Statement from Premier League on NUFC takeover

Chi was sent the following statement from the Premier League:

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.

2 thoughts on “Statement from Premier League on NUFC takeover

  1. David Lyall

    Do you honestly believe that the Saudi state doesn’t own the club?Or are you turning a blind eye because they have lots of money.I hope you turned away when the Khashoggi billboard drove past you today.Shameful hypocrisy from you,the Labour Council,and all the other Labour m.p’s that have welcomed these murderers with open arms.Cannot believe my beloved party would come to this.Money before principles

    1. Chi Office

      Chi has written: I am sorry you are disappointed by my response to the takeover of Newcastle United by a consortium backed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF)
      I organised a Town Hall meeting with Newcastle United fans in May 2020 to which I invited Hatice Cengiz, widow of Jamal Khashoggi, as well as Amnesty International and other representatives from human rights groups in Saudi Arabia.
      https://chionwurahmp.com/2020/04/newcastle-united-takeover-digital-town-hall/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgeIgk1TYYI&t=7s
      Hundreds of fans participated and many more watched online.
      I spoke of my concerns at the terrible human rights record of the Saudi Arabian Government. I received a considerable amount criticism from Newcastle United fans, as I knew I would. Opportunism as you put it was not my motivation then or now.
      I am not sure of the reasons why you believe that I have given my blessing to the deal. My statement certainly does not do so, nor have any of my statements in the past.
      https://chionwurahmp.com/2021/10/statement-from-chi-onwurah-mp-for-newcastle-central-on-nufc-takeover/
      I have no say in the deal, like millions of Premier League fans who do not get to choose who owns their club. I have campaigned to ensure greater accountability of the Premier League to the fans for whom football means so much. My view, as I set out in correspondence with the Premier League, was that the takeover process has not been transparent and the Owners and Directors test is opaque and inconsistent. I understand the new owners feel that they benefitted from my campaign for greater transparency but I made clear to them and the Premier League that I advocate not for any owner or any billionaire but for my constituents and fans of the club sited in my constituency. Labour wants to see an independent regulator for football, fans on boards and a stronger owner and directors test.
      It is true that I have not attacked Newcastle United fans for being pleased that the Ashley era is over and new owners are in place, and I assume this is the root of your condemnation, and it is that which you would have considered leadership. I have not attacked the fans, not simply because it would not be popular, but because it would be wrong. NUFC fans get no say in who owns their club, but you are suggesting that I as their representative should attack them for being pleased at the investment when they see the UK Government export arms to Saudi Arabia, our Queen inviting their rulers to tea, hundreds of millions of pounds of Saudi investment being poured into UK Start ups and global companies like Uber and other football clubs ‘benefiting ‘ from the ownership of Saudi and other Gulf billionaires. When the Premier League themselves did not cite the Saudi human rights record as a reason to fail the owners and directors test and instead tried to delay the purchase till the consortium’s patience ran out. When Government and the Premier League have made football a game where all that matters is money, and give fans no power in the game they love, condemning fans for welcoming those with the most money is attacking an easy target, who are powerless, and allowing those responsible, who do have power, to continue in a corrupt system.
      I have said, and it has not been popular, that I do not like where the money is coming from, that the Saudi Arabia human rights record is atrocious, that the new owners must be held to account and that there are many challenges ahead Forcing Newcastle United fans to identify with Saudi Arabia by holding them responsible for a relationship put in place by Mike Ashley and the Premier League and condoned by their Government will lead them to embrace that relationship rather than questioning it. I am seeking to do what is best for Newcastle Central, for my constituents, for football and for the international financial system by questioning and highlighting those relationships, but not attacking those who have no power.
      I hope that clarifies my position. I should say I have received as many emails and tweets criticising me for criticising the deal, as I have criticising me for not criticising the deal. That is not a scientific poll but it certainly suggests I am not seen as having “given the deal my blessing” by everyone.

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