August 8, 2022

Not sure Jake Humphrey has quite understood why people criticise Newcastle’s ownership

In one of the most spectacularly Partridge-esque television moments of the year, Jake Humphrey has taken a dig at critics of Newcastle United’s Saudi-led ownership.

The club were taken over during the winter, by a Saudi-led consortium indistinguishable from the Saudi government, with both led by Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi government executed 81 people in a single day in March this year. Same sex relationships are also criminalised in Saudi Arabia.

Presenting BT Sport’s coverage of Newcastle vs Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, Humphrey mentioned how, “as ever with this club, there are people standing on the sidelines, ready to snipe and have a bit of a pop.” For good reason, you might think.

But it seems Humphrey has been fully sportswashed, as he followed that comment by saying: “At the moment, the way they’re running the club, it’s proving difficult for them, isn’t it,” with the smuggest grin you’ve ever seen.

Presumably he is referring to the lavish expenditure on new players in the January transfer window and the appointment of Eddie Howe, and conveniently ignoring the appalling human rights record of the new owners.

Watch the clip below.

Unsurprisingly, this prompted some criticism from viewers watching at home.

One Twitter user said: “And they say sportswashing doesn’t work.” Quite.

Guardian journalist Sachin Nakrani, who posted the clip, replied to one user: “Even for Jake that’s one hell of a tone-deaf call.”

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Max Rushden also added: “[He] should really explain who he’s referring to…”

If you were in any doubt as to how effective sportswashing can be, let this be a reminder.

It’s working on the fans too, as you can see in the following clip below, recorded ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Chelsea in March.

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