The Amnesty UK boss Sacha Deshmukh has written to have a meeting with the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to discuss last week’s takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabia Consortium.
Sky Sports confirmed the proposed meeting on its website on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021, according to reports Amnesty International wants the Premier League to update its ownership rights so that people who violate human rights will not easily access to taking over a club.
Amnesty had earlier written to the Premier League warning them of Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record.
The way the Premier League waves this deal through raises a host of deeply troubling questions about sports washing, human rights and sport, and the integrity of English football. How can it be right that the Premier League’s current owners’ and director’s test has nothing whatsoever to say about human rights? The events of last week will have lent even more urgency to the Government’s ongoing review of the governance of English football. Football is a global sport on a global stage. It urgently needs to update its own rules to prevent those implicated in serious human rights violations from buying into the passion and glamour of English football. We hope that Richard Masters will see that making the football’s ownership rules human right-compliant can only be for the long-term good of the game.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman is listed as the chair of the club but the Premier League received a legal binding assurance that the Saudi State would not control the club in any way.