Public Meeting – Saturday 20th September 2014, 12 noon – 2pm, Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE.
Political Football – How the Government can improve the lot of football fans?
Between now and next May, politicians of whichever stripe will be promising us the earth. That applies as much to football as many other areas of national life. Some, the Liberal-Democrats for example have a Manifesto commitment to developing options for safe-standing at top level football in the UK for example.
Politicians understand the wider cultural and community importance of football and sport but whilst sympathetic to a game many understand as dysfunctional and driven by greed, have done little, despite previous pledges, to intervene and drive meaningful change. We at the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust are hugely supportive of the work done at the national level by the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct and have over the last four months been developing a political strategy and plan in the North East, which we believe can raise the stakes for our political representatives locally and (in partnership with FSF and SD) influence national developments.
This strategy can provide a template which can be used by other supporters groups around the country to turn up the heat on those who govern the country to do likewise with those who govern football. At Newcastle United, Mike Ashley is allowed to behave the way he does because of how football operates, with supporters having absolutely no power or authority to act as checks and balances on his approach to our club. It is the same at Leeds, Hull, Coventry, Blackburn, Man Utd etc.
Mike Ashley is a symptom of how football operates, not the cause. Self regulation of football has not worked, just as it did not for the Banks and many other vital services left to narrow corporate interests. For its own sake, football needs to reconnect with its key stakeholders – the supporters.
Clubs will not change voluntarily. Neither will its governing bodies. The only people who can influence and effect real change are our elected politicians with us supporting, encouraging and demanding they do so.
At our public meeting on the 20th Sep 2014 at the Miners Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne between 12 – 2pm
Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust will explain the work we have been doing with national partners, the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct as well as a range of MPs and the City Council to set out our own vision for how football and Newcastle United could be changed for the better through the political process.
We will have guest speakers from the FSF (Chief Executive, Kevin Miles) and Supporters Direct’s Kevin Rye as well as local MPs, Ian Mearns MP (Gateshead) and Mary Glindon MP (North Tyneside), both of whom are long-standing Newcastle United season ticket holders. We are also looking to have other guests too.
We look forward to you joining us before making your way to watching the match with Hull City.
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