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Opinion

Newcastle United Takeover – J’accuse

5 months ago
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This Newcastle United takeover.

Plenty of people with plenty to say about it.

This is an open letter to journalists and commentators who are demanding the Saudi PIF Newcastle United takeover be blocked due to human rights concerns.

1. If you were at the last World Cup in human rights abusing Russia, then you are guilty of sportswashing and are a hypocrite
(Particular mention goes to Stan Collymore who did a TV show during the tournament for the government-owned Russia TV and gets a Special Merit Badge for Hypocrisy)

2. If you will be at the next World Cup in human rights abusing Qatar, then you will be guilty of sportswashing and are a hypocrite

3. If you have not objected to Man City being owned by human rights abusing United Arab Emirates, then you are a hypocrite

4. If you have not complained in the 12 years that Saudi Telecom (owned by human rights abusing Saudi Arabia) has been a partner of Manchester United, then you are a hypocrite

5. If you didn’t object in 2017 when Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority (a ministry of human rights abusing Saudi Arabia) became another partner of Manchester United, then you are a hypocrite

6. If you didn’t object when the Premier League sold TV rights to beIN Sports (funded by human rights abusing Qatar), then you are a hypocrite

All of the above are instances of human rights abusing states’ involvement in football.

In a wider context, there has been billions upon billions of pounds of investment from the Middle East, Russia and China in real estate, businesses (and football clubs) in the UK.

If you have not previously objected to this, but choose now as the point to complain (when some of that money will be invested in the north-east), then it does look like your objection is not driven so much by a genuine concern for human rights, as by where that money is going, which makes you not just a hypocrite…but a prejudiced hypocrite.

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