Newcastle United Takeover in 'Serious Doubt' After World Trade Organisation Ruling

By Ben Carter
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The Saudi-funded takeover of Newcastle United is reportedly in 'serious doubt' after a ruling from the World Trade Organisation.

The proposed £300m deal by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which would see an end to Mike Ashley's rule in the north east, is being fronted by Amanda Staveley.

The potential takeover has received widespread criticism, but now The Guardian claim a deal is in 'serious doubt' after the World Trade Organisation ruled the Saudis were behind a pirate satellite TV and streaming service.

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The organisation's full report won't be published until next month.

The streaming service, known as beoutQ, has emerged as a major problem for Europe's top leagues and has been deemed to be in breach of international law - something which would mean the Public Investment Fund would fail the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

The proposed takeover has even prompted La Liga's president Javier Tebas to speak out over Saudi Arabia's connection with beoutQ.

"European football rights - including Newcastle's rights - have been stolen systematically by beoutQ for three years,” Tebas said earlier this month, quoted by Chronicle Live..

"Now the Saudis want a seat at the top table - forgetting the damage they have done through beoutQ. If football leagues and clubs do not protect their intellectual property, they have nothing. La Liga couldn’t be clearer about this - stealing the football broadcast is stealing football."

As well as receiving a lot of criticism by those within football, the proposed takeover of Newcastle United has also received attention from Amnesty International due to 'human rights issues' in Saudi Arabia.

Although it's unknown how the Premier League will rule given this recent development, The Guardian's report suggests it would be almost impossible for the Public Investment Fund to pass the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.