Howe understands Saudi questions

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Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe was appointed Newcastle manager in November, one month after the club’s takeover

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe accepts he will be asked about the club’s Saudi Arabian majority owners but says his “specialist subject is football”.

He said on Wednesday: “Football is what I know and what I’ve trained to do.

“As soon as I deviate from that into an area where I don’t feel qualified to have a huge opinion, I think I go into dangerous ground.”

Newcastle were taken over in October by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.

The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – of which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is chairman – has an 80% stake in the club.

The Premier League approved the takeover after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club.

“It’s a difficult one for everyone concerned and I understand that questions have to be asked,” Howe said.

“I am hugely proud to represent this football club, the supporters, the city and I’m trying to create a team the city can be proud of.

“All my energy is going into that and will continue to.”

Newcastle’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has been further questioned following the sanctioning of Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich’s attempt to sell Chelsea has been halted after the oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Asked if he was reading up on the issues at stake, Howe added: “Yes definitely, I’ve done that and will continue to do so.

“Obviously part of my job now in the modern football management scene is to know what’s going on around the world, and I will have to do that.

“But football will have to be and will always be my passion and it will always be the main crux of my job, and I think that’s where my time needs to be spent.”

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