WTO ruling raises serious doubts over Newcastle takeover

Abhishek Kumar
By Abhishek Kumar
2 Min Read

According to the Guardian, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the Saudis are behind a pirate satellite TV and streaming service named beoutQ provides illegal access to sporting activities.

WTO independently ruled that the middle-east nation is behind beoutQ and the organisation will publish a 130-page final report after mid-June. The Guardian also revealed that the Premier League received WTO’s report of the situation and subsequently made submissions against the Saudi state.

Last year, football authorities from around the world, including the Premier League, World Cup and Champions League blamed Saudi Arabian government for their homegrown pirate satellite TV and illegal streaming network. The middle-east nation was called out by FIFA, UEFA, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A and Asian Football Confederation and the organizations mounted a legal challenge in Saudi to block the illegal service beoutQ.

“We collectively condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing theft of our intellectual property by the pirate broadcaster known as beoutQ and call on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to support us in ending the widespread and flagrant breaches of our intellectual property rights,” the authorities said in a joint statement.

Due to these developments, the potential takeover of Newcastle is in serious doubts. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) would hold 80% ownership and David and Simon Reuben of PCP Capital Partners having 10% stake each if they pass the Premier League’s owners and directors test. This would lead to the Saudis failing the directors’ test as according to the rules, the prospective rulers can’t submit false and misleading information.

However, the Saudi government and the prospective owners denied all these allegations and have claimed that beoutQ originated in Cuba and Colombia. But both country’s government have denied these allegations from Saudi Arabia.

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