The critical US lawsuit involving the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has brought more scrutiny on the takeover and ownership of Newcastle United. The ongoing legal dispute between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf organisation may now have big ramifications for Premier League club Newcastle United.
The potentially landmark case centres around the PGA banning defecting players from competing in their own events, with the rebel organisation challenging the ruling. The Tour is also countersuing, citing Greg Norman’s venture as a ‘sportswashing’ exercise which limits competition due to the extortionate funding on offer.
Like with LIV, the Premier League club have benefited financially from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). But back in November 2021, their takeover deal was approved by authorities, who stated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would not have any control over the North-East outfit.
But according to PA News Agency , documents filed during the LIV Golf case have alleged that Newcastle Chairman Yasir Al Rumayyan is a sitting member of the Saudi government. The 53-year-old also serves as chairman of state-owned petroleum company Saudi Aramco.
“The order is an extraordinary infringement on the sovereignty of a foreign state that is far from justified here,” read the document. “The PIF and His Excellency Yasir Othman 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, and they cannot be compelled to provide testimony and documents in a US proceeding unless their conduct, not LIV’s or anyone else’s, is truly the ‘gravamen’ of the case.”