There are people out there who hold honest opinions about Newcastle United’s hoped for takeover. This fanzine has engaged with them and had sensible, grown-up conversations. 

Interestingly, when Amnesty International has spoken about Saudi involvement in the takeover they have stressed they have no interest in telling supporters who they think should and shouldn’t own Newcastle United. Their interest is to promote awareness in human rights abuses and work for better situations in countries all around the world. That is a laudable and credible aim. 

There are others however whose motivation is more dubious. Top of the list is Richard Keys. Keys is hardly the most sympathetic of characters at the best of times and his marital conduct as well as attitude towards women more generally has been well-publicised. 

What often goes without comment when Keys spews forth for the benefit of the media on the subject of the Newcastle United takeover is that he is in the pay of the Qatari government. The Qatari government via BeIN owns the streaming rights to PL football in the Middle East and North Africa. They doubtless fear Saudis entering this sphere and competing for TV rights with all of the associated broadband, mobile phone packages etc that are sold on the back of them. A lot of money is involved in this. 

Keys’ frequent missives to the media are understandable given he owes a huge part of his fortune as a TV presenter to BeIN, based in Doha, Qatar – click here – That Keys is opining on the takeover is one thing, though the disproprtionate amount of attention he gets is straightforwardly perverse for a bloke who reads the teams out on telly, tells people the KO times and has been asking Andy Gray his opinion for twenty years +. 

Richard Keys works for the Qatari government and via his public profile is spitting venom towards Saudi Arabia because he is likely being told to do so by those who pay him mental sums of money to sit and watch football. Let’s be honest, why wouldn’t he? But the press who regurgitate “his” views should have the awareness to point out that Richard Keys as an employee of the Qatari government and thus has skin in the game of Newcastle United’s Saudi-funded takeover. 

Latterly, Keys has claimed because we have missed the mid-May point the exclusivity the proposed takeover may have had threatens to capsize it and allow an alternative bidder to the table. This as anyone who has been any attention whatsoever, complete and total rubbish but he is allowed to say it and few seem ready to pull on it? 

TV piracy isn’t the key here – it is the geo-political dispute between between Qatar and Saudi Arabia that is in play and Keys is merely a government employee doing his paymasters’ bidding to make life difficult for their enemies. 

I’ll confess last week to have never ever having heard of failed actor, Tory MP and bit of a weirdo, the member for Clacton-on-Sea, Giles Watling. Watling made some self-serving noise last week as a member of the DCMS select committee calling for further government intervention in the Newcastle United takeover and siting the Saudi involvement. Interesting then to discover that Watling is a member of the Conservatives Friends of Israel and as such may be predisposed against an increasing profile and influence for the Saudis because of his Israeli affiliation – click here 

I was vaguely aware of the name of Karl McCartney, the Conservative MP for Lincoln. And what a decidedly unpleasant nerk this whopper transpires to be – click here – this goon appears to share a world view not dissimilar to a pair of right-wing career shithouses Tommy Robinson of the EDL and related crap and Katie Hopkins who makes money appealing to the worst instincts of the nastiest elements of British society. So, a man whose instincts are anti-semitic and Islamaphobic doesn’t think a consortium composed of Saudi (Muslim) and Reuben Bros (Jewish) money should be taking over Newcastle United. Well, that is hardly a turn up is it? 

Both men will be ignored. But they caught the public eye. There is potential political capital for them getting their mushes in the media. They won’t have acted because of alturistic motives because neither man has ever raised a peep about the UK defence industry shifting £billions in weaponry to drop on Yemenis (largely brown and Muslim). 

There will be more of this I’m sure but a look behind the curtain of these people’s lives quickly demonstrates their meanness and hypocrisy. 

Keep On, Keepin’ On … 

MICHAEL MARTIN