Crystal Palace group of Fanatics fans have slammed the Premier League for allowing the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United to go ahead with a scathing banner. The group brought the banner to their home clash against Graeme Jones's side on Saturday afternoon, and issued a statement on their official Twitter account to accompany the gesture. The banner accuses the state of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and points towards its grim history of public executions and jailing critics. The takeover was accepted by the Premier League in early October after they received "legally binding assurances" that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control the football club. Critics have ridiculed how this can be so when crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is the chair of the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The PIF of Saudi Arabia owns 80% of the club with David and Simon Reuben owning 10%, and Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners having the final 10%.
US intelligence concluded that Bin Salman ordered the murder of Khashoggi, an accusation he denies. The official Holmesdale Fanatics statement reads: "The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly received widespread condemnation and anger. "It is clear the P.I.F is a front for the tyrannical ruling Saudi regime and by endorsing this, the Premier League has made a mockery of its own 'Owners and Directors' test. "The Premier League has chosen money over morals and in green lighting this deal, has done business with one of the world's most bloody and repressive regimes. "A country controlled by fear where women are second class citizens, same-sex partnerships banned journalists silenced, imprisoned or killed and 'dissidents' brutally persecuted now has a foothold in our national game.
Staveley says: “Football’s inclusive to all, that’s the great thing about it. I understand and appreciate all the messages on human rights and we treat them very seriously. "But I wouldn’t bring partners into the consortium if they didn’t have the right record and PIF is autonomous and independent of the Saudi government. PIF owns Newcastle, not the Saudi state. “In buying Newcastle PIF are not going to hide and we’re proud of them; we need, strong, brave, partners. I love brave, passionate, people, that’s how I do business. We want to see more investment in the north of England, levelling up’s part of the agenda."
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