Jon Silver has recently written an article for Tribune that highlights how the sale of Newcastle United Football Club to the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF) may be viewed as more than another take-over that has characterised the Premier League in recent years. Rather, the close relationship between the PIF and the Saudi means that this investment reflects the growing entanglement of a form of Middle Eastern state capitalism into the UK that should worry us all.
Whilst investment into the communities of Newcastle is be welcomed by an austerity-hit council such take-overs need to proceed with caution. As Jon notes “Despite promises of wider investment used to justify such partnerships, this may turn out to simply be allowing new forms of financial extraction through rent and real estate development across urban space, further exacerbating inequality and the housing crisis. The costs seem too high“.
Read the article in Tribune here: https://tribunemag.co.uk/2021/10/newcastles-saudi-takeover-is-just-the-latest-chapter-in-football-capitalism