Premier League WTO denounce Saudi Arabia for piracy
The Supercopa de Espana award ceremony in Saudi Arabia.
The attempts made by the Saudi Arabian public fund to purchase 80 percent of Newcastle United has suffered a further setback with a report published by the World Trade Organisation confirming that the country helped promote piracy.
This aforementioned report made clear that Saudi Arabia at a government level helped piracy against the interests of the Premier League, LaLiga Santander, Bundesliga and UEFA organised competitions, most notably the Champions League.
Mike Ashley has been attempting to sell the Tyneside club for a number of months, and it appeared that the Saudi Arabian interest was finally going to bring an end to his reign at Newcastle United, but that is now in doubt.
According to the report published on Tuesday, the Arab country failed to take measures to stop the operations of beoutQ, a platform that operates within Saudi Arabia.
BeoutQ stole the intellectual property of the rights holders for sporting events, directly running against the Qatari-owned platform, beIN sports.
This battle takes an interesting position alongside the ongoing geopolitical rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar which has run since the climax of the Arab Spring in 2011.
BeIN was prevented from hiring lawyers in Saudi Arabia to help their case in anti-piracy courts, thus weakening their own position.
LaLiga Santander president Javier Tebas has been has been among the most critical of the piracy that the Spanish top flight has been a victim of through beoutQ.
“We can only applaud this WTO report that demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s decisive role in one of the most sophisticated and damaging piracy operations that has ever existed,” Tebas explained.
However, this development leaves the relationship between Spanish football and Saudi Arabia in some doubt after Tebas fought tooth and nail to ensure the 2019/20 Supercopa de Espana wasn’t moved to Jeddah.
He was unsuccessful and the RFEF got their wish, but common sense would now suggest Tebas would be resistant to any measures taking his product to Saudi Arabia.
BeoutQ was able to succeed as it was hosted on frequencies broadcast by Arabsat and was promoted by individuals and entities looking to act in the interest and jurisdiction of Saudi Arabia according to a statement released by UEFA.
“Those seeking to follow the example set by beoutQ should be in no doubt that UEFA will do its utmost to protect its property and support its partners, whose investment in football help it remain the world’s most popular sport,” the statement continued.
Fans of Newcastle United have been left crestfallen by the latest development, such is the pain that Ashley has put them through over the years, yet hope may well be on the horizon in the form of an alternative buyer.
According to Sky Sports, the Magpies have received a new offer valued at around 391 million euros, which is actually more than what the Saudi offer was.
This offer has come from the United States, with the CEO of Clear TV, Henry Mauriss, heading the bid.
Mauriss would wait for the deal involving Saudi Arabia to completely collapse and then swoop in and take charge of the club ahead of the start of the 2020/21 season, although it’s obvious the subsequent transfer plans for the club would be changed drastically from the hopes of Saudi wealth catapulting them into the plains occupied by Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.