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Toon deal nears completion


BOSS: Steve Bruce. Photo: Getty Images

BOSS: Steve Bruce. Photo: Getty Images

BOSS: Steve Bruce. Photo: Getty Images

The Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle could be completed within the next fortnight.

It is understood the Premier League's owners and directors test is the final hurdle to clear before the £300million deal is complete. Despite letters being sent to the Premier League from Amnesty International and broadcaster beIN SPORTS within the last week, no one connected to the takeover has been asked questions by the league about the issues of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, 'sportwashing' or allegations of TV rights piracy linked to the Saudi state.

Without a sudden shift in UK policy towards Saudi Arabia at a political or international trade level it seems unlikely the takeover will be rejected.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, in a response to the letter from Amnesty, said the league's processes "go beyond those required by UK company law" and are applied "with equal rigour" to all clubs, and on an objective rather than subjective basis.

Yasir Al Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabian public investment fund (PIF) which will take an 80 per cent stake in the club should the deal go through, would become chairman. Crucially though, it is understood there will be no knee-jerk decisions regarding other senior staff either on the business or the football side, which includes manager Steve Bruce.