Saudi Arabia, Newcastle and the cult of football money

There’s a caveat in there, of course – five years later Everton are pretty much where they were in the Premier League table, but around $...

There’s a caveat in there, of course – five years later Everton are pretty much where they were in the Premier League table, but around $ 500 million in transfer fees worse – but the story does not require particularly in-depth reading. For 30 years the Premier League has touted wealth – as a means to an end, and now, after a while, as an end in itself.

The natural, logical and inevitable conclusion of this culture is that Newcastle fans gather outside St. James’s Park in traditional Saudi attire. The only way for clubs to compete, the only way for owners to restore hope in its purest form, is money. And Saudi Arabia has the most money.

It is money that has warped football so much that all but one of the dreams are now dead. There is no hope of a team’s breakthrough thanks to a crop of particularly gifted young people coming out of its academy. There is little certainty that an inspiring manager, with a strong sense of talent, will be enough to challenge petroclubs for European league titles and trophies.

The only thing that can do that, the only dream that survives, is that your club somehow wakes up one day with more money than everyone else. This is, indeed, what happened to Newcastle on Thursday: the sudden, shaking realization that his wildest fantasy had come true; not only that his purgatory was over, but that his paradise had arrived.

It’s easy to point fingers at these fans and say they’re the problem – that it’s their willingness to pay any price for success that means another club that prides itself on being an institution community is now in the hands of an owner who is willing to use it for selfish ends; that they are apparently ready to serve the needs of the murderous regime which seeks to deploy football to whitewash its image.

But they’re not the problem; they are the consequence of the problem. They are the end point of an era and culture obsessed with acquisition, which believes ambition can only be measured in millions of dollars, which cherishes those who spend and castigates those who don’t. , who welcomed money, whatever its origin, as an objective good, and never questioned, not once, what this money might want to do, what might be its purpose.

This is the answer. This is where that path leads – to a place where the only hope fans have is money, where dreams are built on money, and where there isn’t too high a price to pay.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Saudi Arabia, Newcastle and the cult of football money
Saudi Arabia, Newcastle and the cult of football money
Newsrust - US Top News
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