In an effort to avoid straining relations, Boris Johnson has asked one of his top aides to look into a Saudi bid for Newcastle United.
It comes after a Saudi bid to buy Newcastle United faced constraints. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned Boris Johnson that a row over the sale of the Premier League club could have a negative impact on relations between the two countries.
The crown prince urged the prime minister to “correct and reconsider” a “wrong” move taken by the Premier League which he claimed hampered a £300 million deal to sell the club.
A government spokesperson denied the claims stating that the government had not taken part at any point in takeover talks.
“While we welcome overseas investment, this was a commercial matter for the parties concerned and the Government was not involved at any point in the takeover talks on the sale of Newcastle United,” the government`s spokesman said.
This week Mr Johnson gave an order to review the collapse of the financial firm Greensill Capital in light of concern over David Cameron’s lobbying on its behalf.
Lord Udny-Lister, one of Johnson`s top aides reassured him that he was on the case and would “investigate”.
“The Saudis were getting upset. We were not lobbying for them to buy it or not to buy it. We wanted them (the Premier League) to be straightforward and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, don’t leave them (the Saudis) dangling,” Lord Udny-Lister said.