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Arsenal 'among clubs lobbying the PL to block takeovers linked to nation-states' amid Qatar's Man Utd bid

Ryan Smart

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Arsenal 'among clubs lobbying the PL to block takeovers linked to nation-states' amid Qatar's Man Utd bid

Arsenal are among a number of Premier League clubs lobbying to block takeovers 'closely linked to nation-states', according to a new report, amid the ongoing Manchester United takeover process.

The report comes amid growing developments in United's search for strategic alternatives, with a number of parties having launched bids for a full, majority or minority stake in the club.

One of the bids is from Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim, who chairs the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB). Its largest shareholder is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), whose subsidiary, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), owns Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Sheikh Jassim has offered for United as a private investor through his Nine Two Foundation, and sources told The Telegraph that he is "100 per cent convinced" that the bid will comply with UEFA rules on multi-club ownership.

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Elsewhere, The Athletic's Dan Sheldon reports that there are 'growing concerns over the impact of perceived state ownership on the competitive balance of the league and European football'.

Arsenal 'lobbying Premier League'

According to the report, there is 'a sentiment building among senior figures at a number of top flight sides' over perceived state ownership'. Arsenal vice-chairman Tim Lewis (pictured above) is said to be one of those figures.

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Furthermore, it is claimed that 10 clubs and representatives from the Premier League are exploring the current set of rules around ownership.

However, the report adds that there is an acceptance that perceived state ownership 'will be tough to prevent'.

Manchester City are owned by Abu Dhabi United Group, an investment company for the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), meanwhile, holds an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, with the Premier League claiming it had received, prior to the takeover, 'legally binding assurances' that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would not control the club.

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The Athletic's report also quotes documents from a court case involving the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour and the PGA Tour, which took place last week. Court documents described the PIF as a 'sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia'.

As part of the PGA Tour lawsuit, Forbes reported that a court approved a request to include Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is Newcastle chairman, and PIF as defendants for LIV.

Al-Rumayyan himself may have to testify in court as part of the lawsuit, according to Chronicle Live, which is taking place in the United States.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy / PA & Arsenal

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Arsenal, Football

Ryan Smart
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