Due to the UK’s relations with the Gulf Kingdom, Jamie Redknapp has advised footballers to ‘be very careful’ when facing Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabia owners, before claiming that football fans don’t care who runs their team.
When Tottenham visits what is expected to be a rowdy St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon, Newcastle will celebrate their first encounter since a Saudi-led group sealed a £305 million ownership of the club earlier this month.
The agreement, which sees Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) buy 80% of the club and fellow stakeholder Amanda Staveley serve as a director, has been criticized due to Saudi Arabia’s dismal human rights record, notably in relation to LGBT people.
Redknapp, a Sky Sports pundit, acknowledged the worries, but stated that most football fans don’t care who owns their team and that supporters’ memories fade over time.
‘I understand the human rights issues; it’s right in front of you,’ Redknapp said on Sky Sports on Sunday. ‘However, we must be careful not to be too hypocritical, because we have a lot of agreements with the Saudis as a country.’
Source: Daily Mail