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Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) — chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — now owns 80% of the membership, with the remaining divided between RB Sports activities & Media and PCP Capital Companions, whose chief govt, Amanda Staveley, led the takeover.

Earlier than the takeover was introduced, Amnesty Worldwide had urged the Premier League to vary its homeowners’ and administrators’ take a look at to deal with human rights points and forestall “sportswashing.”

“We have now important issues, alongside human rights organisations equivalent to Amnesty Worldwide, in regards to the therapy of LGBT+ individuals in Saudi Arabia and different nations worldwide,” Pleasure in Soccer mentioned in a press release on Saturday.

“It’s evident that the brand new possession of Newcastle United have shut hyperlinks to, and in some instances are, the identical individuals who lead the oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia.

“The footballing authorities have severe and important 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+ individuals, ladies and different minorities.”

A picture shows the exterior of Newcastle United football club's stadium St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England on October 8, 2021.

Homosexuality is prohibited in Saudi Arabia and Amnesty Worldwide questioned how the Premier League can go forward with campaigns like “Rainbow Laces”, an initiative it launched with LGBTQ+ rights group Stonewall to advertise variety and equality.

On Friday, Newcastle United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters’ group mentioned they had been hopeful that the membership’s takeover might have a “constructive affect” in Saudi Arabia and enhance circumstances for LGBTQ+ individuals 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 profitable workforce.

Newcastle United's new director Amanda Staveley arrives with colleagues at St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England on October 8, 2021, after the sale of the football club to a Saudi-led consortium was confirmed.

Nevertheless, Pleasure in Soccer 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’s our basic perception that no fan ought 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 immediately referred to as for a extra thorough match and correct take a look at for homeowners and administrators … This takeover highlights how insufficient the present exams and buildings for soccer possession are on this nation — they’re merely not match for goal.”

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