Chi secures debate on the regulation of Newcastle United Football Club

Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central has secured an end of day adjournment debate      on the effective regulation of Newcastle United on Thursday 24th January.

Ms Onwurah said:

“ Over the past few years constituents have contacted me in ever greater numbers to express their  concerns about Newcastle United Football Club, particularly its finances and the commitment of  the Club’s owner, Mr Ashley, to the fans and the City as well as with regard to Mr Ashley’s other  financial investment. The response to my petition in July reflecting this was that I should do more to highlight these concerns.

“ I have now secured a parliamentary debate on the  effectiveness of regulation of Newcastle United Football Club in the House of Commons on Thursday 24th January. I will be raising fans concerns with regard to NUFC, and wider concerns about the Premier League and the  regulation of the football clubs which are so important a part of our sporting and cultural  heritage and passion.

“ Recently, in a debate on Coventry City, Mims Davis, the Minister for Sport said

“is not Government’s direct responsibility to be the custodians of one particular football club, but  it is our responsibility to hold to account those club owners who sign up to be custodians of a club but do not show that to be in their hearts”

This debate will my give Government the opportunity to hold  Mr Ashley to account.

Chi wants constituents to get in touch with her as soon as possible before the debate to set out their issues of concern in relation to Newcastle United


Notes for Editors

  • Chi presented petition to Parliament on Football Club Ownership:

  • Parliamentary Timetable:

11 thoughts on “Chi secures debate on the regulation of Newcastle United Football Club

  1. Chris wallace

    The lack of investment in a resource that is the centre of a fantastic city where regeneration is evident around it is appalling. The lack of investment is impacting on the club at all levels from youth to senior level. The fans who pay top money are lied to on a constant basis and the communication between the owner and the fans is non existent. Transparency all round.

  2. Matthew Slater

    Hello, could you please highlight that football is an essential part of not only the culture in Newcastle but also England and Britain as a whole. This can be seen just last summer when the people of England were united behind a common cause of football coming home. The amount of money in football in England is huge especially with TV deals with BSkyB and BT. Whilst I do not know every financial in and out of Newcastle United it is clear that Mike Ashley is running a profit out of the club which is not taken seriously enough by the rest of the country considering how invested it is in football. Financial fair play is introduced at the top of the game to prevent clubs spending maximum amounts of money. Now is the time to introduce a minimum spend as a percentage of the clubs earnings.

  3. Ben Porter

    Hello, please mention about Strawberry Place which he has managed to take from the club for a pittance which will stop any future expansion of the stadium and Metro system.

  4. ian milburn

    can you find out the truth about the missing flags no statement made as per usual from club and how he can sell newcastle united brands in sports direct stores cheaper than club shop surely extra revenue club could be earning if the owner had any interest in growing expenditure for club.

  5. Derek Walton

    Mr Ashley is simply using NUFC to advertise, publicise and subsidise his other businesses. This is proven by the amount of Sports Direct adverts around the stadium, for which there is so far no proof that the club receives any payment, despite previous promises. Also by the fact that the money generated from TV revenue, other advertising, player sales etc is rarely re-invested in improving the team, stadium or other facilities. This, again despite his previous assurances that the manager can have “every penny the club generates” to spend on new players. He has even sold off club assets, such as the land behind Strawberry Place, with no evidence of this being used to benefit the club. He holds the club and fans to ransom by means of his “interest-free loans” to the club in order to give the impression that he has saved the club from financial ruin, when in fact the amounts involved are very modest and manageable for a club of such size, and certainly way less than many other football clubs. NUFC’s spend on new players is amongst the lowest in EPL, and many estimates indicate he has actually made a profit on player sales overall during his ownership. The club have twice been relegated under his ownership, yet before he bought it we were regularly finishing high in Premiership, often qualifying for European competitions. He rarely attends games or communicates with the fans, and even uses PR expert Keith Bishop, who specialises in “damage limitation” to try to cover his deceipt. This all proves that he has no interest or ambitions for our football club, which is one of the best-supported in England. Football is a competitive sport and and a form of entertainment, almost even a religion to it’s millions of followers. NUFC is a local and national institution which Mike Ashley us ruining. People like him should not be allowed to use and abuse any football club for their own ends.

  6. Peter Whitfield

    I have two main issues (outside of the 250 football related ones).

    1. The apparent moving of club assets to companies belonging to Mr Ashley, for example the whole question around land and property “sold” to Project J Newco’s 39 and 40 with no evidence that they were ever paid for.

    2. The refusal to allow other sponsors to take advertising space within SJP. This not only reduces nufc income but equally as important, it reduces local businesses ability to advertise to both match going fans and be seen on worldwide television.

  7. Max

    Just the lack of care and investment to the club and the promises Ashley has made to people and not achieved these (Rafa’s transfer funds and player bonuses)

  8. Helen averley

    Although not a football fan (sorry) newcastle fc is a central part of the cities cultural expression and importantly an Ecconomic draw for businesses to benefit from. The club’s health improving, improves directly also on the social lives of the fans and their families. In families where abuse of alcohol is a factor I wonder if the malaise of defeat as a result of lack of investment also has impacts such as increase of physical violence and of concern is within families. Owners are in a sense castodians of the clubs fortune and are expect to have the heart of the club as their priority.

  9. Daniel Carey

    Thanks for putting this forward. I share the concerns put forward by the earlier commentators, particularly those related to the opaque (and downright misleading) financial situation at the club.

    On a point of relevance to all clubs, not just NUFC, I would like to see a distinction made between the legal ownership of a club and the beneficial interests of the supporters. This isn’t currently the legal mechanism of UK football clubs but in practice that is the relationship between owner, club, and supporter.

    Official recognition of this could go beyond the FA’s “fit and proper person” test and place some form of sanction on owners who fail in their duty to clubs that are, regardless of size or location, cultural and community assets.

  10. James Burn

    NUFC received £123 million in the season 17/18. Quite simply, where has this gone? As, if Mr Ashley states, his money is all “in wallpaper” then from where did the cash come from to buy Debenhams?

  11. Paul Brown

    Is a football club an asset of the community? That is the question parliament needs to answer. If so, should measures be taken to prevent unscrupulous wealthy individuals from asset stripping from that community.

    There are numerous examples of Mike Ashley deceiving and taking assets and money he doesn’t really need to satisfy his ego and distorted approach to capitalist principles. He has already been proven to be a liar and of creating a sweat shop working environment at sports direct.

    It is difficult for any community to prevent this due to the imbalance of power afforded to wealth. If Parliament is serious about redressing this imbalance then this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate this intent.

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