Would Arsenal fans really want an owner from Saudi Arabia?

I decided to add my thoughts regarding the takeover of Newcastle. by Dan Smith

Before anyone writes this isn’t Arsenal-related, if you think a company, funded by the Prince of Saudi Arabia does not impact on the entire football landscape in this country, then your naive.

On the pitch it’s another nail in the Gunners’ coffin, one more club who will offer bigger transfer fees and wages then us.

Off the pitch, it’s sad that the only way for a fan to ‘dream’ of their team being successful in England is if essentially an entire country takes them over.

As hundreds of the Toon Army flocked to Saint James Park to celebrate the news, I noticed a couple of teenagers dressed like Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

An image that confirms his policy of using sport as propaganda has worked.

Here’s a next generation of youngsters not questioning his treatment of women or gay people or accusations of murder …. instead, they are dressing like him in a sign of honour.

It’s not The Geordies fault. Examples of ‘sport washing’ have been going on for years with Boxing and WWE holding live events in the region.

As an example, WWE boasted how they staged the first ever female match in the country as a symbol of hope, as the camera zoomed in on young girls in the audience.

What wasn’t broadcast was the wrestlers being booed and having trash thrown at them.

Meanwhile, while females were in attendance, it was only if accompanied by a male.

This needs to be mentioned.

That’s called propaganda.

If it’s good enough for Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, why can’t Newcastle get a piece of the pie?

Yet just because another party do something unethical isn’t a reason for you to do the same.

That comes down to your own moral compass.

I grew up in the Kevin Keegan era when the Toon were everyone’s second teams, and their support was the most passionate in the land.

It’s my favourite city in Britain and in terms of the area I hope it leads to what Man City have done for the area of Manchester?

Of course, it’s exciting to overnight have your club transformed.

Their fans have gone from thinking they will not see a trophy in their lifetime to it’s being a case of when and not if.

Yet you have to be honest.

Newcastle fans can’t be selective here.

They can’t now want to separate themselves from where their money has come from, when for 14 years, they were giving a detailed account of how Mike Ashley runs Sports Direct.

What’s worse?

Giving an employee zero-hour contracts or beheading a journalist?

Just say that out loud.

Newcastle is owned by a murderer.

The fact that in 2021 a person would be dressed as a murderer and a criminal of so many laws, but not Mike Ashley, based on one having more money …. that’s a sad reflection of society.

As a follower of one of the so called ‘big six’ it’s easy to identify my views as jealously.

I would love nothing more to see the Gunners reach their previous levels.

I have had a membership for years; in my spare time I contribute to this site.

So, my loyalty can’t be questioned.

Yet Football while a beautiful game is just that …. a game!

Would I sell my principles to see my team win a trophy?

Do I need to see that at any cost?

Is watching that worth showing utter insensitivity to the wife of the journalist who was pleading with the Prem to listen?

Will I be comfortable the club contradicting campaigns for equality?

There is now zero point the Prem displaying a rainbow flag or trying to promote the women’s game when one their members is controlled by a nation that who are years behind the rest of the world in equality.

Like City and Chelsea there will now be an asterisk next to Newcastle*s name from now on.

When they lift the title one day, they won’t care how it happened and most likely won’t care what others think.

That’s why it’s a sad day for football…

Be Kind in the comments

Dan Smith


  1. I’d prefer a self-made owner, who’s not financially related to any royal family or oligarchy and didn’t have any prestige whatsoever when he/ she started the business

    His/ her enterprise(s) must also be environmental friendly and not violate human rights

    I despised the local Newcastle fans who celebrated outside Saint James Park for the bloody royal oligarchy money. What a bunch of shameless glory hunters!

  2. I’d prefer if arsenal can be coowned by club members, something like barca..

    Anyway, I feel the way to go for the club is to invest and develop the academy more. Instead of relying on transfers, we should start thinking to build the team primarily from the academy. Of course not immediately, but we should be moving towards the direction

    1. @Gunners4life
      England is more of quick success these days .You build a young team , What are the consequences?
      1. They will play good football but won’t win anything
      2. The players start to make high Wage demands as a replacement For no trophies
      3. The top sides start to pick on the young squads when they are ripe for stardom because the players have a value and can be bought and won’t wanna do a Harry Kane.
      4. Big teams, Newcastle now included will now start to fight for trophies which you now count as being not significant to something major and there won’t be anything left for the built young squad .
      5. The Liverpool type of management won’t last long if they don’t start spending heavily and they will go down the spiral because they won’t attract big names with time e.g Mbape.

      Note: we have to wake up to the reality that The prospect of building young squad is long gone , the best you can get is the city young squad philosophy of Guardiola, else you end up to nowhere .
      Probably end up being a Dortmund though.

  3. There is this saying that there is no shot cut to success, but not in football at the moment. There is now a long and lasting short route to succes in the EPL,Chelsea and City being one of them. I will love to see more of this type of take over in epl sides as we dont wanna make room for mediocrity owners i.e Arsenal and Spud. It either you embrace the change or you go down the championship route.

  4. Dan, maybe the young Newcastle United fans were dressed as T E Lawrence?
    As for your main question, I personally don’t believe a person married to a Walmart heiress is a “fit and proper person” to own Arsenal FC. The Walmart fortune is based on driving small business from retailing in “small town USA” and paying employees as little as possible, with few benefits.
    Where do you draw the line, when the football governing bodies provide minimal oversight?

      1. Our owner is a US citizen, where many states inflict the death penalty on people, many of whom are later found to be innocent of their crimes. My country Australia has engaged in wars it should have been anywhere near.

  5. I did submitt a comment yesteray to JA which was not published about why is Saudia Arabia buying Newcastle United but not Arsenal?
    It seemed the most obvious question for us to ask yesterday regards the Newcastle take over.
    There are many questions still unanswered.
    Like the Saudis being quoted as the richest owners in the world yet they have “only” 350 bill. The Abu Dahbi consortium at Citeh have a family fortune of in excess of a trillion pound.
    Nevertheless why buy a PL club in the boon docks for 300mill when they “apparently” cold buy ten Arsenals. Surely living in Swanky London is more their go also making ESK happy with a 3 bill purchase and many Arsenal fans happy.
    Mind you does the new consortium know what football is? Do any Newcastle fans even care? Chelski and Man Sheiky fans don’t care about the owners as long as the trophies keep coming in. Mind you Arsenal fans dont care about foreign owners, foreign Managers and mostly foreign players who are only here for the money.
    But its a seriously simple question why has Arsenal not tried to get Gulf oil owners?
    If Crappy NUFC can do it why not Arsenal?

    1. Hi fairfan,
      I approved that comment this morning, but I owe you an explanation as to why it was moderated…. Your comment included the word “swanky” which is not banned in itself, but was referred to me for the same reason as if you used “Scunthorpe”

      1. Thanks Admin 🙂
        I totally understand now as that word could be interpereted in another way .
        I thought it could have been Chelski or Man Sheiky.
        Thanks for the respnse 🙂

  6. I don’t recall too many Gooners cheering or even welcoming Kroenke when he took over.

    Top flight football losing even more of its appeal for me. I’m not quite thinking about giving up the season ticket, but I am increasingly enjoying trips to my local non-league team.

    Football is doomed.

    1. Quite right. Thank god I still do enjoy international football, the championship, women’s football and when I have enough time to watch football the whole weekend like I did many years ago, I will go back to my personal tradition of watching random lesser leagues and lower divisions.

      Arsenal will still be my number one priority when football is concerned but when I want to be entertained by pure football, the big leagues and Champions League are stained by money, they have changed for the worse.

      On a bright side, let them keep on buying clubs so we can have more than 10 teams challenging for the title. In a way that will return football to the way it is supposed to be.

  7. While I have been an Arsenal fan since birth I have to disagree because what you basically say is degrading the laws and customs of another country. The fact is terrible human beings are all around the world but for centuries so have been different cultures and their customs. While a person may not approve of the practices taking place, but we must remember all these cultures and laws were made for a reason and not evil purposes. This is not meant to be offensive, I just want to portray the fact that we must not publicly degrade others and yes while there is a freedom of speech there is also the responsibility that as a human being you don’t mistakenly spread wrong information. On the topic of Newcastles takeover the only winner in this seems to be English Football as in recent years we have finally seen the Spanish clubs dominance in football diminish and with PSG spending tons it’s only good that at least they will have a rival financially. Before concluding I would again like to say that I meant this not to be offensive but just as an opinion.

  8. Agree with every word in the article. For no amount of money and success in the world, I would want my dear Club to be owned by a murderer, a country where women are treated extremely badly, a nation where you cant find proper justice, a system which thrives and flourishes over fear, a country that wants to hold the entire world to ransom over oil prices, etc. I wouldnt mind Arsenal out of Europe or not winning trophies as long as we are not owned by criminals and corrupt people. The corruption holds true even for the Russian roubler of Chelsea who I think, is banned from entering UK. Unfortunately, this is the order of the day and the name of the game and here we are, one of the Clubs in the most popular sporting nation at a most popular sport being owned by individuals, which in any modern civilised society would be behind bars, being given extended jail sentences. The PL has hypocrisy written all over it, no proper inspection/investigation was done regarding the track record of human rights violation of the owners. Very very sad day for football to say the least…

  9. Hmmmm..this is a total shame to the EPL for allowing the well known bunch of criminals to takeover Newcastle Utd, I predict, in a fews years to come if we continue having such owners they will start manuplating the refrees by bribing them to get victories go their way since they are criminals and this will eventually lead the downfall of epl.

    1. Well having seen the coward Paul Tierney refusing to give proper refereeing decisions because he didn’t want the Anfield crowd getting on his back we are already at a place of intimidation and the other biased Linesman (assistant referee )Mike Dean pretending nothing had happened BUT he is from the area so he will be biased towards the team , they are hard enough to beat at home but with biased refereeing it makes it impossible. Just like last season when Newcastle had a goal disallowed for a handball by Callum Wilson , that VAR spotted BUT they somehow missed the push by Trent Arnold which made the ball bounce up and hit his hand

  10. Well nice article, but as already spoken by someone a sports team purchase by Saudi Arabia might only help Newcastle and English football in general. Regarding the owners being evil, well yeah they are evil but would they remain the same after about 100 years, with more modernization of the world? Would people then say that Newcastle owners are bad? I dont think so… anyway I think maybe we gooners would also celebrate in a similar way if we were bought by them, no matter how many well-intentioned articles like this were published.

    1. Did, a sad story coming to you from a crime ladden country, ZA. No family members of known drug dealers chance their way of earning. It was easy for their parent to school them with corrupt earnings, so they learned from their parents. Why should they change?

  11. This is a case of moral values which have disappeared from not only the EPL and FA but the Western society in general. People no longer mind selling their soul to the devil so long as that devil can pay them! One reason that has led to spread of terrorism and the emergence of human rights violations around the world is greed. This greed has spread fast in sport and is killing the whole spirit behind sport.
    I am not a prophet of doom but if the Western societies don’t check their life styles and habits they are on the way to extinction! Before they realise it their societies will be taken over by the highest bidder! It is a slow but sure process which might be either irreversible or too costly to reverse.

    1. Well said David. Greed by governments, companies, families, individuals. This is global society now.
      We can demand reforms in countiries thousands of miles away, who have totally different cultures, beliefs, traditions, countries that either suddenly have valuable resources or have nothing at all, who have been sucked rapidly into the global mainstream and told they must adopt western values and political concepts by immensely rich counties who have their own versions of, often legalised, corruption. We haughtily assume that all people in all countries WANT our own values and laws. The simple fact is that the majority of the populace often do not, and we should recognise that fact rather than listen ONLY to disaffected individuals who often have a vested interest in regime changes to bring western “democracy”. Surely American involvement in North Africa has taught us that much?
      I abhor foreign clandestine activity in the UK, but I am not naiive enough to assume we don’t carry out similar activities in their sovereign countries, although the media is strongly “discouraged” from reporting it. I say allow countries to run themselves and adapt at their own pace and in their way to the modern world. They will come around, but slowly, as we in the UK did. Let’s stop being hypocrytical and limit our condemnation to matters in our own country. Obey their laws and culture when we are there, but maintain our own here.

      1. global society behead women for adultery ?
        Global society murder journalists for having an opinion ?
        must have missed that

  12. simple answer, yes…if you think the skeletons in their respective closets are that dissimilar from our present owners then you’ve got a lot to learn…of course, in a perfect world I would prefer a far more collective-based or communal model, where the fanbase plays a far more significant role, like Real, but even that situation has proved problematic…with the right footballing people in charge, the City dynamic seems to be the best case scenario, as the owner leaves the footballing to those who know football, which makes it a little more palatable than the Chelski, PSV or even the Monaco gigs

  13. i live in the borders, covid does not exist if there is a party or holiday to be had and as far as the toon fans are concerned getting to win by any means is all that matters and the how, they dont give a toss about who kills who half a world away
    What happened to the fit and proper persons rules of the premier league? Maybe the thought of Arabs and Oligarchs moving their toys to the French or Latvian leagues has something to do with it?

  14. Should “sport washing” come to Arsenal it might put me out of my misery as an Arsenal fan. Like many, the PL is losing its luster for me as it becomes a plaything for the billionaires who want instant success. Having a dictator/murderer/human rights abuser as the owner might push me to finally carry through on my threat (to myself) to turn my football allegiance to my local Conference South team.

    Sometimes I do really wish I didn’t love this bloody club so much.

  15. When or if newcastle do win a trophy those things that are deemed insignificant details to some such as Saudi Arabia human rights records and there intolerance for gays will be swept under the carpet and remembered only by history bluffs in the long future. If the government cared that much about the Saudis bad reputation, then the deal wouldn’t have gone through. They the government dont care and the Geordies dont care that much they want success. My question. what would we give up for success?

  16. Having read and digested the many shades of opinion so far on this thread, I share the disgust of most Gooners at this acceptance of a mass murderer owning a club in our PREM.
    I also accept the view that Britain is hypocritical in calling out criminal run countries, when our own country is also a slave to greed and this is throughout British society.

    Our “free world” so called ” values” are poor ones and the LOVE of money(as distinct from money itself) , obscene amounts of it , which include EVERY PREM PLAYERS WAGES, are killing our game and worse still are killing any remaining morals our society,albeit speaking only collectively, still holds.

    For years I have wrestled internally without any way of fooling my conscience that the sport I love , top level football, is deeply corrupt and by supporting it, I too an condoning it and encouraging it.
    I feel guilt and I loathe my own personal values and my own weakness in not shunning top level football altogether.
    I know with every fibre of my being that this would be the correct and moral thing to do, at least thinking as I do!

    I do not speak for anyone but myself of course in this last paragraph.

    1. Nicely summed up Jon. I feel your pain (and am living it).

      I follow a lot of sports and find it interesting that I don’t struggle with the obscene amounts of money in other sports as profoundly as I do with the PL. I wonder if others have the same experience and if they do, have a theory on why.

      1. that’s a ridiculous argument, but I’m sure you would find a plethora of human-related horror stories that occurred in the wake of Stan’s rise to the one percenters club which just might rival this most graphic of comparisons

          1. obviously any discussion about the human “destructive” forces of the Kroenke experience is far more nuanced than the seemingly Neanderthal-like maneuvers of someone engaged in suspected beheadings or the like…even so the nefarious aspects of his particular journey shouldn’t be discounted or underestimated…I would gladly speak at great length about the finer details of his negative impact on millions of those in predominantly rural centers throughout North America, but I really doubt you’re truly interested in just such an undertaking(lol)

  17. Oh don’t get me wrong he’s a terrible owner but Gunner Guy implied do I think our owners money is clean?
    Implying that all owners are dodgy
    So I’m simply asking what laws he broke to not be clean in comparison to Newcastle

    1. “Clean” Dan?
      Where multi billionaires are concerned there is only dirt and no clean ones.
      Dirt can of course range from “mere” immorality and unconcern for the “little people” who support and attend games, to the “pure dirt” where owners are mass murderers.
      If you ask me is Kroenke AS dirty and evil as bin Salman , then the answer is obvously no!
      DAN YOU ALSO MENTIOIN “LAWS”, as if breaking thr law of thr land is the only way a person can do wrong . I have never accepted that is the only way one can be “dirty”. One can be within the law but still deeply morally wicked.and corrupt.
      And Kroenke IS!

      But to use the far greater wickedness of bin Salman as an excuse to accept Kroenkes own filthy lack of morals is deeply wrong IMO.

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