Gary Neville demands “instant embargo” on Saudi Arabian transfers

Gary Neville has waded into the discussion about the sudden influx of money from the Saudi Arabian league and demanded there is an “instant embargo” from the Premier League until the provenance of the money involved is ascertained.

His implication is that Chelsea are being illegally bailed out by the Saudi teams, who are owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which also invests in Chelsea’s ownership group, Clearlake Capital. Nobody is denying that, but the extent to which that connection breaks any rules is unclear. Those at Chelsea have pointed out that the Saudi PIF invests in hundreds of things, and hundreds of people invest in Clearlake Capital. The crossover is likely very small – but Neville isn’t happy:

“The Premier League should put an instant embargo on transfers to Saudi Arabia to ensure the integrity of the game isn’t being damaged,” Neville told BBC Sport.

“Checks should be made on the appropriateness of the transactions.

“If it comes through that process, obviously transfers could open up again. But I do believe, at this moment in time, transfers should be halted until you look into the ownership structure at Chelsea and whether there are beneficial transfer dealings that are improper.”

It seems Neville is implying that perhaps some kind of behind the scenes deal has been done between Chelsea and their investors to help bail the Blues out – but the reality is that these deals are being done for players up and down the Premier League. Were they bailing out Manchester United when they took on Cristiano Ronaldo’s huge wages?


  1. Neville should just shut the fluff and stop sulking like a spoilt toddler. Why read meaning into nothing, just because it’s Chelsea again? This is a different hight of daft reasoning.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Neville is totally out of his depth on this. Let’s remember this is the guy who stepped down as CEO at Salford City after he failed to guide the club he co-owns to promotion last year. So, he’s hardly an expert in the area of football economics.

      Indeed, this has every appearance of sour grapes, as Neville watches a Man Utd rival successfully wheel and deal in the midst of Saudi spending spree. In the course of accusing Chelsea of shady dealings he’s conveniently ignored the cash the Saudis have splashed elsewhere, for example, the transfer of Neves from Wolves or the signing of Ronaldo after his acrimonious departure from Neville’s beloved United. How much do you want to bet that Neville would pull a rapid 180 if the Saudi’s offered 30 million to take Harry Maguire, lol?!?

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