Saudi Arabia to sign peace deal with Qatar on television rights to save Newcastle takeover

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Saudi Arabia is on the verge of concluding a television rights peace agreement with Qatar, fearing that the dispute will prevent the takeover of Newcastle.

Sources close to the negotiations told the Mail on Sunday that the Saudi club bid fund had pledged to use their influence in the government to open talks between the two countries after Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports threatened to derail £ 300 million deal on television allegations. piracy.

The station complained that a pirate operator in Saudi Arabia violated its commercial rights by simultaneously broadcasting its stream to broadcast it to homes in the Kingdom.

Saudi wealth fund, chaired by Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan (photo), making an offer for the club, has pledged to hold television rights peace talks with Qatar

Premier League invited to block takeover by Qatar-based beIN Sports

Premier League invited to block takeover by Qatar-based beIN Sports

They allege that the pirate operator, beoutQ, is sponsored by the Saudi state and has stolen football rights worth £ 500 million. BeIN was banned from operating in Saudi Arabia after the country instituted an economic blockade of Qatar on charges of sponsoring terrorism.

BeIN protested to the Premier League when officials began to examine the advisability of authorizing the takeover of the club by the consortium, which includes the Saudi Public Investment Fund, city financier Amanda Staveley and the billionaires owned by the Reuben brothers.

The consortium says they are not behind the hacking and cannot control the network of set-top boxes managed by beoutQ, but they have now started to pressure government ministers to seek a resolution. It is not yet known how broad a resolution will be, but it is hoped that an agreement will help the citizens of both countries to access football matches.

Sources close to Qatar said they had not yet been contacted by the Saudi side and that major concessions would be needed to reach an agreement. The strained relations between the two states are believed to be a major obstacle to reaching an agreement.

The consortium hopes their political efforts will help push the Newcastle deal. All parties have now responded to questions from the Premier League as part of the owner and manager tests and are awaiting completion of the due checks in a few weeks.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates all hit Qatar with an economic and diplomatic embargo in June 2017 for claiming that the state supported terrorism, an accusation which it firmly denies.

Mike Ashley's possession of St James' Park outfit may end soon

Mike Ashley’s possession of St James ‘Park may soon end

The blockade has limited businesses on both sides, including potential Newcastle buyers, who have been banned from working on the deal with bankers, advisers or lawyers known to do business with Qatar.

The Premier League has tried and failed nine times to take legal action against beoutQ. They also asked the United States government to keep Saudi Arabia on its hacking watch list before it begins checks on the Newcastle takeover.

The agreement was recently called into question when it was reported that the Premier League had received a World Trade Organization file indicating that the Saudis were behind the illegal broadcasting of sports by beoutQ. The Premier League has received a 123-page document describing the offense, which is due to be released on June 16.

Meanwhile, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said he was “extremely sympathetic” to the fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Hatice Cengiz called for the takeover to be stopped and her lawyer wrote to Masters twice to urge her to block the deal in light of the murder of the Washington Post reporter. The United Nations and the CIA implicated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder, which he denies.

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