Many Blues fans seem to prefer Saudi Media to take over Chelsea. They don’t seem to care about Saudi Arabia’s human rights issues, including its treatment of the country’s LGBT community.
In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is illegal and is severely punished. While Saudi Media say they don’t have direct links to the Saudi government, these claims are disputed.
A concerned Blues fan nicknamed CFCCentral3 on Twitter argues that Saudi Media might not be the best option to buy the club.
“While news of the Saudi bid has sparked euphoria among the fanbase, it is worth remembering that Magda Eriksson, our captain, & Pernille Harder, one of the best players in the world, would both be publicly beaten, whipped or executed for their relationship in Saudi Arabia,” CFCCentral3 tweeted.
“As a Chelsea fan, I guiltily admit the prospect of such wealth entering the club and making us stronger after our worst crisis since the start of the millennium made a part of me rejoice.
“But Mohamed Alkhereiji, whose consortium is said to have no links to the Saudi regime, tweeted praise for the Prince, who almost certainly orchestrated the cold blooded execution of a Saudi journalist [Jamal Khashoggi].”
CFCCentral3 feels there is a way a Saudi Media ownership could have a positive impact on Chelsea and Saudi Arabia, but guarantees are needed to make sure the Blues do not become another sportswashing project.
“The idealist in me hopes this project is reverse sportswashing for Alkhereiji – a chance to invest in a club with one of the best womens teams in the world, with a female executive widely considered as one of the best negotiators and tireless workers in the business,” CFCCentral3 added.
“Alkhereiji is well educated and seems progressive. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to spearhead and accelerate the recognition of womens’ rights in Saudi Arabia.
“More women in the Middle East would be encouraged to play football, two iconic footballers in an openly gay relationship could help soften brutal repression faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I recognise this is far too utopian a view to have, but I hope the club seek reassurances from the Saudis about their vision – a non-negotiable promise to keep Marina in power, to invest from top to bottom in the womens’ team and to embrace causes/ideals the club has stood for over the years.
“Until then, my feelings are guilt-laced.”