Everything Simon Jordan said about Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe and Saudi Arabia
Simon Jordan gave a forthright response to questions on the media scrutiny of Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe’s response to questions on issues in Saudi Arabia.
The Magpies boss was asked a number of challenging questions in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat at Chelsea following mass executions that took place in Saudi Arabia last week.
Howe chose to respond by insisting he would “stick to football” and has been criticised by the likes of Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher for not confirming his personal stance on the issue.
Howe received further criticism on Tuesday morning as talkSPORT’s Jim White cited Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchal’s response to challenging questions on the Blues’ future and the crisis in Ukraine as an example for the United boss to follow.
However, former Crystal Palace owner Jordan took an alternative view on the situation in an eye-opening exchange that took place during their ‘White and Jordan Show’.
Here is everything Jordan said about Howe, Newcastle and Saudi Arabian investment in businesses across the country.
JORDAN - “This isn’t about football per se, it’s about football club ownership and how it has been changed and affected. People like Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola enjoy the benefits of the football ownership model that is being brought into question.
“The difficulty for these guys is the Premier League is the gateway and the controller of who owns these football clubs, and how they are owned. Eddie Howe can easily answer these questions.
“What people are saying is ‘well, what do you want him to say’, and I’m in the camp of what do you want him to say?
“How many people would turn around who are the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover who are part-owned by the Saudi state, and say actually I think it’s atrocious what is going on over in Saudi Arabia.
“How many people that work for Twitter, or Uber and Snapchat, all of these businesses that have huge Saudi investments, speak out in such a way against the Saudi Arabia regime?
“What he could say, and what I would have him say is as a member of a civilised society with western values, I’m against all human rights atrocities but I don’t work for the Saudi state.
“I work for the Public Investment Fund which the Premier League has already determined isn’t the Saudi state, hence the reasons why they were allowed to own Newcastle. End of discussion, journalist would come back and say hang on a second, we all know that the Saudi state is PIF.
“Hang on a second media, you seem to be quite happy with the adjudication the Premier League made about the separation of the Saudi state from the PIF. And then, around and around we go.
“We all know, everyone who is grown-up and can work the dots going backwards, to coin an anachronism from the guy who founded Apple, is that the Saudi state own Newcastle United.
“But you look at the hypocrisy, we’ve got media in this country, the Independent and the Evening Standard that are part-owned by the Saudi state.
We need to make sure our hypocrisy knows all bounds. It is very, very difficult for Eddie Howe or anybody asked to answer questions they are not equipped for, and don’t have the intellectual capacity to deal with it because it’s not their skillset. It’s not their job, it’s not their area of expertise.
WHITE - “Well Tuchel dealt with it…”
JORDAN - “Tuchel got right away from it, he turned around and said I’m not a politician and I don’t need to deal with this. Why keep asking me?”
WHITE - “Alison Rudd in the Times this morning, Thomas Tuchel was prepared for the difficult questions and trod very well the fine line between how football pales into insignificance while acknowledging how sport can bring respite from despair.”
JORDAN - “No, no, no. That’s pitting one person against another because Eddie Howe isn’t as adroit and adept at dealing with it as Thomas Tuchel. Thomas Tuchel blew his stack.
“He turned around and shouted at journalists last week that I’m not a politician, you have got to stop asking me these questions.”
WHITE - “But does Tuchel sound like a guy who has done his homework?”
JORDAN - “Tuchel then in the next press conference turns around and says there are far more pressing things in the world than the challenges of football.
“The question led him into how it will affect the players...hold on a second, we are privileged.
“He took it away from the journalists and said we are privileged.
“Don’t tell me about the challenges that I’ve got, the world has got challenges, the Ukrainian people have got challenges.
“I’ll drive a seven-seater bus if I have to, he took it away and used his nous and Eddie Howe will use his nous.”
WHITE - “But Eddie is flat-batting it?”
JORDAN - “Because Eddie doesn’t know how to answer the question.
“He will know how to answer it next time around because at this moment in time, what we are doing is this wonderful situation where we’re not focusing on Ukraine anymore, we’re now going to go after everybody.
“We should have thought about this a long time ago.
“What’s happening in Ukraine is specific to the situation at Chelsea, and we now want to decide that we’re going to go after Chinese owners and Saudi Arabian owners.
“Well, we should have done that a long time ago. We should be going after every aspect of business in this country if we want to deploy that sort of logic, make sure we do it to every business.
“Make sure every time you log on to Twitter, do realise when you send your little tweets out that it’s part-funded by Saudi Arabia.
“When you get into the Savoy Hotel in London, remember that’s owned by Saudi Arabia.
“Let’s make sure when we’re virtue-signalling but what other people are doing - and I’m not decrying the human rights atrocities because they do need to be dealt with…”
WHITE - “We’re focusing on the game and the here and now...
JORDAN - “We’re not focusing on the here and now. The Saudi takeover is done, that ship has sailed.
“This dial has turned because of the Ukrainian war, why were bombs being dropped in Yemen less important three months ago? Why was the Chinese murdering Uighur muslims not important three months ago?”
WHITE - “Those issues you have described, of course they are important. Ukraine is headline news everywhere Simon, and also headline news at the weekend were 81 executions in Saudi Arabia which isn’t lost on Matt who is a Liverpool fan.
“He says Eddie Howe is the manager so his template answer is I’m the football manager, that is nothing to do with me. Sorry Eddie, that’s nonsense.
“Matt says he is happy to take the owners money, knowing full well the things the owners are involved in. So he’s not free from criticism.”
JORDAN - “Yes, absolutely right. People are happy to drive Jags and Land Rovers, people are happy to go and bank at HSBC. Dons at Oxford are happy to take money from the Saudi Arabian state.
“All the dons at Oxford and Cambridge, and all the academics at the London School of Economics are taking massive donations from the Saudi state. They must come out and talk as well.
“Why has it got to be some - with due respect - inexperienced, not at the top of the food chain for intellect football manager?”
WHITE - “It’s a football-related story in that the Saudis own Newcastle United and Eddie is the manager.”
JORDAN - “Do you know what we saw? Let’s ratchet up the hypocrisy another level, we saw the MPs campaigning Government to allow the Saudis to buy Newcastle United.
“We saw the media writing about the unfairness of the Premier League clubbing together as a cartel to stop the ownership.
“Woah, have you got the audacity now to have a moral outrage and turn it on to Newcastle because you don’t like what’s going on at Chelsea?”
WHITE - “My question to you going into this break is should Eddie Howe have been more prepared for the questions coming at Stamford Bridge post-match on Sunday?”
JORDAN - “Yes, yes he should. He should have been briefed, he should have been across it, he should have been saying something like I said, I’m a member of a civilised society in a western culture with western values, I abhor all human rights atrocities.
“But I’m a football manager, working for a fund which the Premier League has said isn’t the Saudi state. End of discussion, thanks, next question.”