Press Release Wednesday 23 January 2019
Chi’s debate on the regulation of Newcastle United
Tomorrow Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central will hold an end of day adjournment debate on the Effectiveness of regulation of Newcastle United Football Club
Ms Onwurah will state:
“ Supporting and following Newcastle United has brought me great joy, and a sense of belonging, a sense of shared purpose, a sense of community as well as many, many opportunities to watch the beautiful game at its beautiful best in that cathedral to football, St James Park.
“ Newcastle United is at the heart of the city, Mr Speaker. Unlike Liverpool or London, we have only one professional football team and we are united in our support The economy of the City is influenced by the success on the pitch, if we’re winning, we’re singing, and spending.
“ I will be raising issues with regard to Newcastle United Football Club, its finances and its owner Mike Ashley. But many of these issues apply football as a whole.
Chi will highlight that she did not believe in personal attacks and will not be making any. She met with Mr Ashley last Saturday when they had a robust exchange on issues.
Ms Onwurah will state:
“ Mr Ashley said the club must only spend what it is generates. That is a form of austerity economics – a club needs investment to reach its potential. The uncertainty and the bad feeling between fans and the owner have hit is earning potential. But even given that, how are we to know what income the club generates?
Chi will ask specific questions as the ownership structure and why it is not possible to see income generated from sales of land or advertising, merchandise or players, or TV payments of at least £123m. She is also concerned about the poor condition of training facilities and the academy.
Another major concern Chi will point out:
“ Mr Ashley’s principle investment in the club has been in the form of loans, not equity. So the sustainability of the club depends on him not calling in his loans. Which in terms depends on his business success and his business methods have been heavily cricitised.
Ms Onwurah will conclude by asking a simple question:
“ Why is it that football is left largely to regulate itself when other businesses from pubs to social media companies are accountable to social interests and local communities.
Notes for Editors
Chi presented petition to Parliament on Football Club Ownership: