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Newcastle United: A Saudi-backed Consortium Takeover Completed

Actually it was only about the approval of the Premier League. Mike Ashley, the unloved owner, wanted to get rid of Newcastle United anyway - and the fans of the current table penultimate Mike Ashley. They were spotted celebrating in front of their stadium on Thursday evening.

Because they wanted to say goodbye to Mike Ashley so badly that they may not seem a little indifferent who bought their club for around £ 300 million. Perhaps they are primarily looking forward to further lucrative sums in these dizzying (financial) heights. But with the investor group in question, which had already withdrawn its offer from the previous year, other things are also at stake.

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The public investment fund of Saudi Arabia, which holds 80 percent of the consortium that takes over the NUFC (and is therefore the majority owner, even if it is officially considered "separate from the state"), recently called completely different parties on the scene. Not just the Premier League, which actually wants to ban such majority owners.

Not sport, but sportswashing

The alarm bells are also ringing at the human rights organization "Amnesty International", which has addressed itself publicly to the Premier League and has repeatedly drawn attention to so-called "sportswashing". "It is a clear attempt by the Saudi authorities to outshine their human rights violations with the glamor of top football," says managing director Sacha Deshmukh. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular is under observation in this regard.

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Before the deal went through, the Premier League should introduce an "owner and director test" that focuses on human rights, Amnesty International said. It was actually up to the league what to do with it. It was the last hurdle. The hurdle has been taken.

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