Premier League clubs react to Newcastle ownership twist in dismay
Newcastle United's chairman, Yassir al-Rumayyan, is also a current minister in the Saudi government, triggering questions regarding the club's ownership.
Premiere league clubs expressed their anger toward Newcastle United's chairman, Yassir al-Rumayyan, being "a sitting minister of the Saudi government." This led to calls from the human rights group Amnesty International for the re-examination of Newcastle's owners to ensure that the KSA would not have control of the club.
Angry football clubs do not intend to let the matter pass, according to The Guardian. Questions arose regarding the connection between Saudi Arabia and the Public Investment fund (PIF) after the document was filed this week.
A brief filed in a court case describes the PIF as “a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and Rumayyan as “a sitting minister of the Saudi government”.
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The PIF takeover of Newcastle was approved by the Premier League in 2021 post receiving "legally binding assurances" that Saudi Arabia does not have control over the club. However, Amnesty asked the English league to examine Newcastle's owners.
“It was always stretching credulity to breaking point to imagine that the Saudi state wasn’t directing the buyout of Newcastle with the ultimate aim of using the club as a component in its wider sports washing efforts,” Peter Frankental, Amnesty UK’s economic affairs director, said.
The PIF is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has nine board members, eight of which are listed on the fund's website. Rumayyan is missing from the website even though course submissions describe him as a minister.
Richard masters, The league’s chief executive, told BBC back in November 2021 that if they find evidence that Saudi Arabia was involved in running Newcastle, “we can remove the consortium as owners of the club”.
Neither the Premiere League and Newcastle, nor the PIF commented on this matter.
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