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Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabia-backed takeover finalized

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Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabia-backed takeover finalized

Newcastle United's Saudi Arabia-backed takeover finalized

Newcastle United’s long-awaited Saudi Arabia-backed takeover has been finalized, putting an end to Mike Ashley’s controversial reign at St James’ Park club confirmed the football news on the official website. The partnership began arranging their offer in 2017, this includes PCP Capital Partners, David, and Simon Reuben, and the Public Investment Fund of the Gulf state.

In 2020 they eventually made an offer but the Premier League rejected it due to concerns that the Saudi partners would become board members, as well as a disagreement over television rights. As a result of this Ashley took two legal actions, first was an arbitration with the Premier League, and the second was a Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Signaling a significant step forward Saudi Arabia has lifted its ban on Qatar-owned beIN SPORTS. Following this, the Premier League stated that it would approve the takeover, and Ashley dismissed his lawsuit, removing any remaining barriers. In a statement, the Premier League said: “The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.”

“Following the completion of the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect. The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover. All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.”

“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club. All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”

Despite the fact that the shift in ownership will almost certainly lead to success on the field, Saudi Arabia’s involvement has been criticized by many, notably Amnesty International, a human rights organization. “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,” the organisation said in a statement.

“The phrase ‘human rights’ doesn’t even appear in the owners’ and directors’ test despite English football supposedly adhering to Fifa standards. We’ve sent the Premier League a suggested new human rights-compliant test and we reiterate our call on them to overhaul their standards on this.”

“As with Formula One, elite boxing, golf or tennis, an association with top-tier football is a very attractive means of rebranding a country or person with a tarnished reputation. The Premier League needs to better understand the dynamic of sports washing and tighten its ownership rules.”

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