Tuesday October 3, 2023

Saudi Arabia Filing in LIV Golf Case Causes Premier League Outcry

  • Premier League could take another look at Saudi Arabia's ties to Newcastle deal.
  • Scrutiny comes amid legal arguments in LIV Golf-PGA Tour antitrust case.
Cameron Smith Celebrates LIV Golf tournament win with Greg Norman
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs

NBC is exploring broadcasting a slice of the expanded CFP in 2026.
Listen Now
October 3, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Saudi Arabia’s claim of sovereign immunity on behalf of its Public Investment Fund as part of the LIV Golf-PGA Tour civil antitrust case this week has irked another sports league across the pond. 

In an amicus brief filed this week, Saudi Arabia claimed a judge’s order that PIF is subject to discovery in the case was “unprecedented,” and Yasir Al-Rumayyan shouldn’t be allowed to be deposed since he “holds the rank of a Minister in Saudi Arabia’s government.” 

The Guardian reported Thursday that claims that Al-Rumayyan is beyond the reach of the U.S. court system were met with “anger” by Premier League clubs since Al-Rumayyan is the chairman of Newcastle United. 

The newspaper also reported that the disclosure in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California could lead the Premier League to reexamine PIF’s promise that Saudi Arabia would have no control over Newcastle when the fund took over control of the team in 2021. 

“The Premier League will surely need to re-examine the assurances made about the non-involvement of the Saudi authorities in the Newcastle deal, not least as there’s still a Qatari bid for Manchester United currently on the table,” said Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK economic affairs director, per the BBC.

Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen ruled last month that PIF and Al-Rumayyan were subject to discovery requests by PGA Tour lawyers. In the order, van Keulen wrote that PIF and Al-Rumayyan could not claim a sovereign immunity exception because their roles in LIV went beyond merely funding the golf league. 

Attorneys for LIV Golf and PIF asked U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman to review that decision earlier this week. If Freeman upholds van Keulen’s order, the issue could be appealed to the 9th Circuit, delaying the trial scheduled to begin in January. 

PIF is worth more than $600 billion, one of the most well-capitalized sovereign funds in the world. Since it’s an arm of the Saudi government, it is effectively controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

“It was always stretching credulity to breaking point to imagine that the Saudi state wasn’t directing the buyout of Newcastle with the ultimate aim of using the club as a component in its wider sportswashing efforts,” Frankental said.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer stands court side before the game against the Golden State Warriors Chase Center.

The 20 Richest American Sports Team Owners for 2023

LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is first for a ninth straight year.
A view of Manchester United stadium, Old Trafford

Manchester United Bidder Ratcliffe May Shift Focus To Minority Stake

The British billionaire had been seeking full control of the club.

LPGA Seeking Major Capital Raise Amid Golf Craze

The top women's golf tour is looking for new financial backing.
Golf bag leaning on PGA Tour signage

Arctos Sports Partners Join Race To Invest In PGA Tour

New investor interest comes amid negotiations with Saudi Arabia.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs


Featured Today

An advocacy group is filing an NLRB case against the Ivy League over athlete compensation.

Advocacy Group Files Federal Labor Charge Against Ivy League

It’s the latest in a flurry of NLRB cases over amateurism.
The Colorado Buffaloes played in the most-watched game of Week 5.
October 3, 2023

Colorado Ratings Bonanza Continues Despite Two Consecutive Losses

The Buffs’ least-watched game this season was still the most-watched this week.
Football analyst and PFF investor Chris Collinsworth talks to man in front of computers
October 3, 2023

Cris Collinsworth 'Lost a Lot of Sleep' Over Pro Football Focus Leadership Issues

New book details why it’s no longer a “happy place to work.”
NBC is interested in media rights to the expanded College Football Playoff.
October 2, 2023

NBC Is Interested in Expanded College Football Playoff Media Rights

NBC is one of the networks pitching the CFP, a source confirmed.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Brett Favre

Brett Favre to Give First Sworn Testimony in Mississippi Welfare Case

A deposition of Brett Favre has been scheduled for Oct. 26.
October 2, 2023

Arbitrator Rules Panini Can Continue Selling NFLPA Products

Panini can continue to sell NFLPA-licensed products.
Mississippi tackle Michael Oher poses with his family after being selected as the number 23 overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
September 29, 2023

Judge Ends Michael Oher’s Conservatorship with Tuohy Family

Oher claims the Tuohys misrepresented their legal relationship to him.
Patrick Reed
September 27, 2023

Judge Dismisses Both of Patrick Reed’s Defamation Cases

A federal judge dismissed both of Patrick Reed’s defamation cases.
NFL concussions
September 27, 2023

The NFL’s $1B Battle Over Concussion Settlement Heats Up

The NFL is seeking at least $1.2 billion from its risk carriers.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is among the FTX endorsers who have reached a settlement for their roles in promoting the crypto exchange.
September 18, 2023

Trevor Lawrence Settles Lawsuit Over FTX Crypto Endorsement

Lawrence has settled while other FTX athlete endorsers still face lawsuits.
Lane Kiffin
September 15, 2023

Ole Miss Football Player Files $40M Lawsuit Against Lane Kiffin, School

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin is being sued by one of his players.