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Newcastle United: Amnesty International wants Premier League meeting on Saudi-backed takeover |  Football news

The Premier League has been invited to meet with Amnesty International after Newcastle was taken over last week by a Saudi-backed consortium.

Amnesty UK boss Sacha Deshmukh has written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to request a meeting to discuss the proposed changes to the English elite owners and managers test.

A consortium led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund received Premier League approval last week to take control of Newcastle, drawing widespread criticism over the Middle Eastern country’s poor rights record. humans.

Amnesty International has described the £ 305million deal as “a huge blow to human rights defenders”.

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Deshmukh said: “The way the Premier League came to this deal raises a host of deeply troubling questions about the washing of sport, human rights and sport, and the integrity of English football.

“How is it true that the test of current Premier League owners and managers has nothing to say about human rights?

“The events of the past week will have made the government’s ongoing review of the governance of English football even more urgent.

“Football is a global sport on a global stage – it urgently needs to update its ownership rules to prevent those involved in serious human rights violations from embracing the passion and glamor of football English.

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“We hope Richard Masters will see that bringing football property rules in line with human rights can only be for the long-term good of the game.”

The Premier League approved the takeover of Newcastle after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is listed as chairman of the PIF, but the Premier League was convinced the state would have no relationship with the club.

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Tottenham’s Eric Dier believes their task against Newcastle this weekend has become even more difficult after the club’s takeover.

Amnesty offered to meet Masters with corporate lawyer David Chivers QC, who last year co-authored a new test for human rights-respecting owners and administrators on behalf of the campaign group.

This updated test was sent to the Premier League last July, Amnesty said, when it emerged that the Saudi-led consortium’s deal was unlikely to be successful.

“However, the swift finalization of the deal last week gave new impetus to calls for the league to urgently update its ownership rules,” Amnesty said. “Amnesty’s analysis shows that the current property test has many serious flaws, with no property prohibitions for those complicit in torture, slavery, human trafficking or even war crimes. “

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The PA news agency received a copy of Amnesty’s letter to Masters, in which The Chivers document – “Proposal to change owners and administrators test of Premier League rules to fight human rights international and discrimination “- was attached.

In the letter, Deshmukh added: “David Chivers asserted that this proposed revision is reasonable, measured, supports best practice in sports organizations and could be implemented without infringing on other elements of the rules of the game. Premier League.

“I ask you to carefully consider what is on offer, especially with regard to establishing a corporate culture aligned with the purpose and strategy of the Premier League, which promotes integrity, values diversity and reflects the broader concerns of stakeholders. “

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