Newcastle United ownership threatened as PIF ordered to appear before US government

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Newcastle United’s majority owners are under investigation over the PGA-LIV Golf merger.

Newcastle United’s owners have been put in the hot seat over their connection to the Saudi Arabian government which could threaten to impact the club.

In June it was announced the PIF-owned LIV golf tour would merge with its rivals PGA in a historic deal which ended months of bitter feuding. The deal was a shock, but also controversial.

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Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan at St James' Park. (Pic: Getty Images)Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan at St James' Park. (Pic: Getty Images)
Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan at St James' Park. (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty

And now PIF representatives have been ordered to appear before a United States government committee in order for the fund’s relationship with the PGA Tour to be investigated.

The proposed merger promoted Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to launch an inquiry and now, after declining to come before the committee multiple times, PIF governor and chairman of Newcastle United, Yasir Al-Rumayyan has been subpoenaed- which means he can no longer decline.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, look on from the second tee during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 28, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)U.S. President Donald Trump and Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, look on from the second tee during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 28, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, look on from the second tee during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 28, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Al-Rumayyan’s appearance threatens to unsettle Newcastle United due to the fact PIF were only allowed to takeover the club after giving the Premier League assurances the Saudi state would not have control.

Already the chairman of the committee has revealed PIF’s lawyers described Al-Rumayyan as an “inappropriate witness” as he is a “minister bound by the Kingdom’s laws.” This is the second time in a few months the Newcastle United chairman has been described to be a Saudi minister by his own counsel.

The US Senate was also told yesterday United’s majority owners “facilitated and benefited from human rights abuses” by Human Rights Watch in an attempt to prevent the LIV-PGA merger.

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