How would Arsenal fans feel if Saudi Arabia bought us instead of Newcastle?

If We Were Newcastle? By Dan Smith

The Premiership’s decision on whether Saudis Arabia’s Public Investment Fund can buy Newcastle affects every club in England, and not just because it would mean the Toon could outbid everyone in terms of transfer fees and wages.

You see some things are bigger than football.

If the League gives the green light or doesn’t, it affects the image of one of the UK’s biggest brands, as well as sending a potential message to any billionaires out there who want to purchase a club.

In this case we are talking about a country, as the 300 million bid is financed by Saudis Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Mohamed bin Salman, in 2016, ordered the kingdom Sports Authority to develop sport in the nation.

By 2030 he wants football to grow, new sports to be discovered and add 40,000 jobs. That’s publicly. Privately, the belief is the Crown Prince is simply trying to distract the world from ongoing human rights abuses and to rebrand itself diplomatically by advertising ongoing reforms.

Motor Sport, Wrestling, Golf and Boxing all had fans unhappy that events were being hosted based on what they saw as propaganda, but blank cheques meant it was financially irresponsible to say no. Propaganda in terms of its a country historically who reject Western Entertainment and Sport (they only opened their first cinema after a 35 year ban two years ago).

Owning an English Football Club would tick so many boxes. If he brought trophies to one of the game’s most passionate cities does he become celebrated, while the Magpies fan base grows in his homeland?

Would that allow him to advertise his policy changes such as allowing women to open their own businesses, to drive, to be allowed to travel abroad (for decades they required a man’s permission) when in reality treatment of women remains horrific.

So, where an Abramovich purchased Chelsea as a plaything, The Kroenkes bought Arsenal to grow a portfolio, there are now Princes trying to buy teams just to highlight transformations they are making in another part of the world.

Geordies might say sport has nothing to do with politics, yet when it suited their agenda, they were always pointing out how Mike Ashley was treating his Sport Directs employees. I guess it’s different when one man wants to spend money and the other doesn’t?

Yet can you criticise? Would a lot of fans turn the other cheek if it meant they had a chance of seeing their team be champions?

I believe the Gunners will never be champions under Stan Kroenke, but I understand being an owner with zero ambition is not as bad as what I know goes on in one of the few nations to have refused to have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Maybe if it wasn’t so obvious what the motivation of him buying the club was?

Should sport and politics be kept apart?

Sometimes it’s impossible. WWE for example are being paid a fortune over 10 years to twice fly wrestlers over, selling their own morals by not allowing women to wrestle and allowing talent from Syria to be banned.

The assumption has to be that pre-season tours will suddenly be arranged in the likes of Jeddah. How do fans from a working-class city feel about travelling to a place where you can get arrested for being drunk or flogged for adultery.

After three years they finally convinced those in charge to allow a women’s match, on condition they cover their entire bodies up with baggy clothes. They were forced to advertise the moment as hope for young females in the region. In reality, some men in the crowd booed and threw drinks over the sight of women having that kind of freedom.

The US media condemned WWE for continuing their working arrangement when America intelligence said they believed journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed when entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (Turkish officials claims to have evidence of his torture and murder). This obviously was world-wide news with the CIA informing Donald Trump they were convinced by their intel that the Saudi Prince was behind the murder.

WWE were therefore pressured and condemned for still working with the Prince. Now change WWE names to Newcastle United, or even worse the Premiership.

Yet the Premier League are in an awkward situation. You see me and you can say we are comfortable or not. I can say I don’t want the game I love used as a prop for a government to tap themselves on the shoulder for giving women rights, they always should have had.

I can tell you stories about torture and public executions, women not allowed to report sexual assault, women in jail with no charge simply for protesting, etc, and clearly when you hear that of course that’s bigger than football. Yet did it stop people from ordering the last Antony Joshua fight? That’s what Newcastle fans might point out if any takeover is blocked.

In many ways the Premier League can’t win. They are getting pressure from parliament to take an ‘active lead against sportswashing’ by undertaking a ‘fit and proper persons test’ you are meant to consider whether a person is qualified to fulfil all obligations, in this case are the funds being quoted legitimate (which of course they are).

Richard Masters has said he is considering a letter written by the fiancée of Mr Khashoggi, who is pleading for Newcastle fans to ‘unite to protect the club’. If WWE made the news for running an event against the wishes of the US, imagine the coverage if English football goes against the pleas of Hatice Cengiz?

Yet how do you say ‘no you can’t buy a club’ because the United States thinks your prince has broken international laws, when he denies knowing anything about the disappearance of Khashoggi? That equally would make headlines.

How can you as a football governing body be biased and decide which country you politically agree with? How can you tell Saudi Arabia you can’t buy an English club, but Abu Dhabi can buy Man City?

How can you take the moral high ground over your beliefs here, then in two years send England to the World Cup in Qatar, also a nation whose human rights contradict Europe’s, in stadiums where builders have been underpaid and died, all because the oil shiekhs are super-rich.

A loophole could be that Saudi Arabia are currently broadcasting football from an illegal service. Yet as a compromise, reports are saying they might now bid for TV rights as a sweetener to the League to not stand in their way of getting what they want. That would be the ultimate sportswashing.

Is sportswashing a concern of the modern fan? There are many examples of how a man or woman gets wrapped up in their footballing bubble, saying and acting on a matchday like they wouldn’t dare elsewhere.

There will be some Newcastle fans who will be only thinking about how this takeover could lead to money, marquee signings and trophies. I just think they should hold up their hands and admit that. This idea that they can separate their club from what the owner does is a lie, when you consider how much they spoke about Mike Ashley.

I have been so vocal about our American owners that I would then feel dirty celebrating a takeover from an owner who treats people the way he does.

Simply because he’s going to spend lots of money, I couldn’t ignore that.

It would be like dating a women who’s broken the law, but accepting it because she buys me an expensive house. The rest? Out of sight out of mind, some will say that. If it doesn’t affect them who cares if your owner is responsible for the suffering of many on the other side of the globe?

If this sportswashing becomes successful will others see this as an opportunity? In 10 years will all 20 clubs be owned by Kings and Queens who don’t love football but are trying to sell whatever standards and legislation they are forcing upon a country.

This decision is imminent and affects the future of the game more than you might think. It’s hard to see how a takeover will be blocked when every other sport seems to put money over morals.

I’m really interested in what gooners think.

What if we were in Newcastle’s position right now? Would you care about the owners background? What he does and doesn’t do in his homeland?

Is there a line where you wouldn’t feel comfortable?

No right or wrong.

I’m really interested in your thoughts though…

Be Kind in The Comments.

Dan Smith


  1. That will be great but fans are loyal to Stan Kroenke. If not, why have we still tolerated his disrespect and lies for so long? Remember, Luis Suarez’s bid, RVP departure, Higuain saga, Ramsey contract and now Aubameyang. Are you happy? Others next door have Ziyech and incoming Werner, that’s ambition. I believe this is the time the Americans need to go. Stop buying tickets and merchandise and demand they leave or watch the games themselves. We’ve had money for years. It’s just used to build another franchise. Imagine the Arabs noticing Arsenal is for sale. I see a bidding war, and imagine the possible signings if we had an Arab owner. Sadly fans love and believe in Kroenke. So let’s ” get excited”

  2. Newcastle supporter here, sorry to butt in.

    If worried about women’s rights, or even the Yemen, then to deny the Saudi sovereign wealth fund the opportunity to invest in the Premier League, presumably, the same should apply to all muslim countries?

    In that case, you will also be pleased to campaign for Manchester united to pay back sponsorship they have had from the Saudis.

    Does the same apply to the bunch that sponsor Ashgrove Stadium and the same club’s shirts?

    Presumably, we should go for the huge blow to the economy that would result from consistency and not allow any investment in the UK from these countries.

    Just for the hell of it, why not throw in China, also considered by western standards to indulge in human rights abuses?

    For me, if they respect our culture in this country, there is no reason not to be internationalist.

    If they start throwing homosexuals off the Leazes End roof, flog those who have missed an own goal in the centre circle at half time or dismember sports journalists, I might change my mind.

    1. Hey mate I agree
      Please don’t see my article as me campaigning as I agree
      How can the Leauge be seen to be judging politics in Saudia Arabia but not elsewhere ?
      Just wanted to seek out opinions

  3. Can’t mix politics & sports. We have a US cowboy who supports his billionaire friend Trump, some won’t like it but not really concerned by that, as long as he bring top players and club win titles, everyone’s happy. Look at City and PSG!

    Our stadium name is Emirates, it is full; these human rights you reffer to, do not even come to mind.

    Unfortunately, almost anything we are consuming costs many lives and nature,; we do not even look at it, just as everything we dump after consuming.

    I think this is a very important topic in world we live in, the choices we make.

    I personally like system with socios owning club because it is no club without fans.

    They vote a president who presents a project with a list of players and goals they approve to make him president!

    What can we do if Kroenke sell to another billionaire?
    Hope he is doing for the club to win titles, everyone happy, no matter who owns club.

    We a consuming society, making abstraction of everything else as long as we get pleasure, high!

  4. It feels like a punch to the stomach to see the players Chelsea have signed. Already they have a young squad which has brought them to 4th place. Now with Ziyech, Werner and possibly Havertz they would be Title contenders.

    Top 3 would be City Liverpool and Chelsea. 4th spot is a battle between Arsenal , United , Spurs, Leicester, Everton, Newcastle and possibly Sheffield. And we look the most fragile

  5. Newcastle fan.. Good well thought out article, but written from the London perspective. Many fans in Newcastle feel that not only will PIF bring success to NUFC , but also will develop the area around the ground, bring funds and jobs into the city, which is more than we can seemingly expect from the Govt, does the Northern Powerhouse extend beyond Leeds? Ashley didn’t care about the City he bought a community resource without entering into the duties this entails. I’ll leave it there. Thanks for an entertaining read. HTL

  6. I’m a newcastle fan and if this take over goes through I hope it will make people more aware of what is going on in saudi and things will change. I think I speak for a lot of Newcastle fans when I say as a newcastle supporter winning things would be nice but we just want a team that tries, at the moment under ashley we are just a yo yo club and hes no interest in the club just his free advertising so bring on the prince but ultimately Newcastle fans have no say on who the next owner is

  7. As a Gunner of over 70 years, I deplore the way that history has been destroyed by rich berks buying Trophies. Chelski and Man City have always been (for 100 years) journey clubs with no home grown history. They are now both breaking records that top clubs made from talent and hard work. As a true Gunner I want Kronke out as fast as possible and replaced by a true couple of Gunner fans. I have always loved NUFC mainly because of the people, proper fans ! I remember Jackie Milburns goal in the cup final for ever and if any club deserves to be top of the league through money it is them.

  8. Sometimes splashing cash on big talents comes with noticable successes to a club. Previously, we been riding on City interms of silverware and entertaining football till recently when the filthy rich owners decided to break the bank and invest in purchasing and scouting of out of this world talents that has racked back to back titles.
    My point is, if the Arabian tycoons are ready to purchase the club and have a total overhaul of it to bring success then be it.
    As fans we love seeing our boys winning and clinching titles and this is only probable if we beef up our squad to title challengers than mere participants in this sport.
    We need the glory we had time back and for it to happen, let Stan and crew surrender the club to the Arabs. We are about sports, not politics

  9. Another(!) Newcastle fan here.

    One thing your brilliant article did not touch upon, is what would happen to the future trading relationship between the UK and Saudi Arabia if the FA rejected the takeover. The govt can simply say that they have no control over FA decision. But don’t expect non-Western governments to understand this. So the FA should think about the greater impact of its small sporting decision on the UK economy too.

    1. Blues all the way, i sure aint no hypocrite but i do have morals. I dont like foreign owners coming in and taking over, ruining our companies, and a murdering unscrupulous family from the middle east is the last owner i would want for my football team. If i have to lower myself to accept that type of owner, i would pack in supporting that team. I have better scrupples than wanting a murdering, suppressing owner of my football team for the sake of a few trophies, that isn’t sport. If this is where football is going then it is welcome to it and so are the fans that crave dirty stained trophies.

  10. No thank you we have to be a better club and people than wanting an owner like that. Our morals have to be better than wishing for an owner of disrepute in the place of our present one. They can stick their money where the sun dont shine, if it means we have to lower ourselves that much.

    1. Spot on, Reggie! We have history, class and standards. I don’t want to support a club owned as a trophy.
      Victoria Concordia Crescit couldn’t apply with them.
      I’ll happily settle for standards, home grown talent and a team that play for the name – and be mid-table!

    2. No thank you, LOL, this is something that I simply finds amazing, with regards to comments about this takeover bid – so many sheer hypocrites, and they haven’t the intelligence to work out our why!

      Firecuda example – you only have to at certain of your sponsors, that many of would state are just as bad – one since 2006, is it?

      How many hundreds of millions has that entailed I wonder, and they say Toon fans are blinkered.

      I saying let them take it’s over, at least it’ll stop the usual clubs winning, so their prawn sandwiche cry baby fans can crying some more 🙂

      As one comment says – yes, our new players will sure help us win something, bring it on!

      1. So Newcastle Fans never brought up how Mike Ashley treats his Sports Direct employees?
        But now that it benefits you it’s wrong to critique an owner ?

      2. Oh my!!!

        I do wonder why my post has been hacked to bits: censorship at its worst, why? It’s certainly weakened much post, it has has made me come across as an illiterate docile!! I used zero profanities, I just told the truth, all hard facts!

        Dan below, yes, agree, I actually touched upon this also, yet removed!

        As a Chelsea fan, we can’t comment, Russian owned, how they got the WC, blatantly shows all corruption and worse where’s its to be held next, simply unbelievable!

        So, in all honestly, you cannot criticise this takeover – simply because all their 60/70 billions in other recent investment – that’s ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE, now very ingrained and part of our daily lifes, from driving, eating to several other forms entertainment, it’s everywhere – let alone our governments own deals.

        So many other clubs with similar abhorrent sponsorship deals, these hardly ever mentioned, similar with certain Gunners sponsors, but this was welcomed, wasn’t it not!

        So, to criticises this takeover, one really has to take stock to prevent oneself from being such a total hypocrite!

        & as I (tried to) said in my original post: at least it’s mud in the eyes to the usual clubs that expect to be handed trophies.

  11. If I am being honest I think that I would hold my nose in exchange for the money coming into Arsenal. That kind of cash makes a team a winner.

    I have no illusions about Saudi Arabia but I don’t think a “principled” stand by the EPL will make any difference to the Kingdom. The US is their friend, they have super cheap oil and international governments seem to be very reluctant to challenge Saudi despite their obvious violations.

    A good example happened last year when Canada got into a kurfuffle with the Kingdom. This is Canada, the polite G7 country that supports NATO and the UN (not pretending that we don’t have our own really serious issues with inequality by any stretch). When we were looking for some support from all of our allies? Crickets. I don’t think that even the Scandinavians piped in, none of the G7 did that is for sure.

    To me that showed just how much clout the Kingdom actually has.

    Throwing Newcastle under the bus will not mean much except it will be one less team in the secondary pack trying to get the last champions league spot.

    I will be jealous of them…

  12. I say no.
    People are so into winning at all costs now matter what.

    I say we don’t want these dictatorship and oppressors / pure murderers owning my club. What have we got left if we just turn a blind eye only because it benefits us?

    I would rather stay a yoyo club than accept these Saudi oppressors to be part of my club.

    We have given away our morals enough. This would be taking it too far.

    Fake trophies bought by oppressive governments feel hollow to me. I have lost enough touch with Arsenal in the last decade or so due to mercenary players forcing moves away from Arsenal.

    I don’t feel that genuine attachement to our current players and owners. It is already bad as it it right now.

    Add these blood hungry oppressive dictators as our owners and that might be it for me as a passionate fan.

    1. Divint mind accepting Emirates money though. A company owned by Dubai who has a very questionable human rights record.

      1. Die hard arsenal fan from Nigeria. I really can’t see how politics and sports can be truly separated,especially with the influence sports has in the world we live in. Yes,there are moral/ethical issues but let’s be honest,there are always going to be issues. I have a suggestion. Aliko Dangote(richest black man in the world,may be you’ve heard of him) and an avid arsenal fan has said on several occasions that he intends to buy arsenal when he’s done with the current refinery project he’s working on(pls try google it). Probably by 2022. Why don’t we let some of these young talents in the academy grow,add the occasional player or 2 and wait for Dangote. You can check his story,he’s a doer.That might be a solution to the moral/ethical issues. Just musing. What do u think?

    2. 👍, yet, the inward investment to the surround area, and in a deprived part of our country, will be profound, and no doubt have a dramatic effect and be of such a positive change, this goes above just football matters!

      As think of all the newly created jobs, similar to say all work in weapons, oil and broadcasting – well paid employment that’s welcomed, Newcastle/North East sure can do with some of what we’re used to down South.

  13. Out of the Saudis or Kroenke I would choose the Saudis everyday. Like the Kuwaitis, Qataris and the UAE their hearts are in football. Whether it’s the Middle East or Kroenke…the money is dirty. I prefer the Saudi oil money to Kroenke’s dirty money. He has stolen, miss-invested, starved all of his clubs. He is selfish in a way few others are. He will be the finish of our club as a great club. He’s been doing it for years and it won’t change. We need change.

    1. Mate as bad as Koronke is
      Can we compare being a bad owner to illegal torture and murder ?

  14. Hi from another Newcastle supporter. I’ve had a monthly direct debit to Amnesty International for around 30 years, so I do care about human rights issues.

    Thank you for a well written article, and for the constructive and coherent comments on it. Some very good points have been made. I do not agree that sport and politics should be kept separate. The sporting ban against South Africa helped to bring attention to the vile apartheid regime, and to eventually end it. However, football supporters have no input into who buys our clubs, especially with an owner like Mike Ashley, who has repeatedly demonstrated his contempt for the opinions of anyone else. Whatever we as individuals think – and I’m torn between wanting my club to be competitive and wishing it was somebody else trying to buy us – won’t make the slightest difference to the outcome of the bid. I do find it interesting, though, that there have been many calls from various people for Newcastle supporters to protest against the Saudis, but remarkably few calling on Mike Ashley to sell to someone else. It’s worth pointing out that Amnesty International have stressed that they aren’t trying to say who should or shouldn’t be able to buy clubs, they’re just trying to make more people aware of the abuses perpetrated by the Saudi regime, and to raise the pressure on them to change their ways. If the deal goes through, I hope the extra publicity it would bring would help to bring about change. For example, I would love to see mass displays of rainbow flags inside St James’s Park for televised games, although I’ll be surprised if it happens.

    I would like to know what Arsenal supporters think of your club’s long association with Emirates Airlines, and the hundreds of millions you’ve received from them in sponsorship over the years. Dubai is hardly a progressive state, after all. This isn’t a dig at you – we had W*nga as sponsors, ffs – I’d just like to know what you think.

    1. Newcastle Dave
      None of the state owned clubs have much to recommend them in terms of human rights with the Saudis currently presiding over a war in Yemen, the state murder of a journalist in Turkey and that’s just for starters. They do though, but enormous amounts of arms from the west so have
      a lot of friends who look the other way.

      Being a woman, it appalls me that all of these countries treat their women folk as second class citizens.

      I’d rather that sport and States (politics) didn’t collide – as in purchasing clubs as a means to promote ‘their brand’. It is all so cleverly interwoven and, therefore, difficult to separate an airline (as in Emirates) and a State. What springs to mind though is The Emirates don’t own Arsenal – just sponsor it

      1. As you say SueP, Emirates sponsor Arsenal rather than owning them, but where would the club be without the enormous amount of money that sponsorship has brought in? Again, this isn’t a dig at you – the Premier League was created to make money, and to keep it in the hands of the already wealthy. Football sold it’s soul long ago.

        I completely agree with you about the treatment of women, especially in Saidi Arabia. My only faint hope, if the deal goes through, is that the increased exposure will influence the behaviour of the regime, although I won’t hold my breath. One thing we have in common is that the owners of our clubs couldn’t care less about our opinions. I’m not optimistic about that changing, whoever owns us.

        1. Yes
          You are so right
          I was so excited by a rich American owner and future success with him at the helm. How bloody disappointing and how awful the PL has become at the hands of squillionaires who have no affiliation to the clubs they own. My family is Arsenal through and through – going back to the 30’s. I could go through the turnstiles with my parents rather than have to ‘join’ the club for a fee in the hope of getting a ticket

          1. Very well said and constrictive posts and replies.

            Yet, what I find particularly unprecedented about the outpouring of criticism, is also with regards to American owner(s), as if this Saudi takeover is blocked, an American will then try to buy, or so it is claimed: yet Newcastle fans have already had a little criticism over this also.

            Simply because of the USA, they’re easily up with the worst, illegal wars over the oil etc. for starters, decades of abuse, yet Gunners owner, not one eyebrow raised!

            Enough said!

  15. Dan

    Newcastle United fan here…

    Brilliant article – very balanced in terms of your views and your questions.

    I guess, like most football fans (and perhaps especially) Geordies one of the key influences here is that we have had such a bad owner for such a long time. If we’d had solid owners who cared about the fans and the club then maybe more would be willing to at least stop and think about some of the political issues intrinsically linked to this deal??

    There is also the argument that actually this is another step on the road to moving the Saudi kingdom forward with regard to general reform by allowing more western influence into their culture but the “distraction argument” holds water as well.

    Do I believe that Saudi Arabia is a society and culture that desperately needs reform with a terrible human rights record – absolute yes, but do I agree that Newcastle United (or any other football club for that matter) should be the line in the sand to make a political statement through sport when you consider that F1, boxing and numerous other large sporting brands ply their trade either in Saudi Arabia in through their investment – no I don’t.

    The one thing I do think is that if the deal goes through the opposition fans will certainly make a noise about this issue and give our fans some stick, and perhaps in a strange way that may help the political situation in Saudi Arabia to improve because it will certainly get air time on Sky Sports which in turn will raise the profile of the human rights abuses.

  16. If we had the Saudis as owners outspending Mansour City, PSG and everyone else I would be cured of ED!………………………bring it on!

    I`d sell my soul to the Devil to be as succesfull as the now big clubs, Yes we already have a Devil in Satan Kroenke, so it is not a case of better the Devil you know!……………………………….and to tell the truth as an extremely experienced driver………………….I think the Saudis made a big mistake letting women drive on their roads!
    Peeps may be shocked, but I am shallow, I`m so shallow that not even the lowest depth charges would reach me!……………………and just to keep up my reputation I only bathe in the shallow end of swimming pools, Inalso dont like to get my Parrott Smugglers too wet!

    1. I very much hope you are having a tin bath!
      I’m a perfectly brilliant woman driver …. unless my hormones are playing up!! 👿

      1. 99% of my comments are tin baths ,SueP………………….SouP!…………………ask Sue below!

    2. 😄 not ‘coqatoo’ smugglers, Le Coq 😝 one thing I’m intrigued by… you’d sell your soul, but would you sell your beaver?! Decisions, decisions………

      1. Sue, I put this reply on HH, but Rico keeps me in moderation nowadays so I dont know whether she will let it out, you would be surprised how many of times she bins or edits my comments, but shes adamant in emails that she has a sense of humour! hahaha
        Sue, since the wife has been in a seperate isolation unit some 70 odd feet away from me I have purchased some life size cardboard cut outs of her!……………………one in the kitchen at the sink holding the kitchen roll, one in the bathroom holding the toilet roll, one in the lounge as a remote controll holder and one in the bedroom!……………………the only one that does nothing is the bedroom one, but that`s nothing new!……………………I`m sure she invented the mannequin challenge! hahaha

        I think the whole league may go with the cardboard cut out apart from West Ham………………….as you probably know their ownres are wealthy because of the adult entertainment business, so i`m sure they will fill The London Stadium with Claret and Blue Blow Up Dolls…………gives a whole new image to……………. ” I`m forever blowing Bubbles!”!

        1. 😂 maybe because you’re too hardcore?! 😜 Cicero mentioned another site you used to frequent, that I’d not heard of.. well a quick butchers on there and I thought I was on a porn site 😅 one picture you’d put on cracked me up – of zippy and george!!
          Haha gives a new meaning to come on you Irons 😂

          1. That site was the true meaning of freedom of speech where nothing was binned or banned, some of the stuff I put on there would have made Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle blush! hahaha

  17. Plenty of people roll out the argument that sports and politics should be kept seperate. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more.
    The below story of Hakeem Al Arabia is an example of the football community using it’s power to hold governments to account for human rights violations.

    The sports ban on South Africa during apartheid. The black power salute at the 1968 Olympics. These are moments which we look back on as important political statements made through the medium of sport. Where the line is drawn for morality is difficult to navigate however we should be more inclined for sport to hold others and itself to account for breeches on human rights. If we don’t we lose the very essence of what makes it special – the ability to unite.

    1. I agree with you that sport and politics definitely do mix. You should read More Than Just a Game: Football vs Apartheid by Chuck Korr and Marvin Close. It tells the story of how the political prisoners on Robben Island used football to fight back against the apartheid regime. I thought of it when you mentioned the anti-racism protest at the 1968 Olympics. This is mentioned in the book. The prisoners saw a photo of it in a newspaper they’d got hold of. They found the fact that white athlete Peter Norman was wearing a badge supporting the cause behind the protest inspiring.

  18. I would rather see Arsenal building a young side with mainly own academy players, and maybe only coming close, than having the worlds richest man buy us trophies.

    The political, or rather criminal aspect is another thing.

  19. I will take the money in a heartbeat. It’s not the worst thing happening in the world. And please, separate politics from business and football.

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