North East UK news NUFC takeover - Premier League reveal positive Saudi Arabia piracy move MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Newcastle fans are eager to hear some positive news about the takeover
Breaking News ! The Premier League's chief executive Richard Masters faced questions on the Newcastle United takeover as the buy-out led by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia goes into its 14th week. Masters, as usual, was cagey with his responses as he was quizzed by MPs which make up the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee. The discussion was primarily based around Covid19, Project Restart and when fans may be allowed back into stadiums, but inevitably the questions came on the future of United - and its prospective owners. Here are five things we learned. 1) He's sticking to saying as little as possible Masters has largely stuck to the same line every time he is asked questions about the deal - and regularly makes the point that the deal is confidential. Despite the best attempts of SNP MP John Nicolson during the select committee meeting, and various bodies away from politics such as Amnesty International and the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, Masters has kept his cards very close to his chest. Today he reaffirmed the confidentiality of the deal, looking exasperated when Nicolson probed again prompting a reply of 'again, you're asking me to talk about something that I simply can't'. 2) The government haven't applied pressure One of the big claims of this saga was that the UK Government has behind the scenes applied pressure on the Premier League to push through the deal so that relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia remain on good terms. It's a strange claim given that both the Culture and Trade secretary have made it clear that the Government will not intervene whether that be to block the deal or support it. Masters revealed that across the board, the Government has not asserted their authority in any footballing matter - and specifically, not when it comes to the takeover. "I’m talking generally," Masters said, "but during my time at the Premier League I’m not aware of the government putting any pressure on the Premier League, one way or another, in relation to any takeover.’ "You’re suggesting we’ve been put under pressure to go one way or another [with this deal], and that has not happened." Read More Related Articles The two moves by Saudi Arabia that are viewed as major positives for the Newcastle takeover Read More Related Articles MP who called for Newcastle takeover to be blocked reveals the 'easy answer' which would remove opposition 3) beoutQ is no longer operating It would appear that broadcast piracy is the main issue holding up the deal. The conclusion of the World Trade Organisation report, in which the government of Saudi Arabia were told they had not done enough to stop illegal streams of football matches from neighbouring Qatar, has further muddied the waters.
. However, the confirmation from Masters that beoutQ - which the WTO ruled was broadcasting out of Saudi - is no longer running is good news. In the last fortnight, we've seen the beginning of a crackdown on piracy in Saudi Arabi launched by the Kingdom - in which the government promised to shut down 200-plus websites and act on those broadcasting. "BeoutQ is now off the air and what we want Saudi Arabia to do is to respond positively to the situation and allow sports rights holder to protect their rights," said Masters. The suggestion is that the Premier League are now waiting to see what the promises of a crackdown mean in terms of real action.
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4) There's no timescale for takeovers The common belief is that the director and owners test takes between three to four weeks and given we're now into month four of that process, it's easy to see where the worries from fans has come from. But Masters moved to clarify the situation - essentially telling the committee that every takeover is different, and there is no timescale on a takeover being passed. "I do appreciate that uncertainty, I cannot comment in terms of timing or the specifics on any particular takeover but in a perfect world, takeovers would happen cleanly, clearly and in a timely fashion," he said. "Sometimes, things get complicated. "There's no timetable in which the board, and it is the board which considers takeovers, there's no timetable set as part of the rules. "There is no particular timeframe - some takeovers are straightforward and others aren't." 5) 'Shortly' - can mean a lot of things "All processes have to conclude, and I would like the process to conclude shortly," Masters told the Committee. It's a sentence that fans have analysed for most of the day - does it mean we'll soon have a decision or a hint of the frustration of the Premier League's part that this is dragging on. From the initial confidence, from the buyer's side, the deal would be approved last week to some whispers that things had fallen back a step, and more questions were being asked - a lack of clarity is provoking frustration on all sides.
Source = MetiNews.Com