Amnesty International Urges Premiere League to Change Club Ownership Test

Amnesty International urged the Premier League to change its owners' and directors' test amid possible Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of Newcastle United.

  • If approved, the purchase could whitewash the image of Bin Salman and Saudi Arabia.
    The purchase could whitewash the image of bin Salman and Saudi Arabia

Human-rights-focused organization, Amnesty International, has called on the Premier League to make changes to its owners' and directors' test by adding a section that addresses "human rights issues."

This comes after a possible Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of English Club, Newcastle United, which could be announced on Thursday, according to BBC.

However, the legal ownership of the club will go to the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which was considered as a supposedly separate sovereign body, though chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Why are such changes urged?

The reason is that the Saudi state has been accused of human rights violations and an alleged piracy dispute with Qatari sports broadcaster beIN Sports over broadcasting rights, which Amnesty International believes should be a decisive factor in the takeover approval.

"Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we've urged the Premier League to change their owners' and directors' test to address human rights issues," expressed Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Amnesty International.

The Public Investment Fund, leading a consortium, would provide 80% of funds for the £300m deal.

A conducted survey among many Newcastle fans showed that they support the departure of current owner Mike Ashley.

If the purchase is approved, this could whitewash the image of Bin Salman and Saudi Arabia.

Previously, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Manchester City owner and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, has used his position to promote state airline Etihad Airways.