PL clubs ‘demand emergency meeting’ as backlash to Newcastle takeover grows

Nineteen Premier League clubs have demanded an emergency meeting with the Premier League regarding Newcastle United’s takeover.

It has been reported by the Guardian that the £305million takeover of the Magpies by a Saudi-led consortium has been met with anger and fear by the rest of the division.

Questions are being asked about why the move was allowed to go ahead in the first place after the first attempt last season was blocked.

No meeting or anger will be able to reverse the decision to give the green-light for the Saudi takeover which has made the club the richest football team in the world.

The clubs were informed of the stunning news via an email sent by the Premier League at 5:18pm on Thursday evening, in which the league said they had "received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United".

However, this has done very little to qualm the fury, not just among the division and footballing world, but also amongst a large number of human rights organisations.

"Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we’ve urged the Premier League to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues," said a statement from Amnesty International.

"Ever since this deal was first talked about we said it represented a clear attempt by the Saudi authorities to sportswash their appalling human rights record with the glamour of top-flight football.

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"Saudi ownership of St James’ Park was always as much about image management for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his government as it was about football.

"Under Mohammed Bin Salman, the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia remains dire – with government critics, women’s rights campaigners, Shia activists and human defenders still being harassed and jailed, often after blatantly unfair trials.

"The closed-door trial of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killers was widely perceived to be a part of a wider whitewash by the authorities, and Saudi Arabia is accused of a catalogue of crimes under international humanitarian law during the long conflict in Yemen."

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