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Newcastle is gonna be the richest club in the world: bought by Saudi sovereign fund


The Premier League have accepted the Saudi-led consortium's bid to take over as Newcastle United's owners. Newcastle was sold to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund on Thursday after a protracted takeover and legal fight involving concerns about piracy and rights abuses in the kingdom.

The takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund initially collapsed last year over concerns about how much control the kingdom's leadership would have in the running of Newcastle amid concerns about Saudi human rights abuses and the pirating of sports rights. PIF has had to offer assurances to the Premier League that its chairman, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and in turn the state will not have any control of the running of Newcastle.

Newcastle United fans on the club's takeover by Saudi Arabian-backed consortiumAP

Mike Ashley's 14-year ownership of the club ended with a 300 million pound sterling (354 million Euros, 409 million US dollars) takeover, 80 per cent funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The fund will be seen as separate to the Middle Eastern state and therefore allow the takeover to pass the Premier League's owners' and directors' test.

Amanda Staveley, Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners.

Amanda Staveley, Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners.@NUFC

"We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football," PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said. "We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them."

An investment group led by the Public Investment Fund, and also comprising PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, has completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited from St. James Holdings Limited.

The PIF will be the majority partner alongside wealthy British-based Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley. The Premier League said "the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect" following the completion of its owners' and directors' test.

Amnesty condemn Saudi takeover of Newcastle as 'farcical'

Human rights group Amnesty International had condemned the takeover of English Premier League club Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium as "farcical", citing the nation's "dire" human rights record.

In August 2020, Amnesty International enlisted corporate lawyers to devise a proposed update to the Premier League's owners' and directors' test, which was sent to Chief Executive, Richard Masters, in the aftermath of the initial deal collapsing.

Long Form: Amnesty condemn Saudi takeover of Newcastle Utd as 'farcical'

Amnesty have pointed out that while the Premier League's current test bars someone on the UK sex offenders register from becoming an owner or director, it has nothing to prevent those complicit in acts of torture, slavery, human trafficking or war crimes taking over a club.

In 2017, FIFA amended its statutes to adopt a Human Rights Policy that states "human rights commitments are binding on all FIFA bodies and officials."

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