Newcastle takeover figures PIF have failed in a bid to win the rights to the Middle East and North Africa’s coverage of the Champions League.

Instead, beIN Sports will continue to be the rights holders for the next three years.

In a statement, UEFA confirmed that beIN would continue to exclusively host all of their European competitions in the Middle East and North Africa.

That includes the Champions League, Europa League, the new Europa Conference League, plus the Women’s Champions League.

BeIN Sports have won the rights, ahead of a Saudi Arabia bid funded by PIF.
(Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The Qatari broadcasters will continue to broadcast the competitions until 2024.

However, they actually weren’t the highest bidder.

According to Ben Jacobs on Twitter, Saudi Arabia failed in a bid to win the rights.

Funded by the Public Investment Fund, Jacobs claims they offered $600million. However, the offer was rejected and UEFA instead will continue their partnership with beIN despite offering reduced terms.

 

Should UEFA have accepted the highest bid? Or are they right to ignore money from a nation who have stolen their property in the past?

What has all this got to do with the Newcastle takeover?

Newcastle have found themselves at the centre of a geo-political war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Piracy has been a big issue with the proposed Newcastle takeover, with Saudi Arabia accused of illegally streaming beIN Sports in their country.

Interestingly, the Premier League did not include Saudi Arabia on their piracy watch list submitted to the US government at the start of the year.

However, La Liga and UEFA did.

The Newcastle takeover saga was at the centre of a geo-political war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Premier League decision has reportedly encouraged Mike Ashley, who still hopes to sell the club to PCP Capital Partners.

The factors that have stopped the takeover from going through seem so far removed from the north east.

Newcastle are a club standing still. Ashley has checked out. But he still owns the Magpies.

Meanwhile, the club’s fate rests in the hands of the courts.

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