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UK minister: ‘Takeover of Newcastle United is up to Premier League not Downing Street’

April 24, 2020 at 3:05 am

Newcastle United Football Club, 25 January 2020 [Youtube]

British Minister of Culture Oliver Dowden announced that the takeover of Newcastle United is decided by the Premier League football championship and not the British government.

This came in Dowden’s response to a question posed by the Scottish National Party deputy John Nicolson about the Saudi sovereign fund’s acquisition of Newcastle United, for around £300 million.

“It is up to the Premier League, not Downing Street,” Dowden confirmed in an interview with the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Nicolson asked Dowden: “Given Saudi Arabia’s record of kidnaps, torture and other human rights violations, not least the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, how can he [Mohammed Bin Salman] possibly be considered a fit and proper person?”

Dowden replied: “As you know, the fit and proper person test is undertaken by the Premier League and I don’t want to prejudge the process. I would slightly take issue with the characterisation of him personally (…) Well firstly it’s the sovereign wealth fund, not him personally buying it.”

READ: Qatar warns of ‘dangers’ in Saudi takeover of Newcastle FC as deal enters critical phase