Newcastle United takeover imminent following Saudi Arabia and Qatar TV agreement

Graeme Bailey
St James' Park could soon have new owners
St James' Park could soon have new owners / MB Media/Getty Images

Newcastle United's long-awaited takeover is imminent, after an agreement by Saudi Arabia to lift their ban on Qatar's TV broadcaster beIN Sports.

In 2020, Newcastle saw a £300m takeover comprised of the Amanda Staveley led PCP Capital Partners, David and Simon Reuben and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) - which was putting up the majority of the money - fall through as the Premier League had issues with the involvement of the Gulf state.

The bid failed as the Premier League disputed whether members of the Saudi Arabian ruling family would become club directors - and that delay saw them walk away in the summer of 2020. The overall agreement with Newcastle owner Ashley is believed to remain in place though, as he pledged not to take the decision lying down.

Indeed, Ashley was then prompted to launch legal action against the Premier League on two fronts. The first was an arbitration hearing between the club and the league - which was delayed earlier this summer - and also a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

It was at the CAT last month that Newcastle's lawyers accused beIN of 'leading a lobby' against the bid because of their own conflict with the Saudis.

However, there has now been a boost to the chances that the deal is allowed to go ahead, as the Saudis have come to an agreement with Qatar-owned beIN.

beIN own the rights to the Premier League in the Middle East but Saudi banned them from broadcasting in their country four-and-half-years ago, which led to accusations they were allowing pirate broadcasts openly within their territory.

Saudi will now fully comply and allow beIN to stream in their country and it is also believed they have agreed to settle outstanding legal cases.

90min revealed in September that Newcastle were confident a deal would go through in 2022. However, recent movements with the case have sped up this timeline significantly and it will mean Newcastle will not being under Ashley's control for the first time since 2007 when he bought out Sir John Hall's stake.

Key to the Premier League's backing of the deal is the fact that they have been given assurances that nobody within the Saudi royal family will become a director of Newcastle, and only the PIF will be involved.

When and if the deal is confirmed, PIF will own 80% of the club, with PCP and the Reuben Brothers splitting the remaining 20% between them.

Sources have confirmed to us that Newcastle have been informed that the Premier League no longer have any worries about the takeover. There is now nothing stopping from them giving approval to the deal, subject to Ashley dropping his legal actions against the league - but that is not expected to be an issue.