Reputation Management in Soccer’s Top Clubs?

Back in October 2021, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund purchased Newcastle United for over 405 million dollars. How is this reputation management you ask? Newcastle United was very average to below average team in the English Premier League, however, other Gulf Country owned teams have done really well in the recent past, giving Newcastle fans hope. It seems to already being paying off as Newcastle is 4th in the Premier League standings right now.  Their fans will also look at Saudi Arabia as a country who helped turned their team around, not as a country who commits human rights atrocities.

Newcastle United: The football fans that don't want their club owned by  nation states and billionaires | CNN

Photo from CNN

Another elite soccer club Paris Saint Germain is owned by another Gulf Country. Back in 2011, Qatar Sports Investment purchased PSG with the goal to turn the club into a power house. Since doing so, PSG has won their league 8 out of 10 times as well as making it to the UEFA Champions League Final for the first time in the clubs 50 year history. This is another example of a Gulf Country using soccer as a way to deflect the humans rights issues they have going on. Rather people talking about the humans rights issues a lot, people are more likely to discuss how this team, since being taken over by a Qatar led industry, has gone from average to an elite club.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain | Club | Paris  Saint-Germain

PSG’s President Nasser Al-Khelaifi

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