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Ownership in Football


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Hi Everyone, in a change to our regular scheduled programming, I’ve decided for one thread and one thread only, politics can be discussed on the football thread!

I figured that with the Saudi Arabia takeover, things would be incredibly intertwined, so fill your boots in here!

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Football owners and authorities, as in other areas of life, tend to insist on the separation of politics and sport. It is often couched as concern for the enjoyment of the fan base and, perhaps, sustainability of a game dependent on corporate sponsors. However, as mentioned above, sports and politics are intertwined inextricably. Politics is not limited to political parties but concerns power relations and control. The emergence of the Super League was a political matter, as is racism in the game, sponsorship by betting companies, the financial inequality and involvement of tyrants, plutocrats and oligopolists and others in the game. If we separate all these issues as being non-football related, then we are not really talking about the modern game.

There is widespread self-censorship online on these matters from, I believe, at least partly, the fear of being de-platformed by cynical tech companies. This is especially notable, it seems to me, in the world of fan channels. Their emergence has had an empowering effect for fans of many clubs but, crucially, companies are using the threat of de-platforming to control the parameters of the debate and restricting their true potential for fans.

It is too simplistic to simply attack a particular country, sponsor or industry for its role in football without looking at the structures that enable it but we need to at least have that discussion. Saudi Arabia is a terribly repressive regime, which is known to export extremist ideas, fund terrorism, repress its own people, deny women basic rights and mistreat religious and ethnic minorities, including migrant workers. However, it is enabled in much of this by the world's dependence on oil and other resources and, also, investment; hence, its strong support in weapons sales and diplomatic cover from Britain and others. Britain's government and corporations have a mutually beneficial relationship with Saudi Arabia and other tyrannical regimes.

We can also raise the question as to the damaging and, sometimes, criminal, activities of UK and US banks, private equity firms and other prominent investors in football. Not only are they an integral part of the global economic system that the Saudis and others are part of, they created, with government acquiescence, the 2008/09 global economic crisis that was used by cynical politicians to usher in a decade of austerity and cuts that have continued to devastate lives. 

So, really, the question comes back home. Do we have to prioritise and defer to profit and why doesn't the government and Premier League work with the rest of the governing bodies to put more controls on who can control football clubs and enable fan involvement in boards and ownership, to stop football clubs from being play things for individuals? (Which, incidentally, has a detrimental effect on the whole game, including those lower down the food chain).

Clearly, the answer is money and the other answer is fan mobilisation. I can't see the game protected from turning into a farce without it. However, at every turn, fans are undermined. Fan channels have, I believe, encouraged a potential mobilisation and contributed to the protests against the Super League. However, they are being muzzled by fear of being suspended by the tech platforms and sponsors that they rely on. I can't blame them. It's all too easy for a well-intentioned but, perhaps, ignorant or poorly communicated comment to be bring about collective punishment which acts as a form of censorship.

Edited by riverholmes
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It’s one hell of a way of laundering money is English football, especially the premier league. With each passing week, as I see players negotiating contracts at £26.5 million per year (Ronaldo) and others on £20 million per year, it just totally sickens me.

All this will do with Newcastle is attract more greedy mercenary players to the club, who do not care a jot for the club, the fans, the traditions of the club, or even the sport itself. It is totally broken and somehow needs stopping.

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It's not as if owners of other clubs are squeaky clean but still doesn't make this one right. 

Did I read somewhere that the Premier league wanted assurances that the Saudi government wouldn't have control of the club which they appear to have satisfied by buying it through the investment arm of the Saudi government. That's amateur! 

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I wonder how the local paper in Newcastle will investigate the Saudis going forward,i know they wanted Ashley out for a long time,will they have a hard line against who now owns the club or will they just be glad Ashley is out and sweep the concerns about the Saudis under the carpet so to speak.

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17 hours ago, GHR said:

I honestly feel totally indifferent about the entire job with Newcastle. Much like the Europeam Super League proposals, this is just the next natural stop along the road we've been on for three decades or so. Next it'll be Liverpool v. Man United being played in Florida because money, or flogging actual team names for sponsorship (Amazon Aston Villa v. GSK Fulham anyone?). I fell out of love with elite level football a long time ago for precisely these reasons.

I similarly wish I was surprised that people are more concerned with the transfer gossip they can now be involved in, than the truly abhorrent skeletons in the open, let alone the closet, their new owners now have. In this post-Venky world we all like to imagine, I would genuinely rather us be skint and all into obscurity in the North West Counties with not a thing to call our own than have what Newcastle have just landed. 

You get nothing if you gain the world at the cost of your soul.

I agree completely. Usually I view these things with indifference but the fact this regime is being allowed to sanitize itself in British sport is appalling. Their human rights record, support of terrorism,treatment of women and views on gay rights should make it impossible to pass the fit and proper test. Surprisingly not in the premiership. They really should hang there corporate self serving money making heads in shame. Sky should refuse to show their games as they have shown with their support of black lives matters that they are prepared to take a stance. This is not about football it’s about standing up to a vile and oppressive regime

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6 minutes ago, 47er said:

Nearly choked when I read that! 2 choices---laugh or cry!!

Not a cat in hells chance. Their stance on black lives matter is tokenism and costs nothing but lip service. It’ll be a rainy day in hell before sky make any decision that has commercial implications. If anything I can almost guarantee increased coverage of Newcastle. Makes me sick.

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The worry is that as more and more Premier League sides who are owned by fabulously rich magnates or (let's be honest---governments) the harder it will be for clubs who aren't.

In a few years getting into the top half will realistically be all that's available to perhaps 10 clubs.

If all clubs in the Premiership were owned by mega-rich, 3 would still be relegated----with parachute payments!

This, in turn, would make promotion impossible year after year for the rest. Imagine being in the Championship and all that was open to you was to avoid relegation---year after year!

Actually, I don't need to imagine it do I?

Football  at non-local level is going to kill itself.

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On 09/10/2021 at 10:36, jim mk2 said:

So another great English football institution falls into foreign hands.  Anyone surprised that Britain welcomes such shady money hasn’t been paying attention.

Newcastle’s fans seem equally unbothered by Saudi Arabia’s abuses against women, political prisoners, Yemenis, Khashoggi and others. They are just pleased that MBS might buy them some trophies.

There’s a reason why Roberto Saviano, the Italian expert on the mafia, calls Britain “the most corrupt country in the world”.

Britain's moral, economic and political degeneration continues, and at some point there will be nothing left to sell.

All true but if the Saudis had bought us, we'd be dancing in the streets too. Fans were really disappointed that the Qataris didn't buy us and they're not much better.

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4 minutes ago, 47er said:

The worry is that as more and more Premier League sides who are owned by fabulously rich magnates or (let's be honest---governments) the harder it will be for clubs who aren't.

In a few years getting into the top half will realistically be all that's available to perhaps 10 clubs.

If all clubs in the Premiership were owned by mega-rich, 3 would still be relegated----with parachute payments!

This, in turn, would make promotion impossible year after year for the rest. Imagine being in the Championship and all that was open to you was to avoid relegation---year after year!

Actually, I don't need to imagine it do I?

Football  at non-local level is going to kill itself.

In the end greed will kill the goose that lays the golden egg. 

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Newcastle won't attract a top quality head coach or top players at this stage. 

I seen that Ex Liverpool scout, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Rangers director of football Frank McParland has been advising the Newcastle owners and looks set for role behind the scenes there. 

They have been linked with Brighton's Graham Potter to become head coach and James Tarkowski from the dingles. 

It will be there an interesting new few months for the new Newcastle owners, players, staff and fans there for them. 

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18 hours ago, AllRoverAsia said:

I think that the American holdings are now in the majority, somewhat hidden behind a Delaware LP and LLC.

On 18 December 2015, it was announced that a new deal had been signed with American investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer.[104] The club stated that Steve Parish would continue as chairman alongside Harris and Blitzer as general partners in a new structure, and that Browett, Long and Hosking would also retain a substantial investment.

The company accounts later showed that the ownership figures were: Steve Parish 18%, Steve Browett 5%, Jeremy Hosking 5% and Martin Long 2.5% with the remainder being owned by Palace Holdco LP (a limited partnership registered in Delaware) 67.5% and Palace Parallel LLC (a company also registered in Delaware) 1.5%. Both Palace Holdco and Palace Parallel have 180 preference shares each. As the Delaware companies do not have to reveal their owners, the exact ownership of the club is therefore unknown, but Steve Parish did confirm that each of Harris and Blitzer had an 18% share to match his own.

In August 2021 John Textor, another American investor, joined as a fourth partner with an investment of £87.5 million.

Crystal Palace F.C. - Wikipedia

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Will women be allowed to attend Newcastle home games? 
 

Fair enough that Toon fans were celebrating getting rid of Ashley but having a party over the arrival of MBS’s murderous regime is beyond pale. 
 

If they had some banners protesting against the vile murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the first home game I might have more respect for them 

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We seem quite keen to flog military arms to them.

But that's £££££££££ into Britain's pocket, well England's really.

Been quite a few ££££ over the many many many years that it's been done, and still is.

That's without mentioning the major construction projects.

Now though we are upset by them buying Toon.

There's a lot of fake denial doing the rounds

 

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1 minute ago, AllRoverAsia said:

We seem quite keen to flog military arms to them.

But that's £££££££££ into Britain's pocket, well England's really.

Been quite a few ££££ over the many many many years that it's been done, and still is.

That's without mentioning the major construction projects.

Now though we are upset by them buying Toon.

There's a lot of fake denial doing the rounds

 

Many people in the UK aren't happy about flogging arms to them - or having any connection with them at all

But we're not alone. The US still sees the Saudis as important allies despite Saudis largely being behind 9/11

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