Breaking news has emerged from Newcastle United‘s takeover, after Saudi Arabia formally appealed against a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that it helped the piracy of Premier League games, according to The Guardian.
This contrasts last months ruling by WTO who had been in the Saudi government’s favour. This fresh news has delayed the £300m takeover of Newcastle, and the Premier League are currently investigating the links between the Saudi government and its Public Investment Fund.
According to a letter to the WTO’s body, it is stated that the Saudi government rejected WTO’s conclusion that the Premier League was blocked from taking action in the Saudi courts, against BeoutQ – a pirate broadcaster.
The Saudi government is also appealing against the WTO’s decision that beIN (Qatari broadcaster), was unable to obtain legal counsel to enforce its intellectual property rights in Saudi Arabia – beIN currently own Premier League rights for the Middle East.
The significance of the appeal was downplayed by a spokesperson for beIN: “Having spent the past six weeks telling the world how the WTO ruling was a ‘complete vindication of the kingdom’, curiously Saudi Arabia is now appealing a case they say they have emphatically won”.
So what does all of this mean for Newcastle fans? Well, this is not the best of news as the appeal will not be heard any time soon because the US has blocked appointments to the appellate body.
Saudi Arabia is trying its best to comply with the Premier League’s rules, and in order to do this they must gain the trust of the international sports community.
This could delay the takeover of Newcastle by one or two seasons depending on how things pan out with the appeal, though it does not look promising for the Magpies.