Barney Ronay is right that “English football has reached a particular kind of extreme” by accepting the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United (the Saudi takeover of Newcastle will bring down the false morality of football, 7 October). The Premier League, in its view of the Saudi purchase, has reportedly viewed basic human rights and television piracy with a bizarre equivalence. However, once the piracy problem was resolved, the deal was given the green light.
Most ordinary people have higher moral standards than the rich and powerful. Normally the rich are very good at extricating themselves from this dilemma and not putting the rest of us in the face too much with their immorality. But the Premier League was wrong. Amnesty has already condemned the takeover. By allowing Mohammed bin Salman to join football’s’ billionaire boys’ club ‘, football authorities have drawn a lot of attention to the amoral ownership model of some of England’s biggest clubs. They may soon regret it.
Newcastle United fans reacted in the same way that all other fans would react if there was a sudden injection of money into their club that would transform their fortunes. Fans oppose the moral failures of club owners only when things go wrong on the football field, as has been demonstrated in Manchester City, Chelsea and a number of other clubs. What happened at Newcastle United was also a celebration of the demise of Mike Ashley’s regime after 14 years of mediocrity and mismanagement, and what these 14 years have shown is how little power the fans have when it comes to management and management. owned by their clubs.
The sale of Newcastle United to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) marks a new low in football corruption for money. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Turkey in 2018 raises embarrassing questions for the Premier League. As David Conn notes (the Saudi takeover of Newcastle lets human rights tarnish on the Tyne, October 8): “The CIA concluded in November 2018, according to authoritative US reports, that [Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince] ordered the murder; denied it. The crown prince himself is president of the PIF ”.
Despite this, the Premier League has essentially judged Bin Salman to be a “fit and adequate person” to own Newcastle. Given Khashoggi’s murder, having religiously watched Match of the Day since I was 11, I believe now watching Match of the Day, Sky Sports, or Premier League’s BT coverage would amount to supporting snuff movies. I have nothing against Newcastle; I would feel the same way if my club, Celtic, were in the same position. Money has rotted the game I love to the core. That’s why I’m turning my back on football today.
A match in Saudi Arabia between the national team and Newcastle United should be organized shortly. The cartoon army will, of course, travel some supported by their favorite drink and wearing T-shirts with a gambling organization’s logo. This will do immediate wonders for cross-cultural appreciation, but it makes me wonder how much experience does the religious police have in assisting UK fans on tour? Hurray guys!
Dr. Chris Haughton
[ https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/oct/10/newcastle-united-sale-is-a-new-low-in-footballs-corruption-by-money https://d26toa8f6ahusa.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/30214746/a-quiet-place-part-2-bigs-16.pdf