So it was no surprise that in 2023 Yasir al-Rumayyan claimed in papers submitted to a US court that he and PIF 'are not ordinary third parties subject to basic discovery relevance standards’.
The ‘legal and binding assurances’ that the PIF gave the Premier league to facilitate the takeover, that the Saudi government would not interfere in the running of the club were not true as it was admitted in court that Yasir al-Rumayyan is a government minister.
The Premier League should never have allowed the deal to go through as it meant a sovereign state would be in control of Newcastle United. Richard Masters ‘couldn’t say’ in May 2023 if the Premier League was investigating the Saudi ownership of the club. The latest revelations in Canadian court papers about the real role of Al-Rumayyan in the Saudi regime should lead to Masters and the Premier League to review the ownership of the club.
Roman Abramovich was declared unfit to own Chelsea Football Club because of his links to Vladimr Putin. Surely the revelations and role of Al-Rumayyan in the Saudi dictatorship make him also unfit to be chairman of a football club?
While many Newcastle fans will claim that criticisms of Al-Rumayyan have nothing to do with the football club, he is Newcastle United Chairman and our great club should not be associated with someone accused of “direct” involvement in a vengeful campaign for “political reasons” at the service of the Crown Prince.
It has not helped that local media have not taken an investigative stance regarding the Saudi owners of the club. It has been left to the national media to spell out the truth about Saudi regime figures such as Al-Rumayyan.
Yet again we have in black and white what we knew all along. Allowing a bloody dictatorship to take over an important historical and community asset like Newcastle United was always going to end badly.
It is time for North East MPs and councillors and official fan groups to make a clear stand on the 80% owners of Newcastle United.
NUFCFAS is calling on Yasir al-Rumayyan to resign as Chairman of Newcastle United Football club. We cannot allow a leading figure in the Saudi regime and close confidante of Mohahmed Bin Salman to continue to bring disrepute to our club.
We also urge political representatives on Tyneside and fan groups in Newcastle and nationally to support a transparent review of the ownership of Newcastle United to decide if the Saudi dictatorship really are fit and proper owners of a football club.
In the long run nation state ownership of football needs to be prohibited. Human rights abusing states using our clubs to sportswash their images has to end.