Police investigate Crystal Palace fans’ banner criticising Newcastle’s new owners

Police are investigating a banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans on Saturday that criticised Newcastle United’s new owners.

A consortium consisting of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media completed a £305m takeover of Newcastle earlier this month.

The banner at Palace, unveiled during the sides’ 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, also took aim at the Premier League’s ownership test.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Crystal Palace and Newcastle in the Premier League

“On Saturday 23 October, police received a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans,” Croydon Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

“Officers are assessing the information and carrying out enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse will be taken very seriously.”

The Newcastle takeover has drawn criticism from human rights groups such as Amnesty International.

Palace fan group Holmesdale Fanatics said they were responsible for the banner and continued their attack on the Newcastle takeover in a statement on Twitter.

“The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly received widespread condemnation and anger,” it said.

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Newcastle interim manager Graeme Jones felt his side’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace was a positive start to his time in charge

“To give the ‘thumbs up’ to this deal at a time when the Premier League is promoting the women’s game and inclusive initiatives such as rainbow armbands, shows the total hypocrisy at play and demonstrates the League’s soulless agenda where profits trump all.”

The Newcastle takeover was 80% financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

However, the Premier League received “legally binding” assurances that there was clear separation between PIF and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The fans group’s statement said this decision “made a mockery” of the ‘Owners and Directors’ test.

The Premier League was not immediately available to comment.

Sky Sports News has also reached out to Newcastle and Crystal Palace for a response.

Saudi Arabia’s government denies allegations of human rights abuses and says it is protecting national security from extremists and external actors.

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