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Newcastle fans have heads in sand – Palace co-owner

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Crystal Palace fans with banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United. Police have confirmed that no further action will be taken regarding an investigation into a banner unveiled by Crystal Palace fans. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Crystal Palace fans with banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United. Police have confirmed that no further action will be taken regarding an investigation into a banner unveiled by Crystal Palace fans. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Crystal Palace fans with banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United. Police have confirmed that no further action will be taken regarding an investigation into a banner unveiled by Crystal Palace fans. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor has accused Newcastle United fans of having their “heads in the sand” over the Saudi Arabian regime at St James’ Park.

In the wake of Palace fans displaying a banner accusing the Saudis of “terrorism, beheadings and murder”, Textor hinted he sympathised with the protests.

The American was announced as a major investor at Selhurst Park in August, having previously been in negotiations with Mike Ashley over a potential sale.

Textor, the founder of virtual entertainment company Facebank, launched his attack as he responded to tweets from Palace fans praising Newcastle’s match-day support.

“All the more impressive to be able to sing so loud with their heads in the sand,” Textor wrote alongside an image of an ostrich in black and white stripes.

He said his opinions had been formed during previous experiences with Saudi Arabia and Newcastle rather than as Palace co-owner.

“My experiences in Saudi, and those with Newcastle, are my own,” he said. “I remain dumbfounded by open celebrations of a Saudi presence in a wonderful community that would never embrace Saudi values.”

Behind the scenes, Palace have been one of the most vociferous Premier League opponents to the Saudi deal.

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Palace drew 1-1 with Newcastle on Saturday, when the banner taking aim at Premier League chief executive Richard Masters for signing off on the takeover was displayed.

Police have confirmed that no further action will be taken regarding an investigation into the banner.

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 v Newcastle match at Selhurst Park.

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

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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