‘Saudi PIF takeover from Newcastle United can make the club a positive influencer’
I was inspired to write this post after reading another post on The Mag regarding the potential Saudi Newcastle United buyout and club ownership, should the PIF buyout go ahead in the future.
While agreeing with many of the author’s points regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, I have come to a different conclusion.
Rather than this is why Newcastle supporters should be against a Saudi PIF takeover at Newcastle United, I see it as one of the reasons we should always welcome a Saudi takeover.
Nobody likes what Russia has done with MH17, Litvinenko, the Skripals, the treatment of homosexuals in their own country, etc., but we still do business with them as a country and allow Russians to own houses , companies and football clubs here.
Nobody likes what China does to Uighar Muslims, Hong Kong people etc, but we still do business with them as a country, allow Chinese people to own property, businesses and clubs football here.
It has been less than 100 years since the start of World War II, when the Germans, Japanese (and many others) committed atrocities far more numerous than we are currently talking about, but the world has allowed these country to make amends. The world enabled these countries to move forward and did not freeze them forever in a time when their previous actions meant that they would never be allowed to recover as a nation.
German ownership of anything, be it a football club or an automobile manufacturer, is considered a climax today (the recent VW diesel scandal aside), but in terms of history it doesn It wasn’t that long ago that they were the worst of the worst in the way human beings were treated.
Does Saudi Arabia have a lot of catching up to do? Sure they do, but if we just focus on their past atrocities how are they ever going to get better, even if you feel like they can’t make amends surely they can get better? However, to really improve, you have to draw a line where the old and the new are clear.
While I believe that the PIF is separate from the Crown Prince and the State, I have no doubt that the PIF received its blessing in the quest to buy Newcastle United, despite the fact that the Crown Prince and the State would have knew that he would not only re-open criticism of Khashoggi’s murder, but also secure future scrutiny from the Western media. The Crown Prince would have known that ownership of an EPL club by PIF should mean more transparency on a range of topics for the media (around the world) and yet he is still in favor of the PIF deal.
I think Saudi Arabia is reaching a point in time where it wants to be more than someone who has to pay for any influence it acquires, it wants to be taken seriously politically on its own, and in order to do that, she knows she will get it. align their values more with more progressive countries.
So we come to the role of a Newcastle United takeover in all of this.
Well for me it can be as simple as club and region having a positive influence on women’s rights. Supporters, female stewards, female bar staff, police officers, Newcastle’s women’s football team, all of this will show people in Saudi Arabia that we value women’s equal rights and that someone’s gender is not. should exclude anyone from being anything. they want to achieve or inspire. Future women board members of NUFC and women members of NUST would also be of great help in this regard.
This is just a very small problem that the club and its supporters could have a positive influence on, there will be a lot more. So maybe it is time to give Saudi Arabia a chance to improve its record and move forward, rather than using its record as a reason to keep it deadlocked. The world has allowed other countries to come out of the worst.
A takeover of Saudi PIF at Newcastle United can make the club a positive influencer.