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Opinion

Maybe Mike Ashley could buy Sheffield United and solve both problems with Newcastle United takeover?

2 weeks ago
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Strike a light, I think I’ve sussed out why the Newcastle United takeover is taking so long.

Unfortunately, I’d prepare for bad news lads and lasses.

I feel this isn’t going to end well for Newcastle United and we will be stuck with Mike Ashley for the foreseeable.

Now we’ve heard all the reasons why the Newcastle United takeover shouldn’t go ahead by everyone from Members of Parliament, human rights activists and people with vested interests in media outlets in far flung countries and none of those really matter when it comes down to big business. Money as always though, talks.

Crucially, us Newcastle fans that want to see the takeover go through have pointed to various reasons why is SHOULD go through and it’s one of these reasons that could be a major sticking point for the takeover being approved.

We all know that there are clubs in the Premier League that are owned by people with chequered pasts and questionable policies and practices and they form a good argument as to why our takeover SHOULDN’T be blocked.

If you’re willing to overlook the ownership of Chelsea and Manchester City for example, then there’s no reason why people should be up in arms about our potential Saudi backed conglomerate.

Sadly, I fear that the alleged human rights issue isn’t a concern for the Premier League, why would it be? They will be happy just to get a multi-billion pound investor splashing the English game all over Saudi Arabia. I also feel that this ties nicely into the piracy problem as well.

If TV rights was a concern, then it would be pretty foolish for the Saudis looking to buy Newcastle United to allow such a minor complaint hold up the deal. Trust me, the piracy problems would disappear if they were indeed preventing a business deal such as buying Newcastle United from coming to pass. It wouldn’t make sense.

The reason I think there are concerns is regarding the ownership of Sheffield United. I originally said that if they can be owned by a Saudi, then why not Newcastle United? But therein lies the problem.

Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Sheffield United owner, is the General President of Youth Welfare in Saudi Arabia (appointed 2014) and that he is part of the House of Saud, the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. Mohammed bin Salman who is part of the group trying to buy Newcastle United, is Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s cousin and therefore also part of the House of Saud. That poses a big problem and one I’d never even contemplated.

We’ve been through a lot with this takeover since it started but I’ve got a feeling that it could be scotched over a simple conflict of interests. You can’t have two football clubs owned by the same family and I think it is this issue that will highly likely see it finally hit the buffers.

I don’t know why it’s taken this long to pass a seemingly simple Newcastle United takeover. I can only guess all parties have been wracking their collective brains to come to a solution to the problem but unless Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sells Sheffield United, based on the family ties, I’m not sure how our own Saudi revolution can proceed.

Maybe Mike Ashley could take it off his hands and solve both problems…

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