Amnesty ask Premier League to reexamine assurances that Saudi state do not control Newcastle

Amnesty Worldwide have requested the Premier League to reexamine assurances made by Newcastle United’s possession that the Saudi Arabian state will not be in control of the membership.

The request follows the publication of courtroom paperwork in the US this week, which suggests a more in-depth relationship between the Saudi state and the Public Funding Fund (PIF), who personal 80 per cent of Newcastle, than had beforehand been acknowledged.

The Premier League accepted the takeover in October 2021 solely after receiving “legally-binding assurances” that PIF was a separate entity to the state. They claimed the deal had been delayed by 18 months due to the separation concern.

Nonetheless, that stage of separation has been questioned due to a short filed in a courtroom case between the PGA Tour and PIF-owned LIV Golf.

In that, PIF describe themselves as “a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and Al Rumayyan as “a sitting minister of the Saudi authorities”.

“It was all the time stretching credulity to breaking level to think about that the Saudi state wasn’t directing the buyout of Newcastle with the last word purpose of utilizing the membership as a part in its wider sportswashing efforts,” Peter Frankental, Amnesty UK’s financial affairs director, mentioned.

Newcastle had been taken over in October 2021 (Photograph by OLI SCARFF/AFP through Getty Photos)

“There’s an unmistakable irony within the sovereign wealth fund declaration rising in a dispute about one other arm of Saudi Arabia’s rising sports activities empire, however the easy truth is that Saudi sportswashing is affecting quite a few sports activities and governing our bodies want to reply to it much more successfully.

“The Premier League will certainly want to re-examine the assurances made in regards to the non-involvement of the Saudi authorities within the Newcastle deal, not least as there’s nonetheless a Qatari bid for Manchester United presently on the desk.”

Premier League chief government Richard Masters advised the BBC after the takeover that if proof of state involvement was found, “we are able to take away the consortium as homeowners of the membership”.

The Premier League declined to remark.

(Photograph: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Photos)

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