The People Who Own The Premier League

The Premier League was born in a TV rights deal, and presumably one day will die in one. But will it take the rest of the world with it? If you believe certain excitable commentators, it's responsible for most of the ills in modern society. that said, it probably can't take down the whole project of human society. Probably. But Saudi Arabia could do that, and The Premier League stands ready to help them, in return for piles and piles of cash. Surely the League can't accept a regime like the Saudis owning Newcastle United, one of the historic clubs in the game?

Newcastle United Football Club is on the block (Auction, not chopping. Though the Saudis doing the buying are familiar with both.) and will almost certainly be sold in the coming days. That raises very serious questions about the kind of people the Premier League want owning their clubs. Sadly, those questions related entirely to matters financial, and in the modern age a bankruptcy or a history of TV piracy is literally a more serious obstacle to owning a football club than is executing 800 people. Why is that? 

It's simple: The Premier League was built on money. Not the money we all see in the headlines, like transfer fees and immense player wages, but the TV money that was at the centre of the foundation of the league in the first place. No wonder then that the calibre of person owning a Premier League club can be... lacking. Not just oligarchs, but thieves, sex offenders, and now the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. It was ever thus, and the new low is hardly a surprise. But it's certainly a problem. This episode, Ev On Everything is on about football clubs, their owners, and the original sin of TV rights perhaps being the only thing that can stop this deal going through.

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Ev Buckley