The Sands of Tyne: Will Saudi Megabucks Push Arsenal Further Down the Pecking Order?

Sheikh Wey Aye Mon

News has emerged that the sale of Newcastle United to a Saudi consortium is about to be completed.

Barcode fans will be delighted to see the back of Mike Ashley and are already licking their lips at the prospect of the spending spree to come.

But for the rest of the Premier League it’s not such welcome news.

We have seen how multi-billionaire owners have turned Manchester City and Chelsea from also-rans into being among the most successful clubs in the world. Now it looks as if Newcastle are going to gatecrash the party.

It will mean the current ‘big four’ made up of the two Manc clubs, the Chavs and the Scousers will soon become a big five. Probably not overnight, but if the Saudis take the same approach as Man City’s owners it will be only a matter of time.

And for the second tier of Premier League clubs (in which, somewhat optimistically, I am including our own beloved boys in red and white) it presages an even bigger struggle to get anywhere near the Champions League places and the huge financial rewards that accompany them.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter: we’re hardly challenging for top honours at the moment as it is, even without a fifth ‘big beast’ in the pack. Perhaps we should just accept our status as a middling EPL team.

But optimism is an essential part of the make-up of any football fan and I have been clutching at the thin straws of improvement we have been witnessing to think we might get into the top six this year, leading to a proper tilt at the CL places the following season.

A rich team on the Tyne makes that all a bit harder.

One unlikely (but not inconceivable) effect of a new financially doped team in the EPL could be to make the Kroenkes re-think their position.

Do they open the wallet and allow us to compete with the other big spenders?

Do they even think that UK “soccer” is bonkers and consider selling to the ever-eager Daniel Eck?

For what it’s worth I think the Saudis have made a smart decision picking Newcastle. They’re a club with a passionate supporter base who turn up in droves whether the team is winning or losing. If they were ever to win the title or the Champions League the whole north east would party for weeks.

Anyway, what do you think: is this news good, bad or irrelevant for Arsenal?



41 Responses to The Sands of Tyne: Will Saudi Megabucks Push Arsenal Further Down the Pecking Order?

  1. RockyLives says:

    Copying a couple of comments from the end of the previous Post

  2. RockyLives says:

    RA says:
    October 7, 2021 at 8:02 am (Edit)
    Good morning,

    I have just heard that the Saudi buyout of Newcastle Utd is likely to be signed off today.

    That will potentially make them the wealthiest club in the Premier – so ManU, ManCity, Chelsea, ‘Pool will have a bigger club to compete for one of the top four places, but 5 clubs into 4 places is going to upset one of them.

    What happened to winning football games on a level playing field and without ridiculous injections of money being the major decider?


  3. RockyLives says:

    RA says:
    October 7, 2021 at 9:22 am (Edit)
    Yes, I think you are correct, RA.

    The above named, now on the verge of being joined by the Barcodes will form the Premier Top Money League;

    Arsenal and 5 others will form the Premier Second League; – Also Rans,

    The Spuds, and the other losers, will form the Premier Third League – Relegation Fodder.

  4. RA says:

    A good Post, Rocky, and I would apologise for inadvertently jotting down a couple comments from me, to myself – but I think your Post takes care of itself! 😜

    Years ago, when Chelsea attracted Abramovich to buy them, and then spent really big bucks on some classy players (yes they were good – sadly) and then subsequently Man City was purchased by Abu Dhabi, and joined the Premiership cabal, that already included Manure, and also made some very costly transfer purchases, our good friend Big Raddy responded to my throw-away comment that ‘we should be looking out for a financial playboy of our own’ by saying he would not remain an Arsenal fan if we did that and splurged big money on higher quality players, thus distancing ourselves from the rest of the Premiership.

    He was right then and he would be right now.

    The lamentable Financial Fair Play rules were then brought in to stop the ‘buying’ of trophies – and some of us said, at the time, that would not work because the big money boys’ lawyers would roll over UEFA, if they were taken to task — and so they did.

    Happy for the Newcastle fans (Keegan should have won the Premiership for them years ago) but looking at the Barça and Real financial power unit was wrong in the day too, and is now falling apart – but the Premiership is becoming a bigger version of that unhappy financial cohort.

    The sports world is going mad.

  5. allezkev says:

    How are ya doing Red, Newcastle United and an absolute shed load of oil money, does that mean Tottenham are effectively out of our European Super League cabal?

    Watch this space…

  6. Negative Nigel says:

    Well that’s us screwed for the foreseeable future.The new oilers will mean 4 of the top five richest clubs in the world( PSG the other) & I’m not including state run Madrid/ Barca.are now doping the prem.Never mind joining a Euro super league.The rest inc us may as well breakaway in an alternative league because we’ll never compete.& please don’t mention the once in a lifetime miracle of Leicester.

  7. Pete the Thirst says:


    ‘If they were ever to win the title or the Champions League the whole north east would party for weeks.’

    Not sure my Sunderland supporting pal would agree…

  8. Pete the Thirst says:

    It’s a merry-go-round. The Premier League is only interested in money, it has always been the case. Any nods towards human rights are just guff.

    Expect more of this to come. Which club will North Korea buy? The Premier League will issue a bland statement:

    ‘Kim Jong-Un has given assurances to the Premier League that he is not linked in any way to the North Korean government’

  9. Pete the Thirst says:

    Whatever happened to Big Raddy?

  10. Aaron says:

    Timely article Rocky,

    Second tier and falling like a rock!

    ffP what a load of coal.

    Top 8 is the new AFC matra.

    Will be distancing myself further and further from the EPL in the coming years I am afraid to say..

  11. omgarsenal says:

    Rocky… usual, like so many other “spend-big and win” afficianados, you’ve fallen for the myth that money will inevitably win over internal team development and reinforcement strategies that Arsenal have chosen. Sure, a team like MC, PSG, RM and other big spenders can buy whomever they want and will fill their teams with the world’s “best” at the expense of other clubs who don’t have their resources. However AFC have always eschewed such approaches, preferring to grow their internal talent and strengthen with intelligent, but not extravagant external purchases.
    Will this help us in the short run, maybe not, but in the medium and long term history, we will be able to develop a cohesive team that has excellent chemistry. will we ever return to our domination that we enjoyed under Wenger, at the beginning, I sincerely doubt it but we will continue to play attractive and passionate Football and that is all we can expect, imho.

  12. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    To be clear, I am not advocating a megabucks takeover of Arsenal.

    I would much prefer that we develop a team within our own resources, much as omg says.

    Teams like Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have shown that it’s possible to compete with the big spenders if you have the right (not overly expensive) squad, the right coaching and the right sense of unity.

    We also have history, class and a massive international fan base in our favour.

  13. VP says:

    Great post Rocky
    You’ve actually convinced me that Arteta is the right manager for us. Develop technically adept young players, try recycling players (Willian etc.) and being tactically astute. Maybe he will become our Diego Simeone. Arteta already has 2 trophies and I like his new team set-up.

    I am actually excited for Newcastle. I look forward to beating them.

    COYG, upwards and onwards

  14. fred1266 says:

    After seeing Belgium vs France game yesterday really wouldn’t mind see that kind games more in prem

  15. RC78 says:

    Seriously Fred…what a game! I m glad France won but was a bit sad for the Belgians too…Anyways – more games like this in the EPL are indeed needed! What a roller coaster!

    As for Newcastle – good for them. They ve been a sub team in the last 20-5 years so would be nice for their fans to get some hope again. I think they will go with Antonio Conte as a coach, which is never good news for the rest of the teams…

    It will definitely make life for us harder in the EPL and the Cups but hopefully that can also trigger more investments from our owners or a sales to a willing billionaire (the Spotify owner does not have the financial muscle of the Saudis so if we well, we might as well sell out to a state and actually compete properly)

  16. LBG says:

    ” Juve let me down!”
    Well, Aaron, 400,000€ a week and a total of 25 games only started since you arrived, I’d say, for all the joy you gave us in Cup Finals, you proved to Juve what we knew already. Just as the Ox has proved to Liverpool.

  17. RC78 says:

    In terms of the French squad,
    – Lloris gets beaten twice at the first post but also had 2 good saves but France needs to see a proper GK come through to replace him soon;
    – we did struggle to cope wit Lukaku – I think he is now with Lewandowski the best Nr.9 in the world;
    – Pavard and L.Hernandez are yet to hit their optimal form;
    – Pogba is in good form this season;
    – Rabiot should do much better and I think his starting berth will be tested by Tchouameni, Camavinga, Veretout and maybe in time even Guendouzi;
    – Griezmann is such a fighter but he needs to rediscover his final scoring touch;
    – Benzema and Mbappe are quite something.

    Lloris – Kounde, Varane, Hernandez – Pavard, Pogba, Rabiot, Hernandez – Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe…

    It kindda works, we could also see Kimpembe as LCB for L.Hernandez or Tchouameni for Rabiot. I still think the team would be stronger if Giroud played up front, which would mean benching Griezmann which is very hard given his importance…But Giroud would provide such an anchor up front, which would allow Benzema and Mbappe plenty of space…

    Anyways…Allez les Bleus!

  18. fred1266 says:

    Yea rocky another example was city and Liverpool weekend I mean for supporters it heart wrenching but for the neutral great games to watch

  19. fred1266 says:

    I hope Bruce it given a season but yeah dey probably look for some big name manager sigh

  20. fred1266 says:

    Yea I remember when ox left fan bass was gutted I wasn’t cause I know he injury prone so mostly he would never play to his potential

  21. fred1266 says:

    Yea when day were down 2-0 I was saying dey need giroud, but think giroud should start over benzema though

  22. RC78 says:

    In any case, Giroud should at least be in the squad…I can’t believe Ben Yedder or Martial are called up ahead of Giroud these days. Both are good players of course but none of them offer what Giroud offers and we do need a Giroud to sometimes also have aerial presence and physical presence in the box. I actually think that Giroud and Benzema would link up very well.

  23. RockyLives says:

    We have, of course, debated in the past whether the current Arsenal squad could do with a player like Giroud.

    For my money, yes.

  24. RC78 says:

    Rocky – I agree. Giroud is a nice player to have in a squad. The guy works hard, chips in a decent amount of goals and is liked by his team-mates…I d take him at PSG any days over Icardi but I do miss Cavani though

  25. Pete the Thirst says:

    @LBG a bit harsh on Rambo. When he was at Arsenal he put the effort in. Scored 2 winning Cup Final goals in 2014 & 2017. Yes he carried a lot of injuries thanks mainly to Ryan Shawcross. But if the powers that be were in the ball at the time he would either have been on a longer contract or sold for a large dollop of cash.

    Similar with the Ox. Lots of injuries, but we got a decent sum of money for him. With hindsight a great deal.

    Now what about that Iwobi lad..

  26. Pete the Thirst says:

    @ RC & Rocky. Giroud is 35. If we go down that route we might as well sign Jack Wilshere up to a 5 year contract!

    He didn’t exactly enhance his reputation with the Arsenal fans with his videos when at Chelsea, did he?

  27. Mike M says:

    Rocky, Have to say “Sands of Tyne” made me laugh out loud, Sheikh Wey Aye Mon even funnier !!!

  28. LBG says:

    Agree with your comment that, as with many in the last ten years, management were negligent in letting players go for nothing contract wise.

    But like Walcott and Iwobi, I believe Ramsey and the Ox were always “too comfortable” at Arsenal, and, with the latter two’s injury record, were indicative of the “average quality” we have seen at the Club for a decade. (And when you add the Mustafis, Sokratis’, Kolasinacs, et al… and of course, X……….well, no wonder!!!)

    I loved it that Rambo virtually gave us three FA Cups, but I think he believed his own publicity at the end, and Juve were duped.

  29. RC78 says:

    Saliba captained the U23 French side – clean sheet. He is having a rather good season so far. I think Chambers will have to make way for him…

  30. RC78 says:

    Anybody watching the England game? How is Saka doing? What about Ward-Prowse?

  31. Gilly says:

    Well, Arsenal also has a billionaire owner, except he is a stingy billionaire! Very unfortunate.

  32. Lee Barrett says:

    RA wrote a comment about the site slowly dying, it is not surprising as I have been trying to comment for over a month without success.

  33. Lee Barrett says:

    I can use my usual LB because it won’t accept it.

  34. Lee Barrett says:


  35. LBG says:

    Sorry Lee, there is already an regular LB contributor, as well as myself.

  36. LBG says:

    “a regular…”

  37. VP says:

    LB, I hope you havent been trying to comment whilst riding 🙂
    Well done so far on an amazing tour.

  38. RC78 says:

    Allez les Bleus…A lucky win but a win is a win 🙂 If France manages to sort its defense out, it will be a heavy favourite for the World Cup but overall, the team is too reliant on individual brilliance from Lloris, Pogba, Benzema, Mbappe, The good news was that Thee Hernandez really showed great potential. Big worries remain around our central defense and our right back.

    Lloris – ?, Varane, ? – ?, Pogba, Kante, Hernandez – Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe

  39. fred1266 says:

    How exactly is that a lucky win we clear were the better side both side play nothing first half and unfortunate injury to varane along with poor finishing

  40. LBG says:

    France werent the better side and Mbappe’s goal was offside, exactly.

  41. RC78 says:

    In any case, a win is a win.

    Spain has got some quality young players. Everybody talks about the new Iniesta who is ironically called Gavi but I was well impressed with Pino when he come on

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