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Football: The Kids Are All Right


Raja

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31 minutes ago, mormont said:

Why does anyone ever do the right thing?

It would be lovely if we lived in an ideal world. But we don't. 

I'd like the people who are slagging the Geordies right now to say exactly what they would like them to do.

Do they want them to stop supporting their football team? The only team in their city, a team they might have supported for, I dunno, fifty years? Well, it seems that some colossal dickheads actually want them to do this.

Or do they want the Geordies to organize a series of massive, ongoing demonstrations against the Saudis? If so, to what end?

I'd love to know what is 'the right thing' to do in these circumstances.

 

 

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It's just football tribalism. The worst of the criticism will die down eventually just like it did with City, PSG and Chelsea. I doubt most football fans even give a shit about the atrocities committed by the House of Saud. Opposition fans are just doing what opposition fans do i.e. taking advantage of an opportunity to claim a moral high ground and to score internet points.

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I think it would be easier to say what I, personally, don't want Newcastle fans to do.

I don't want them to talk in the media about how they 'deserve' this money coming into their club while refusing to discuss questions around where that money comes from. A massive ongoing demonstration against the Saudis would be nice, but at the very least they could not have massive gatherings celebrating the Saudis.

I was a Hearts fan during the Romanov takeover so I do get what it's like seeing your club taken over by dubious individuals. I wasn't celebrating then (although I had no idea how much of a disaster it would turn out to be).

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I totally get that, but it seems a little unfair to lump all this responsibility onto the shoulders of Newcastle fans, when a succession of western governments has spent decades doing absolutely nothing to get the Saudis to reign in their medieval bullshit.

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

I totally get that, but it seems a little unfair to lump all this responsibility onto the shoulders of Newcastle fans, when a succession of western governments has spent decades doing absolutely nothing to get the Saudis to reign in their medieval bullshit.

This isn't a case of putting a responsibility on the Newcastle fans that should rightly belong to Western governments. Both those governments and the fans have the same responsibility in different contexts.

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Responsibility? So, just because the Saudis have bought their football club, a thing completely out of their control, Newcastle fans suddenly have to accept the burden of responsibility for all the evil perpetrated by the Saudis? Righto.

You still haven't said what they realistically should do other than stfu.

 

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While I totally get why Newcastle fans feel put upon if they're told it's on them to stop this or if they feel they can't do anything anyway, but I feel like there's an underestimation here of what protests would do. They didn't work against Mike Ashley coz Ashley doesn't care about PR, but this is a sportwashing exercise, PR is the whole point. 

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The Saudis clearly do not give a toss what anyone thinks of them. So for that reason I'm not sure sportswashing is their ultimate objective here.

No amount of fan protests can stop this. 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, The Winged Shadow said:

That is interesting. Why are they valued so highly though? I am assuming they generate similar amount of money to some of the EPL teams but pay players peanuts?

Do they get more broadcasting money? sell more merchandise? more expensive merchandise? bigger ticket income?

 

The NBA and NFL generate way more revenue than the EPL, but that doesn't include all the other additional revenue you get from the outside matches they play. Top end players here are compensated better than most top end players in the EPL, but there isn't anything like Messi's old contract. 

My guess is they get much better broadcast deals because you can make long term contracts knowing a team won't get relegated. That was always the underlying reason top clubs were attracted to the SL idea.

6 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Have any of the clubs who were going to the super league been anywhere near relegation in the last 25 years? 

A quick Google makes me think Chelsea were the last ones in 87-88. Juve got demoted but that's not the same. 

Also club value matters to about 15 people, who gives a shit? 

The people who own the clubs give a shit. And the point is how you raise the value of bad clubs, and how in turn that causes every franchise to be worth more. 

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The Saudi PIF is definitely pursuing sports-washing, but don’t underestimate that they would also view this as an attractive economic opportunity.  With the amount of money they have to deploy, and so many of their investable opportunities being highly correlated, this represents a relatively unusual opportunity for diversification in their portfolio.  They genuinely struggle to find enough investable opportunities.

They will eventually care about the financial success of this investment, but they have very deep pockets to wait out any temporary red ink.

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3 hours ago, Spockydog said:

The Saudis clearly do not give a toss what anyone thinks of them. So for that reason I'm not sure sportswashing is their ultimate objective here.

Sportswashing is definitely the objective, and this isn't even remotely a controversial thing to say: it's the one thing that absolutely everyone agrees on about this takeover.

4 hours ago, Spockydog said:

Responsibility? So, just because the Saudis have bought their football club, a thing completely out of their control, Newcastle fans suddenly have to accept the burden of responsibility for all the evil perpetrated by the Saudis? Righto.

I think it's fairly clear that I'm not saying that (unless one assumes that I also think Western governments should also accept the burden of responsibility for all the evil perpetrated by the Saudi regime). But they do have a responsibility to speak up about those abuses rather than delightedly enthusing about all the expensive footballers whose services their club can buy now.

4 hours ago, Spockydog said:

You still haven't said what they realistically should do other than stfu.

That'd be a start, anyway.

Look, if you think that the Newcastle fans don't have a responsibility to tone down the celebrations about their club selling out to an odious regime, but at the same time think that Western governments do have a responsibility to criticise that regime regardless of the diplomatic cost, well, that's a position you're not alone in. I guess you can take comfort in that. I don't agree. But that's fine. People disagree on these things.

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5 hours ago, Spockydog said:

Responsibility? So, just because the Saudis have bought their football club, a thing completely out of their control, Newcastle fans suddenly have to accept the burden of responsibility for all the evil perpetrated by the Saudis? Righto.

You still haven't said what they realistically should do other than stfu.

 

If it were my club, I'd be protesting it. As shit as Mike Zero Hour Ashley is, being a vehicle for sport washing would be more than one bridge too far for me, and I would want no part in it. Ultimately I'd probably walk away from the club. Everybody has to decide for themselves, whether they can live with being part of the PR campaign for a horrible regime in the middle East.

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7 hours ago, Spockydog said:

I'd like the people who are slagging the Geordies right now to say exactly what they would like them to do.

Just don’t celebrate it so vociferously. Like, when a player scores against his old club, a slight smile and a brief fist clench not dancing in the street.

I don’t blame them exactly but it’s a little off putting when they have to know they’re taking money from a genuine bad guy.

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Not sure if this is the right thread but Canada tied Mexico 1-1 last night.  We actually probably should have won if Davies didn't botch an easy tap in. But still first goal scored in Mexico since 1980.  It's so weird to see Canada has an actual chance to earn a spot in the WC. I never thought it would happen honestly.

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53 minutes ago, john said:

 

I don’t blame them exactly but it’s a little off putting when they have to know they’re taking money from a genuine bad guy.

I don't think the majority of them do. I bet at best 25% of them have heard of the murder victim. 

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5 hours ago, Slurktan said:

Not sure if this is the right thread but Canada tied Mexico 1-1 last night.  We actually probably should have won if Davies didn't botch an easy tap in. But still first goal scored in Mexico since 1980.  It's so weird to see Canada has an actual chance to earn a spot in the WC. I never thought it would happen honestly.

I'm so hopeful for this team. They really put the moves on Mexico more than a few times but also had defensive lapses like what led to the first goal of the game. 

And to keep it Canadian,  38 year old Christine Sinclair is a Ballon D'Or nominee. Ashley Lawrence is as well. 

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16 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

 

The people who own the clubs give a shit. And the point is how you raise the value of bad clubs, and how in turn that causes every franchise to be worth more. 

I know they do, but why should the vast majority (99.9999%) of people care? Its an absolute irrelevance to pretty much every person connected with the game. 

Relegation/promotion is what makes sports interesting, if there aren't winners and losers/consequences then what's the point?

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17 hours ago, mormont said:

Look, if you think that the Newcastle fans don't have a responsibility to tone down the celebrations about their club selling out to an odious regime, but at the same time think that Western governments do have a responsibility to criticise that regime regardless of the diplomatic cost, well, that's a position you're not alone in. I guess you can take comfort in that. I don't agree. But that's fine. People disagree on these things.

You know my politics. The Saudis are right up there amongst the most abhorrent regimes in the Universe. And seeing some of these young men wearing Mohammed bin Salman masks was ... pretty weird, I have to say.

But we have to place this in context.

I think it's fair to say that most of the people we saw celebrating were marking the end of the Ashley regime. Ding dong, and all that. And whether Ashley had sold the club to Thanos, Michael Palin, Count Dracula, or even a reanimated Hitler, the celebrations would've been the same.

And yes, I can see how those celebrations might have been interpreted by the more socially-conscious amongst us. But before we condemn them, there are a number of things we need to consider.

How many of these kids have even heard of Jamal Khashoggi? How many of these kids are aware that the Saudis are currently using British and American weapons to commit genocide in Yemen? Shit, I'd question how many of them are even aware that Saudi women are not allowed to drive.

And that is perfectly understandable. Because as long as I've been alive, the Saudis have been our allies. As longs as I've been alive, our news outlets and political leaders have been turning a blind eye to all kinds of atrocities and human rights abuses. As long as I've been alive, we've been selling them billions of pounds of killing equipment, every single year. We allowed the Saudis to export their disgusting brand of violent Islam to madrasas all over the world. We ignored their involvement in 9/11, instead punishing the citizens of Afghanistan with a pointless, twenty year war.

If the American and British governments wanted to drag Saudi Arabia into the 21st Century, they could. They could stop selling them weapons. Stop giving them billions and billions in foreign aid every year. Withdraw our political and military protection. Leave them vulnerable to the tanks and missiles of Israel. Ban their children from our schools. Ban their colours from our racecourses. Stop glad-handing and licking the collective arse of the cunts at every opportunity.

We could have done all of that. But we didn't. And now look what's happened.

Anyway, there was a really good piece in the Guardian yesterday. Sums up my feelings quite well.

The Saudi takeover of Newcastle United is a symptom of England’s political failures

Quote

Little wonder, then, that most of Newcastle is delighted that they now have their own oligarchs to play with. Having been failed, as a city and a club, by the tepid reforms of New Labour’s regeneration programme, the rentier economics of local property developers and the low-wage, sweatshop capitalism of 21st-century retail billionaires, why wouldn’t you opt for foreign oligarchs and their fossil fuel investment funds? It’s precisely what a significant slice of the country’s elites have been doing for years.

There is an entire industry, overwhelmingly in London and the south-east, that has grown grotesquely wealthy on servicing the political and economic needs of the Gulf’s ruling families, and oligarchs and dynasties everywhere. From the banks that launder stolen money, to the accountants that then hide it; from the lawyers who resolve tricky domestic affairs to the PR firms mopping up the damage afterwards, and the estate agents that arrange to store your wealth in London’s empty residential skyscrapers. Our governments and arms industry have been hardly any better, barely able to censure the Saudi state for its human rights abuses, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi or its war in Yemen for fear of losing enormous arms sales and construction contracts. And yet now Newcastle United’s fans are meant to lead the fight for human rights?

 

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