Court document describes Newcastle chairman ‘as Saudi minister’ | Newcastle United

Newcastle chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan has been described as a “senior minister of the Saudi government” in a document filed in court in the United States, raising fresh questions about the level of separation between the club’s ownership and the Saudi state.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought a controlling stake in Newcastle in October 2021, but the deal was only given the green light after the Premier League received “legally binding assurances” that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would have no control . the club.

However, the PIF is challenging an order to produce documents in a US lawsuit involving the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, arguing that the fund itself and its governor, Rumayyan, are “not ordinary third parties”.

A document filed by the fund on Tuesday states: “The order is an extraordinary violation of the sovereignty of a foreign state that is far from justified here. PIF and His Excellency Yasir Othman al-Rumayyan are not ordinary third parties subject to basic discovery relevance standards.

“They are a sovereign body of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and an acting minister of the government of Saudi Arabia and cannot be compelled to provide testimony and documents in a US proceeding unless their conduct – not that of LIV or anyone else – is actually the “engraving” “of the case.”

The PIF is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Newcastle were approached for comment, while the Premier League declined to comment.

The PIF also declined to comment. It appears he has made legal commitments to the Premier League that the fund, and not the Saudi Arabian state, is in control of Newcastle.

The PIF initially withdrew from the club’s takeover bid in July 2020 as a result of an “unpredictably protracted process”.

But the deal backfired, with the Premier League confirming it had approved the takeover on 7 October 2021 and adding: “The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.”

The dispute had centered on who would have control of the club’s influence, and therefore should be subject to the test of the league’s owners and managers.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told the BBC in November 2021 that if his body found evidence there was state involvement in the running of the club “we can remove the consortium as owners of the club”.

Newcastle have enjoyed a positive campaign under their new owners, with the club challenging for Champions League qualification and reaching their first Wembley final since 1999 in the Carabao Cup.