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.
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…