Richard Keys has criticised Eddie Howe for deflecting questions on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Howe was unveiled as Steve Bruce’s replacement last week as he took questions from the media at a press conference inside St James’ Park.
Our new manager shut down two questions from reporters about political discourse in the Middle East, insisting he was there simply to discuss football.
This clearly angered Keys, who tore into Howe on his own personal blog.
The same Keys, we might add, that has lived and worked for Qatar since 2013 – the same country responsible for over 6500 migrant worker deaths repeating to the construction of the 2022 World Cup.
He’s also had a pop at reported January target Conor Coady, questioning if he’ll speak out against the Saudi regime – should he sign for Newcastle – after vowing to ‘use his platform’ as an England player when out in Qatar next year.
This is what Keys wrote yesterday as he attacked Howe:
“And that leads us onto Eddie Howe.
It’s a warm welcome back Eddie as well.
“And I genuinely wish Howe good luck – he too is going to need it. It’s great to have another young Brit back in the PL. But, let’s keep it real.
“On the plus side Howe is apparently already a much better manager than he was when he took Bournemouth down than he was when he didn’t take to managing in Burnley (Newcastle is a bit further north than Turf Moor) or when he didn’t fancy a crack at Celtic. Or the previous regime at Newcastle chose to ignore him time and again. So that’s all good news.
“And I’m sorry – but as the face of the new Saudi ownership at Newcastle – Howe can’t duck questions about that regime as he did at his unveiling. It isn’t just ‘about football’ Eddie.
“But I guess you’ll find that out when you try to sign players in January. Forget about the likes of Conor Coady and his England colleagues, who’ll be demanding the FA hold Qatar to task on the subject of human rights as soon as they’ve qualified for the WC finals.
“Coady has announced that he and his colleagues will ‘use their platform’ to make a difference to the human rights issues in Qatar. Will you Conor? What exactly do you know about human rights in Qatar? Will you use your platform to highlight abuses in Saudi when Newcastle come calling in January – offering to fatten up your bank account? Have you been in touch with Jamal Khashoggi’s widow? No. I thought not.
You see – this is where it gets complicated when pop stars/footballers and the like start to want to get taken seriously – and they forget about the day job.”
I’d take Keys’ words with a pinch of salt; he has clearly become a dinosaur from yesteryear that gets off on spouting inflammatory nonsense with the intention of getting a response.
Well, he’s certainly got one, as we feel it’s important to highlight just how much of a hypocritical clown this man has become!