Richard Masters hints at conclusion to Newcastle United takeover deliberations

Richard Masters has hinted a swift conclusion to the long-running owners’ and directors’ test on Newcastle United’s prospective owners.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 11:19 am
Richard Masters.

A proposed £300million takeover of the club has been with the Premier League since April.

The deal, which is 80% funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has faced opposition over TV piracy in the kingdom, while there have also been objections over the country’s human rights record and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two years ago.

Premier League chief executive Masters, speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, would not be drawn on the “complicated” takeover, though he did respond when asked when he hoped to have a decision.

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“All processes have to conclude, and I would like the process to conclude shortly,” said Masters.

Masters spoke about TV piracy in Saudi Arabia, where the Premier League has previously attempted to get pirate channel beoutQ shut down.

And Masters said: “BeoutQ is now off the air, and what we want, off the back of the WTO report, is for Saudi Arabia to respond positively the situation and to allow sports rights-holders to take their rights.”

Asked about the Newcastle takeover, Masters said: “You’re really asking me to comment on a confidential process, and I can’t do it.”

Masters added: “Some times things get complicated. It involves all sorts of due diligence. It's confidential.”