League chief keen for Newcastle takeover to be completed

Newcastle, Bournemouth

Newcastle, Bournemouth

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has admitted he’s keen for the Newcastle takeover process to ‘conclude shortly’ despite complications.

Plenty of objections to the takeover have been raised on moral grounds due to the Saudi’s links with pirate pay television provider beoutQ, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.

And before the process can continue, the Premier League have to establish – with absolute certainty – that Saudi’s history with piracy cannot be linked to owners or directors nominated by the consortium.

However, chief executive Masters is hopeful of the process reaching a conclusion soon.

“All processes have to conclude and I would like the process to conclude shortly,’ he said in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“I do appreciate the uncertainty. In a perfect world, takeovers would happen clearly, cleanly and in a timely fashion. Sometimes things get complicated. It is very difficult because it is an entirely confidential process that involves all sorts of due diligence and the application of the owners and directors test.

“When it drags on, sometimes there is a requirement for information. There are legal requirements in place that need to be observed,” Masters added.

And when quizzed about the epicentre of the delay – beoutQ – Masters spoke encouragingly from a Newcastle perspective: “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.”

The chief executive also revealed, when questioned by Scottish National Party MP John Nicolson, that there’s been no pressure from the government regarding the Saudi takeover.

“I’m talking generally, 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.”

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