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Richard Masters challenged on vast sums of money Saudi Arabia pay to Manchester United

1 year ago

I have sent this below to Richard Masters regarding the vast sums of money Manchester United received from Saudi Arabia.

My initial thoughts to the totally inadequate response to Chi Onwurah’s questions from the Premier League CEO.

With particular focus on Richard Masters’ comments on Intellectual Property Rights.

Dear Mr Masters.

I have read with interest your response (see below) to the questions raised by Ms Chi Onwurah MP and in particular your comments regarding the above (Intellectual Property Rights).

You mention broadcasting rights being important, as it is the main income for all clubs in your premier league competition.

By inference, you have indicated it would have been an area you would have looked at in relation to the PIF consortium and to see if the Saudis were involved in alleged piracy and thus preventing legitimate income being distributed to the 20 clubs.

I have directed you previously to look at the potential infringement by one of the shareholders, namely Manchester United and their owners the Glazers.

To recap, they began receiving substantial sponsorship from the state controlled Saudi Telecom from 17 August 2008 and then entered into a direct partnership with the state controlled General Sports club on the 19 October 2017, which was announced proudly on Man U’s in-house TV station as being part of the Saudi’s 2030 vision (Remember, you considered the PIF to be Saudi state controlled and therefore “Saudi Arabia” should be designated the controlling director for your owners and directors test).

Anyway, going back to the state controlled General Sports link up, which involves Manchester United sending coaches to Saudi Arabia to assist the development of the game and promote the Man U brand; they receive tens of millions for this along with the sponsorship with Saudi telecom.

It follows therefore that if there is a suggestion of Saudi involvement in piracy which deprives clubs of this income, then the Glazers by accepting the Saudi money have in effect colluded in depriving the other 19 clubs of Saudi income.

Using this information I invite you to revisit the owners and directors test in respect of the Glazers at Manchester United on the basis that their financial dealings have potentially deprived income being received by the other 19 clubs for a number of years. It cannot be that the owners and directors test is a one-off when potential evidence of unfair financial dealings are disclosed.

I do expect a reply to the communication and as such have already copied in the IFO as they surely have to evaluate that you are correctly applying your own rules to all clubs.

Yours Faithfully

Michael Sursham

This is the letter from Premier League CEO, Richard Masters, that Chi Onwurah received and made public on Friday (14 August):


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