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I asked my MP Kenny MacAskill for help regarding the Newcastle United takeover and now he’s replied

2 months ago
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With the frustrations we are all feeling due to the mess of the Newcastle United takeover, I got in touch with my MP Kenny MacAskill.

I live on the other side of the border at this moment in time and Kenny is the SNP MP for East Lothian.

Living up here we aren’t directly in the north east of course BUT given the proximity of Newcastle to the area, and the considerable number of Geordies living here, as well as the wider implications and benefits of any takeover, I felt it was worthwhile to involve my local MP if possible.

This is the email below that I sent to Kenny MacAskill (first time I have ever been motivated to write to an MP) and now he’s replied, giving The Mag permission to reproduce it as well, after I asked about the possibility.

The email I sent to my MP Kenny MacAskill:

Dear Kenny,

This is the first time I have written to an MP. That my first mail is relating to a football matter may seem trivial, but, I feel it is necessary. A considerable investment in the north east of England by a consortium led by Amanda Staveley was withdrawn yesterday after a 4 month wait for the Premier League to come to a decision on the suitability of some of the applicants. The pro’s and con’s, particularly on moral grounds, have been discussed at length for quite some time, so I am sure I don’t need to outline the details. Nor do I feel they need to be debated further as they are not relevant to my request.

I am also sure you are wondering why this would be an issue for the MP of East Lothian. However, given the proximity of Newcastle to the area, and the considerable number of Geordies living here, I think it is important our voice is added to those on Tyneside. Though, I am sure you realize wealth in the north east of England would have offered opportunities for your constituents as well. Sadly, we will never now know the extent, as those opportunities have been lost.

I would like to see the Premier League’s handling of this takeover investigated. I would like to know that the best interests of Newcastle United drove the lengthy review process that led to collapse of the deal. I would like to be sure that the Premier League were not using Newcastle United as a bargaining tool in their disagreement with the Saudi Arabian government over licensing issues. I would like to be sure that there was no interference from other groups with different interests. I would like to see someone from the Premier League explain to all those searching for jobs and investment opportunities at this difficult time, why they could not reach a conclusion on this deal? In short, I want to know that the delay was justified and in the best interests of Newcastle United, the people of Tyneside and those of us in outlying regions.

Ultimately, if there is strong evidence that the right course of action was taken, I will be satisfied. However, right now, I feel that much-needed investment into the area, that could have had far reaching benefits, has been lost by indecision. It is right and it is proper that this is investigated. I ask that the question of an independent and open investigation is raised in parliament to address these questions, and that you offer your support to any such undertaking.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Hall

The response from Kenny MacAskill:

Dear Andrew

Thank you for writing to me. I can see what I can find out for you.

NUFC are a big club with a huge draw that crosses the border.

The current owner is a disaster though previous ones haven’t been great either.

I also know the passion folk have for their team and the good it does in communities both small and large. I’m not sure what caused the delay or whether coronavirus has caused a rethink. Opening stadia is going to be problematic though the money as ever is in the TV revenue. I’ve no doubt some more info will drift out in coming days and weeks.

I have to confess I’ve always been a supporter of Fan ownership but its a distant dream. I was chair of a fan group to acquire Hibernian but its been badly let down by the clubs owners. Now its in an Americans hands and I’m fearful . I also sat on various SFA panels as I am a lover of the game not just the big clubs. I’ve relinquished that since being elected but fear that again the grassroots has lost.

The Premier League is a global league now but its basically a private corporation. The scrutiny that would apply to a public body or even the FA is limited.

That said the proposed Saudi takeover of the club had been considered in Parliament.

I can write to the Premier League though that wouldn’t be an independent enquiry.

However, it may well be the starting point to see what they are prepared to disclose. If Mike Ashley thinks he’s lost financially he’ll not be shy in coming forward.

If we start there than see what happens does that suit?

Kind regards or away the lads is it!

Kenny

(ED: There are no magic answers but it is important that Newcastle fans keep asking the questions. Do whatever you think might be worth a try. The more that those people in authority can be pulled into this and involved, the less chance this takeover mess has of being quietly forgotten about. Your local MP is always a great starting point, remember, they are elected to serve you. No guarantees but by posing the questions to them, you always stand a chance of getting them onside.)

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