Newcastle takeover link puts spotlight on Saudi human rights

After so many false dawns and collapsed takeover talks, Newcastle could finally have a new owner by the time the Premier League resumes.

The end of Mike Ashley’s reign would likely be welcomed by fans, if not by human rights activists.

Documents posted to the British company registry show financier Amanda Staveley has entered into a form of loan agreement with Ashley that can facilitate a deal. It is the clearest signal of an imminent takeover at Newcastle since Ashley, a controversial businessman who owns the Sports Direct chain of retail stores, first put the northeast club up for sale in 2008.

This 300 million-pound takeover proposal is reported to be largely funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, a
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