Kieran Maguire defends £40m Arsenal deal amid Government legal row
Arsenal should not be criticised for taking sponsorship money from the Rwandan government.
That is the view of finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Gunners’ partnership with Visit Rwanda.
The state-funded tourist board signed a renewed four-year deal with Arsenal reported to be worth around £40million in August last year.
The UK Government announced in April that they planned to relocate some asylum seekers in the East African country in a bid to deter others from crossing the Channel.
The first flight out, however, was grounded at the last minute after an intervention from the European Court of Human Rights, as relayed by the BBC on Wednesday (15 June).
But Maguire does not believe that Arsenal should not be criticised for their association with the regime that co-signed the legally spurious policy.
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“Rwanda is a favoured country as far as the UK government is concerned,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“If it’s an acceptable trading partner and an acceptable partner in terms of taking those who are seeking shelter and transporting them thousands of miles, I don’t see why Arsenal themselves should be criticised.
“Or at least they shouldn’t be criticised any more than they were before for taking sponsorship from a country where there is little wealth to begin with.
“But the government is keen to gain some form of legitimacy by having a sponsorship arrangement with a football club.”
Arsenal’s association with the cryptocurrency industry has also been criticised recently following their fan token’s market crash.
They revealed commercial income of £136m in their last set of annual accounts.