Concerns over council ties with Saudi-backed Newcastle United

Concerns over council ties with Saudi-backed Newcastle United

14 May 2024 0 By Total Football News

Last year, Ms Staveley, a minority shareholder who has become the face of the club’s Saudi ownership, asked senior council officer Michelle Percy to prepare a briefing ahead of a meeting she was having with Lord Dominic Johnson, a UK investment minister.

The briefing concentrated on attracting Saudi investment to the north-east of England.

Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the campaign group NUFC Fans Against Sportswashing, and seen by File on 4, reveal Ms Percy then wrote to Ms Staveley in January.

She complained a grant for the restoration of the Tyne Bridge had not been signed off by the government and asked for help in “reaching out to the PM and ministers at a high level”.

Ms Staveley then wrote to two figures in government, whose names have been redacted, asking for help to “expedite the process of releasing this vital funding”.

Within three weeks, the government confirmed it was awarding the council £35m to help restore the bridge.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said, by the time Ms Staveley’s email was received, the business case for the Tyne Bridge was already in the final stages of approval and the email played no part in the release of the funding.

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