Human rights organisation Amnesty International has urged the Premier League to change its testing for prospective new club owners.
The plea comes as Newcastle United look set to be taken over by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.
Via The Athletic, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO confirmed that they have sent a new “human-rights compliant” test to the Premier League to recommend that they overhaul the way that owner and director tests are carried out.
He said: “Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we’ve urged the Premier League to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues.
“The phrase ‘human rights’ doesn’t even appear in the owners’ and directors’ test despite English football supposedly adhering to FIFA standards. We’ve sent the Premier League a suggested new human rights-compliant test and we reiterate our call on them to overhaul their standards on this.”
Amnesty added that like other sports such as Formula 1, football is an extremely popular sport for branding and potentially allowing a country to rebrand its image.
The Premier League had initially blocked the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that was providing 80% of the money required to complete the takeover due to its piracy issue with beIN Sports over the illegal broadcasting of Premier League matches.
However, a court hearing deemed that there was no need for PIF to provide separation between the Saudi state and them, therefore making the piracy claims redundant.
This now means the Premier League could allow the £300 million takeover of Newcastle to finally go ahead if they find no further issues. The takeover is expected to be completed by the end of the week at the latest.