July 20 – A group of cross-party British parliamentarians have launched an 11th hour bid to stop the £300 million takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-led consortium.
The English Premier League “should do everything in its power to bring individuals carrying out human rights abuses to account”, according to the letter from eight MPs to Richard Masters, the league’s chief executive.
The group expressed particular concern at Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s chairmanship of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is hoping to secure an 80% stake.
“Unless Saudi Arabia reform their criminal justice system and release all political detainees, the Premier League cannot sign-off on the sale of Newcastle United to PIF,” says the letter.
Despite the attempt, it looks as though the take-over is getting closer with the so-called Premier League owners and directors test, plus the transfer of funds, seemingly all that stands between the club becoming one of the richest in the world.
And that is despite the fact that last month the World Trade Organisation ruled Saudi Arabia had facilitated broadcast piracy by the Saudi-based BeoutQ operation.
And the fact that last week the Saudi authorities banned beIN Sports, who pay the Premier League £500m to broadcast games in the Middle East, in a move branded “nonsensical and contrary to international law.”
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