October 19, 2021

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Newcastle: Completion of the Saudi Investment Fund’s acquisition of the English club

A financially backed alliance from Saudi Arabia has completed the acquisition of Newcastle United, the English club.

The English Premier League administration agreed to the deal after it obtained, as it said, “legally binding guarantees” that the Saudi state would not control the club.

“The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today resolved the dispute regarding the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s acquisition of the club,” a statement from the Premier League said.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund, which will provide 80 percent of the deal’s value of 300 million pounds, is seen as separate from the Saudi state. This is despite the fact that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the head of the Public Investment Fund.

The sale took place after the deal passed the test of the English Premier League authority and management, which ends the acquisition of Mike Ashley, the former owner of Newcastle United for a period of 14 years.

Fans gathered outside St James’s Park in Newcastle on Thursday to celebrate the approval of the takeover contract.

It is reported that a deal was initially agreed upon in April 2020, but the buyers withdrew four months later when the Premier League offered arbitration to settle a dispute over who would control the club. The decision is believed to have come after Saudi Arabia settled an alleged piracy dispute with beIN Qatar-based Sports, which holds the rights to broadcast Premier League matches in the Middle East. But sources told the BBC that an agreement had been reached between the Premier League and the fund ahead of news on Wednesday that the piracy dispute had been resolved.

Amnesty International and “Change Standards Claims”

The deal took place in light of demands from Amnesty International for the English Premier League to change the criteria for screening and selecting club owners and managers to take into account human rights issues.

The Saudi state is accused of human rights abuses, which Amnesty International says should be a factor in deciding whether the takeover will take place.

Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 in his country’s consulate in Turkey, which bin Salman denies.

Sacha Deschmukh, chief executive of Amnesty International, said: “Instead of letting those involved in gross human rights abuses into English football simply because they have pockets full, we have called on the Premier League to change the rules for screening and selecting owners and managers to take into account human rights issues.

He added: “The phrase ‘human rights’ does not even appear in the test for owners and managers, even though English football is supposed to comply with FIFA standards. We have sent to the Premier League a proposed new human rights test, and we reiterate our call for them to reform their standards in that matter”.

long term investment

Under the deal, Amanda Staveley, CEO of BCB Capital Group (partner in the acquisition deal), will occupy a seat on the Newcastle board of directors, while Yasser Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, will take over the position of non-executive president of the club. a long-term investment” to ensure that Newcastle “compete regularly for the major leagues.” Newcastle’s last major domestic title was the 1955 FA Cup. May 2007 The club was first put up for sale in September 2008 amid a series of protests from fans after the resignation of its popular manager, Kevin Keegan. Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League that season and again in 2015-16, although From his return to the First Division on his first opportunity both times to win the championship.Ashley was offered Newcastle for sale again in October 2017. The club is 19th in the English Premier League, and has not achieved any victory after seven matches this year. season. With manager Steve Bruce under pressure, a poll by the Newcastle United Supporters Trust this week said 94 percent of fans wanted Bruce to leave. Many years.” The foundation added that it looked forward to working with the owners “to rejuvenate one of England’s greatest football clubs.