Amanda Staveley’s private letters uncovered after Newcastle warned over human rights


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Newcastle’s takeover has been shrouded in controversy due to their links with Saudi Arabia and Staveley’s confidential communications with the city council have now been unearthed

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Amanda Staveley speaks to the media after confirmed Newcastle takeover

The Saudi funded-owners of Newcastle United have been warned over “human rights” – by the leader of the city council.

Nick Forbes exchanged correspondence with the chief of the Public Investment Fund, and chairman of Newcastle United, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and Amanda Staveley’s consortium, when they bought Newcastle for £305m last month.

The Labour leader welcomed the takeover, writing it was “great news for the city and we hope the club too,” pointing out it is the “city’s most nationally and internationally recognised brand.”

Forbes also pledged there would be a “positive working relationship between the council and new owners.”

But in a reference to widely-documented concerns over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, Forbes said: “You will also know, however, that we are a City of Sanctuary and have a proud history of promoting the advancement of human rights.







Amanda Staveley’s (R) private letter exchange with the city council has been uncovered
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“It is important to us that we seek the strongest alignment of the city’s values with those of the new consortium.”

Amnesty have criticised the takeover saying it is sports washing, and highlighting the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, persecution of political opponents, woman and gays.

Forbes has led the council since 2011. The exchange of private letters, from Amanda Staveley marked “Strictly Private and Confidential”, and the Labour leader of the council, has been revealed by a Freedom of Information request.

Staveley wrote to Forbes, explaining: “We are patient, long-term investors who have every confidence in the future success of the club.

“It is a privilege to become custodians of Newcastle United. No other club embodies its community or excites passions in quite the same way.

“And we want to harness that potential, as we seek to build a new future for the Club rooted in its rich history.”







Staveley insisted she would not have invested in Newcastle if she had concerns over human rights
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On the role of the PIF, Staveley wrote: “For PIF, one of the world’s most impactful investors, the acquisition is in line with its strategy of focusing on key sectors including Sports and Entertainment, and aligns with PIF’s mission to actively invest over the long term – in this case, to harness the Club’s potential and build upon the Club’s legacy.

“PCP Capital Partners has spent many years seeking a suitable investment in the Premier League.”

In an interview with Mirror Sport, Staveley said last month: “I understand and appreciate all the messages on human rights, and we treat them very seriously, I would not invest, I am putting personal investment in over 10 years and I would not bring in partners without the right record.”

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