We have been asked to help publicise a campaign to bring some transparency to the Premier League’s handling of last year’s attempted takeover of Newcastle United. The enclosed template below has been suggested as a form of words to be used to petition MPs to raise the mater in parliament and to request that the Premier League to agree to the upcoming case for arbitration to between Newcastle United and the Premier League to be held in public.

Supporters have not been treated with respect during tis takeover and the least we can be allowed is to understand the different arguments in a part of the club’s history that is likely to have implications for years to come.

You can get details of your MP by clicking here.

This is the letter that it is suggested you can use:

@ProtestNUFC

Dear [Name of Minister/MP],

Transparency and accountability in football

I am writing as a supporter of Newcastle United Football Club (NUFC) and a fan of the beautiful game. I find it heartening that the government have acknowledged Jock Stein’s poignant words that “football without fans is nothing”, especially given we are approaching Freedom Day and will be able to return to our Cathedral on the Hill, St James’ Park, in a season, which for NUFC fans has the potential to be a new and exciting start that helps us, and the region to Build Back Better.

Following NUFC’s statement on 1st July and Amanda Staveley’ssubsequent pleas to Tracey Crouch, Nigel Huddleston, and Oliver Dowden to ask for government intervention in relation to the transparency surrounding NUFCs arbitration with the Premier League I would urge you to do the same.

The impact of a takeover for NUFC isn’t just about improving the results on the field, it’s about the communities [that you represent] and the investment that the consortium indicated they would bring to the region. This is in addition to the international investment that a successful Newcastle United and Premier League brings to the UK. Investment that aligns with the boost to the economy the government is seeking, is needed by the region and is at the heart of the Build Back Better campaign.

In your capacity as an MP, I would appreciate it if you could write to:

Richard Masters – CEO of the Premier League to ask for transparency on the current arbitration with NUFC and ask that appropriate consideration is given to an appropriate level of communication with NUFC’s fanbase in the short term.It is our understanding that the competition appeal tribunal (CAT) action which is also being undertaken in the public domain is being challenged by the Premier League. I would also request that you seek assurances that any such action is held in the public domain such is the level of public interest.

Tracey Crouch – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage to request that the fan led review ensure that governance, transparency, and accountability are at the heart of the issues and government follows up with all those charged with governance in football.

Oliver Dowden – Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Stevens – Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Nigel Huddleston – Minister for Sport to request intervention on the current arbitration and CAT action to ensure that as a minimum the decisions made are available to NUFC fans and the general public such is the level of public interest in this issue.

This action ensures that in the short term NUFC fans aren’t continued to be held in contempt by a Premier League who have remained silent on this issue. In the long term this will ensure that all football fans can see the decisions which are made, and more importantly hold to account those that are making them.

There are wider governance and accountability issues that need to be brought into the public domain, however these are an issue for another day.

@ProtestNUFC is organising an event for NUFC fans, to meet at Parliament Square on 16 July 2021 at 13:00 and I have attached the details to this letter. Any additional support that you can provide, including your attendance on the day, would be grateful received.

Kind regards,

[Name]

@ProtestNufc

Who are we and what do we want?

We are a group of Newcastle United fans who heard the call from the Club for support in their fight for transparency in both its arbitration case with the Premier League and the St James’ Holdings CAT case against the Premier League.  These cases are associated with enabling the takeover that the Buyers, Sellers, and the majority of the fan base are keen to see resolved urgently.

We demand transparency from the Premier League who have demonstrated an inability to govern themselves in the best interests of every club. We demand that both the arbitration case and the CAT cases are held in public and not behind closed doors as the Premier League wish. Both NUFC and the prospective buyers are happy to have everything out in the open and we find it staggering that the Premier League, who exist ONLY to serve all of their member clubs, continue to use legal delay tactics to further defer both cases brought against them. They continually ignore both fans and the Government in their determination to keep everything behind closed doors.  We have one question: What are they hiding?

Furthermore, we are concerned about the alleged ‘backroom dealings’ within the Premier League and the influences of some Premier League members who believe they should have a bigger say than the other shareholders (on subjects such as approving who can take over other Premier League clubs, a clear conflict of interest) and the once proposed (and technically still live) Super League breakaway.  We wholeheartedly support the Fan Led Review and hope that this leads to fundamental change in the governance of the game.

This might be about Newcastle United now, but it should concern the fans of every other Premier League club and those who hope to play in the topflight.

 

What do we plan to do?

We are arranging a peaceful protest in Parliament Square, London at 1pm on Friday 16th July.  The protest is to highlight that after 18 Months of seeing fans, MP’s and the media fobbed off, ignored & being given the now infamous “no comment” punchline that we as fans have had enough and will not tolerate this any longer.

We have written to our MPs for support, signed petitions and waited for the Select Committees to use their powers but have not seen any meaningful results.

This fan base is passionate & committed and refuses to be beaten, deterred, or silenced and if those in London can’t hear us from up in the North then the North will come to London.

 

Who can join us?

All football fans!

Although the protest is aimed at Newcastle fans, we would welcome support fans of other clubs who, in the interest of football generally, want to see further transparency in the governance of the ‘beautiful game’. We call for all fans to support this movement or better still attend the protest in London.

We are arranging cost-price coach travel on the day from Newcastle, and we urge support from everyone who can attend. We hope to see many local-based fans in attendance too.

This is ‘our Club’ – let’s stand together, UNITED.

Parliament Square – Friday 16th July at 1pm