A Saudi Arabian led consortium has completed a £300 million takeover of Newcastle United, 18 months after it was proposed to the Premier League
Saudi Arabia now owns an 80% stake in Newcastle United. David and Simon Reuben, British property developers, and PCP Capital Partners, based in Dubai, each own 10%.
“All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership,” a Premier League statement said.
“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.”
Yasir al-Rumayyan, Governor of the 500 billion USD Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), will be a director, and The Guardian has reported Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi played a key role in securing the takeover.
Amanda Stavely, a British businesswoman and partner in PCP Capital Partners, will also be on the board of directors.
Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, released a statement saying the takeover must prompt changes to the ownership rules in English football to stop ‘sportswashing’ by foreign governments.
“The closed-door trial of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killers was widely perceived to be a part of a wider whitewash by the authorities, and Saudi Arabia is accused of a catalogue of crimes under international humanitarian law during the long-running conflict in Yemen,” Deshmukh said.
“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.”
Hatice Cengiz, the widow of Slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has called the takeover “horrifying”.
Khashoggi was a fierce critic of the Saudi government and Crown Price Mohammed Bin Salman before his 2018 murder in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey.
Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United for £137 million in 2007 from Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall.
China hides maskless crowd by editing World Cup broadcast
China has made an effort to hide the rest of the world from its citizens by editing out crowd scenes from World Cup coverage
A China coverup has come to light as the country attempts to censor its World Cup broadcast.
Protests against China’s strict zero-covid strategy are engulfing its major cities, as Chinese TV feeds are edited to steer clear of crowd scenes.
State television removed camera shots of maskless crowd goers and instead shows closeups of coaches and players.
This has its citizens questioning why the rest of the world is getting on with normality, while they remain under strict lockdown.
The World Cup comes at a turbulent time for China, as millions remain shut away from the rest of the world.
It also comes just weeks after Xi Jinping secured a third term, with many are now demanding an end to his rein.
Tech giant could bid for Man Utd
Apple could be the next owner of English football giant Manchester United.
Reports suggest the American tech giant is considering a billion-dollar bid to take over the club.
It was confirmed earlier this week that the American Glazer family’s ownership of the football club is set to end.
The family sent a note to the New York Stock Exchange saying they’re exploring “strategic alternatives” for the English football club.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is apparently keen to explore opportunities that owning Manchester United could provide, and is weighing up an official bid for the club in the region of $7 billion.
Japanese fans help clean up Qatar stadium, in pure class act
In a show of good faith, Japanese soccer fans stayed back to clean the stadium
Japanese soccer fans stayed back to clean up the Qatar stadium, where they even had their own plastic bags with them.
The supporters of the Samurai Blue are earning praise for cleaning up their mess after the game.
Japan had a stunning win over Germany in their opening match of the FIFA Men’s World Cup.
It’s become a common sight at some stadiums and events in Japan.
It’s a very common sight, according to one Japanese fan, who says the practice is not unusual.
FIFA has also posted an image from the Japanese change rooms after the game, with no mess in sight.
Japan beat Germany 2 – 1 in the match. They will now take on Costa Rica in Group E.
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