British MP calls for Saudi takeover of Newcastle United to be blocked
Angus MacNeil, Chairman of the International Trade Select Committee and Member of Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, wrote to Minister of Commerce Liz Truss to express concern over Saudi Arabia's takeover of Newcastle's Premier League team.
If a deal were made, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund would own 80 percent of the club, with Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and British businessmen, the Reuben brothers, sharing the remaining 20% equally.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) previously found Saudi Arabia guilty of violating international piracy laws by broadcasting various professional sports, including the Premier League.
It is not the first time that the acquisition has made headlines for the wrong headlines. The £ 300m ($ 375m) purchase of the club is controversial due to the country's human rights situation.
In his letter to Truss that the BBC saw, MacNeil wrote: “As you have seen, the WTO has made a landmark decision to protect sports rights, which is one of the UK's most valuable and valuable exports.
“In its decision, the WTO stated that the government of Saudi Arabia has been actively supporting the piracy operation 'beoutQ' from the beginning, which has stolen the commercial rights of British sports associations for three years.
"This is an insult to the British government, an affront to the Premier League and abuse of British sport - and should not be tolerated.
“This is relevant today and now as the company that stole top British sports and entertainment content is trying to buy a major British sports institution - the Newcastle United Football Club.
“The UK government must now help protect our creative industries exports by examining the introduction, promotion and operation of the beoutQ service. Quite simply, if Saudi Arabia is not willing to abide by the rules of international law, it shouldn't matter to the future of British sport. "
Premier League lawyers have been reviewing the deal for two months, and although the UK government previously announced that it would not intervene in the deal, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said earlier this week: “I think it is correct that this legal ground is due Process is being followed and we have this debate about takeovers in this country. I think we should stick to the rule of law. "
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