The Middle East takeover of football
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It looks like Newcastle approves of the slow – slow – slowslow – slow way in which the Premier League are handling the Manchester City contract, as they are apparently “closing in on £25 million Saudi shirt-sponsorship deal.”
Now there are particular rules in place which restrict “owner-related commercial agreements” but it seems that Newcastle United, encouraged by the success Manchester City are having in kicking the enquiry into their financial affairs not into the long grass, not into the reservoir beyond the long grass, but down the 500 feet deep well that lies beyond the reservoir that lies beyond the long grass, think that all rules are there to be ignored.
And that really does highlight the problem the League now faces. Manchester City have shown that it is possible to postpone any punishment of any possible misdemeanours for at least four years, after which of course there will be the appeal procedure which could well take just as long again.
But let’s say the appeal only takes half as long. That would mean there will have been six years of Manchester City hegemony without interference or obedience to the rules. And that’s really is all they want, because after six years of Manchester City winning the league through spending as much as they wish, no other club is going to be anywhere near them.
Indeed it is quite possible that the sponsorship deal at Newcastle will be waved through simply because the Premier League don’t have enough resources to take on two Arabic states at the same time. Fit and proper person test? That seems to have been forgotten.
At the same time the Telegraph is reporting this week that Newcastle United is plotting its biggest spend yet in the summer transfer window, so there will be a lot of manipulation of commercial deals to enable the argument to be put forward that the books balance.
And of course, there is a chance that maybe they will and with all their economists on board they can show just how it can be done. If so, it will make fascinating reading and certainly something that other clubs will be looking at with enthusiasm. For if Newcastle can accept sport-swashing money and get away with the spending of it, then so can other clubs.
It is true of course that they have a dedicated support base, and a big stadium, but if the Newcastle project is successful, then other pariah states with negative human rights records will be working their way up and down the Premier League club list looking to find other clubs to buy. Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Everton are the most obvious clubs to purchase – and I am sure someone somewhere will pick up on the irony of West Ham’s so-called “London” stadium, paid for by the English tax-payer on the say-so of Boris Johnson, being given to a middle eastern country anxious to clean up its image.
There were of course efforts to stop all this after it was suggested that Roberto Mancini of Manchester City was also “a consultant with Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club, which is controlled by City’s Abu Dhabi owners,” as the Telegraph puts it. But now, few people seem to mind.
So what next?
The biggest problem that we have at present is that Manchester City have pulled in the heaviest-hitting legal team working in English law to defend themselves, and they are simultaneously taking the 110 accusations apart line by line (which of course is their right) while also demanding a quick decision (which is a case of having a laugh).
But nevertheless, this will undoubtedly result in some media outlets blaming the league for taking too long to deal with the matter when in fact it is Manchester City who are prolonging the whole affair. And it will encourage Newcastle to follow the same path, and other undemocratic and anti-human-rights states to follow the same route as a way of cleaning up their image.
Sky Sports has said that “If the talks are successfully concluded, a deal could be announced as soon as next month, in time for replica kits to be manufactured ahead of the new season kicking off in August,” and of course that would leave Newcastle time to hijack a number of deals for players that other clubs thought they had tied up.
And therein lies the problem. Every time another club appears able to drive a coach, horses, and a few tanks straight through the current regulations, secure in the knowledge that nothing will happen in terms of legal action for at least four years, then the take over of the League by the middle east takes a step further forward. Of course many won’t mind that; it is very much down to one’s view on human rights and democracy.
14 Replies to “Newcastle make the next move in the process of middle eastern take over of the league”
Dear me. Newcastle haven’t yet done any deal and here you are slagging it off. What Man City have or haven’t done is neither here nor there, so give it a rest.
Pot and kettle https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/middle-east-and-north-africa/united-arab-emirates/report-united-arab-emirates/ how much money have you taken from the middle east over the last 20 years? A lot more than Newcastle United. If Spuds can claim in excess of £25m per year shirt deals and they’re not in europe then I’m damn sure Newcastle United can do the same.
You already take Middle East money, Wmirates sponsors you. Your complete lack of awareness or understanding of the Related Sponsorship rules is staggering. It is allowed and will be assessed under FMV. Get used to it the established PL order is changing.
Not in the least bit, bitter. The more success Newcastle have, the more annoyed onlookers become.
Sounds like jealousy and massive hypocrisy. Any one of the so called ”big 6” would have snapped the Saudis’ hands off. It’s just that little old Newcastle who were never a previous threat have now come to the party. Nobody will say anything about Manu’s Qatar takeover. A country with a worse human rights record than Saudi Arabia. If Arsenal got taken over by a rich Arab state we wouldn’t hear a word out of you either. There is overriding and obvious bitterness and resentment towards NUFC but hey we’re here and we’re not going anywhere. Every time you fill up your car or sign into facebook etc look at their origins.
Unfortunately the average Geordie fan really doesn’t care how many people the Saudis murder or lock up without trial as long as the money keeps coming. The World Cup showed the media don’t care either. Lots of jobs in Sports for women ? very important. Dead men in the desert building football stadiums ? who cares, the show must go on. The difference between political correctness and a genuine concern for human rights. The battle for the soul of English football has already been lost, the totalitarian regimes are pushing at an open door.
One question is whether the world will still pay the big TV money for the premier league once only oil states can compete.
Nick Dryden, whatever else you do, I would suggest you avoid taking up a career as a fortune teller. Your comment, ” If Arsenal got taken over by a rich Arab state we wouldn’t hear a word out of you either,” is so far off the mark, that it has not only missed the bullseye but also the whole target and quite likely ended up on a different planet.
Sick and tired: it is something I have noticed is increasing of late: this desire to say, that one should not talk about a certain subject. The fact is that this is a blog, written by a small number of Arsenal fans, and you feel it is right for you to tell us what to write about and what not to write about. And that view, I think, is growing – a desire to cut down debate on certain subjects. In a country that survives by being a democracy that is a worrying trend.
And indeed David McAllister if you had looked through the history of this site you would notice the criticism of Arsenal’s funding. Or you might just care to look and see that we don’t use the commercial name of the stadium ever. A tiny point but one which you might have noticed had you done any research rather than just firing off an opinion.
Yes – Arsenal are happy take the same type of money for the last 15 odd years – if you like to use the term sportswashing which has come into fashion.
Newcastle’s sponsorship deal is the going rate for a club their size and current status. Onto fact number 1- that the previous regime, there was a no frills self serving regime where the only sponsors they would have would be in relation to sports direct -Which they paid fraction of the going rate into the teams coffers in commercial terms. In fact , the background infrastructure at the club in corporate/commercial terms were least utilised…which they are now looking to maximise at their current potential. Which will get larger if we become more successful.
fact 2. – one positive was Mike Ashley sold the club for what little more what he paid for it – as he was on record to say he will sell it for that amount to the right owners. Fact is clubs such as Crystal Palace are being valued at £500m circa. PIF picked up Newcastle for a bargain because Mike Ashley said he would sell the club to the right owners who would enable us to compete.
Fact 3 – Mike Ashley hardly spent any money – hence the club had been in profit for the last few years.
Newcastle also have to live in constraints of Financial Fair Play…which Man city and other clubs didn’t have to at the time of their takeovers in the previous decades. Man City charges ar efor certin period in their past up to 2021, I believe. So, Newcastle in fact, have actually have a blueprint of what not to do.
Awais, a very interesting commentary, particularly because as you get into facts and details of your point as you move forward one of the assertions you make that doesn’t carry any factual backup is that “Arsenal are happy take the same type of money for the last 15 odd years”. I would be really interested to see how that statement could be justified. The central point of the news coverage of the later Wenger years was that for much of the time there were no big money transfers inward and the profit made on players bought on the cheap and sold at top prices went into paying for the stadium. But these are of course details.
People complaining because they are tired of allegations being made and would rather they were ignored are like fans of Boris Johnson who argue that his breaches of the law and his lies are old stories and should no longer be mentioned
Tony, I am just alluding to the fact Emirates is a state owned UAE company – who have heavily sponsored the stadium and kit since 2006 ( close to £500m) – current kit sponsorship being £40m/year.
The fact you mentioned ‘sports washing’ – which has come into fashion since the Newcastle takeover – coming from yourself – sounds of hypocrisy.
Wenger imo, did wonders due his genius – saved you alot of money on player transfers – the arsenal board were happy as long as champions league qualification was achieved.
Emirates Stadium as well as the training ground redevelopment was built at the cost in the region of £400m not including selling off Highbury stadium. But,
As soon as he left, same with Ferguson at Manchester United after he retired….both Arsenal and Manchester have spent significantly due to the new managers with different ideas being brought in.
Newcastle are not in a position to award £200k a week, let alone 400k at certain clubs contracts to players yet (they of course could – since PIF is worth close to $1 trillion). If rumours are true that the £25m shirt deal is going to be with EMAAR, that is one way of addressing to increase players wages.
The castore kit deal will likely be resolved within the next 8-24 months as well with Adidas taking over. The stadium expansion plans are rumoured to be between 65k and 75k as well.
Kroenke Sports owns AFC, Emirates Airlines paid for naming rights and annually for the shirt sponsorship. That’s very different from being owned by an oil state or one of it’s state owned and sponsored entities. Ask the Kroenke’s how much they’ve spent on the team, not Emirates Airlines. This is fundamentally different than the the City or Newcastle models.