Newcastle United ownership under fresh government scrutiny over Saudi state control concerns
The ownership of Newcastle United has once again come under fire as a parliamentary committee probes into whether Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has breached Premier League rules by having control over the club.
PIF’s takeover of Newcastle United in October 2021 was approved by the Premier League with the condition that the Saudi government wouldn’t have any control in the club. However, in a recent US court case, lawyers representing LIV Golf – another investment of PIF – described Newcastle chairman and PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan as “a sitting minister of the government” with “sovereign immunity”, calling into question PIF’s control over the club.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters was grilled on the matter by Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee member Clive Efford MP, but he refused to comment on the subject. If the Premier League discovers that the Saudi government has control over Newcastle United, PIF could theoretically be removed and the Saudi Arabian government would be subject to the league’s owners’ and directors’ test.
Previously, Masters suggested that “We can remove the consortium as owners of the club” if there is evidence of state involvement in the running of Newcastle. Meanwhile, Newcastle director Amanda Stavely denies any state involvement, calling PIF “an autonomous, commercially-driven investment fund.”
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.
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