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​Newcastle takeover poised to complete despite concerns

The Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle could be completed within the next fortnight, with the Premier League's owners' and directors' test is the final hurdle to clear before the UK£300 million (US$371 million) deal is complete, the PA news agency understands, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.

Despite the well-publicised letters being sent to the Premier League from Amnesty International and broadcaster BeIN Sports, no one connected to the takeover has been asked questions by the league about the issues of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, 'sportwashing' or allegations of TV rights piracy linked to the Saudi state.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee hearing last week that the final decision on the takeover rested with the league, after calls from the committee to intervene.

Without a sudden shift in UK policy towards Saudi Arabia at a political or international trade level it seems unlikely the takeover will be rejected.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, in a response to the letter from Amnesty, said the league's processes "go beyond those required by UK company law" and are applied "with equal rigour" to all clubs, and on an objective rather than subjective basis.

Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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