Why there’ll be no ‘ethical dilemma’ if Sheikh Khaled takes over at NUFC..

Very rarely do I “rise to the bait” as the saying goes. I’m usually fairly insistent that I shall remain the provoker and not the provokee, but occasionally someone comes along who is so far off target that they are a public menace, and something has to be said, so this is in response to the ‘ethical dilemma’ article published on this blog yesterday which basically suggested that the United Arab Emirates is in fact the home of Satan  himself and as such we should be concerned about effectively not even selling, but actually giving our souls to the devil himself. 

I apologise to the blog’s normal crowd because there’s a definite lack of football related content, but some things need to be straightened out here. 

The article (see it here) started by saying that we, as fans, are happy to ignore ethics. Not a good start. These are the fans who picked up their pitchforks and torches and ran Wonga out of town. Just another weekend in Byker it may have been,  but hardly, I would suggest, an ethical drought.

When I first went to Saudi Arabia it wasn’t so much a culture shock as a complete electrocution. Within the first couple of weeks a neighbor was arrested for dropping his friend’s daughter at school during a family emergency. I was arrested for jogging wearing shorts and we lost a colleague who was incarcerated for smoking a cigarette on a street corner, which everyone knows translates into “here I am big boy, come and get me!”
The biggest  shock to the system though was a Friday visit to “Chopper Square” where visiting foreigners were pushed to the front of the crowd so they could get the best view of exactly how local justice works. Never has the phrase “give that man a big hand” been less appropriate. 

To say Saudi was a struggle would be a bit like saying Ashley can be a bit of a tease.

When the opportunity showed itself, I jumped ship and headed to the United Arab Emirates.   

The UAE, like Saudi, is governed by Sharia Law but I think it would be more accurate to refer to it as Sharia- Lite. 

So – what was less than accurate in yesterday’s piece slating of the UAE? Well just about everything.

Yes they have the death penalty with executions running at around one every 2 years and they are carried out by firing squad. I was there 30 years and even the old timers who were there when I arrived couldn’t remember ever hearing about a stoning or a hanging.
Personally I don’t see the death sentence for child rapists and murderers as such a bad thing. As for how it’s carried out, where on earth did we get this idea that it should be a painless and comfortable affair?

The comments on the treatment of workers are a little outdated too. Labour Laws have been shaken up to ensure that all workers have the same rights no matter what their nationality or job. It’s against the law for a company to hold passports and all workers now have free access to the Labour Ministry, where their complaints are properly investigated.

As for women’s rights I suspect he may be getting a little confused with maybe Saudi Arabia, or perhaps a 19th Century novel. This is what happens when you believe that Monty Python’s Life Of Brian is actually a documentary.

Now- as for his reference to the Emirates as “a federation of absolute monarchies presiding over a regime notorious for violating human rights”,  these Monarchies provide free schooling, free medical, free dental  and interest free loans to their citizens. If the loanees show a willingness to pay back the loans on time after a while these loans can be conveniently “forgotten”.
On the healthcare side of things if necessary, the government will pay for oversees treatment for Emiratis, also paying for a family member to join them overseas.
A system has been put in place whereby any foreigner wishing to start a business must have a 51% Emirati partner. This provides a source of income for Emiratis, for just signing the paper. 
Emiratis with government jobs usually retire with full pension after only 15 years in their position. 

I wish our government put half as much into looking after us as the Emirati federation of absolute monarchs does.

As an aside here I think it’s also fair to also mention that Emiratis live as families. There’s no way that Granny is left to fend for herself in a bungalow 100 miles down the road. Senior family members are respected and cared for. Something our democracy could do with noting.

As someone who spent more than half of my life in the UAE I say the same thing again and again when it comes to western visitors being thrown in jail. When you are in their house, you play by their rules. If you break those rules then you can get away with just about anything if you show respect.
If you are drunk, curse and swear and disrespect officials or Emiratis then it’s pretty straight forward. You’re going to jail first, and the length of your stay will be discussed at a later date.

As for freedom of speech it would be fair to say that if you tried to march through the streets of Dubai  burning a UAE flag, chanting for the government to be overthrown and inciting violence against Islam, then yes, it would be a very short march indeed.  

Are we arguing that we are the better nation because we would allow this to happen in the UK?

Today’s UAE bears no resemblance to the one I arrived in 30 years ago and I’m not referring to the huge skyscrapers, 16 lane highways, theme parks and out and out extravagance. While Sharia Law may remain pretty much the same, the application of it has changed. Significantly.

The rulers figured out years ago that change is necessary if the country is to evolve commercially into something a little more robust than just a big oil well. And that change is under way big time.

Thanks to wealth provided by the discovery of oil in the 40s and 50s the UAE has experienced in only 2 generations the kind of agricultural, industrial and commercial growth that took other countries hundreds of years to achieve.  

Yes, there’s still room for improvement, in much the same way that the UK could be better in many areas, but to ignore the progress that has been made in all areas of work, life and the environment, in such a short period of time is just outrageous. 

I can only assume from yesterday’s ill-informed rant that the ‘ethical dilemma’ article was trying its best to dampen the spirits of the Geordie Faithful. We’ve had booze companies, banks and money lenders as sponsors and Mike Ashley as an owner. I think we can cope with a successful Arab businessman.

Let’s not forget that other teams have  Qatari, Saudi, Chinese, Russian, Thai and Indian owners to contend with. I think well manage.

(Fancy writing for us? Get in touch at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

13 thoughts on “Why there’ll be no ‘ethical dilemma’ if Sheikh Khaled takes over at NUFC..

  1. Great article. About time someone cut through all this bu*****t propaganda being spouted out at the moment.

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  2. A nice piece and quite refreshing to read something that is not ott xenophobic nonsense.

    Just because someone leads a life that is quite different from your own does not make that life wrong it just makes it different.

    I think the ‘ethical dilemma’ article was written by an envious Sunderland supporter wanting to demean the takeover, or maybe a supporter from one of the “top six” running scared that we might upset the apple cart and rise above our station which is possible if Rafa gets any decent level of financial support to back his ambitions for NUFC

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  3. I couldn’t get my head around the whole dilemma thing.

    The stuff said about the UAE wasn’t correct and even if it was how do you hold one Emirati who is not even in the government responsible for the country’s failings??

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  4. Anyone who has spent any time in the UAE will know that it is one of the most liberal and tolerant countries in the Middle East.

    I got married in Abu Dhabi in a Church which is home to 50 different denominations.

    The rant on the ethical dilemma was a very thinly disguised attack not on the UAE but on fundamental Islam, and the UAE, while not being perfect is hardly a hotbed of Islamic radicals.

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  5. Ah, a reactionary article that illustrates the point of mine, which was that football fans care only about their club’s success irrespective of how it’s derived, and will go as far as justifying a country through anecdotal evidence rather than considering actual human rights investigations. The first link that follows provides evidence and specific examples and covers everything that has been excused in Archie’s sycophantic piece (I don’t think anyone at the Bin Zayed Group reads your blog, but it’s important to keep the ‘blog’s normal crowd’ onside).
    https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/united-arab-emirates
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates

    For the record, I didn’t suggest that the UAE or BZG were ‘satan’, that term was used in the comments section by one of the ‘blog’s normal crowd’. Indeed, my very next paragraph mentioned just a few of Britain’s foreign policy crimes and indiscretions. I then went on to detail why Mike Ashley, and indeed, John Hall are also unethical characters outside of their running of the club, and how free market domestic policy has increased wealth disparity. Glass houses? No, I’m well aware of the history and heritage of my country. The first link that follows from a book on domestic economics details why Thatcher and Reagan were so destructive (so supporting her financially was inexcusable) whilst the second expands on this and eventually considers the detrimental impact of the flow of foreign money in a domestic economy (I know, real adult talk but some of us care about the state of the country and the world generally).
    https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2019/jun/06/socialism-for-the-rich-the-evils-of-bad-economics
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/oct/05/the-finance-curse-how-the-outsized-power-of-the-city-of-london-makes-britain-poorer

    By calling out a list of rich Geordies and/or Newcastle supporters to buy the club, I was pointing at the absurdity of the system we’ve found ourselves in for the past twelve years and our complete and utter impotence in doing anything about it other than wishing that a billionaire would come along and save us. That this is clearly the situation speaks of how modern football is broken systemically and hardly any clubs actually belong to the fans. I certainly wouldn’t want Tony Blair anywhere near the running of anything. That my humour was misconstrued frustrates me somewhat but given that this is merely a football blog, I won’t be losing any sleep over it. I’d like to thank everybody who took the time to read the article and to those I’ve evidently upset, well, it’s good to feel the full spectrum of emotion as that keeps you human and it’s not like I’ve lied about anything, unlike say Mike Ashley or Boris Johnson or Donald Trump. Oh, and just because nobody ever mentioned climate change and our impending doom (perhaps you all know and it’s not up for debate, yet the UAE are benevolent), here’s another report I sourced for the article:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-global-warming-end-human-civilisation-research-a8943531.html

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  6. Archie, good article mate…

    Actually Edison you lied about quite a lot. I stopped reading after the blatant lies about the uae. I live in Dubai and I’ve been there 6 years. I know for a fact that what you said in your corrosive and destructive article is about as far from the truth as it’s possible to be. You clearly have zero knowledge of the Middle East in general and of UAE in particular. Right behind my house are 11 churches of all denominations … the Pope was recently welcomed to Abu Dhabi and the level of tolerance is far more than you’d get in many other countries. Please take your misguided politics somewhere else…

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  7. I’m still struggling to see what any of this has to do with Newcastle United fans ethics and the BZG. Was your whole point just to raise awareness of the influx of foreign money? The days of finance respecting international boundaries are long gone. The Chinese and the Arab world, the only ones with money at the moment, are in the process of divvying up entire continents between them, with even Dubai taking a loan of 12 billion dollars from the Chinese to get one of thier projects on track.
    Even so, I still don’t think it justifies the gloomy picture you painted.

    Not sure how football is “broken”, because the clubs don’t belong to the fans. Using which logic SHOULD clubs belong to the fans? Does that also go for Rugby, cricket, F1, TV Shows, Departments stores, etc? Why should rich Geordies even consider putting their hard earned cash into one of the most volatile businesses going? Elton John tried it, wasn’t too successful.
    Yes the money is completely out of control, but it generates more money, making the rich richer.

    As for sycophancy perhaps you’d like to point out the bits in my article that you think are in any way inaccurate? I don’t really feel the need to suck up to the Bin Zayed Group – I lived in the UAE for 30 years and have now retired, never to return. I just felt the need to lighten the mood a little.

    Out of curiosity, how much of your life did you spend in the UAE?

    Maybe if you could take the time to point out which of the bits in your article were “humour” and which were researched fact we’ll be able to laugh in the right places – after all we’re just followers of what is “merely a football blog” and maybe need prompting.

    Final thought – you have to be very careful when you start using Wikipedia as a source for your information. The information on the site is provided by people like me.

    Anyway, it’s been fun. Don’t worry – your lot might get promoted next season, if you can find a wealthy benefactor to support you.

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  8. Dubai Toon:
    Archie, good article mate…

    Actually Edison you lied about quite a lot. I stopped reading after the blatant lies about the uae. I live in Dubai and I’ve been there 6 years. I know for a fact that what you said in your corrosive and destructive article is about as far from the truth as it’s possible to be. You clearly have zero knowledge of the Middle East in general and of UAE in particular. Right behind my house are 11 churches of all denominations … the Pope was recently welcomed to Abu Dhabi and the level of tolerance is far more than you’d get in many other countries. Please take your misguided politics somewhere else…

    Having read through the sources that I provided, please explain what exactly I have lied about.

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  9. Archie:
    I’m still struggling to see what any of this has to do with Newcastle United fans ethics and theBZG. Was your whole point just to raise awareness of the influx of foreign money?The days offinance respecting international boundaries are long gone. The Chinese and the Arab world, the only ones with money at the moment, are in the process of divvying up entire continents between them, with even Dubai taking a loan of 12 billion dollars from the Chinese to get one of thier projects on track.
    Even so, I still don’t think it justifies the gloomy picture you painted.

    Not sure how football is “broken”, because the clubs don’t belong to the fans. Using which logic SHOULD clubs belong to the fans? Does that also go for Rugby, cricket, F1, TV Shows, Departments stores,etc?Why should rich Geordies even consider putting their hard earned cash into one of the most volatile businesses going? Elton John tried it, wasn’t too successful.
    Yes the money is completely out of control, but it generates more money, making the rich richer.

    As for sycophancy perhaps you’d like to point out the bits in my article that you think are in any way inaccurate?I don’t really feel the need to suck up to the Bin Zayed Group – I lived in the UAE for 30 years and have now retired, never to return. I just felt the need to lighten the mood a little.

    Out of curiosity, how much of your life did you spend in the UAE?

    Maybe if you could take the time to point out which of the bits in your article were “humour” and which were researched fact we’ll be able to laugh in the right places – after all we’re just followers of what is “merely a football blog” and maybe need prompting.

    Final thought – you have to be very careful when you start using Wikipedia as a source for your information. The information on the site is provided by people like me.

    Anyway, it’s been fun. Don’t worry – your lot might get promoted next season, if you can find a wealthy benefactor to support you.

    This comment isn’t worth my time to explain on top of what I’ve already written previously and provided links to. If you don’t believe a football club belongs to its fans and community then our worldviews are so polarised that discourse is futile. Regarding your cheap Wikipedia comment, did you not view the link above it? You know, the one that takes apart everything you and Dubai have claimed (what with being biased having connections to those countries). Do you attend every home game, buy the merchandise and shop in Sports Direct? If so then you’re one of the reasons we haven’t been able to rid the club of Ashley. Most football fans don’t have ethics these days and that ensures we’re forever at the mercy of those who don’t have our best interests at heart.

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  10. I’m sure this is becoming very tedious for the other readers, and I’ll apologise for that in advance, but if I make a statement I’m prepared to back it up.

    Now. I assume you just “forgot” to tell us how long you spent in the United Arab Emirates.

    I used to work with a US Army Colonel who tried to convince us that the best way to get things done was not to actually be competent yourself, but instead to ensure you are surrounded by competent people. “Ahhhm good at what ahhh do because ahhh know nuthin’ “.
    You seem to be an expert not because you’ve been there, seen it and experienced it first hand, but because you’ve read about it on the internet, in articles by other people who also haven’t been there, seen it, or experienced it first hand.
    Ahh we all know a few of them.

    You said “Ah, a reactionary article that illustrates the point of mine, which was that football fans care only about their club’s success irrespective of how it’s derived,…”
    My previous article on this blog, which I have to say I’m very disappointed you didn’t read, posed the question “do we really want to support a club that just buys trophies?”

    Nice of you to at least take the time to dismiss my argument as “not worth your time”.

    While you again opted not to answer my question about clubs “belonging” to fans let me explain why they don’t. Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City. And again does this “fan ownership concept” extend to the Falcons, The Thunder, The Diamonds, The Eagles etc?

    As for your HRW research, the report is so full of “possible” offences that “might” have been commited that it “could” have been written by the Chronicle.

    As for attending home games and buying merchandise – I don’t, but isn’t that what real fans do?
    Or are you one of these fair weather fans who only supports us when we’re winning?

    I appreciate that even reading this may not be worth your valuable time, after all it would take quite a bit of your valuable time to actually explain your comments. What troubles me is your comment about this being a “mere football blog”. It makes me wonder why you would take so much of your valuable time to submit articles to NUFCBlog and the Mag when you obviously hold this media in such contempt?

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