When Saudi Arabia’s investment arm bought Premier League football team Newcastle Utd recently, there were a number of issues.
Many complained that Saudi was using the team to whitewash their image and help create soft power.
And then the Premier League teams worked together to stop the Saudi investors from signing any lucrative sponsorship deals for a month.
But a new issue has sprung up regarding Newcastle United fans.
More specifically, the team has asked supporters to stop wearing ‘traditional Arabic clothing or Middle-East-inspired head coverings at matches’ if they wouldn’t normally do so.
#NUFC is kindly asking supporters to refrain from wearing traditional Arabic clothing or Middle East-inspired head coverings at matches if they would not ordinarily wear such attire.— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 20, 2021
#NUFC is kindly asking supporters to refrain from wearing traditional Arabic clothing or Middle East-inspired head coverings at matches if they would not ordinarily wear such attire.
Fans had celebrated the takeover – which could make them the richest football club in the world – by embracing the owner’s Middle East heritage.
Which meant many turned up to the recent defeat by Spurs wearing head coverings and shimags. Many of which were just basic tea towels loosely draped over their heads.
The Saudi investors have been linked with Newcastle Utd for 18 months. But after a deal that’s been on and off more times than a pair of trousers, it’s now been confirmed.
The deal is worth £300m and involves Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) taking a controlling 80-per-cent stake.
They’ve already made one big move by sacking manager Steve Bruce.
Will their next big move to ban fans from celebrating the team’s Middle East heritage be as popular?