Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has revealed that he had no say in the controversial design for the club's new away kit for the 2022-23 season.
Much criticism was aimed at the club last week when a rumoured image of the design of next year's second strip from kit manufacturers Castore was leaked.
The design appeared to replicate that of a Saudi Arabia national team kit, in reference to the club's new Saudi-backed owners from the far east.
The takeover itself had attracted much criticism upon its completion last year, with numerous references to the country's rumoured poor human rights record.
Despite the country's Public Investment Fund taking an 80% controlling stake in the Magpies, it has always been reiterated that the PIF were separate from the Saudi state, but the rumoured new kit design has seen these concerns resurface.
When asked about the leak in his press conference on Friday, Howe said: "I'm aware of the criticisms. I think from my perspective it's not something I've had any control over.
"We were very aware when we went to Saudi Arabia that the interest in Newcastle is huge. I know I'm making an assumption here but our kit manufacturers have probably acknowledged that and hence why we've ended up where we are."
Neither club officials or Castore have responded publicly on the matter, leaving Howe to answer the questions directly ahead of the club's final game of the season at Burnley on Sunday.