Sat. May 21st, 2022

Newcastle dream of glory, but the rest of the Premier League has been abandoned after the Saudi consortium behind the blockbuster takeover outlined their “ambitious” plans.

Thousands of cheering crowds flocked to Newcastle’s St James’ Park Stadium after the £ 305m (A568million) deal was reached, singing “we’ve got our club back”.

The takeover was rubber-stamped by the Premier League on Friday after it received legally binding assurances that Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, which has a 80 per cent stake in the club, was not acting on behalf of the kingdom’s government.

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A Saudi-led consortium completed its takeover despite controversy.  (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
A Saudi-led consortium completed its takeover despite controversy. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP

This is despite the fact that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has been listed as PIF chairman.

Although the takeover cannot be stopped at this time, it has not prevented all 19 other top-flight clubs from expressing their opposition.

According to a report from The guardian, all other teams are “united in opposition” to the takeover and “require to know what changed for it to be waved through”.

The lack of notification to the clubs is also understood to be a point of contention among allegations they first found out via the media on Thursday.

Issues of confidentiality and legality would probably have been at the heart of the league’s decision not to share developments in the Newcastle takeover with clubs.

However, that is far from the only problem the 19 clubs have with concerns about how the league’s brand could be damaged by the takeover of the public investment fund.

Despite cheers among fans, the takeover deal was met with dismay by Amnesty, who described it as “an extremely bitter blow to human rights defenders”.

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Newcastle United fans are celebrating, but not everyone is happy. (Photo by – / AFP)Source: AFP

Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty UK, said: “We can understand that this will be seen as a great day for many Newcastle United fans, but it is also a very worrying day for anyone who cares about the ownership of English. football clubs, and whether these big clubs are being used to flush human rights violations. ”

Saudi Arabia faced international condemnation after the brutal assassination of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul three years ago.

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancé, said the Saudi-backed takeover was “heartbreaking”.

“I’m very disappointed,” she said BBC.

“What I have done since his murder is to seek justice for Jamal every day, every opportunity I found, or every place I can go and ask for more.

“Suddenly I saw the news and people were talking about the takeover and I said ‘please don’t do it, please respect yourself’.”

Newcastle, who drop to number two from the bottom of the Premier League without a win in seven games, hope to follow the template set by reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

The takeover took place despite warnings from Amnesty International that the agreement represented ‘sportswashing’ of the Gulf Kingdom’s human rights record. (Photo by – / AFP)Source: AFP

They have been serial trophy winners since a takeover in 2008 of Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Royal House of Abu Dhabi.

New manager Amanda Staveley, a driving force behind the takeover, promised to turn the club into Premier League champions in the long run.

“Of course we have the same ambitions as Manchester City and PSG in terms of trophies, absolutely, but it will take time,” Staveley told Daily mail.

Will we win the Premier League within five to ten years? Yes. We will see trophies. But trophies need investment, time, patience and teamwork. ”

Staveley said she had spoken to under-four boss Steve Bruce, and although she insisted no decisions had been made about the manager’s future, his departure seems likely.

Bruce said he would continue, but accepted he could be replaced.

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