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Newcastle takeover news: Allardyce claims Bruce will be 'glad'

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More from John Nicolson...

John Nicolson, a Scottish National Party MP who sits on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, has questioned DCMS secretary of state Oliver Dowden and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters about the deal at committee hearings in recent months, asking how it could possibly proceed given the country’s human rights record and its links to piracy which was harming the league’s business.

He said he received abuse on social media and was questioned over his allegiances, but found the most worrying aspect to be the willingness to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses.

“I was disturbed I have to say by the number of supporters who didn’t appear to care about the human rights issues, they only cared about their football club,” he told the PA news agency.

“I would write to a number of them, when I engaged with them, and ask, ‘what would you say to Mrs Khashoggi if you had to meet her? Is there no human rights abuse that, as far as you’re concerned, would disqualify someone from buying your club?’ And in a disturbing number of cases people wrote back saying, ‘no’. All they cared about was that he should buy the club and they should get rid of their existing owner.”

Nicolson was referring to Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered at the Saudi embassy in Turkey in 2018.

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