Newcastle takeover: US TV company chief Henry Mauriss puts in £350m bid to buy club

June 17, 2020

Newcastle United have received a new £350m takeover bid from the CEO of US TV company Clear TV, Henry Mauriss.

Sky Sports News has been told Mauriss would prefer the takeover to happen before the start of the 2020/21 season.

In April, PCP Capital Partners, Amanda Staveley's Saudi-backed consortium which includes Saudi's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, agreed a £300m deal to buy Newcastle United and end Mike Ashley's 13-year tenure as the club's owner.

The Saudis' proposed takeover is currently awaiting the outcome of the Premier League's owners and directors' Test.

That bid has been met with fierce criticism from Amnesty International over the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, as well as opposition from broadcaster beIN Sport, who claims Saudi Arabia is involved in the illegal streaming of Premier League matches.

On Tuesday, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) issued a damning indictment of Saudi Arabia's role in facilitating the transmission of pirate television broadcasts.

The WTO report found that "prominent Saudi nationals" promoted illegal broadcasts by the pirate network beoutQ, contradicting the Saudis' previous claims that the network, which used footage from Qatari broadcaster beIN, was acting independently of their influence.

The findings, which were immediately welcomed by UEFA, raise serious concerns over the suitability of members of Saudi Arabia's public investment fund (PIF) to pass the Premier League's owners and directors' test in order to complete their 80 per cent investment in the Magpies.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has previously indicated it is ultimately up to the Premier League to determine the suitability of the new owners, at least two Conservative MPs have called on the government to investigate the deal and consider sanctions.

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