Jurgen Klopp was quick to point out the lack of scrutiny over owners in the Premier League prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as shared in a tweet by PA Media’s Carl Markham.
As Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich’s, own personal links to Vladimir Putin became clearer, the UK government took steps to seize assets based in the country, preventing the Blues from selling tickets and merchandise.
With direct links to the Saudi and UAE regimes, Newcastle and Manchester City’s ownership likewise invite investigation and critique if we are to look at them through the same critical lens we’re currently perceiving the London-based outfit with.
Given the allegations around the murder of a journalist, Jamal Kashoggi, authorised by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, not to mention the human rights abuses reportedly taking place in the United Arab Emirates, one has to question how the Premier League failed to dive deeper into such concerns.
Going forward, it’s clear that the English top-flight needs a far more stringent screening process to challenge and prevent sportswashing.
For the meantime, however, we must question why the strong sanctions have only been applied to Chelsea when one might argue there is a similar justification for punishing the likes of Newscastle and the Cityzens.