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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Is ugly money good for football?

Is ugly money good for football?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available.

When football clubs are looking for investment, what are their options? When Newcastle United accepted a mammoth $300M investment by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund (PIF), it came with promises to bolster the club, benefit local communities and enrich the experience for fans. But should Newcastle be accepting money from a country with Saudi Arabia’s human rights record? Can national fans reconcile going to Qatar later this year with the knowledge of how labourers were exploited and died during stadium construction?

Where does this leave the fans who have concerns about where the money flowing into their clubs comes from, or where the leagues turn to for partners and hosts?Is this about seeing the long term benefits to the game, the fans and their communities, or are we allowing oppressive regimes and problematic companies to ‘sportwash’ their reputations?

editor and invited experts

Andrew Butler
Editor and Head of Social

Anthony Burnett
CEO, Kick It Out

Chris Paouros
Co-Chair, Proud Lilywhites

Dale Vince
Chair, Forest Green Rovers

David Harrison
Journalist

Florence Lloyd-Hughes
Journalist and broadcaster

Kieran Maguire
Podcaster and football finance lecturer, University of Liverpool