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The £305million takeover of Newcastle United has been slammed by Freiburg coach Christian Streich, despite assurances from the Premier League that the club will not be controlled by the state.
While League chiefs say that they have received "legally binding assurances" that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle following their recent takeover, critics have questioned how.
Despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman being chair of 80% owners PIF, it is Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan who has taken up the role of chairman at St James' Park following Mike Ashley's departure.
With the Reuben brothers owning 10%, Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners have the final chunk, with the British businesswoman and her partner Mehrdad Ghodoussi both directors.
Bundesliga boss Streich has been the latest to speak out about the move, which is believed to make Newcastle the club with the biggest resources in world football.
Sport Buzzer quote him as saying: "There are always things happening in football that have gone beyond any measure.
"In this case, it is unbelievable who is involved in this consortium. (There are people) who are involved in serious human rights violations.
“So I have to say, if people have a problem with that, then I can count myself among those people."
Many of the criticisms have surrounded Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who the CIA have alleged was assassinated on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which he denies.
The Washington Post journalist visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect papers for his upcoming marriage.
But investigators claim he was murdered and dismembered using a bone saw, before his body was disposed of.
But back in 2019, it was reported that 800 executions had taken place since 2015, but that had reduced dramatically last year due to a moratorium on death penalties for drug-related crimes.
However, Staveley has again enforced her message that Newcastle are not being run by the state, which is what gave Premier League bosses their approval in the Owners' and Directors' Test.
“Football’s inclusive to all, that’s the great thing about it,” says Staveley.
“I understand and appreciate all the messages on human rights and we treat them very seriously.
"But I wouldn’t bring partners into the consortium if they didn’t have the right record and PIF is autonomous and independent of the Saudi government. PIF owns Newcastle, not the Saudi state.
“In buying Newcastle PIF are not going to hide and we’re proud of them; we need, strong, brave, partners. I love brave, passionate, people, that’s how I do business."
With the full Premier League statement reading: "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."
- Newcastle United FC
- Premier League
- Saudi Arabia
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