Finance guru has 'moral' concerns over £10m-a-year Arsenal deal after courtroom twist
Arsenal have a moral duty to think about where their money is coming from – but it would be unfair to single them out for criticism over sportswashing.
That is the view of finance expert Doctor Dan Plumley, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Gunners’ controversial association with Visit Rwanda.
Arsenal renewed their partnership with the state-funded tourist board in August last year, with the deal reported to be worth £10million per year over its four-season lifespan.
The UK government announced in April that they planned to relocate some asylum seekers in Rwanda in a bid to deter others from crossing the Channel.
But as relayed by the BBC on Wednesday (15 June), a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights stopped the first flight due to travel to the East African country.
Rwanda’s own human rights record has been criticised by global watchdogs, while president Paul Kagame has been accused of plotting to assassinate opponents.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Plumley claims that it is no surprise to see the likes of Arsenal go with the highest bidder despite moral concerns.
“Morally, it should be in the thought process,” the Sheffield Hallam University expert told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“But because clubs need more money all the time, it often goes out of the window. I don’t think in this regard you can criticise Arsenal as a single example.
“There’s Man City, Newcastle, PSG. Then there are all the other clubs receiving crypto and betting sponsorship. It’s tough to criticise Arsenal directly for this.
“And, of course, there are wider political things at play.
“Yes, they should be looking at where the money is coming from. But I just don’t think football clubs are in that space at the moment and it is often about just taking the highest offer on the table.
“This is why it’s really hard to legislate.”