Newcastle takeover: 16 MPs write to government over concerns if £300m deal is approved

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Newcastle takeover: 16 MPs write to government over concerns if £300m deal is approved

Sixteen politicians have reportedly written a letter to the UK government expressing their concern at the possibility of sportswashing if the proposed £300million takeover of Newcastle by a Saudi-backed consortium is approved.

It is now more than two months since Newcastle owner Mike Ashley agreed to the sale of the club with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

But the takeover is yet to be approved amid mounting pressure from human rights groups.

The buyers must pass the Premier League owners’ and directors’ test before the deal can be finalised.

And Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, recently stated the government would not attempt to influence the situation.

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In a letter to Premier League chief Richard Masters, Cengiz insisted the consortium must not be allowed to takeover Newcastle.

The letter said: “The rules would clearly not permit Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the Public Investment Fund from acquiring Newcastle in light of the available, credible evidence about his involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.”

Masters responded to Cengiz’s memo with a statement her concerns were being considered in their process.

Cengiz told the BBC: “I’m cautiously optimistic the Premier League will make the right decision.

“I’m sure that if the Premier League follows its own rules and charter, especially the owners’ and directors’ test, it will block the sale of Newcastle United to Mohamed bin Salman and the Public Investment Fund he chairs.

“Until Bin Salman is held accountable for his role in Jamal’s brutal murder, everyone must refrain from doing any business with him.”

Meanwhile, the Newcastle squad played an inter-team friendly on Saturday afternoon at an empty St James’ as they stepped up their preparations for the restart of the Premier League season.

The match finished 1-1 with Joelinton and Nabil Bentaleb scoring for either side.


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