08/10/2021; 1:01 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
La Liga president Javier Tebas was in an interview a few days ago shooting from the hips and fuming like a bull in a Spanish bullfight, except the arena was not the Toro De Lidia. Tebas is well within his rights to be angry. The face of football is changing, the game is losing its soul, and the allure is fast disappearing with the invasion of middle east money on European football culture.
If the European Super League was an assault on the people's game, the rate at which the Qataris and Saudi Arabians are buying up clubs in Europe, one might think that the coroner has arrived. We then ask, are we safe? It no longer feels safe as the face of European football is being ripped from the hands of the custodians of the tradition.
The barbarians are no longer at the gates. The barbarians are strutting at the dinner table.
There were celebrations by some fans in front of the Newcastle stadium as ownership changed hands from Mike Ashley to the Public Investment Fund. Another one bites the dust.
The Telegraph's Uche Amako reports that the sale of Newcastle United was for £305 million. It was bought by an investment group led by Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The sale of Newcastle was long coming, stalled by the failure of the Premier League Owners andctors' test by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The sale should have come in April 2020.
Legal assurances were expected by the Premier League regarding ownership of the team before sanctioning the sale.
In the summer, Newcastle only signed Joe Willock from Arsenal, but we can expect marquee signings next summer. In fact, there are good odds from bookmakers to try out that Newcastle might even make the Premier League top-four next season.
English clubs are easy targets for billionaires who want to put themselves on the world map. The allure of the bright lights that the English Premiership provides has been too hard to resist as these billionaires try to put themselves in the good graces of the watching public.
The sale of Newcastle United to the Saudi-led group has alreadyd generating controversy with the country's human rights record brought to light again. In 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was brutally murdered. The murder was believed to have beenctly ordered by bin Salman according to the U.S intelligence community. It tears to shreds every modicum or pretence of defending the game by the English FA.
According to a warning given to the Premier League by Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is trying to fix its reputation by "sports washing."
What this sale suggests is that English football is no longer the people's game, it now lies in the hands of the highest bidder.