Whenever anything else negative is reported to do with Saudi Arabia and sport, Newcastle United has to be part of the story as well.
So with this Qatar World Cup just around the corner, you’d better brace yourself.
Saudi Arabia one of the 24 qualifiers, in a group with Argentina, Poland and Mexico.
Fine then…however, as a Newcastle United fan, what I can’t understand, or accept, is that this is where it ends.
How come Manchester United are NEVER name checked?
I find it absolutely totally bizarre.
On the one hand we keep getting told time and again that Manchester United are supposedly the biggest football club on the planet, even now when they are not even contenders on the pitch and a joke off it when it comes to the Glazers.
Yet they have had 15 Premier League seasons and counting, of taking money from the Saudi Arabia regime and NEVER get mentioned when it comes to the controversy.
Why do the media not see this as newsworthy in any respect?
Where have the media and Manchester United been with their campaigning, outrage and principles this past decade and a half, with the Saudi Arabia regime as the longest existing sponsors of Man Utd?
The Saudi regime through the state owned Saudi Telecom have ploughed fortunes into Old Trafford since 2008 and continue to do so.
Then in 2017, Man Utd agreed yet another very lucrative revenue stream from the Saudi Arabia regime, ‘the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia’ in partnership with Manchester United.
Whilst advertising and sponsorship deals are of course a smaller affair than an actual takeover of a club, the ‘principle’ remains very much the same. With sponsorship / advertising, you actually take money directly in return for some business (and / or regime…) then being able to attach their name to your brand / good name…
Why have we never heard the media this past decade and a half demanding to know why the Manchester United fans aren’t bothered about seeing their club selling its good name to the Saudi Arabia regime in return for serious riches that have helped their club / team win loads of trophies?
It has got even more laughable in recent times when you have Man Utd supporters slagging off Newcastle United fans due to the Saudi Arabia PIF takeover, when these Man Utd fans clearly don’t even have a clue that their own club for a decade and a half have been taking cash from Saudi Arabia. That absolutely sums up both how little so many Manchester United fans know about their own club, as well as just how shocking it is, that all of the media / journalists choose never to mention the Saudi Arabia have ploughed so much cash into Manchester United.
I would love to know why this is the case. Why is it when Saudi Arabia sporting stories are ran, that we don’t have ‘Golf, Boxing, Formula One, 13 months of Newcastle United ownership, 15 season of Manchester United sponsorship…?’
As I say, brace yourself for when this Qatar World Cup kicks off.
In six days time on Tuesday 22 November at 10am (UK time), you will be able to watch Argentina v Saudi Arabia on ITV. Followed on Saturday 26 November at 1pm: Poland v Saudi Arabia on ITV, before their final group game on Wednesday 30 November at 7pm: Saudi Arabia v Mexico on BBC.
If I have the time and inclination (and don’t smash my TV up in frustration), then before, during and after each Saudi Arabia match, I am going to be counting up the Newcastle United and Manchester United mentions.
I am very confident that over the course of those three Saudi Arabia group matches, we will hear Newcastle United mentioned on BBC and ITV 100+ times, during commentary, pre and post-match chat etc etc. Whilst for Manchester United you just know it is going to be the old ‘nul points’ for mentions in connection with Saudi Arabia.
It just proves to me how much those in the media dictate what your average person knows and / or talks about, when it comes to anything with negative connotations, regarding football and Premier League clubs in particular.
The TV schedule for all 48 Qatar World Cup group games, games highlighted with NUFC player potential involvement:
20 November, 16:00: Qatar v Ecuador – BBC
21 November, 10:00: Senegal v Netherlands – ITV
Monday 21 November, 13:00: England v Iran – BBC (Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson)
21 November, 19:00: USA v Wales – ITV
22 November, 10:00: Argentina v Saudi Arabia – ITV
22 November, 13:00: Denmark v Tunisia – ITV
22 November, 16:00: Mexico v Poland – BBC
Tuesday 22 November, 19:00: France v Australia – BBC (Garang Kuol)
23 November, 10:00: Morocco v Croatia – ITV
23 November, 13:00: Germany v Japan – ITV
23 November, 16:00: Spain v Costa Rica – ITV
23 November, 19:00: Belgium v Canada – BBC
Thursday 24 November, 10:00: Switzerland v Cameroon – ITV (Fabian Schar)
24 November, 13:00: Uruguay v South Korea – BBC
24 November, 16:00: Portugal v Ghana – ITV
Thursday 24 November, 19:00: Brazil v Serbia – BBC (Bruno Guimaraes)
25 November, 10:00: Wales v Iran – BBC
25 November, 13:00: Qatar v Senegal – BBC
25 November, 16:00: Netherlands v Ecuador – ITV
Friday 25 November, 19:00: England v USA – ITV (Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson)
Saturday 26 November, 10:00: Tunisia v Australia – BBC (Garang Kuol)
26 November, 13:00: Poland v Saudi Arabia – ITV
26 November, 16:00: France v Denmark – ITV
26 November, 19:00: Argentina v Mexico – ITV
27 November, 10:00: Japan v Costa Rica – ITV
27 November, 13:00: Belgium v Morocco – BBC
27 November, 16:00: Croatia v Canada – BBC
27 November, 19:00: Spain v Germany – BBC
28 November, 10:00: Cameroon v Serbia – ITV
28 November, 13:00: South Korea v Ghana – BBC
Monday 28 November, 16:00: Brazil v Switzerland – ITV (Bruno Guimaraes, Fabian Schar)
28 November, 19:00: Portugal v Uruguay – ITV
29 November, 15:00: Ecuador v Senegal – ITV
29 November, 15:00: Netherlands v Qatar – ITV
29 November, 19:00: Iran v USA – BBC
Tuesday 29 November, 19:00: England v Wales – BBC (Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson)
30 November, 15:00: Tunisia v France – BBC
Wednesday 30 November, 15:00: Australia v Denmark – BBC (Garang Kuol)
30 November, 19:00: Poland v Argentina – BBC
30 November, 19:00: Saudi Arabia v Mexico – BBC
1 December, 16:00: Canada v Morocco – BBC
1 December, 16:00: Croatia v Belgium – BBC
1 December, 19:00: Japan v Spain – ITV
1 December, 19:00: Costa Rica v Germany – ITV
2 December, 16:00: Ghana v Uruguay – BBC
2 December, 16:00: South Korea v Portugal – BBC
Friday 2 December, 19:00: Serbia v Switzerland – ITV (Fabian Schar)
Friday 2 December, 19:00: Cameroon v Brazil – ITV (Bruno Guimaraes)