Newcastle fan 'feels sick' over Saudi takeover – 'They treat women as third class humans'

All parties are hopeful are hopeful an announcement can be made later today confirming the long-awaited takeover of Newcastle United, currently owned by Mike Ashley following final approval from the Premier League. The consortium has reportedly proved the Saudi state would not have control of the club and instead, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is set to provide 80 percent of funds for the £300million deal, will be seen as separate to the state. The Saudi Arabian state has been accused of human rights abuses but with the majority PIF deemed a separate entity, that will no longer impact the takeover in the Premier League’s view.

The shock news will delight the club’s huge fanbase after a Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust survey on Tuesday showed 93 percent of its members are in favour of the takeover.

Fans throughout the country have long wanted current owner Mr Ashley to leave the club, accusing him of a lack of investment and ambition.

But not everyone has been left delighted with the news of the takeover with Chief Correspondent and Channel 4 News presenter Alex Thomson launching a furious attack against Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

He tweeted: “As a lifelong Newcastle United supporter I feel sick this morning.

“No time for Ashley but he doesn’t murder and dismember journalists or chop people’s heads off or treat women as third class humans on an industrial scale.

“What the hell has ‘football’ become?”

In reply, BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “Football fans want their clubs to succeed, but at what price?

“The dilemma facing @NUFC supporters.”

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Saudi Arabia’s method of execution by beheading has also come under fire over recent years.

The Middle Eastern state has a criminal justice system based on a form of Shari’ah reflecting a particular state-sanctioned interpretation of Islam.

Execution is usually carried out publicly by beheading with a sword.

Saudi Arabia also remains incredibly restrictive over what women in the country can and can’t do.

For example, although men can not undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca without a male guardian, they can only do so as part of a group.

A male relative must still give permission for a woman to marry, start certain types of business, leave prison or leave a domestic abuse shelter.

Saudi women must dress modestly, meaning tight-fitting clothing and see-through materials are generally prohibited, while wearing heavy make-up is normally considered inappropriate.

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