Premier League clubs host 'extraordinary' meeting over approved Newcastle United takeover

Newcastle United were NOT present as their 19 Premier League rivals hosted an extraordinary meeting with the Premier League over the £305million Saudi Arabian-backed takeover.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 8:17 am
St James's Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Reports over the weekend claimed the Magpies’ fellow top-flight rivals had demanded an emergency meeting to understand why the takeover had been approved after 18 months,

PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Reuben brothers agreed to buy the club from Mike Ashley in March 2020 but the deal stalled at the owners’ and directors’ test stage.

However, the deal was approved on Thursday after the EPL confirmed it had received “legally binding assurances” that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would not control the club.

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As per the Daily Mail, EPL chairman Gary Hoffman and chief executive Ricard Masters reiterated that stance during the meeting on Tuesday.

The EPL has the power to intervene should they suspect any direct involvement of the Saudi government, headed by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Newcastle were not invited onto the call, although the point was made that an open conversation would have been difficult had they been present.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has written to Masters requesting an "urgent" meeting on proposed changes to football's takeover rules.

Amnesty International UK's chief executive Sacha Deshmukh says the deal raised a number of "troubling questions" amid human rights concerns.

“The way the Premier League waved this deal through raises a host of deeply troubling questions about sportswashing, about human rights and sport, and about the integrity of English football,” Deshmukh said.

"How can it be right that the Premier League's current owners' and directors' test has nothing whatsoever to say about human rights?"

“The events of last week will have lent even more urgency to the Government’s ongoing review of the governance of English football.

“Football is a global sport on a global stage – it urgently needs to update its ownership rules to prevent those implicated in serious human rights violations from buying into the passion and glamour of English football.

“We hope that Richard Masters will see that making the football’s ownership rules human rights-compliant can only be for the long-term good of the game.”

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