Let us enjoy this moment!!

This should be the happiest moment in our recent history as Newcastle United fans, and in the whole it is. However we still find ourselves having to defend our happiness that the club is no longer owned by Mike Ashley. But its nothing new, we have been defending ourselves for the past 14 years. But this time it’s different, instead of trying to tell us our place, there is an element of guilt that is trying to be pushed upon us.

Whether its journalists or other fans, the seems to be a pointed attack towards the fans of Newcastle United, not so much the club itself. It seems most have become a self-appointed moral compass, and have taken it upon themselves to once again tell us as fans how we should feel.

There is no doubt that fans, including myself, will look at the way the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia go about things in a way that is not only alien to us in the west, but with a sense of disgust almost. Their use of punishment, their human rights record is questionable. We are not looking at this through rose tinted glasses. There is a sense of ‘what about’ in our line of defence. If we didn’t know before, we know now because it has been thrown down our throats by the ‘holier than thou’ brigade that feel like they should be the moral compass of every Newcastle fan.

It is important to notice for those shouting the loudest hoping we take note, that we are owned by PIF, and not the Kingdom, which is why the takeover was able to go through in the first place. There is as we are told clear separation between the two, and as such there should be a clear separation between how we celebrate the end of the Sports Direct era, and the beginning of a new dawn on Tyneside.

As far as I am aware PIF as an entity have made their billions through shrewd investment, and goes to show their business acumen, and is a positive in as far as it could be transferred to the running of Newcastle United, and make us commercially and financially better than we have ever known.

The issue will come for many the board make-up of PIF. The fact that the vast majority of their board is made up of Saudi governors and ministers, with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman sitting at the top. I get with that make-up the lines are blurred for many. What is clear though is Newcastle is not a ministerial appointment, it is not part of any government, and is not a political focus.

I don’t mean to be rude here, but I am guessing (and I include myself in this) many Newcastle fans are not politically savvy. So why are we being asked to take a political stance when it comes to our takeover. There is a reason FIFA will punish any league that is seen to have governmental influence, or involvement. Football and Politics simply do not mix.

When Newcastle taste some sort of success, the celebrations will not be halted because we suddenly think, “hang on what about Yemen?’ or the abuse that women and those within the LGBTQ+ society suffer. It will be celebration that our football club have succeeded at something, when there has been little to nothing to celebrate since Mike Ashley bought the club from Freddy Shephard and Sir John Hall.

We as a collective are free thinking people, we are able to separate the football from any morality or ethical issues that we have. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I get the objections people may have to a Saudi based organisation, and one that holds considerable power within the Kingdom, and through their investments worldwide. I also get that they have been thrust into the limelight, and their practises examined because PIF have invested in the Premier league.

We just need to look at the considerable communication from the board already to show that ethically and morality based, the club and the Kingdom are on two completely different wavelengths. Amanda Staveley has already said that the club will continue to fight against Racism, they will continue to support LGBTQ+ rights, and will look to elevate the women’s team. The fact that ‘United with Pride’ have supported the takeover, and are willing to work with the club surely shows the major differences in a political state and a football club.

Whether Saudi Arabia look at this attention and move to change things within their own country, only time will tell. But that is the sort of thing to be discussed between leaders of nations, and not football fans.

In the eyes of many there will always be an asterisk next to Newcastle’s name, like there was with Chelsea and City. We know this, we do not need it thrown down out throats to where the pollical landscape replaces that of the football.

We are football fans, we are not politicians, we are not representatives of the United Nations, we are not judges at the Hague. Let us enjoy this moment, let us bask in the fact Mike Ashley has gone, let us have our own views. This is not an easy question or answer for any of us individually to answer, we all have our own beliefs. So most importantly, stop telling us how to think!

@CRichardsonNews