A banner unfurled by Crystal Palace followers forward of Saturday’s draw with Newcastle, protesting the latest Saudi-led takeover of the Tyneside membership is being investigated by police.
The graphic signal, held up at Selhurst Park, confirmed a person sporting Arab-style clothes wielding a bloodied sword about to behead a magpie, as faceless supporters within the background sing: “We have our membership again.”
It listed offences the regime is accused of by human rights teams – terrorism, beheading, civil rights abuses, homicide, censorship and persecution – which have been all ticked off on a clipboard beneath the heading “Premier League House owners Take a look at”.
The highest-flight league’s chief govt Richard Masters can also be depicted giving a thumbs-up to a bag of money, standing in a pool of blood.
It comes after the controversial go-ahead was given for a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s state sovereign wealth fund – often known as the Public Funding Fund or PIF – to take management of Newcastle United in a £300 m deal, earlier this month.
This was regardless of the closeness of the fund to the Saudi state, which has confronted criticism over its human rights document.
A submit on the official Croydon Metropolitan Police Twitter account mentioned: “On Saturday 23 October police obtained a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace followers.
“Officers are assessing the data and finishing up enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse can be taken very critically.”
Palace supporters’ group Holmesdale Fanatics launched an announcement after the banner was unveiled.
It mentioned: “The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly obtained widespread condemnation and anger.
“To provide the thumbs as much as this deal at a time when the Premier League is selling the ladies’s sport and inclusive initiatives resembling rainbow armbands, exhibits the overall hypocrisy at play and demonstrates the league’s soulless agenda the place income trump all.”
Proud and Palace, the membership’s official LGBT+ supporters group, additionally posted a video on its Twitter account which highlighted the case of Suhail al Jameel, a homosexual man reportedly imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
A spokeswoman for the group mentioned: “We do not consider these homeowners have a spot within the Premier League and we wish to hold elevating consciousness.”