Met Police take no further action on Crystal Palace banner against Saudi-led Newcastle takeover

Crystal Palace fans in the stands hold up a banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Saturday October 23, 2021.
Crystal Palace fans in the stands hold up a banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Saturday October 23, 2021.

The Met Police confirmed a member of the public had complained about the banner, but no further action will now be taken

Published

The Metropolitan Police will take no further action into their investigation on the banner unveiled by Crystal Palace fans protesting the Saudi-led Newcastle United takeover.

The banner, display in the Holmesdale End of Selhurst Park during Palace’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Saturday, appeared to highlight human rights issues in Saudi Arabia and criticise the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

It occurred after the Premier League gave the go-ahead for a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s state sovereign wealth fund (Public Investment Fund) to take control of Newcastle earlier this month.

A statement from the official Croydon Metropolitan Police Twitter account read: “On Saturday, a member of the public contacted us to raise concerns about a banner displayed at the Crystal Palace vs Newcastle match at Selhurst Park.

“Following an assessment, officers have concluded that no offences have been committed. No further action will be taken.”

Campaigners have voiced their frustration at the investigation, saying critics of the Saudi Arabian regime should not be viewed as racist. A statement by the group responsible for the banner said:

"The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly received widespread condemnation and anger. It is clear the P.I.F is a front for the tyrannical ruling Saudi regime and by endorsing this, the Premier League has made a mockery of its own 'Owners and Directors' test.

"The Premier League has chosen money over morals and in green lighting this deal, has done business with one of the world's most bloody and repressive regimes. "A country controlled by fear where women are second class citizens, same-sex partnerships banned, journalists silenced, imprisoned or killed and 'dissidents' brutally persecuted now has a foothold in our national game.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) and Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Saturday October 23, 2021.
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) and Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Saturday October 23, 2021.

"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.

"Newcastle, as a team, is now being used to sportswash the blood from the hands of a corrupt governance and deluded supporters should consider that reality when singing of 'getting their club back'.

"We are lucky to live in a country where we can display a banner such as this without repercussion. Many in Saudi Arabia wish they were afforded those."