Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Right-Hand Man"
Written by John-Paul Quinn
The Athletic ran an in-depth piece recently about Newcastle United’s Chairman, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. In that piece, they outlined his rise to prominence as Governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, where “he serves as right-hand man to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
Al-Rumayyan is not just any Saudi businessman - “He is the technocrat given the responsibility of putting Bin Salman’s vision into practice,”
"Bin Salman increasingly wanted Al-Rumayyan by his side. He bought Al-Rumayyan a house worth 250 million Saudi riyals (over $60m) near the presidential palace, while the two began spending long periods of time together beyond official meetings."
“…he’s loyal, and MBS trusts him.”
It is a real shame that the local press has not delved into such detail on who Newcastle United’s chairman is and his relationship with one of the most abusive regimes in the world. A regime which was deemed responsible for the murder of a journalist who dared to be critical.
This is a man who received a warm welcome at St. James’ Park and has been photographed with the first-team squad. He was also pictured with Donald Trump wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat in his role as Managing Director of LIV Golf. As a Newcastle United fan, I am ashamed that our club can be associated with such people with barely a raised eyebrow.
A document recently submitted to a US court stated that:
"The Public Investment Fund and His Excellency Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan are not ordinary third parties subject to basic discovery relevance standards. They are a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a sitting minister of the Saudi government..."
Last week the Premier League announced reforms to the Owners’ and Director’s Test, which included:
"A new Disqualifying Event for human rights abuses".
Given that we know Saudi Arabia is among the worst regimes in the world for human rights abuses, and we know that PIF is “a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, chaired by the Crown Prince himself, we ought to ask why they should be able to remain in control of a Premier League club.
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