Hypocrite journalist at it yet again as he attacks Newcastle United on Saudi Arabia issues
Newcastle United fans celebrating the progress made since the Saudi Arabia PIF led buyout exactly a year ago.
More than that though, the fact that 7 October 2021 marked the end of 14+ years of Mike Ashley, who had somehow managed to turn supporting our football club into something that felt a pointless waste of time.
Like many others, I had seen Newcastle United relegated in the 1970s and 1980s, both times this led to extended periods of time (six years and four years respectively) in the second tier.
This was nothing though compared to having a club owned by a multi-billionaire, whose only aim was for Newcastle United to try and exist in the Premier League via the lowest possible spend, so as to give free worldwide advertising / promotion to the rest of his business empire.
Anyway, today marks that first anniversary of the departure of Mike Ashley and the arrival of the Saudi Arabia PIF, the Reuben family and Amanda Staveley. Newcastle fans loving the fact that they once again have a club to support.
However…the dog whistle has sounded and the usual suspects have crawled out from under their stones, journalists competing with each other to be seen to be the very most outraged, exploding with moral indignation, demanding to know how Newcastle United fans can sleep at night.
Yes, Oliver Holt of The Mail, this is part of what he has had to say about Newcastle United fans and the situation at their club back on 14 May 2022:
‘Newcastle will play in Saudi colours next season, allying them even more closely with a despotic regime. So, beyond losing their identity, how much more r fans prepared to sacrifice? Green and white stripes for a home kit? MBS Park as a stadium name? Mail on Sunday column later.’
‘When will those who love the club object to how Newcastle are being used?’
‘Glorying in the riches now at their disposal, many Newcastle supporters have been fiercely loyal to the Saudis since they bought 80 per cent of the club last October and some have waved away their appalling human rights record, their repression of minorities, their penchant for mass executions, their treatment of women and their targeting of civilians in the war in Yemen.’
‘The idea they have got their club back after the Saudis bought it from the loathed Mike Ashley is also looking more and more delusional with every day. The truth is they are further and further away from getting their club back. Who knows what part of the club’s history and culture the owners will appropriate next? Newcastle as a vassal state is a sad sight to see.’
‘The prospect of Newcastle playing in what is tantamount to the kit of the Saudi national team does not do an awful lot for the credibility of the Premier League’s position.’
‘Eddie Howe is a fine manager who has done a first-class job since he arrived in the North-East but his attempts to dodge questions about the human rights record of the Saudis will become even more untenable when his team are running out at Old Trafford and Anfield looking like the Saudi national side. Is that really what a man like him and a club like Newcastle want to stand for?’
‘How can there be separation now? How can there be any pretence the Saudi state is not using Newcastle for its own ends, loading the club with its crimes, sucking it deep into its orbit?’
‘What is next, I wonder? At what point do people who love Newcastle object to the cynical way the club are being used? A rebrand of St James’ Park as MBS Park? Changing the home kit to green-and-white stripes? How far would the Saudis have to go before their money is no longer worth it?’
A lot of Newcastle United fans feel that many of these journalists taking the moral high ground, come from very dubious positions.
Whatever expression you want to use…Holier than thou, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and so on.
Bottom line is, if you are going to take such a Mount Everest level of condemnation of Newcastle United fans or whoever / whatever, then you do really have to be beyond reproach yourself, no skeletons in the cupboard, an absolute consistency of approach on these kind of issues previously, treat all the same, condemn all equally.
Now I have to admit, when it comes to Oliver Holt, for some reason I can’t find any trace of the countless articles he has surely written in the past, questioning how Manchester United fans can live when themselves, when their club has taken millions every year from Saudi Arabia regime owned companies via sponsorship for now 15 (FIFTEEN!) years. Saudi Arabia literally paying to use the good name of Manchester United and attach themselves to it. Saudi Arabia are Man Utd’s longest running sponsors and that relationship continues as we speak, with indeed a few years ago the Old Trafford club announcing a second stream of yearly revenue from the Saudi Arabia state.
The thing is though, when you look at Oliver Holt, you don’t even need to go that far, no need to look for the (for me anyway) impossible to find array of articles calling out Manchester United fans and their club.
Surely any such journalist would refuse to legitimise such a country / regime by travelling there and covering a sporting event? Yet Oliver Holt was there in 2019 ago covering the Anthony Joshua fight…whilst back in 2011 the man from The Mail didn’t have quite such the moral indignation about where the money came from to help fund Premier League clubs…
Oliver Holt – 7 December 2019 in The Mail:
‘When the UK government trades with the Saudis, it is hard to blame Hearn and Joshua for taking their money, too.’
Oliver Holt had this to say on likes of Chelsea and Man City back in 2011:
@danielvh88 Does it really matter whose money it is? Chelsea spend Russian money, City spend Arab money, West Ham spend English money.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) May 15, 2011
Oliver Holt pointing out in the past that things are a bit more complicated in this global economy, where nothing is simple, where there are layers within layers, where so much is interconnected these days. Not always so easy to identify an absolute right and wrong about who does business with whoever. I’m sure these days that Oliver Holt would never dream of getting an Uber (partly Saudi Arabia PIF owned) instead of a taxi, whilst if filling his car up, I’m convinced that he absolutely always first checks with the petrol station that not a single penny of his money is going to the Saudi Arabia regime.
Whilst the UK government and the Queen welcomed Saudi Arabia as friends and trading partners, according to Oliver Holt it was though apparently the duty of all Newcastle United fans to take to the streets and demand the green and white shirt didn’t see the light of day.
Newcastle United fans apparently should be ashamed if they don’t call out the Saudi PIF owners, as Oliver Holt declares ‘At what point do people who love Newcastle object to the cynical way the club are being used?’
Just hold that thought, those words, for a while.
‘Double standard; definition:
‘Rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.’
‘A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.’
‘A person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.’
If journalists are so disgusted with where money comes from when it comes to Premier League clubs, then surely they couldn’t work for any employer who does business with any such country / regime that they disapprove of…
Maybe somebody such as Oliver Holt?
Neil Farrington via Twitter – 15 May 2022:
“Wonder what Ollie Holt thinks of his employers (Daily Mail and General Trust – DMGT) putting on the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo – “the Kingdom’s first ever trade event dedicated to the entertainment and amusement industry” – this coming week.
“Or the Saudi Light & Sound Expo.
“Or the Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.
“Or the Saudi Infrastructure Expo.
“Or the Index Saudi interior design expo.”
Newcastle United fans don’t choose which football club they support, just like any other genuine football fans, their club chose them. It is a lifelong arrangement, not like changing your supermarket, or your job…
Oliver Holt works for an organisation where the money that goes into his bank account, is directly linked in part, to money that is generated by DMGT’s (Daily Mail and General Trust’s) relationship with the Saudi Arabia state.
Oliver Holt chooses who he works for, so if he has such Mount Everest level principles, how can he face working for an organisation that has such huge business interests involving Saudi Arabia?
As one of the Newcastle United fans in question, who Holt has regularly called upon to rebel against the Saudi ownership of NUFC, I will consider taking to the streets in protest against the club’s owners, only once I hear that hypocrite Oliver Holt refuses to continue taking money from his employers who generate so much cash from Saudi Arabia.
For starters though, surely if he has any integrity, then at the very least, every time Oliver Holt writes something about Newcastle United / NUFC fans and the Saudi Arabia PIF majority ownership, he is surely duty bound to at the same time admit that his wages are paid by an employer who makes millions due to numerous business relationships with the Saudi Arabia state….and stridently condemn them for doing so.
Put that in a Tweet Olly!
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