The ethics behind the recent takeover of Newcastle United Football Club

Stuart Marshall, Malundi Theophil Christian, Gregor Matheson, Joseph McDonagh, Kieran James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article uses well-established normative ethical theories from the field of philosophy to evaluate the takeover of England’s Newcastle United Football Club by a Saudi-backed investment fund. Major concerns are the human rights record of Saudi Arabia; whether a foreign government in effect owns an English football club; and the risk that an unfair competitive advantage will accrue to Newcastle due to the amount of funds at their disposal. We remained concerned about the sporting ethics of the takeover, but we accept that it has been greeted with enthusiasm by most Newcastle United supporters. This article has long-term relevance since other clubs may be inspired to seek out similar deals in order to increase their prospects of success in the English Premier League and in European competitions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number555768
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Fitness, Medicine & Treatment in Sports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2022


  • English Premier League
  • ethical theories
  • football finance
  • human rights
  • Newcastle United takeover
  • Saudi Arabia
  • soccer finance


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