UEFA have responded to Newcastle fans’ concerns regarding Mike Ashley and dual ownership/influence at both Rangers and St. James’ Park.

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) wrote to UEFA regarding the two clubs and the potential conflict in future UEFA organised competitions.

This is the reply NUST have received from the UEFA Director of Legal Affairs;

Thank you for your letter dated 6 January 2015 concerning the current ownership of your club by Mr Mike Ashley, as well as his interest in Ranger FC in Scotland.

You raised the question of whether this situation might constitute a breach of the UEFA rules on dual ownership (as set out in Article 3 of the regulation of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, regarding the integrity of competition).

Firstly, as we understand it, the situation with regard to Rangers FC is still evolving. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it is not possible for UEFA to comment on the situation as the question would only be addressed as and when both clubs would qualify for UEFA competitions.

Furthermore, if there was any question regarding compliance with Article 3 of the aforesaid regulations then this would be dealt with by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body established, inter alia, to deal with questions of this nature.

I am sorry that we cannot say any more about the matter for now but hope you will find this information to be useful in the meantime.

Yours sincerely

Alasdair Bell

General Counsel / Director of Legal Affairs

The bottom line is that UEFA won’t deal with hypothetical concerns and it looks very hypothetical at the moment worrying about both Newcastle United and Rangers being in European competition in the near future.

However, the issue remains a live one .

It is within Mike Ashley’s power for the position to change very quickly, potentially.

If Rangers get promotion this year and any reasonable injection of cash to help them compete next season in the weak Scottish top tier AND Ashley belatedly allows some of the TV riches to be spent on the Newcastle team…


  • Brownale69

    Ha ha smoke and mirrors and gues what if money is involved they wont want to know

  • Carver for North Korea

    theres no chance of Nufc EVER qualifying for europe whilst Ashleys in charge

  • SimonM68

    So Ashley can do whatever he likes – transfer players from team to team and artificially (?) supress the position of one team to make sure both clubs aren’t in europe. Of course that team will be Newcastle, because a Rangers without Europe isn’t worth having (and it will be a lot cheaper to get them there).  Guess where that TV money will be channelled?  This is a disgrace – it’s restrictive practices at very least and it’s also obvious! 
    I would love Celtic to be admitted to the PL – just to scupper the plan (though unlikley I admit)….

  • LeazesEnder

    Surely it is an infringement of the spirit of the game and competition rules, as the scenario will never arise as Ashley deliberately keeps United out of Euro places and has his patsy ‘Head Coach’ play weakened teams in Cup competitions!… Tenth and NO MORE…. 


  • mentalman

    What proof have you got that he is supressing the position of one team?
    I’m assuming your talking about Celtic being in the EPL rather than the SPL which they are already in, how would this scupper the plan, surely it would make it easier.

  • mentalman

    Carver for North Korea 
    Did we not qualify for europe when we finished 5th?

  • mentalman

    Why are they bothering, they just have to look at Mr Pozzo to see that Ashley is doing nothing wrong and even if he was UEFA wouldn’t do anything about it.

  • SimonM68

    LeazesEnder It is but the problem isn’t any single game is it – it’s throwing seasons (a generation even). Hardly subtle and absolutely disgraceful, but it would seem it’s immoral and not illegal.

  • A lex

    mentalman Carver for North Korea An accident! Has he not ensured that qualifying for Europe is never again such a risk to his overall strategy for NUFC?

  • A lex

    One can understand that they can’t pass comment on an evolving situation that may very well end up in the courts, or at least require UEFA member FA’s to make a judgement. 
    However, to say that they will ‘cross that bridge when they come to it’ is merely saying that they’ll see what happens and then figure out some rules to work around it. 

    It’s not just FIFA, UEFA and the rest of organised football is rotten through and through.

  • paul janes

    Imagine this scenario,last game of the season, home match,a win qualifies us for UEFA cup, is the head coach given the order to field weakened team. Just a thought !

  • On a similar theme, I’d also be interested to hear UEFA’s comments on the fact that Mike Ashley sacrifices millions of pounds worth of potential advertising revenue by
    using marketing space at St James Park to promote his own company for
    When Man City announced a generous new sponsorship deal a couple of years ago, UEFA said they would investigate the deal to analyse whether the amount paid represented ‘market value’.
    If we ever qualified for Europe (ridiculous, I know, but hypothetically) then presumably UEFA be honour bound to follow the same procedure with us and investigate Sports Direct’s sponsorship deal with Newcastle, and analyse whether the fee of ‘zero’ represents market value?
    Not that it would take much anaysing…

  • A lex

    paul janes Never on. The head coach is given the order not to get so close to such a scenario.

  • A lex

    NUFC Tips UEFA rightly investigated due to City’s participation in THEIR competition. Sadly, they probably have neither interest nor jurisdiction to investigate a club not participating in a UEFA competition, and not likely to, either.

    Where the investigation SHOULD come from is from our own FA. And there’s no excuse why that shouldn’t be happening now, since there is effectively a cross-subsidy being provided by one of their member clubs to another business.

  • Toon69

    It’s a none story as Ashley will never invest enough in the Toon to get us anywhere near Europe, so why worry about it, the fact is, he’s gonna be veoted out of Rangers at their EGM though King will prpbably try to keep him sweet buy letting him keep the commercial rights he already has but even then, he’ll not invest in Newcastle even with the £5b TV deal thats just been sign buy, just more dosh in his coffers in the end!!!

  • Jimmywayhay

    The mans a genius ,he’s worked out how not have to play in the poison chalice called the Europa Cup …..

  • v0ices

    LeazesEnder can’t be legal as it affects other teams overall position in the table but how do you prove it? The only people who could are the coach and players all feeding off the Ashley feet.

  • Greggy164

    It will be years if Rangers ever qualify for europe again. We are stinking at the moment