Newcastle United takeover, Saudi Arabia, Public Investment Fund, reaction, emergency meeting, who is Amanda Staveley?
Newcastle dream of glory, but the rest of the Premier League remained furious after the Saudi-led consortium behind the blockbuster takeover laid out their “ambitious” plans.
Thousands of jubilant fans have invaded Newcastle’s St James’ Park stadium after a £ 305million (AU $ 568million) deal was struck, chanting ‘we’ve got our club back’.
The buyout was approved by the Premier League on Friday after receiving legally binding assurances that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which has an 80% stake in the club, was not acting on behalf of the kingdom’s government .
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And this despite the fact that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is on the list of presidents of the PIF.
While the takeover can’t be stopped at this point, it hasn’t stopped the other 19 top clubs from voicing their opposition.
According to a report by The Guardian, all the other teams are “united in opposing” the takeover and “demanding to know what has changed for it to be rejected”.
The lack of notice provided to clubs is also seen as a point of contention amid claims they only discovered via media on Thursday.
Questions of confidentiality and legality would likely have been central to the league’s decision not to share the developments of the Newcastle takeover with the clubs.
This is far from the only problem the 19 clubs have however, with concerns about how the league’s brand could be damaged by the takeover of the Public Investment Fund.
Despite the joy of fans, the buyout deal was greeted with dismay by Amnesty, who described it as “an extremely heavy blow to human rights defenders”.
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Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty UK, said: “We can understand that today will be seen as a big day by many Newcastle United fans, but it is also a very worrying day for anyone who cares about the property of the United Kingdom. English football clubs and if these big clubs are used to do a sports wash of human rights violations.
Saudi Arabia has been condemned by the international community following the brutal murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul three years ago.
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, said the Saudi-backed takeover was “heartbreaking.”
“I am very disappointed,” she told the BBC.
“What I have been doing since his murder is seeking justice for Jamal every day, every opportunity I find or every place I can go and ask for more.
“Then all of a sudden I saw the news and people were talking about the takeover and I said ‘please don’t do this, please be respectful to yourself’ . “
Newcastle, languishing second from bottom of the Premier League winless in seven games, hope to follow the pattern set by defending Premier League champions Manchester City.
They have become serial trophy winners since a 2008 takeover by Abu Dhabi royal family member Sheikh Mansour.
New manager Amanda Staveley, the driving force behind the buyout, has vowed to turn the club into long-term Premier League champions.
“Of course we have the same ambitions as Manchester City and PSG in terms of trophies absolutely, but it will take time,” said Staveley. Daily mail.
“Do we want to win the Premier League in five to ten years? Yes. We want to see trophies. But trophies need investment, time, patience and teamwork.
Staveley said she spoke to the boss under the late Steve Bruce and, although she insisted that no decision had been made regarding the manager’s future, his departure seems likely.
Bruce said he wanted to continue but agreed that he could be replaced.