Fans are happily sportswashing on behalf of owners

Editor F365
Newcastle United fans doing some sportwashing

Football fans are happily taking to the internet to assist in the sportswashing. Pretty clever really. Send mails to


A ditty
They joined our leagues from overseas
Saudis, Saudis

Blood money owners that we don’t need
Saudis, Saudis

Oppose the west, suppress the press, and send their women to their death
Newcastle’s Owners, Saudis we don’t need

(To the tune of “the animals came in two by two”)

Let’s hope PL fans make them feel welcome.
Ross Ashman


Giddiness shows we’re all f***ing vile
Just wondering if all of their pointed comparisons to Starbucks and Uber, and comments like ‘business is business’, mean we can now stop pretending Newcastle fans are a special breed of super supporters? Just a commercial decision, right? Or are they also the most passionate shirtless coffee drinkers and taxi users too?

You know what indicates absolute confidence in your moral authority? Hours of finger-blistering googling and research. “Look!”, they say. “Look at the other businesses that the murderer owns!”. And out comes the list that we have now all seen time and time again. Just like the Millwall fans and their anti-Marxism. Just like Liverpool fans and “It’s actually a friendly term in South America”.

And now that frenetic searching has developed into the historical ownership of other clubs. Have PIF been sending out guidebooks on how to assist in their sportswashing endeavours? Citing the immorality of others is always a great way to demonstrate your own standing. Why strive to be better when we can all drag each other to the bottom?

Should Newcastle supporters give up on their club? Of course not. But please stop pretending this is just because Ashley has gone. Then again, given the lethal hypocrisy and open lies of Mohammed bin Salman and his regime, it is probably the perfect response. I look forward to being educated on how progressive things are now in Saudi Arabia (if you believe the propaganda and not the reality), and how actually all other football clubs were formed by Hitler in a time machine. If Saudi Arabia is now such a wonderful place to be a woman, why not send your daughters there to be educated? Why not pop over for a family holiday?

The giddy glee over this takeover, from both the fans and certain media elements, just shows how quick we are to sell our souls. While so many sex workers are in that position through serious issues, it seems that most of society is just waiting for the right wallet before bending over. Comparing abuse of copyright law to ACTUAL GENOCIDE just highlights how f**king vile and wealth-adoring we are.


Any Newcastle trophies are tainted
Seeing some of the justifications and whataboutery in the mailbox (especially from Mark Meadowcroft) is just pathetic.

Going back and trying to equate the current ownership situation of Newcastle with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal almost 100 years ago?! I’m sorry but you simply cannot equate that with the modern game. These are regimes of countries who systematically oppress and abuse their citizens.

Man City, Chelsea and Newcastle are now owned by people who are, let’s be honest, pretty morally and legally bankrupt. As with Man City and Chelsea to this point, any trophies Newcastle win will be tainted with dirty money, and as such I will not be counting them.
Tom (yes I’m petty), Gooner up North


…I was quite enjoying Mark’s history lesson until I realised that the entire message was a vehicle for the payoff…basically anyone that criticises the sportswashing enterprises is racist because the sportswashers are from the Middle East.

Also, what a massive amount of whattaboutery he’s employed there. To take the example of Liverpool’s founder…he was a landlord *clutches pearls* and a Tory to boot *faints*, who formed Liverpool FC because he owned an athletics field/football ground and the previous tenants had a rent dispute (I forget what became of them) and he wanted to continue to receive income for this. The horror.

Mark are you actually trying to paint an equivalence of this to the leaders of a murderous, despotic regime that suppresses many freedoms for ordinary people and actively pursues homophobic and misogynistic policies? Regimes that have bought into football clubs, and distorted the internal financial markets along the way, with the express purpose of ‘cleaning up their image’ as described by (the famously racist) Amnesty International?

Just own it. Stop trying to point fingers here and there saying ‘they’re just as bad, look what they did AND they’re racist as well.’

You’re doing the Sportswashing for them.
James Outram, Wirral


…I bit my tongue after Mark Meadowcroft’s missive on Friday but, as he’s still at it, feel the need to interject.

Is he seriously trying to compare a man who sold clothes to the army during WW1, to the man who is widely accused of causing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Yemen? Clothes. Not munitions, clothes. The bastard. Presumably if the British army didn’t have matching shirts they’d of given up… He goes on to point out that, gasp, a Tory founded Liverpool who, gasp again, founded the club to make a profit…

You’re comparing apples, that sold clothes, to oranges that have been condemned by Amnesty International. Even if they were vaguely in the same ball park, it doesn’t matter. As my mother used to say, two wrongs don’t make a right, Mark. One can absolutely form a negative opinion about the Newcastle takeover. I also want to be clear that the use of “used to” mercifully isn’t because my mother is no longer with us, it’s because she’s stopped saying it on the basis that I learned that obvious life lesson when I was a little boy and no longer try justify any bad behaviour with whataboutism…

Ditto for your point in your last essay on historical middle-eastern geo-politics. It’s completely irrelevant to whether one thinks it’s a good thing that the person who allegedly orchestrated what happened to Jamal Khashoggi now has a stake in the Premier League…

Whatever one’s opinion of the takeover is, you’re talking absolute rubbish. Call back to your last email – at best, you’re displaying a quintessential example of the Dunning-Kruger effect (it is not a syndrome – which means a collection of symptoms associated with a disease, FYI) – you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Separately, a few people have, more reasonably, pointed out that the PIF has stakes in various enterprises that (most of us – myself included) don’t boycott. Time will tell, but the impression is that the position is quite different. Uber and Disney were arms-length investments – they’re self-run companies in which the PIF has bought a stake that they hope will gain capital value and/or return dividends. You wouldn’t even know they owned stakes unless you went looking. Compare and contrast that with the purchase of Man City or PSG, into which vast sums of money have been pumped against all commercial good sense for altogether different reasons which, personally, would sit uncomfortably with me if it was the club I follow in question. Maybe this is all just alot of bluster, and the PIF intend to run Newcastle as a for-profit enterprise the way the Glazers run Man U (or, dare I say it, the way the previous owner ran Newcastle) – we don’t know. As others have pointed out, it’s the potential association of institutions that are a part of our cultural heritage with “sportswashing” that sits uneasily with people.

I’m not even a fan, but I have more of an emotional attachment to Newcastle United than I do to Uber…

To be clear, this isn’t a dig at Newcastle fans, or City fans (of which there aren’t even enough to fill a stadium – zing) or PSG fans – because these matters aren’t anything to do with them and it’s unrealistic to expect people to switch off emotions that have grown over a life time. It’s just a comment on what, to me, is a sad state of affairs.
Andy (MUFC)


Bruce sack seems harsh
Look, I know football is a merciless business and not a sentimental matter, but you’ve got to be unusually hard-hearted to sack Bruce before his 1000th game as a manager.

At least let him enjoy one day with a cheerful full stadium, for all he’s tried to do for the club. It’s not like the Toon are going to win the title this season so what difference is one weekend going to make?
Paul in Brussels (disappointed by Belgium in the Nations League as well)

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce


Where have all the managers gone?
Is it me or is there a general dearth of great managers out there? Newcastle have just become the richest club in the world and yet barring Conte the managers you list are pretty average. Spurs, Everton, Palace, Real Madrid are just some of the clubs who struggled to recruit managers in the summer. There are very valid questions about who would be an upgrade on Solskjaer at United, but the answer seems to be very few. To me that is more indictment of the general manager quality, rather than Solskjaer’s ability. What do we think the reason for this is? Or has it always been this thin, we just have more “bigger” clubs these days with increased expectations? Would love to hear people’s thoughts.
Chris, London


Why would Newcastle want to sign Kelleher etc
Because Newcastle will need to make incremental upgrades to their playing squad, given that the best players in the world will not suddenly all want to play for CL-less 12th-place-finishing Newcastle, and will instead wait for results to improve before moving there.

I’m not saying Newcastle will certainly sign Kelleher, Philips or any other Liverpool fringe player, but Mediawatch’s incredulity seems very misplaced. Presumably today’s Mediawatch compiler would have reacted similarly to the suggestion that Manchester City would sign Jô, Bellamy, Roque Santa Cruz, Tal Ben Haim, Wayne Bridge, etc.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland

(No, they wouldn’t, as they were all established Premier League players (barring Jo), not Liverpool reserves – Ed)


A Salah flaw
While he is undoubtedly a joy to watch, I’ll tell you one thing about Mo Salah that really isn’t great, Johnny Nic – his conduct around his Egypt team-mate Amr Warda being accused of online sexual harassment on the eve of the African Cup of Nations in 2019.

Warda had already been sacked by a previous club in 2017 for harassing two of his team-mate’s wives. The evidence of the online harassment in 2019 was weighty and came from several different sources, and Warda was removed from the squad. He was reinstated less than 48 hours later, with the support of his captain Salah, who said he should be given a ‘second chance’. In reality, it was his third chance.

Looks even worse when you see that Salah buffed up his own personal image using the crutch of women’s rights in Egypt. giving an interview to Time Magazine not two months before while advocating strongly for same. When presented with a robust real-life opportunity to follow through on those words, Salah shrank from the task. Continues to stick in the craw whenever I read these hagiographies of the man.
Pablo, MUFC, Dublin


The ethics of paying to watch sport on TV
Today I cancelled my Sky Cports and sports extra TV package. Not because it’s too expensive, although it really is. Not because of the exorbitant wages of professional sports persons, particularly in the Premier League. Not because of the sheer volume of marketing crammed into an already ‘paid for’ product.

I cancelled because I cannot in good conscience place a penny into the pot that Mohammed Bin Salman will get to put his hand into. I cancelled it because of the shocking hypocrisy of the Premier League supporting anti-racism campaigns like ‘no to for racism’ while allowing an owner who has the moniker ‘the butcher of Yemen’. I cancelled because all the rainbow laces in the world cannot justify declaring a de-facto ruler of a country that is comfortable executing homosexuals as a ‘fit and proper person’ to own a football club. I am cancelling my subscription because my wife is my equal, and I cannot spend her earnings supporting those who are ‘ok’ with diminished women’s rights. It’s not so I can’t pay, it’s because I won’t.

I told Sky as much. The retention agent at Sky even tried to retain me. He told me “you know that the money will still go to them, like… makes no difference”, which got me thinking. I can’t be the only one cancelling my subscription for these reasons and what difference can be made?

When you look to F1 and golf, things don’t get much better.

Why is it okay to politicise sport for Mohammed Bin Salman and others to ‘sportswash’ when players face bans for taking a political stance? More had been said about James McClean not wearing the poppy than Bin Salman.

The answer is simple really. With FIFA, UEFA and the various FAs, you can do what you want… long as you have the money.

Well they won’t be having mine.
David Nolan