Boris Johnson could have a major say in a potential Newcastle United takeover.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after the Daily Mail revealed text conversations between the prime minister and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A £300million Newcastle takeover fronted by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund was blocked last summer amid a legal power struggle.
The Daily Mail report claims prince Salman warned Johnson that UK-Saudi relations would be damaged if the takeover was not approved.
And Maguire suggests that the prime minister could have a say over Newcastle’s fate.
“There was political pressure from a variety of sources,” told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“There was political pressure coming from Qatar because of their dispute with Saudi, therefore these conversations were a way of responding to that.
“If Boris Johnson had pushed the Premier League, it’s hard to say how they would have responded.
“The people assessing PIF were appointed independently and we don’t know what their politics are. So there could be no guarantee.
“But the prime minister does have access to diplomatic back channels. If he can do it for Dyson, why can’t he do it for PIF?”
Current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is a deeply unpopular figure at St. James’ Park and has been attempting to sell the club for over a decade.
Any sale is likely to be contingent on the club retaining its top-flight status, which it took a big step towards with a 3-2 victory over West Ham on Saturday.