Jurgen Klopp questions the morality of the Saudi-Newcastle takeover

Jürgen Klopp called on the EPL to explain the reasons for approving the buyout of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund

A consortium led by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, completed the takeover of Newcastle for a fee of £300 million last week.

Klopp has been left confused over how the takeover, which was completed last week, was able to go ahead. The EPL approved the takeover after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club.

The deal has rocked the world of football and received a lot of backlash due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Activists have highlighted to the EPL Saudi human rights violations, including the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after US intelligence services said they believe the slaying came at the crown prince’s orders. The kingdom has denied that.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Klopp expressed this feeling, questioning how the takeover was permitted despite obvious red flags in the new ownership.

“I don’t want to make it my business because it’s not my business. There are no two opinions about the obvious human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia,” Klopp told Sky Deutschland.

“That’s not a question. But how it could then happen that this was nevertheless allowed despite many concerns, I cannot assess. That must be some other people.

“If we only talk about football, then in the long term, of course, we have to say that they are going to be a superpower. This is the third club in world football that I know of that belongs to a country and that obviously belongs to the wealthiest family on the planet. The possibilities that open up are of course immense.

With the Super League, the whole world was justifiably upset about it. It’s basically like the Super League now – just for one club. Then Newcastle are guaranteed to play a dominant role in world football for the next 20 or 30 years.

“You can mess up a lot with money, but in the long run there are too many good people running around in football and Newcastle will find them too. Accordingly, this is how it is now. It wasn’t my choice and we are just living with the facts now.

“There is no other way to do it. But since no one has said anything so great, I’m not ready to really give my opinion now, whether I think that’s good or bad. There are concerns that everyone has because I’m not alone and the rest was obviously decided by other people.”

Newcastle head into the weekend with Steve Bruce still in place as manager, with the 60-year-old taking charge of his 1000th game with his side currently 19th, having taken three points from seven games.

The Magpies are expected to replace Bruce in the near future, and invest heavily into the first-team squad, with the financial power of their new owners potentially drawing big names to St James’ Park.

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