Mark Dolan: Trying to overturn investment in Newcastle United is deeply hypocritical
We do huge amounts of business already with Saudi Arabia and I guess in an ideal world we wouldn't, but we don’t live in an ideal world
Nineteen Premier League clubs are up in arms about the sale of Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United to Saudi investors. I wonder if some of these clubs complaining now are the ones who disgracefully tried to destroy the Premier League, with a breakaway super league. And I wonder whether these are the same multibillion pound organisations who themselves have attracted investment from sometimes less than conventional sources.
What about the takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family, who immediately loaded this club previously in the black, with hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt? What about Chelsea FC who's owner Roman Abramovich was unable to secure a British passport because the government sought assurances about how he made his money?
No business can turn its back on other countries for investment, and no country can, particularly post-Brexit Britain. We do huge amounts of business already with Saudi Arabia and I guess in an ideal world we wouldn't, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We do business with Russia and China too.
To seek to overturn this much-needed investment in a fabulous club and a fabulous city isn't just misguided unfair and wrong, it's deeply hypocritical too.
I wonder whether these self same chairmen of Premier League clubs will be boycotting the next World Cup in Qatar, where human rights abuses are legion and in where hundreds of immigrant workers fell to their deaths or died of dehydration building the stadia in which Premier league fat cats will be hoovering up prawn cocktail sandwiches. In the end this investment is a vote of confidence in the UK and in the most watched sporting league on the planet, the English Premier League.
The Premier League is a fabulous global product and everyone wants a piece of it. Back of the net. Arguably the success of the English Premier League, with its foreign investment and its remarkable diversity of talent on the pitch, should be a template for the global Britain project.
If you really have a problem with Saudi money, perhaps the board of Man City would like to return Sheikh Mansoor’s billions and go back to the bad old days of fighting relegation and living in the shadow of United. It ain't gonna happen.
This investment is brilliant news for Newcastle United football club, and I hope it brings the long-awaited footballing glory that that club and that city deserves. Bring on this investment, and haway the lads.