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Now even the vicar from Bread is trying to stop the Newcastle United takeover – Anybody else?

2 years ago

The Newcastle United takeover.

Whoever first said fact is stranger than fiction, definitely knew what they were talking about.

The proposed Saudi PIF a real blockbuster series, a (seemingly!) endless tale of intrigue, dodgy dealings and shady characters. Enough about the media for now though…

As well as those directly involved in the proposed Newcastle United takeover and the largely untrustworthy media covering it, we also now have what feels like a case of thousands.

So many people desperate to have a piece of it, to make a name for themselves, by playing a part in seeing it fail.

Now joining this cast of thousands if the vicar from Bread!

Giles Watling made his name in the scouse 1980s BBC sitcom about the ducking and diving Boswell family in Liverpool.

He played Oswald, a vicar who married the only Boswell daughter, Aveline (both pictured above), and that episode in 1988 was watched by 21 million viewers.

Obviously missing the limelight, Giles Watling (also appeared in Grange Hill and ‘Allo ‘Allo) is now trying to put himself front of stage on the Newcastle United takeover.

In a surprising twist in the plot, Watling became the Tory MP for Clacton in 2017.

A member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, The Times now report that the former vicar from Bread, has now called for that select committee to hold an ‘evidence session on Saudi-based piracy of British sport including Premier League football.’

In an email to the select committee, Giles Watling said an evidence session was “even more relevant now within the context of the likely takeover of Newcastle United by a consortium backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (KSA PIF). This investment fund is backed by the same entity that backs beoutQ – Saudi Arabia – and is particularly pressing as the government refused to comment on the takeover to the Committee recently.”

Did you ever feel the world was against you (and your football club / city / region)…?

The Times adding: ‘Karl McCartney, another Conservative MP and the Chairman of the UK Parliamentary Football Club, will also call on the government today to “block the purchase of Newcastle United”. McCartney states that beoutQ’s ongoing piracy is “an outrage” which undermines British football.’

Whilst some MPs such as Chi Onwurah (whose Newcastle Central constituency includes St James Park) have done their best in recent years to oppose him, a shame we haven’t seen such strident opposition from Tory MPs uniting in condemning how Mike Ashley has used and abused Newcastle United.

Why no campaign against his outrageous actions that have clearly undermined Newcastle United and the Premier League for well over a decade, apart from those seasons of course when he took us into the Championship…

The Times reporting:

Watling, the MP for Clacton, said in his email that the issues raised included “whether the UK government, by allowing the sale to take place, is taking appropriate action in this instance to protect the value of UK sport, which is both a cultural and commercial asset to the country?”

“I am writing to request that the Committee holds an oral evidence session on the theft of UK sport by the Saudi-based pirate operation beoutQ, which has been stealing and broadcasting every major UK sporting competition for almost three years, including the Premier League. Ideally, this should be with the Secretary of State and representatives from the Premier League.”

He also questioned whether the government is taking seriously its manifesto commitment to instigate a fan-led review of football governance, including “an Owners and Directors Test which takes a holistic view of the health of UK sport”.

In a separate development, the newspaper says that the Liberal Democrats are also set to call for the sale of Newcastle United by Mike Ashley to be blocked. At least they only have 11 MPs now so probably safe to ignore that one!


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