Newcastle Takeover 'Stalls Indefinitely' After Broadcast Rights Ban in Saudi Arabia

FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-TOTTENHAM
FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-TOTTENHAM | MICHAEL REGAN/Getty Images

Newcastle are preparing for another season under the ownership of Mike Ashley, with the club's proposed £300m takeover - backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund - unlikely to go through.

Obstacles including the Saudi's links with pirate bay television provider beoutQ had initially stalled the bid, although Premier League chief executive Richard Masters admitted at the end of last month that he was keen for the takeover process to be concluded in the weeks that followed.

Richard Masters
Richard Masters was keen for the process to conclude soon when he spoke at the end of June | Alex Morton/Getty Images

However, Saudi Arabia's recent decision to ban beIN Sports - the Premier League's primary overseas rights holder - means there is now no legitimate way to watch English top-flight football in the country.

Thus, The Mirror report that the takeover bid has 'stalled indefinitely' with the Premier League standing firm with broadcaster beIN Sports.

News of the ban contradicts Masters' previous pleas for Saudi Arabia to 'respond positively to the situation and allow sports rights holders to protect their rights' - with governing bodies across the UK now concerned that their respective sports have been illegally banned from being broadcast. That sentiment is also shared by the Department of Trade.

A whole host of Premier League clubs, meanwhile, have expressed concerns regarding the declining value of their overseas rights - a source of income.

As for Newcastle's takeover, unless the Saudi's alter their approach and adopt a plausible way of passing the owners and directors test, it's unlikely they will be granted permission to complete a deal. With that in mind, Ashley will remain in control of the club, leaving Bruce to remain in charge of first team affairs.

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce will likely stay on as Newcastle boss if a takeover isn't completed this summer | Pool/Getty Images

This past weekend, Bruce had personally pleaded for clarity on the situation, saying: “I've said many times now we need some clarity on it and to see what the decision is. Up until that time I'll just go to work, see the CEO at the end of the week and plan for the summer and what we can do with what we have.

"It's frustrating for everyone concerned so let's hope there's a decision very, very shortly."