One step forward and two steps back appears to be the direction that Newcastle United’s takeover is heading.
News that the Government are looking into more infringements of intellectual property rights by Saudi Arabia means that any deal to buy out Mike Ashley seems to be hanging by a thread at this point.
The long-running saga has been beset by difficulties, due in no small part to the piracy of matches shown by Qatar-owned broadcaster, beIN Sports, by a Saudi-based company, beoutQ.
The Daily Mirror note that the deal is being held up because of protests from TV broadcasters and sporting organisations around the world.
Furthermore, the Government set out their current position and it makes grim reading for the potential new owners.
“We have received reports of continuing infringements of intellectual property rights in the Middle East,” minister, Nigel Huddleston said in written answers posted in Parliament on Monday, cited by the Daily Mirror.
“Where we do so, we will continue to pursue those with the relevant authorities.”
The Premier League is on the verge of restarting, but with the end of the season expected by mid-July, it doesn’t give the new owners much more time to get their feet under the table and plan for the 2020/21 campaign, to include the summer transfer window.
Newcastle’s long-suffering supporters will surely be hoping for a resolution to the matter sooner rather than later.