Where : Miners Institute, Neville Hall, opposite the Union Rooms in Newcastle.
Change the name of the team, change the colour of the shirts, make the team play 40 miles away from their home ground…..maybe change the name of the ground to advertise your other business interests. If you own a football club it seems you can do this without the fans, who were there before you and who’ll be there after you, having any say. The views of the major stakeholders don’t seem to matter in football.
At Newcastle United, Mike Ashley can behave the way he does because of the way football operates with supporters having absolutely no power or authority at all to act as checks and balances on decisions he makes about our club. It’s the same at Hull, Cardiff, Coventry, Blackburn, Man Utd and others but Mike Ashley is a symptom of how football operates, not the cause.
Self regulation of football hasn’t worked just as it didn’t for the Banks and many other vital services left to narrow corporate interests.
Whilst Newcastle United is our particular interest, there is a wider agenda. Football generally has been described by senior politicians at Westminster as operating with the worst example of governance of any national sport.
A Government Select Committee report produced in 2010 asked the Premier League and football in general to bring forward proposals for change in the governance arrangements.
Due to the lack of progress, at the beginning of 2013 a further report was produced saying “We recommend that the Department for Culture Media and Sport make it clear to the football authorities that further progress on these issues is expected within twelve months. In the absence of significant progress, the Government should introduce legislation as soon as practically possible.”
An all party parliamentary group published a report in February 2014 recommending “Each of the parties should also prepare detailed plans for their election manifestos, aimed at addressing the inherent weaknesses in this dysfunctional system once and for all.”
But still there has been precious little progress.
Come along to our next public meeting this Saturday with the theme “Political Football”to let Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead and Mary Glindon, MP for North Tyneside know how we want them to help us influence the national agenda. We will also have Kevin Rye from Supporters Direct and Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters Federation to update us on what is happening nationally to improve supporter engagement and football governance generally.
The meeting will last about an hour and a half so there’s plenty of time for a pint before you head off to the game against Hull City.
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