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Garth Crooks – Leaders and elected officials need to set ‘moral compass’, not Newcastle United

1 month ago
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Garth Crooks is the latest football pundit having a go at addressing the issues surrounding the Newcastle United takeover.

This follows an earlier attempt a week ago when he tried to deal with Steve Bruce’s position after Ashley’s departure.

Rather bizarrely, following the defeat to Spurs last Sunday, Garth Crooks stated about Steve Bruce: ‘…the moment he or his team falters, his doubters and knockers, and he has many, will want him gone – and no-one can survive long in those conditions.’

It was very bizarre because this idea that IF NOW Steve Bruce started to falter…Seen as it was now an 18% win ratio for Bruce over the last ten months, only seven wins in thirty eight matches, 65 goals conceded in the last 35 PL matches – more than any other PL club, less points accumulated the past ten months than any other PL club. And so on.

Anyway, now Garth Crooks has decided that it was the ‘right thing’ to sack Steve Bruce, rather than waiting for him and his team to ‘falter’…

So now Garth Crook switches his main attention though to the overall issues regarding the politics of the Newcastle United takeover.

Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport – 24 October 2021:

‘I said last week in this column that Steve Bruce was nothing more than a ‘caretaker’ manager and so it proved. In only a matter of days the manager of Newcastle United had become their former manager having just celebrated his 1,000th game in league management.

It would appear that the new owners from Saudi Arabia had done the right thing by sacking Bruce and not prolonged the inevitable.

I might have applauded their decision to relieve Bruce of his duties if the country from which the owners came actually had a human rights record or, at least, one they could be proud of – but they don’t – so I won’t.

Newcastle may have rid themselves of one problem by wrestling themselves free from Mike Ashley but they have now saddled themselves with a greater problem of being guilty by association.

Amnesty International’s insistence that the human rights campaign group meet with the Premier League, to have their concerns about Saudi Arabia’s involvement with the most prestigious league in the world satisfied, is about as concerning as it gets.

The question is however, should Newcastle United be held to a higher moral standard than others who do business with that part of the world?

I have always had a problem with people who, for some reason, expect footballers to behave better than ordinary members of the public for no other reason than they are professional footballers.

The game and its participants provide a level of entertainment that is unsurpassed and we should leave it like that. To expect anything else from the game is unrealistic, unfair and unreasonable.

Our leaders and elected officials are the ones charged with setting our moral compass not football.’

Well, he went around the houses but in the end, Garth Crooks did get there when declaring: ‘The game and its participants provide a level of entertainment that is unsurpassed and we should leave it like that.

To expect anything else from the game is unrealistic, unfair and unreasonable. Our leaders and elected officials are the ones charged with setting our moral compass not football.’

That DOES NOT mean that we (fans, managers, players) totally ignore human rights issues and the wider issues regarding the identity of who owns your football club BUT it is an acknowledgement that we (fans etc) are not the ones who set the rules.

We are not the ones who decide who is allowed to make investments in the UK, specifically (in this instance) who is allowed to buy a Premier League club. As Garth Crooks says, that is down to ‘our leaders’ (Premier League etc) and ‘elected officials’ (the Government).

All genuine football fans of whichever club, would then totally accept that this then puts Newcastle fans (overwhelming majority) who accept the serious human rights issues surrounding Saudi Arabia, between a rock and a hard place.

The only real vote that football fans have is with their feet (and wallets), whether or not to go and watch their football team. Newcastle fans don’t have an alternative, you either keep supporting your club / team or you don’t, you can’t switch to another Premier League club. Or at least no true football fan can.

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