Patrick Christys on Newcastle United deal: There is now massive amounts of blood money swilling around the Premier League
'The Saudi monarchy is using football to hide this horrifying record, and everyone should be utterly appalled'
There are scenes of unrelenting joy in Newcastle today after it emerged that Mike Ashley has sold Newcastle United Football club.
That’s right, the man who looks like to human embodiment of gout, the man who looks like he’s four fifths Newcy Brown, the wheeler dealer, the tubby tyrant…he’s gone.
Cue mad celebrations from the proud Toon Army. Some of whom donned kitchen towels on their heads and Saudi-style robed (which I do think looked a bit fruity to be fair) as they amassed outside St James Park, or the Sports Direct Arena, or whatever Ashley wanted to call it.
I am genuinely happy for Newcastle fans because I know how proud they are, how faithful they are and how much they love their club and their city and how, frankly, they’ve been treated appallingly by their club hierarchy for far too long.
But, look at the people who are now in charge. The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) now owns 80% of Newcastle, with the remaining 20% split between RB Sports & Media, part of the Reuben Brothers empire owned by property developers Simon and David Reuben, and PCP Capital Partners, led by the British financier Amanda Staveley and her husband, Mehrdad Ghodoussi.
David Reuben’s son, Jamie Reuben, and Staveley will sit on the Newcastle board. The nonexecutive chairman will be Yasir al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF. The Premier League said it had allowed the deal to go through after accepting assurances from the Saudi Public Investment Fund – the state’s sovereign wealth fund overseen by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Bin Salman – that the Saudi state would not be involved in the day-to-day running of Newcastle.
But this is nuts. This is mental. And it’s also not true is it? The Saudi public investment fund owned the planes used by the assassins of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was butchered to death using a bone saw in the Saudi embassy in Turkey.
The Saudi public investment fund is in charge of the destruction of tribal communities where Bin Salman wants to build his $500bn Neom city. According to Sunjeev Bery, the executive director of Freedom Forward, There is no division whatsoever between the PIF and the state.
The Saudi ruler is in charge of the PIF, sits at the top of the PIF and uses the PIF directly to maintain power. The Saudi monarchy is using football to hide this horrifying record, and everyone should be utterly appalled.
Saudi Arabia is a country where torture is used as punishments, executions are rife, women have no rights whatsoever, slave labour is endemic and much, much more. There is now massive amounts of blood money swilling around the Premier League.
Newcastle fans have a right to be happy at the departure of Mike Ashley, it’s not their fault who takes over their club, but we need to brace ourselves.
As the Saudi government pumps money into Newscastle United, how long is it before Virgil Van-Dyke wins the ball at the back, moves it forward to Kylian Mbappe who then passes the ball to Messi, who slips it in to Ronaldo, who beats one, beats two and scores in front of the newly named Sharia Stand at the Bin Salman Arena.