Premier League urged to reconsider Saudi Arabia links to Newcastle United amid LIV Golf case

According to Amnesty International, the Premier League “needs to reconsider the assurances given to it” about the participation of Saudi Arabia in Newcastle United. The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has received the green light to buy a majority stake in the club in 2021 after providing “legally binding guarantees” that the Saudi regime will have no influence on the Magpies.

They were called into question due to a court case in San Francisco regarding the LIV Golf tour, which is also owned by PIF. The PGA Tour requested that both the PIF and Yasser Al Rumayan, chairman of Newcastle, be included as defendants in the lawsuit. Lawyers acting on behalf of the LIV described the foundation as “the sovereign arm of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and Al-Rumayyan as “the current minister of the Saudi government.” In response to this announcement, Amnesty is calling on the Premier League to ask more questions about Newcastle.

Peter Frankenthal, Amnesty International’s director of economic affairs in the UK, said: “It has always been a stretch of credulity to imagine that the Saudi state did not manage the Newcastle buyout with the ultimate goal of using the club as a component in the wider sport. washing effort.

“There is an unmistakable irony in the Sovereign Wealth Fund statement, arising from the dispute over another division of Saudi Arabia’s growing sports empire, but the simple fact is that Saudi sports laundry affects many sports and governing bodies should respond much more to this. more effective. The Premier League will certainly need to reconsider assurances made regarding the Saudi authorities’ non-involvement in the Newcastle deal, not least as the Qatari bid for Manchester United is currently still pending.”

The Premier League set a precedent that would allow them to take action against the Saudis. When the lengthy process culminated in the sale of Mike Ashley for £300m in October 2021, the league’s chief executive said his organization could “exclude the consortium from ownership of the club” if they concluded that the club was run by the kingdom’s government.

Meanwhile, Amanda Staveley, who received a 10 per cent stake in Newcastle after the sale, said she did not expect PIF to sell shares to bid for Manchester United. Instead, she said the club is looking at brand development options, including multi-club ownership, as is common with the City Football Group and the Red Bull group.

“Obviously if we look at everything in terms of how we develop Newcastle, how we develop our brand, how we develop our club,” she said at the Financial Times Football Business Summit. “Being able to buy players at affordable prices early in the cycle is critical to our growth. We are currently very focused on our academy and young players.

“Obviously we considered the multiclub. Whenever you look at a multiclub, you need to make sure you have the right fit. It’s complicated, and we’re also looking at another framework that would allow us to maybe do both. Maybe something a little different that gives us more opportunities to work with a lot more clubs (without buying shares in them). It’s at a fairly early stage, so we’re just looking. buy any club that will look at this multi-club model.”

Explaining why PIF didn’t try to acquire “the beautiful Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool”, Staveley added that the calculation was pretty simple, saying “Why spend billions?”


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