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Opinion

‘Russia, Saudi Arabia, Whataboutery and Newcastle United fans the ones to blame…?’

4 months ago
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The crisis at Chelsea seems to have brought the ownership issue at Newcastle firmly back into the media spotlight.

I’ve seen a slew of tweets and editorials, many from prominent sports journalists, calling it out.

As Newcastle United fans, I am sure some of you don’t care a jot, some maybe do. What a pickle.

Oliver Holt has dubbed the Chelsea match ‘the Premier League’s game of shame’.

It has been reported that Saudi Arabia has executed 81 criminals.

Chelsea’s owner is sanctioned due to his links to the warmonger that is Vladimir Putin.

Fellow Newcastle United fans may not like it – but I agree with Oliver Holt.

Let’s face it, the Saudi state have seemingly done some abhorrent things.

However, it strikes me as odd that it has taken 19 years for media condemnation of Roman Abramovich.

Meanwhile, the purchase of NUFC was signed off by the Premier League who were satisfied the club wasn’t to be state owned. Many are, of course, sceptical, but facts are facts – the deal got the green light.

Newcastle United fans wanted rid of Mike Ashley after 14 very unhappy years. That came to pass last October, when the Saudi PIF, Staveley and the Reubens got their deal done.

So here we are. It may not be the case, but, to me, it feels like Newcastle United fans are being almost attacked for something we didn’t control. We’re blameless!

I challenge fans of other clubs not to have celebrated if their team had been taken over by people of such vast wealth. One word – jealousy.

Newcastle supporters have had no say in this deal. Many support it, some like me are a bit torn. Delighted the club has a fresh start but concerned about the Saudi government, not least because of human rights abuses and the war in Yemen.

There we have it. This is where we are. There seems to be a push to add NUFC to the list of the sanctioned, although I don’t see that actually happening.

The outrage over the Saudi death penalty seems to be getting hammered by media and on social media too.

I abhor the death penalty, personally.

And while I am loathe to indulge in whataboutery – let’s just take a look for a moment at the wider Premier League landscape.

Manchester City: Owned by the UAE. In the UAE capital punishment is a legal penalty under Emirati law. Remind me – has much ever been made of this since the takeover at City? I mean really, has it?

Liverpool, Arsenal, Palace, Burnley: American owned. The USA carries out executions in 27 of its 50 states.

Wolves: Chinese owned. I am willing to wager some of them are pretty close to the ruling Communist Party. Capital punishment is legal in China. China’s human rights record is abysmal. I never see Wolves ever getting a mention.

Leicester: Thai owned. Thailand retains the death penalty.

Villa: Part owned by an Egyptian. Capital punishment is legal in Egypt.

In conclusion:

The thrum of the media machine won’t ever stop where NUFC’s new owners are concerned.

We are stuck with it but we seem to be the first to have questions asked in such abundance.

That will never go away, no matter what happens.

Oh, and to the whole footballing fraternity – fans and media – enjoy the World Cup over in Qatar this Xmas.

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