West Ham United manager David Moyes has spoken out over the ownership situation at Newcastle United after Amnesty International called for the events surrounding the October 2021 takeover of the Magpies to be re-examined.
A consortium containing Amanda Staveley, Jamie Reuben and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund finally completed a protracted takeover at St James Park after agreeing a £320m deal with former owner Mike Ashley.
After lengthy investigations into the deal, the Premier League reveavled they had received ‘legally binding assurances’ the Saudi government would have no control over events at the club. However, Magpies chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan was described as a ‘sitting minister of the government’ during a US court case earlier this week and that has led to calls for further analysis of the St James Park hierachy.
Amnesty International’s UK economic affairs director, Peter Frankental said earlier this week: “It was always stretching credulity to breaking point to imagine that the Saudi state wasn’t directing the buyout of Newcastle with the ultimate aim of using the club as a component in its wider sportswashing efforts.
“There’s an unmistakable irony in the sovereign wealth fund declaration emerging in a dispute about another arm of Saudi Arabia’s growing sports empire, but the simple fact is that Saudi sportswashing is affecting numerous sports and governing bodies need to respond to it far more effectively.
“The Premier League will surely need to re-examine the assurances made about the non-involvement of the Saudi authorities in the Newcastle deal, not least as there’s still a Qatari bid for Manchester United currently on the table.”
Several Premier League managers were asked about the situation with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Everton’s Sean Dyche both refusing to answer questions and urging reporters to focus on their own sides ahead of another crucial weekend at either end of the table.
However, Hammers boss Moyes revealed his hope that ‘the people assessing the owners would always get it right’ and is confident Newcastle will be ‘fine’ should their owners come under further scrutiny in the near-future.
Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon, Moyes said: “I have not got the political mindset to know exactly what it is all about to be honest, I don’t know exactly. We do work under stringent rules here as you can see and I would hope that the people assessing the owners would always get it right. So I have to believe that Newcastle are fine. At the moment, the team is doing very well.”
Newcastle will visit West Ham on the first Wednesday of April, just two months after the two sides battled to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at St James Park.