Louis Tomlinson precedent used to argue against Saudis buying Newcastle
Premier League’s Richard Masters on the Newcastle takeover
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters faced the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on Tuesday, and one of the main topics of discussion was the ongoing potential takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
From the outset, Richard Masters refused to be drawn on whether the takeover will go ahead, or when such a decision could finally be reached.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters on Newcastle takeover: “I cannot comment in terms of timing or the specifics … in a perfect world takeovers would happen cleanly, clearly & in a timely fashion. Sometimes things get complicated…it involves all sorts of due diligence.”
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 30, 2020
Louis Tomlinson’s failed Doncaster takeover used as precedent to argue against the Saudis buying Newcastle
Nevertheless, as the proceedings unfolded, Richard Masters dropped a significant hint that the Saudi takeover will be approved.
The Premier League chief exec confirmed that pirate broadcasters “Beoutq is now off the air and what we want to do … is for Saudi Arabia is to respond positively to the situation and to allow sports rights holders to protect their rights.”
However, those comments failed to convince SNP MP John Nicolson that the possible Newcastle takeover is just.
The Scottish MP questioned Richard Masters on how it can be that One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson failed to takeover Doncaster Rovers, but the Saudis would be allowed to buy Newcastle. He said:
It is a bizarre test, however, when you find yourself in a position where Louis Tomlinson, the singer from One Direction, found himself blocked when he tried to takeover Doncaster Rovers on the grounds that he wasn’t a fit and proper person.
He might be responsible for crimes against music, but you couldn’t say much worse about him.
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) July 17, 2014
So Louis Tomlinson has been blocked, but the grizzly Prince Mohammed bin Salman… passes the fit and proper test and taking over a club. That would be humiliating, surely?
Newcastle takeover…and One Direction.
MP @MrJohnNicolson to Premier League CEO Richard Masters: “You could find yourself in a position where @Louis_Tomlinson has been blocked from taking over a club but the grizzly Prince Mohammed bin Salman … passes the fit & proper test” pic.twitter.com/Jlyl7RSIHN
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 30, 2020
What does this all mean for Newcastle fans?
In short, the wait continues.
While it continues to look likely that the Premier League will eventually green-light the takeover, nobody knows when that may happen.
For Chronicle Live reporter Mark Douglas, today’s updates only serve as another warning that it’s “unrealistic” this takeover is wrapped up anytime soon.
Think this morning just illustrates how messy this whole #NUFCTakeover has become. Being discussed at WTO in Geneva yesterday, in Parliament (via Zoom) today.
The idea it was going to get passed quickly – mooted at first by sources – has turned out to be unrealistic.
— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) June 30, 2020
Red flags, green light, imminent. They’ve all entered the pantheon of football cliches this summer. I definitely used red flags here – although when it was said to me, I guess it was meant there was nothing that would see the test be rejected outright. But it was so long ago …
— George Caulkin (@GeorgeCaulkin) June 30, 2020
This article was edited by Ben Green.
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