Woke Footie Pundits, So Vocal About Saudis, So Silent About Qatari Takeover mdi-fullscreen

Sports fans among Guido’s co-conspirators will recall one of the biggest examples of leftie pearl-clutching in recent times: the commentariat’s outrage at the 2021 Saudi takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United. Labour MP Mike Amesbury raised the issue in the Commons: “Is the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund a right and proper and fit for purpose owner of Newcastle United?” Comrade Clive Efford added: “It may be one thing for the morally bankrupt Premier League to accept money from Saudi Arabia, but for the UK government to turn round and say it welcomes its investment is another thing.” Labour frontbencher Chi Onwurah intoned: “I think it’s important to say that in utterly condemning this atrocious, horrific massacre [executions in Saudi Arabia], I speak for many, many of my constituents and Newcastle United fans”. All perfectly fair points…

The woke elite of football punditry were quick to join the bandwagon. Always outspoken Labour Party supporter Gary Neville worried: “How were the Saudi Arabians accepted into the Premier League? We don’t know. There’s no transparency and there’s no independence.” Specifically criticising the Saudi acquisition, he said: “there will always be question marks about them”

You’d be forgiven for wondering, then, why Labour and left aren’t sheikh-ing their fists at the impending Qatari takeover of Manchester United (Guido’s football insider sources say the deal may come to the crunch soon). It’s not clear what moral distinction there is to be drawn between the Saudis and the Qataris – both states have an authoritarian grizzly charge sheet. Officials are reportedly sceptical about the Qatari bid, according to Bloomberg, particularly given controversies surrounding bidder Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani. Once again, the leftie outrage bus is curiously selective…

Labour, which recently enforced a boycott of the Qatari World Cup on its MPs, is keeping a studied silence. As for the football commentariat, the fact that luminaries such as Lineker (£1.6 million) and Neville (£10 million) pocketed Qatari cash for their TV work surely cannot be relevant…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Gary Lineker Gary Neville
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