Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville claim Premier League bosses must be prepared to answer difficult questions about club owners and their money amid greater scrutiny over links with Russia and Saudi Arabia
- Thomas Tuchel was quizzed about Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich
- Newcastle boss Eddie Howe refused to comment on executions in Saudi Arabia
- Premier League clubs under greater scrutiny with their lucrative global links
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville say Premier League bosses must be prepared to answer difficult questions relating to club owners and the origins of their money.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been praised for his handling of questions on sanctioned Russian owner Roman Abramovich and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in ‘statesman-like’ fashion.
But Eddie Howe, who was appointed as Newcastle manager by the club’s Saudi Public Investment Fund owners in November, refused to comment when asked about Saudi Arabia executing 81 people in one day following his side’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Sunday.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been praised for his handling of tough questions
Asked on Sky Sports whether it is fair for managers like Howe to face questions on such matters, Carragher said: ‘Yes, I think it is, with the situation and how everybody sees it and how against it a lot of people are – and understandably so.
‘Thomas Tuchel has handled the whole situation with what is going on with Roman Abramovich and what’s happening in Ukraine really well.
‘The question to Eddie Howe on Sunday, the tone of it was, ‘Eddie, what are you doing working for the Saudis, are you not aware of what they do?’
‘That was the insinuation, and it is a very difficult position for him to be in.’
Chelsea’s Russian owner Abramovich (above) has been sanctioned by the Government
‘Eddie Howe is in an extremely difficult position,’ Neville added. ‘Tuchel has been statesman-like in the past couple of weeks, standing up and getting the balance right between understanding he works for the football club, but also that it’s not right. He’s gone up in everyone’s estimations.
‘I think Jurgen Klopp does that really well at Liverpool as well. When social or political issues come into their world, they handle them with great honour.
‘Eddie Howe is going to have to do that because these questions are not going away,
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe refused to answer questions on mass executions in Saudi Arabia
‘Footballers over the past 20 years have been removed from that, thinking it wasn’t in the sphere of sport, rising above it, and not accepting the connection between sport, politics, and sportswashing.
‘But sport is now being scrutinised like you wouldn’t believe. It needs independent regulation and transparency.
‘This is too much for the executive of the Premier League at this moment in time. These are massive, global issues that are hitting home on our doorstep.
‘Eddie Howe is not prepared to deal with them. He’s prepared for the job, but he didn’t join Newcastle to answer massive political questions related to a war or mass executions in Saudi Arabia.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville claim Premier League bosses can’t ignore difficult questions
‘He’s a football person, but if you’re a football manager now, you’ve got to answer those questions because one thing that is certain is that the journalists have to ask those questions.
‘I have to say, Abu Dhabi, these questions are going to come to Manchester City’s people soon, Pep Guardiola is going to start getting asked these questions.
‘It’s not going away. If in a year or two, a regulator is brought in and it’s decided that you cannot have state money in football in this country, they are going to have to potentially look back at what’s happened over the last 15 years in this country because state money is already here.
‘That will have to be looked at very closely because it’s going to set a massive precedent with what they do with Russia.’