Government Won't Block Newcastle Takeover as Premier League Responds to Amnesty International

​The UK government have confirmed that they will not stand in the way of the imminent Saudi Arabia-funded takeover of Newcastle United if the Premier League choose to approve the purchase.

The deal has faced plenty of backlash from a number of different perspectives. Some have focused on the Saudi history of illegal broadcasting of Premier League games, while others -including Amnesty International - have spoken out about alleged human rights abuses.

One of the most vocal organisations in the protests has been Amnesty International, who ​penned a letter to the Premier League urging them not to become a safe haven for those with abysmal human rights records.

In response to that letter, ​Premier League chief executive Richard Masters wrote back to insist that the league's Owners' & Directors' Test is stricter than UK Company Law and will fully explore the allegations against the Saudi consortium.

A similar response was also given to Support Saudi Women, who also called on the Premier League to veto the takeover because of the human rights issues.

However, it's not just allegations of human rights infringements which could derail the deal. There were calls from beIN Sports to block any potential purchase as a result of the ongoing dispute between the Premier League and the Saudi state-owned satellite provider Arabsat over the illegal broadcasting of English games.

Arabsat has shown Premier League games using the pirate channel beoutQ, which is yet to be taken down despite the English league's best efforts.

As noted by ​The Times, the Owners' & Directors' Test will investigate these allegations of piracy, before deciding whether they are grounds to reject the takeover.

The league can reject a takeover if a potential owner is found to have been 'dishonest' - complicit in a crime - rather than having to actually be found guilty of said crime.

However, it is believed that it could be difficult to link the prospective owners to the piracy allegations, so there is no guarantee that the Premier League would even be able to find enough evidence to reject the takeover anyway.

Masters was adamant that a full investigation will be conducted, and if they fail to find any genuine concerns, the deal has been tipped to be authorised in early May.

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Source : 90min