BeIN Sports has joined calls to stop Newcastle United’s proposed £300m takeover by a Saudi Arabian backed consortium involving Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Qatar-based media giant’s chief executive Yousef al-Obaidly has written to chief executive Richard Masters, discouraging the deal.
Al-Obaidly accuses the Saudi Arabian government of its involvement in a pirate TV network, beoutQ, which broadcasts Premier League matches in the country. Last year football authorities attempted to shutdown the service without success.
BeIN Sports hold the rights to broadcast the EPL in most of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.
“To the extent the reports about the acquisition of NUFC are correct, we consider it essential for the Premier League to fully investigate the potential acquirer of the club, including all directors, officers and other representatives from the KSA PIF or other Saudi Arabian entities involved in, or otherwise providing any financing for the acquisition.
“There appear to be several reasons why such an investigation is being called for by other parties; our request is purely based on Saudi Arabia’s past and present theft of your and your member clubs’ intellectual property rights.”
Amnesty International also wrote to the League’s boss urging him to stop the deal, citing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.