Newcastle MP takes the NUFC fight back to Mike Ashley with stunning new letter to Culture Secretary
Newcastle fans will continue their protests against Mike Ashley before today’s match, another mass demonstration planned for 1pm outside Sports Direct on Northumberland Street.
Alongside all of the online and on the streets protesting, one influential Newcastle fan is refusing to be cowed or intimidated by Mike Ashley and his minions.
Chi Onwurah is MP for Newcastle Central and last month (24 July 2018) she presented a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of constituents.
The petition highlighting the disgraceful way Mike Ashley runs Newcastle United.
This was countered with a letter ‘from’ Mike Ashley (no doubt prepared by Keith Bishop or one of his other minions) to the Culture Secretary, and made public by Ashley’s people on 7 August 2018, which attacked Chi Onwurah and laughably claimed that he is an excellent owner of Newcastle United (read it HERE).
In response to that Mike Ashley letter, Chi Onwurah responded, saying she wasn’t going to let the matter lie and would be writing to Jeremy Wright (Culture Secretary of State) to pursue the matter further.
She has now indeed written to Jeremy Wright and good for her, Chi Onwurah is really pushing the issue.
The letter is dated 24 August 2018 and has been also published on her personal website, reproduced below (the jaunty angle is how the letter was scanned on Chi’s site, not our own work!).
Powerful stuff as the Newcastle Central MP asks the Secretary of State to ‘Initiate an investigation into the financial relationship between Mr Ashley, Sports Direct, NUFC and Newcastle United Foundation.’
The Mag – 7 August 2018:
Mike Ashley has been feeling the pressure.
Newcastle United fans fighting back against an owner who as been an embarrassment in the 11 years (and counting) at St James Park.
This summer has been yet another opportunity wasted, Mike Ashley ensuring yet another relegation struggle instead of any kind of potential progression for the club.
Part of the protests saw Newcastle Upon Tyne MP Chi Onwurah present a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of constituents (see below).
The petition pointing out how disgraceful his time at Newcastle United has been.
Earlier today we featured a letter that Mike Ashley has put into the public domain, a letter addressed to the Culture Secretary that attacks Chi Onwurah and claims that he is an excellent owner of Newcastle United (read it HERE).
Not taking it lying down, the MP whose Newcastle constituency includes St James Park, has replied to Ashley’s laughable letter.
Chi Onwurah via her personal website:
“I am pleased that Mr Ashley has finally decided to speak about his investment in Newcastle United, even if it is to the Secretary of State rather than the numerous fans, media and others who have attempted to engage with him over the years. My own attempt is here. His office responded by instructing me not to contact him again.
“However, his letter does not address the central point: the lack of investment in Newcastle United players which has left the club with one of the lowest net spend figures in the Premier League.
“The petition I presented is merely a reflection of the concerns and strength and depth of feeling of so many Newcastle United fans who contacted me as their Member of Parliament. I was particularly concerned by the ‘If Rafa Goes, We Go’ petition, knowing how important role Newcastle United plays in the lives of many of my constituents I do not feel they should have to choose between their club and its ownership. A quick review of social media will show the petition was received overwhelmingly positively received by fans unable to get Mr. Ashley’s attention by other means.
“I’m very upset to hear that abuse has been directed at Sports Direct staff. I invite Mr. Ashley to join me in my longstanding efforts ensure the proper regulation of social media.
However Mr. Ashley knows very well that the calls to boycott Sports Direct existed long before my petition and are generally connected to his appalling behaviour as a business owner rather than his record as a football club owner.
“Also at no time have I criticized the Newcastle United Foundation which does wonderful work in the community and whose funding is not, as Mr Ashley implies, entirely a consequence of his ownership.
“I will be writing to the Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright, to offer a meeting with myself and Newcastle United fans so he can judge for himself the depth of feeling on this issue and the crucial importance of football to my constituents
“Finally Mr Ashley knows I am a fan of Newcastle United as well as the MP for St James’ Park. I boycotted the ground for three years because of his choice of Wonga as a sponsor. I admit to being motivated in part by my support for the club and desire to see beautiful Premiership football continue to be played at St James Park.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]