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Double standards from media on Newcastle United takeover coverage – 1 or 51 MPs more important?

9 months ago

Interesting to stop and take a look at the media coverage on the Newcastle United takeover coverage.

I’m particularly wanting to look at what has happened when MPs have intervened in the issues / debate.

How have the media treated these interventions by elected representatives?

I have picked out just a few examples throughout this takeover saga…

The Independent article – 28 April 2020:

If government will not intervene in Newcastle takeover on moral grounds, it must take a stand on Saudi piracy

Writing ahead of the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle, Scottish National Party MP John Nicolson…

‘This week in Parliament, I raised the issue of the Saudi’s likely takeover of Newcastle United with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden.

During our exchange, and with the atrocities of the Saudi state laid plainly in front of him, the Secretary of State apathetically ruled out the prospect of government intervention to prevent the brutal regime from acquiring one of Britain’s most recognisable football clubs, a cherished cultural asset steeped in over a century of history.’

Less than three weeks into the Premier League approval process, this article by SNP MP for Ochill and South Perthshire, John Nicholson, got massive media exposure, all the other newspapers / media repeating the quotes about ‘moral grounds’ and Saudi piracy’…

An MP who has got absolutely nothing to do with the City of Newcastle or Newcastle United, who couldn’t care a less about what happens to our football club or region, particularly if missing out on the massive inward investment for the City that would have came on top of the football club cash investment to progress.

One MP getting all that coverage trying to stop Newcastle fans getting rid of Mike Ashley.

BBC Sport report – 19 June 2020:

Newcastle United takeover: Saudi deal must be blocked, MP tells government

‘The government has been urged to block the Saudi Arabia-led takeover of Newcastle United until it investigates TV piracy in the country.

Angus MacNeil, chair of the International Trade Select Committee, has now written to trade secretary Liz Truss to voice his concerns.’

Same again, one MP, Angus MacNeil, SNP Member of Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

Could Angus even find Newcastle on a map? What does he care about our football club or region and any negative impact not having a takeover would have?

He writes a letter simply so he can then make it public and it gets massive coverage. Remember, only one MP, once again.

The Telegraph report – 16 July 2020:

‘Exclusive: MPs launch late bid to halt Saudi Arabia-led Newcastle United takeover

Eight MPs from both sides of the House tell Premier League they would be facilitating ‘sportswashing’ were the move to go through

A group of cross-party MPs have launched an 11th hour bid to torpedo the Saudi Arabia takeover at Newcastle United, by telling the Premier League any deal will help whitewash the state’s repressive regime….’

A bit of a better effort this time, rustling up eight MPs only a couple of weeks before the consortium ended up pulling out.

Yet again, massive coverage given to our elected representatives trying to stop the Newcastle United takeover.

These are just a few examples above.

There were so many more, whether a lone random MP, other individuals, numerous campaign / pressure groups, all given massive coverage as they were putting out an anti Newcastle United takeover message.

Fast forward to the last week / ten days or so.

A superb campaign led by NUST has led to a very successful initiative producing massive support from MPs, both from the north east and beyond (as well as a separate petition from fans calling for an independent investigation into the Premier League process that has attracted over 105,000 signatories).

As of this morning (10.30am Wednesday 12 August 2020), 7,547 letters have been sent to MPs by Newcastle fans, right across the country to their own MP, though obviously the majority to north east MPs.

There has been an incredible response from the MPs, at a minimum, well over 50 (I would estimate at least 60 or 70+ now based on NUST feedback and MPs tweeting etc) of the elected representatives have backed the calls for Premier League transparency on the takeover situation. Most, if not all, of the MPs committing to writing to the Premier League asking for transparency, on behalf of their constituents – indeed many of the MPs publishing online the letters they have sent to the PL.

You are talking about 10% or more of the entire stock of 650 MPs have joined this action calling for Premier League transparency. Even the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has came out and said the Premier League have to make a statement.

So surely it will have received commensurate coverage from the media…?

It appears very much though not to be the case.

There has been SOME coverage but this should be a MASSIVE story, 10% or more of MPs demanding that the Premier League show transparency on this takeover issue and yet so far refusing to do so.

It appears very much a case of double standards from media with their Newcastle United takeover coverage – 1 or 51 MPs more important?

A lone random MP from Balamory or wherever, getting more coverage than 10% or so of the elected representatives, including pretty much all 30 north east MPs, who represent the region and who know how desperately the need for inward investment is.

Maybe the Premier League are justified in refusing to approve the takeover BUT they have to show transparency regardless, explain their actions / inactions.


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