The chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Masters, has told MPs he cannot comment on whether Newcastle’s links with Saudi Arabia are being reinvestigated in light of a recent US court case. Newcastle were taken over in 2021 with the Saudi Public Investment Fund holding a majority stake after providing ‘legally binding assurances’ to the Premier League there would be no state involvement in the running of the club. A recent LIV Golf Series legal case against the PGA Tour, however, has seen the Saudis argue that PIF and Newcastle’s chairman, Yasir al-Rumayyan, should be protected from giving evidence owing to sovereign immunity laws. LIV, which is backed by the Saudi government, has stated that Rumayyan is ‘a sitting member of the Saudi government’ and PIF is ‘a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ to support its case. In doing so, it has raised fresh questions about the level of separation between PIF and Newcastle. Speaking at a digital, culture, media and sport select committee hearing, Masters said he was aware of the case but refused to be drawn on its implications for Newcastle.
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