- Aug 18, 2012
Good post and I entirely agree with your criticism of the regime. Ultimately it's all just money, but I do agree that the source in City's case is problematic, to massively understate things.That's precisely the point - it's a question of scale. What City have done is knock the scale completely out of whack. Even Abramovich's buying of titles wasn't on the scale of Man City.
Plus there are other non-football, socio-economic factors at work, namely the fact that those with resources now have far more than previously. Whereas a Jack Walker only spent tens of millions to buy his title, now the billionaires are spending 100s of millions. Alan Shearer cost Blackburn £3.3 million in 1992 and that was a British transfer record. Here's the noodle-baker: adjusted for inflation, that comes to £6.74 million in today's money. When they again broke the transfer record two years later, they spent £5 million on Chris Sutton. Inflation adjusted price: £9.69 million. City have spent nearly half a billion pounds on players. That's more than the nominal GDP of six of the world's countries.
And they feed the explosion of prices in players, which then damages competition because it makes the other teams unable to compete unless they spend similar amounts. What if those teams don't have billionaires willing to fund them? It's that principle that prompted UEFA into setting up FFP in the first place (nominally, at least). What was Man City's response? Did they try and remain within the rules laid down to ensure that there was fair and open competition? No. They circumvented the rules so they could continue BUYING titles.
And far beyond all that, as @Marty rightly says, the money is blood-money. The UAE is amongst the most horrific states in the world and Man City's owner is the deputy Prime Minister. Their 'kafala' system turns hundreds of thousands of migrant workers into slaves. And this isn't some First World drudgery we're talking about. They have no protection. A migrant worker can be beaten by their employer (and often are). Now, you'd think that if they were abused, then they'd just up and leave, right? Nope. In order to leave their employer, they have to get permission from the employer. And if they run away, the authorities actively hunt them down. And when caught, guess where they're sent: back to their employers. Most have to surrender their passports to their employers at the beginning of their 'employment' and so they can't even return to their homelands. Employers routinely refuse to pay them, deny them any time off, any kind of medical care. And do you know what the real cherry on the cake is? The UAE supposedly 'abolished' slavery in 1963.
Some of the other treasures available in the UAE:
We may not like the Abramoviches, the Glazers or the Kroenkes of this world, we may quite rightly condemn them for their less than palatable business practises, but they are nothing, nothing compared to the absolute scum that oozes out of the oil-sheikhdoms* of which Al-Nahyan is one of the most egregious examples (although that's a bit like saying he's the smelliest turd)
- Flogging and stoning are still used as a form of punishment;
- You can be executed for being an apostate from Islam;
- Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men - the other way round is absolutely fine, of course, because the women are usually forced to convert to Islam, even though Islam directly forbids compelled conversion - gotta love that ol' time hypocrisy!
- Homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by flogging, chemical castration or death. Castration, ffs!
- During the Arab Spring, more than a hundred activists were jailed and tortured for seeking reform; torture methods included electrocution;
- Amnesty International reported in 2016 that dozens, if not hundreds, of people, both Emirati and non-, have been forcibly disappeared for months without trial;
- A UAE court ruled that a husband was allowed to beat his wife as long as he left no physical marks. What a wonderfully enlightened attitude! Because it's the bloodletting that makes wife-beating wrong;
- Guess what happens to women who get raped: they get charged with committing adultery! These people take victim-blaming to a whole new level.
What Al Nahyan wants to do is sportswash his and his family's abhorrent, repulsive, barbaric, suppurating pus-filled boil of a regime in the eyes of the world. And if football is even more corrupted along the way, then who cares, right? Cause there's always been money in football, right?
*Just for the record, my screed is directed at the ruling elites of these nations, not the general populations.