty International have also written to the Premier League to raise awareness of the kingdom’s human rights record, while the wife of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has also criticised the proposed takeover.