MP “disturbed” by number of Newcastle fans prepared to overlook Saudi human rights record

    The Saudi- led takeover offer was withdrawn on Thursday.

    An MP who challenged the Saudi- led Newcastle takeover states he was “disturbed” by the number of fans who appeared to be prepared to overlook the nation’s terrible human rights record if it indicated the deal going through.

    The Saudi public mutual fund and the other members of a consortium hoping to buy the club revealed on Thursday they had actually withdrawn their offer for the Premier League side, blaming the “prolonged process” for their decision.

    John Nicolson, a Scottish National Celebration MP who rests on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, has questioned DCMS secretary of state Oliver Dowden and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters about the deal at committee hearings in recent months, asking how it might perhaps continue offered the nation’s human rights record and its links to piracy which was damaging the league’s business.

    Watch my full line of questioning with President of @premierleague Richard Masters on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsDCMS) here. I asked him about the proposed Saudi- backed Toon takeover and homophobia in football.

    — JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@MrJohnNicolson) June 30, 2020

    He stated he got abuse on social media and was questioned over his loyalties, however discovered the most stressing element to be the desire to disregard to human rights abuses.

    “I was disturbed I have to say by the number of supporters who didn’t appear to care about the human rights issues, they only cared about their football club,” he informed the PA news firm.

    “I would write to a number of them, when I engaged with them, and ask, ‘what would you say to Mrs Khashoggi if you had to meet her? Is there no human rights abuse that, as far as you’re concerned, would disqualify someone from buying your club?’ And in a disturbing number of cases people wrote back saying, ‘no’. All they cared about was that he should buy the club and they should get rid of their existing owner.”

    Nicolson was referring to Hatice Cengiz, the bride-to-be of Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi who was killed at the Saudi embassy in Turkey in 2018.

    Hatice Cengiz, the bride-to-be of the killed reporter Jamal Khashoggi (John Stillwell/PA)

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the chairman of the public mutual fund (PIF), has formerly stated in a TELEVISION interview that he takes “full responsibility” for the murder of Khashoggi, however rejects claims that he purchased the killing.

    The PIF has been at discomforts to explain that the Crown Prince would have had no direct role in Newcastle, with the fund’s guv Yasir Al Rumayyan the man who would have ended up being club chairman if the deal had actually gone through.

    Nicolson stated he was shocked that the Premier League had not shut the deal down earlier, offered Saudi Arabia’s links to piracy and the league’s own battle to look for legal redress against pirate network beoutQ through the Saudi courts.

    Referring to his questioning of Masters at a committee hearing on June 30, Nicolson stated: “You’ll have seen I pushed the witness consistently on that, and asked can you think of a single other example where state-sanctioned piracy had taken place and they had captivated the ruler of that nation?

    “I gave him three opportunities to answer the question and he evaded every time I asked him. Piracy is a huge problem for sport and Saudi Arabia is up to its neck in piracy so it should never have gone anywhere in terms of consideration.”

    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters dealt with concerns about Saudi piracy at a DCMS hearing in June (Mike Egerton/PA)

    It is comprehended the key area of issue for the league was neither human rights abuses nor the problem of piracy, however rather the connection in between the state and the fund.

    Nicolson stated he hoped the legend would avoid comparable deals even being captivated in future.

    “Going forward states should not be able to buy football clubs, which is effectively what we’ve seen here, especially rogue states like Saudi Arabia with its ghastly human rights record,” he stated.

    “Hopefully we will learn from this and never find ourselves in this position again.”

    ID: 408612:.

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