I recently posted an article on how to hopefully help get rid of Mike Ashley.

In it I mentioned writing to Tracey Crouch MP, the Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, about the way the club is being run.

The original letter is here below, also further on is the response I received from the Minister’s department;

My original letter:

‘I write to you as a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United, with great concerns regarding how the club is being run.

My understanding is that the Premier League makes an annual central payment, to Premier League clubs, which consists of money paid by TV companies, in return for broadcasting rights.

This season Newcastle United are in receipt of £123.000.000.

The Premier League handbook states;

“The collective and central way the Premier League markets its rights and distributes revenues to clubs supports them in their efforts to develop and acquire talented players, build and improve stadiums, and make a huge contribution to the entire football pyramid and a range of community programmes and good causes.”

Whilst it is difficult to estimate how many millions of pounds have been paid to Newcastle United in previous seasons, what is evident to supporters such as myself, there has been little if any money spent as intended by the Premier League, on the club or its infrastructure.

The Premier League currently does not audit how the central payment is used by clubs, which in itself could allow club owners to use this money for their own business interests, without let or hindrance.

This season approximately £2.4 billion pounds will be paid to Premier League clubs, ostensibly to be reinvested back into each individual club and the local community.

I find it completely unacceptable that club owners are not accountable for how these huge sums of money are used. I therefore ask you to give this matter your attention, and I would be most grateful if you could respond to me with details of how you propose to address my concerns,

Yours faithfully etc…’

The response;

‘Thank you for your correspondence of 19 September to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch MP, about Newcastle Football Club (FC). As I am sure you will appreciate, the Minister is unable to respond to all the letters she receives. I am replying as a member of the Ministerial Support Team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

I understand your concerns about the management of Newcastle United FC.

As you may be aware, this issue was raised by Chi Onwurah MP in a recent parliamentary petition. DCMS will issue a formal response to Chi Onwurah in due course and a record of this will be published in Hansard, which is the official report of Parliament. I would recommend that you keep an eye on the Hansard website for further updates: https://hansard.parliament.uk/.

To the best of our knowledge the owners of Newcastle United are complying with all the stringent ownership and financial rules football has in place.

If there is any evidence to the contrary then this needs to be brought to the attention of the Premier League. Any action would then be at the League’s discretion.

We are aware that many football fans are unhappy with the current spending at the club and are therefore recommending that the owners carefully consider what further engagement is needed to provide the assurance that supporters are calling for.

I hope this information is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Ministerial Support Team’

While the response is pretty much what I expected, judging from the last paragraph, I think they missed the point somewhat, in that whilst I’m concerned about the club’s spending (or complete lack of it), the main concern is more centered around the current dispersal of money from the Premier League to club owners, as currently there is no requirement for club owners to provide a return to the Premier League detailing what the funds are being used for.

Yes the Mike Ashley apologists will say that this information can be seen in the annual statement of accounts that clubs have to produce, but I would argue that this is not good enough.

We, the consumers should be given detailed information on how the funds are being used, for example on how the Youth Academy and training facilities are developing in both the long awaited structural improvements as well as the new talent we’re bringing through (Don’t laugh). Plus what the club is doing for grass roots football in our area – again, just a couple of examples.

For me the root of the problem lies in the current structure of football governance in this country.

The Premier League is set up as a corporation of its twenty constituent member clubs. So put simply, they get the TV money and share it out amongst themselves.

So you could argue that asking them to report on themselves, may be considered a bit incestuous and may not always deliver the desired outcome. Therefore should it be the Football Association (whose role it is to oversee the Premier League), who should be required to obtain and provide reports, from the Premier League, on how these funds are used?

As I said previously, cleaning up football may be a long game but any kind of reform that gives transparency and prevents asset stripping has got to be a good thing. Unscrupulous business people may be inclined to look elsewhere if it becomes more difficult to siphon off money for themselves over and above what is generally considered to be an acceptable dividend.

In the meantime, creating a hostile atmosphere by our collective actions may help to bring attention to our situation at the toon.

We’ve got to keep up the pressure on Ashley in as many ways as possible. Targeting his businesses is having an undoubted effect. The national prominence of the campaigning and protesting is there to see, and some of the more decent and upstanding public figures like Alan Shearer and Ian Wright are doing their bit.

So if you think that having a political line of attack is worth doing, feel free to write to those in power and opposition.

Every little helps and it’s got to be better than doing nothing.

To feature like Johnny H submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • Good on you for trying. I do the same. Sadly we have an owner hell bent on using us as his piggy bank and what a little piggy he is.

  • Wezza

    The truth is slowly coming out and the facts will soon come to light!

  • Leazes.

    Well done Johnny, very well written too, That was the reply that was largely expected and probably the reply Chi will get too….

    …..But at least it is being discussed and the issue isn’t going to go away from this most secretive bunch.

    Chris Holt also produced a poignant article showing when the transfer of money occured (seemed to closely coincide with the purchase of House of Fraser).

    Deep down we know these people are working within the letter of the laws, but their actions are what most of us see as criminal…..that’s why I want laws to be changed regarding ownership.

    Something rotten about Ashley and all of his friends…. you can smell the decay that surrounds the lot of them.


  • mactoon

    Unfortunately they seem to have deliberately avoided the main gist of your concern, i’e’ the PL gives away billions of pounds and they have no rules in place to police and enforce the way their money is spent. Instead, they have focussed on ‘your concern of how Newcastle is run’ and asked for proof of any wrong doing. They are hoping this will satisfy you.

    I would go back and explain your concern is that the PL have no rules in place to police how the clubs are (mis) spending their money and ask if they have any power to bring the PL to account? Would it not be better addressing your concern directly with the PL?

    • Lord

      Indeed. The Govt will only really look at the law and whether our esteemed owner is operating inside it. The concern over use of funds for personal gain rather than club investment should be a matter for the PL.

  • Carverlier football

    Good work Johnny. Probably about the reply we expected, but it’s getting the situation talked about. As you mentioned, they don’t seem to have entirely got your point…

  • Lord

    Next targets should be every pundit on Sky via letters and social media. Make everyone aware that Ashley is taking their millions and reneging on the delivery of quality ‘product’ because he’s using those funds for personal gain, not to make NUFC a competitive force.

    The recent fans’ forum minutes proves that Ashley took out money in the summer – Sky and BT provided money. If every owner asset stripped like Ashley, the Premier League would not be the cash cow it is today and Sky would be mighty annoyed.

    • Ron

      Wrote to local News suggest by Leazes – still haven’t heard anything.

      • Leazes.

        There was nothing on BBC ‘Inside Out’….. shame but keep plugging away.

  • Cockneytrev

    Brilliant article,,👏👏👏
    I recently printed a post with the name of every MP in the north east, I actually emailed two of them and received no reply, but I honestly think this is a way to get at Ashley,, MPs hate getting hassled, but they also hate getting looked down upon or ignored and Ashley will do this all day , so it just takes one or two more MPs to start writing to him or bringing his name up and things could start happening.

    • Martin Rooney

      no reply suggests no action and probably no interest. Imagine the headlines of shock.
      Man who owns company takes out nothing out of it and allows manager and directors to reinvest it all at their discretion., What rotten begger

      • archiedog79


      • MrShack66

        Apart from 22 million which he held back.

        • Cockneytrev

          I’ve been no idea what he wrote,, I blocked him,, its best to ignore these Toss Pots,, they are so transparent,,,,

          • Ron

            You were wise too. It wasn’t worth the time in reading.

          • MrShack66

            I don’t block them as I like putting them in their place. Total idiots.

          • Leazes.

            No you give the trolls the very thing they crave…attention.

            They don’t believe in the things they write, they just say them to provoke a response.

            There is a block button there, and thats what its for….to stop yourself getting angry…. because that is the next stage of backing up an irrational premise, selective ‘facts’.

            Use the button and annoy them…. you win.

          • MrShack66

            The thing is they very rarely challenge stonewalled facts. That’s why I don’t block them.

    • Ron

      My letter came yesterday from my MP, and via email from Chi Onwuraha a while ago. I’m sure it will be a matter of time.
      It was from your list I found my MP – I couldn’t remember who it was!

      Keep up your excellant work.

  • Waxi

    Spot on Johnny, We all have a duty to keep the pressure on and keep it in the minds of MP’s and the media. Sites like this are the way to help the cause but we need to get this out to other clubs who may want their clubs finances looked at. I know no other club is run as bad as ours but if this came from other supporters associations it might have a better chance in the House of Commons. Good on you and well done.

  • Martin Rooney

    I’m not having any of it

    • Wor Lass

      I think you`ve been having too much of it, actually.

  • toonterrier

    Read that French Connection is thinking about closing down with fatty owning thirty percent of the company. Maybe the next buy for the F.C.

  • LA toon

    I mentioned previously that Sky would not be able to get top dollar for world wide rights to show the PL if all clubs behaved like Assley. It would be in Sky’s interest to initiate a condition to the monies paid out to the FA and the subsequent clubs.

    • MadMag83

      Sky don’t need to bother mate. Any club that is run like Newcastle will end up in the lower leagues.

  • Down Under Mag

    Unfortunately there is nothing to say that Ashley has to spend a penny of the TV revenue or prize money, advertising profits or the like. I just don’t get it, we aren’t asking for massive investment off the owner, just to allow the CLUB to be able to sustain itself and leave the manager in peace to spend the money available however he likes.

    The stupid thing is, Ashley could very well have had much better international exposure and be a more respected storefront name had he just invested the clubs own money in the club rather than funnel everything off to SD. Right now his name is worse than mud and getting worse by the day…and it’s not just among NUFC supporters anymore.

    • Steven05

      That’s very true. But he also gets a massive kick from p!ssing is off.

  • Realist

    😂🤣imagine writing to the Secretary of state for sport, what a crank when our country’s a mess. Nee wonder we are called daft Geordies by some.

    • Carverlier football

      When our country’s a mess? What are you implying? That the Secretary of State for sport is being seconded to solve crime or poverty? The clue is in the job title. I think investigating transparency and integrity in the biggest and most lucrative sport in this country is as important as anything else the Secretary of State for SPORT could be doing. I think daft Geordies is very much what YOU are calling us. Well done Johnny, keep up the good work 👍

      • Ron

        You understand perfectly the situation, if I suspected Ashley of doing something criminal (by law other than morally) I’d be writing to the Home Office as well.

    • Cockneytrev

      Ashley hoop licker,,👅👅👅

    • Pezza


  • David

    Upstanding public figures Alan Shearer and Ian Wright ? Lol

  • kingfisher

    Good article Johnny, and as Leazes says, very well written.Unfortunately we can write to MPs, wave flags, fly banners,hold meetings and protests until we are blue in the face,but the 50,000 Ashley apologists will still keep turning up and putting money into Ashleys pocket.
    They are not prepared to miss just one match or indeed any part of the 90 minutes and until this changes Ashley has no need to change.

    • Viru leckworth

      It is harsh calling match attendees Ashley apologists. They may go to matches that they pay for with their hard earned money, but I am sure a very large percentage harbour the same feelings toward the owners as yourself.

      • kingfisher

        Fair comment Viru,however I can’t see a ” very large percentage of those going to the match harbouring the same feeling towards the owners as myself” because if they did ,they would not renew their season tickets season after season unlike me and many others who will not set foot in SJP again until Ashley has gone.
        Iv’e said many times that by all means renew your season tickets and go to SJP if you are happy with Ashley, and I know that some folks are, but 50,000 ?

        How people can protest and then go to the match is beyond belief for fans who choose to boycott SJP, and is total hypocrisy.They want change, they want Ashley gone, they protest, fly flags and banners and yet they still support him ,giving him “their hard earned money” and by doing this, the rest of the football world looks at the full houses and think all must hunky dory “up North”

        • Viru leckworth

          Look Kingfisher I can’t disagree with you and applaud your principles, however I have supported Newcastle since Joe Harvey back heeled the ball to Milburn who scored and went on to win the FA cup. I have a ten year rolling contract at my pensioners rate. I am sure Ashley would prefer that I surrendered my ticket to leave room for a full fee paying supporter.
          Even so, if I could be sure every supporter would boycott the next televised game, I would mend my ways for that game. I would still watch It on telly of course.

          • kingfisher

            Yes Viru, it’s know from personal experience that it’s hard giving up going to SJP after being a supporter since 1968 and I know that it’s hard to rely on a mass walk out.
            I don’t know what the answer is but I suspect that having full houses is helping Ashleys cause ,and doing the club more harm than good.

        • Pezza

          How long have you boycotted the match?

    • Pezza

      There are two ways of removing Ashley, one is to find a buyer, the other is for fans to put money in themselves.

      Writing to people and shouting at inanimate objects will do nothing.

  • Ron

    I wrote a similar letter to my MP and the reply received yesterday said he was passing it on to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch MP.
    It will interesting to compare the eventual reply to me with yours. What’s the betting it’s cut and pasted word for word?

    • Leazes.

      It would have to be the same if you think about it, nothing has changed.

      Well except we can now see a link between the withdrawal of money from United’s coffers and the purchase of House of Fraser….. bold as brass.

    • Cockneytrev

      Just checked my emails and I’ve also received a reply,, exactly the same, passingbit in to Tracey Crouch,,,
      It might be worth emailing her direct?

  • Pezza

    Got to wonder how an MP has time to waste on this nonsense