Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) — chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — now owns 80% of the membership, with the remainder divided between RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners, whose chief government, Amanda Staveley, led the takeover.
Before the takeover was introduced, Amnesty International had urged the Premier League to vary its homeowners’ and administrators’ take a look at to deal with human rights points and stop “sportswashing.”
“We have vital issues, alongside human rights organisations resembling Amnesty International, in regards to the therapy of LGBT+ folks in Saudi Arabia and different international locations worldwide,” Pride in Football stated in a press release on Saturday.
“It is clear that the brand new possession of Newcastle United have shut hyperlinks to, and in some circumstances are, the identical individuals who lead the oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia.
“The footballing authorities have severe and vital inquiries to reply in permitting homeowners and sponsors to make use of soccer golf equipment as commodities to ‘sports activities wash’ and ‘rainbow wash’ their therapy of LGBT+ folks, girls and different minorities.”
Homosexuality is prohibited in Saudi Arabia and Amnesty International questioned how the Premier League can go forward with campaigns like “Rainbow Laces”, an initiative it launched with LGBTQ+ rights group Stonewall to advertise range and equality.
On Friday, Newcastle United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters’ group stated they have been hopeful that the membership’s takeover might have a “optimistic affect” in Saudi Arabia and enhance circumstances for LGBTQ+ folks there.
Staveley denied that the acquisition was designed to “sportswash” Saudi Arabia’s human rights document, saying the deal would rebuild the membership right into a successful staff.
However, Pride in Football expressed solidarity with LGBT+ followers who would see the takeover as “an indication of the continuous damaged commitments to the human rights in sport”.
“It is our elementary perception that no fan needs to be within the scenario that they need to resolve between supporting the membership they love and standing up for his or her rights or the rights of others,” the assertion continued.
“We straight known as for a extra thorough match and correct take a look at for homeowners and administrators … This takeover highlights how insufficient the present checks and constructions for soccer possession are on this nation — they’re merely not match for goal.”