Monday, July 07, 2008

'It's Disgusting, An Absolute Joke'

I get the feeling this won't go over well with fans in the UK.
Newcastle United fans have reacted angrily to claims their club could be sold to the family of Osama Bin Laden.

The Saudi Binladen Group's chief executive is Osama's half-brother, Bakr bin Laden, and the company was founded by their father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Laden.

The group is said to be considering a £300million-plus deal to buy the Premier League club and then carry out a lucrative redevelopment of their St James' Park ground and the surrounding land.

Although the Bin Laden family publicly distanced itself from the founder of Al-Qaeda years before he claimed responsibility for the September 11 atrocities in 2001, any takeover would be highly controversial.

The potential sale has been met with indignation by fans of the club, with a number of supporters venting their fury on internet forums.

One supporter said: 'There are some things more important than football, and I don't want any connection with Bin Laden or his family.

'If they buy Newcastle it will be an embarrassment to the Premiership and cause us to be demonised the world over. Just the Bin Laden name will be damaging enough.'

Supporters say they are horrified their club will become the 'laughing stock of the Premier League'.

'This is getting ridiculous, I didn't mind Americans buying us out, but now terrorists are going to buy the club!', one said.

Another angry fan said: 'What would it do to for our ability to recruit players? Would the players we have play for them?'

Frank Gilmour, of the Independent Newcastle United Supporters' Association told the Sun newspaper: 'It's disgusting, an absolute joke.

'But will Mike Ashley (current owner) really be prepared to sell the club to the family of a terrorist.'

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