Eddie Howe has said he has not sought any ‘assurances’ over Newcastle’s ownership after it was thrust into the headlines in recent days.
Newcastle were subject of a highly contentious and drawn-out takeover process over recent years, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) finally being given the green light to take control of the club in October 2021.
The Premier League finally gave their approval to the takeover after being given “legally binding assurances that essentially the state will not be in charge of the club,” saying that if there was “evidence to the contrary” that they have the power to “remove the consortium as owners of the club”.
However, the club’s ownership was thrust back into the spotlight following a court case in the USA between PGA Tour and LIV Golf – another contentious PIF sports project.
A court rejected PIF’s claim of sovereign immunity and lack of jurisdiction, with lawyers for Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the Saudi Public Investment Fund seemingly admitting their clients were representatives of the Saudi government.
“PIF and His Excellency Yasir al-Rumayyan are not ordinary third parties subject to basic discovery relevance standards.
“They are a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a sitting minister of the Saudi government.
“Thus they cannot be compelled to provide testimony and documents in a US proceeding.”
Following those comments, the Premier League are coming under pressure to re-look at the ownership of the North East club,
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Manchester City, Eddie Howe has insisted that he hasn’t given the situation ‘too much time’.
“I’ve not seeked any assurances to be honest,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “I’ve not given it too much time.
“I’m aware of the headlines, but I haven’t really invested in the details behind it. I have Manchester City to prepare for and that has taken all my attention. I don’t find it difficult. For me, my job is training the players. Trying to get them in the best physical, mental and tactical condition to win the game. The minute I deviate from that is the minute I go into dangerous waters.
“Amanda [Staveley] did comment on them yesterday. I do believe that message is out there but the focus comes on me because I am sat here every week. It’s not a conversation for me to brief on these matters because I’m not qualified to do it.”
Newcastle director Amanda Staveley told the FT Business of Football summit that the agreement with the Premier League is being ‘honoured’: “The undertaking was that Saudi Arabia would not control the club,” she said. “That undertaking has been and is being honoured.”