Betway betting sites banner

Is Corbyn right about Mike Ashley and Newcastle United?

Posted on October 8th, 2019 | 12 Comments |

Corbyn in Newcastle
Jeremy Corbyn with NUFC fan group representatives.
“Barcelona is not a business, it is a feeling. We are not owned by anybody, we are an association.” Sandro Rosell, President of FC Barcelona (owned by 180,000 fans).

In case it has escaped your attention, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn was recently in Newcastle with North East Labour MPs Chi Onwurah and Ian Lavery meeting NUFC fan groups and outlining his proposals to democratise football clubs in a similar manner to clubs in countries such as Spain and Germany.

The plans would include legislating to give supporters’ trusts the right to purchase shares in a club when it changed hands. Other parts of the proposal included ensuring that the Premier League invests 5% of its income from TV rights in the grassroots game and legislation to stop ticket-tout websites selling tickets at inflated prices, as well as improving access to stadiums for disabled people. The MP for Islington North also took several swipes at Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, whom he accused of “marginalising supporters.” A Labour ‘community organising unit’ is also currently advising Newcastle fans as they organise protests.

In a quote similar in spirit to that of Sandro Rosell above he also told the Toon fans:

“Football is more than just a game, it’s more than just a club, it’s an institution rooted in the social fabric of our communities. They’re too important to be left in the hands of bad owners who put their business interests ahead of everything else, marginalise their supporters and even rip them off.”

But is he right?

The huge and consistent success of European clubs which are owned or majority owned by their fans such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, or much smaller examples of success under fan ownnership here in England with clubs such as AFC Wimbledon would indicate that he has a good point. They are consistent, democratic, involved and not at the whim of an Oligarch or Sheikh who might get bored, displeased or no longer have a use with his or her investment.

On the other hand, successful fan owned clubs such as those mentioned above either started as members clubs and stayed that way, or at least have been operating that way for many years. What will be the upheaval caused if Corbyn’s proposals were started from scratch? I had a very civilsed debate on Twitter (a rare thing on there!) with an Everton fan who wasn’t so sure. He was (undertandably) concerned because now his team have at last found owners who can back the club financially to compete at the highest level, would they be frightened of by Corbyn’s proposals? I cannot answer that question and I don’t think that Corbyn can either, though I strongly suspect that the owners who would be most averse to it are the bad ones like Mike Ashley.

Big questions such as this (it’s a big question for football anyway) are seldom easy, but what do you think?

Labour’s proposals

· Legislate to give supporters trusts the power to appoint and remove at least two members of a club’s board of directors;

· Legislate to enable supporters trusts to purchase shares when clubs change hands;

· Review all aspects of football governance, including fan participation;

· Ensure that the Premier League invests 5 per cent of income from television rights into grassroots football;

· Enforce anti-bot legislation to crackdown on ticket-tout websites selling tickets at vastly inflated prices, and implement the recommendations of the Waterson Review;

· Ban zero-hours contracts and guarantee a Living Wage of at least £10 per hour for all staff, including those working at football stadia on match days;

· Add women’s sporting events including the Women’s Football World up, to the list of key sporting events to be broadcast free-to-air;

· Improve access provision for disabled sports fans by ensuring that rapid improvements are made and by prioritising action to make clubs comply with obligations under the 2010 Equality Act.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1067 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:


12 Responses

  1. Jeremy Corbyn sat anything he thinks will raise his popularity in the moment
    Just like he did when he promised an end to student loans when he knew he could not deliver

    He knows the dissatisfaction Newcastle fans have with Ashley so when in Newcastle ……….
    No one in the their right mind would think he gives a damm

  2. Could agree more

    The man is so shallow it’s unbelivable

    I am staunch Labour but this guy is a fraud and making us look like idiots

  3. “Just like he did when he promised an end to student loans when he knew he could not deliver ”

    Mike, he still is promising to end student loans. When I went to University, it was completely free and after I left I bought a house for a tiny fraction of what they cost today. The youth of today have my sympathies.

  4. Soh !
    The Boycott failed, but scared “Ashley and co”. immensely.
    Look the man is ready to go to any lengths (free tickets anyone) which worked but is a one time attempt, another full time Boycott could work, as even he understands the repercussions of a poor relationship with the owner could by taking his profits (bums in seats) is an important form of cash flow and make obvious to those watching via tv the fans are actually Boycotting their own club , making it toxic or available for purchase.
    Unfortunately certain fans will leave it unto those who do the necessary Boycotting and deserve the situation that they have had to get used too, but another solid boycott will force him out.
    He (Ashley) will either have to sell up or end up trying to sell a Championship side as opposed to a Premier League side and continue bleeding the club as long as the fans continue to do nothing, is that what you want?

  5. I’m afraid there’s just not enough dosh around the Northeast to buy out the owner, whether by a group or as a shareholding co.
    However I’m sure there are plenty of eyes watching NUFC as a possible purchase.
    However Ashley hangs on slowly selling off parts of the club, bleeding the club slowly but surely until there’s now’t left but the club itself.
    The bums in seats profit is all his and a full stadium every other week aint bad ! It is by now is legendary around the EPL and among prospective buyers, however Ashle doesn’t give a damn as he expects to bleed the club before it becomes unsellable he likes the revenue (which is ( all one way) and you can bet your ass he has little intention of selling any time soon, why should he , he has the fans in his pocket, they are willing to accept whatever he decides and makes it Impossible to sell, he just sez NO ! the only answer would be to Totally Boycott the side for a season, but unfortunately the fans don’t have the balls for a full Boycott, too bad ! live with it !

  6. In regard to Jeremy Corbin, possibly the worst ever Labour shadow PM, who even as we await his formal resignation as party leader, have no idea of his preference in regard to Brexit, nor do we actually know anything in regard to what his policies might be (and most don’t care) a complete waste of time, an embarrassment who’s best days may have been spent criticizing his own party, because he simply failed miserably in his attempts as party leader to make any points against possibly the worst ever Tory Party leaders.
    Of course times change, but to compare the present parties to such giants as the party and cabinet of Clement Attlee, even Tony Blair is ridicules and apparently there are no candidates within the Labour Party who are either qualified or in fact have the backing of any kind of majority nor a party platform that can still attract the working classes. seems regardless of income few of to-days voters consider themselves as working class, in this era of everyone considering themselves middle class, a result of Thatchers de -Industrialization policies.

    And with Brexit now more or less a done deal, what kind of future is there for the citizens of the UK, what with The Scots wanting away (seem like the only country with any sense of reason) in order to rejoin the EU and Dublin being inundated with jobs by companies from the city, mostly financial services because of their well educated and youthful workforce, Whereas those smart folks who live in such places as Sunderland vote to leave the security of a massive auto. manufacturing industry to chance it on WTO wage and be governed (by possibly the dumbest British government ever ,with an idiot as PM . Ah well ! best of luck with those conditions, yes you may be avoiding giving entry to people with darker colored skins but who or what will give you a better life than being a member of the worlds largest trading block ?

  7. In regard to Jeremy Corbin, possibly the worst ever Labour shadow PM, who even as we await his formal resignation as party leader, have no idea of his preference in regard to Brexit, nor do we actually know anything in regard to what his policies might be (and most don’t care) a complete waste of time, an embarrassment who’s best days may have been spent criticizing his own party, because he simply failed miserably in his attempts as party leader to make any points against possibly the worst ever Tory Party leaders.
    Of course times change, but to compare the present parties to such giants as the party and cabinet of Clement Attlee, even Tony Blair is ridicules and apparently there are no candidates within the present Labour Party who are either qualified or in fact have the backing of any kind of majority nor a party platform that can still attract the working classes. seems regardless of income few of to-days voters consider themselves as working class, in this era of everyone considering themselves middle class, a result of Thatchers de -Industrialization policies.

    And with Brexit now more or less a done deal, what kind of future is there for the citizens of the UK, what with The Scots wanting away (seem like the only country with any sense of reason) in order to rejoin the EU and Dublin being inundated with jobs by companies from the city, mostly financial services because of their well educated and youthful workforce, Whereas those smart folks who live in such places as Sunderland vote to leave the security of a massive auto. manufacturing industry to chance it on WTO wage and be governed (by possibly the dumbest British government ever ,with an idiot as PM . Ah well ! best of luck with those conditions, yes you may be avoiding giving entry to people with darker colored skins but who or what will give you a better life than being a member of the worlds largest trading block ?

  8. Chuck! It’s been a long time but I notice you’re still knocking out the same old guff, and in duplicate this time! It’s good to see you back though. ;-)

    I never had any problems understanding Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit policy, or why he would lose badly if he let himself be bullied into fighting for a second referendum, as he was in the end. Although the majority of Labour voters wanted to remain, losing the leavers up north would was always going to have a disproportionate effect in terms of seats lost. 52 out of the 60 seats Labour lost were in ‘leave’ areas. For those who say it was all because he was too left wing, he still got more votes and a higher percentage of the vote than both Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, but the number of seats still look really bad for the reasons I mentioned above. Of course, the media campaign against Corbyn was so strong that many people actually believed he was an IRA terrorist who hated Jews, and even that he was going to put all of his opponents (especially Jews) in ‘camps’. I was told that myself by an old eastern european lady who was in a real state about it. She grabbed me so hard that she left nail marks in my forearms!

    As for your hypothesis about everyone thinking thay are middle class, in 2016 when they last had a big study, more people in the UK considered themselves ‘working class’ than any other industrialised nation.

    There are great divides among Labour voters / former Labour voters though, a divide between voters in towns and cities, between voters with different beliefs on social issues such as immigration, LGBT etc, between old an young, people who use the Internet a lot, people who don’t etc, all of which intersect with each other to a greater or lesser degree.

    As for immigration, most of it is still people with ‘darker colored skins’ as you put it, with a very large proportion from the Indian subcontinent (ie India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

    Could we please move to a different thread now as this one is really old?

Leave a reply