Newcastle United fans preparing legal proceedings against the Premier League once ‘ducks are in a row’
I have been requested to make you aware of this communication.
This is NOT my work, it is by an anonymous group considering the next step.
They will need funding as per the body of the pros, also I have forwarded this to NUST for their attention.
For those who are not aware, there is a group looking into legal proceedings against the Premier League, at this time they wish to remain anonymous until all ducks in a row.
I just copied and pasted for your perusal. The content brings to the fore some things which I had not thought about but are damning for the Premier League legally. Hope they get this sorted!
This has been emailed to Richard Masters and Cartels Hotline:
Dear Mr Masters,
I formally write to you with regard to your position of employment within the body known as the “English Premier League” which I will substitute for ease within this correspondence by referring to that body as the “EPL.”
From the outset I wish to make it clear that I have no intention of being rude, or abusive in this communication but I will be direct and frank in order to get my message across to you.
I am an ordinary fan and member of Newcastle United FC and as such I want to express my utter grievances about the manner in which you are conducting your affairs within the EPL that causes me great concern. I would like to put on record today and serve notice that our growing body of fans, local businesses and other affected parties may consider taking a group legal action against the EPL and yourself for the negligence you have shown towards the stakeholders of Newcastle United and other people and companies who are in some way affected by the success and failure of our club.
If such action materialises, we will consider naming other businesses within that action as being party to the anti competitive behaviour.
I would also like to inform you that today I have reported your behaviour to the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) to complain against your handling of matters that have come before you and the manner in which you have dealt with these.
As a man in the street and a football man who has worked in local sport in the past I have sat aghast at your seemingly deliberate attempts to prevaricate and procrastinate on a very simple and straightforward decision to assess the fit and proper persons test for a consortium seeking to purchase the interest in Newcastle United.
Pardon my ignorance but it was my belief (shared by others within the legal profession) that within the constitution of the EPL your current test only caters for a test based upon the applicants financial standing capable of owning and operating a football club within England’s highest football league.
Furthermore, it is our firm belief that if the answers given within that said application meets the conditions outlined within Appendix 3 of the Leagues Owners and Directors Test, then permission ought to have been granted to those applicants for the legitimate right to own that football club as determined in that test. This point causes considerable concern that there is a high possibility that disingenuous attempts have been made to deliberately prevent this takeover.
More worryingly that those who influenced this decision to deliberately delay procedures acted in a wholly anti competitive manner with the absolute knowledge that if they prevented such a takeover they would benefit within their own commercial interests and as such reduce competition within the field in which they operate.
We are concerned that an elite bunch of your members clubs exist who are allowed private meetings with the EPL whereupon they are empowered to pass judgement and opinion on who should and should not compete with them within the commercial English Premier Football League. Our concern is that they have lobbied your decision making process towards preventing competition within this multi billion pound industry. We understand that is forbidden within the UK.
To act in such a manner would be highly illegal and clearly to the benefit of the members who sit at the top of the leagues standing in terms of success and revenues and it would be very harmful in both social and economic terms to a club such as Newcastle United and others who were legitimately attempting to break into that higher echelon within your league structure.
Much has been spoken since the applicants withdrew their application. It is believed the parties that constitute that bid are undoubtedly of considerable stature both in the business and financial worlds and in our opinion are clearly of greater credibility and suitability to operate a football club than other owners granted that opportunity by the EPL.
What has worried us most during this week’s information deposits are public documents expressed on both social and other media that suggest, “At least two of your members are implacably opposed to the failed Saudi Arabian takeover of Newcastle United.” I don’t doubt such a statement would give you sleepless nights Richard!
Since when did a market place containing commercial gain totalling billions of pounds in prize money and media revenues ever become legitimate venue where those at the top of the market were able to represent, vote or influence a weaker member on growing their business model and attracting financial investment likely to give undoubted competition to those above them? I think your lawyers will be able to answer that for you and equally explain the perils and penalties of colluding to that effect. It sounds like the epitome of anti competitive behaviour, which I will touch on later in this communication.
It remains our opinion that by allowing the EPL to be heavily influenced by bodies such as investment parties from other countries, advertisers and purchasers of TV rights, not mentioning companies (like clubs) who compete daily with Newcastle United FC within the Premier League is not only harmful to the club but equally to the region we live in and those that depend upon the success and welfare of the club. We believe your actions have deliberately deprived our city of investment, growth, jobs and commercial appeal and we feel that it has been done in an anti competitive manner.
We believe as ruling body that you are a key contributing factor to deliberately delaying a decision to allow this competitor into your market that you and some of your high achieving members control.
We fear that your refusal to reach a verdict on the fit and proper test signifies your intent to encourage and motivate the anti competitive behaviour, which rendered the original investment in acquiring Newcastle United as “untenable” by the prospective investors.
Economists will comfortably prove that by preventing this consortium on entering the market you in turn would be controlling the cost of players and deliberately reducing the sums paid for top players by preventing the entry of a significant investor with greater funds at their disposal than your current group of “elite” clubs who enjoy the largest proportion of the prize money and media revenue from seizing those players at the “right price.”
Our stakeholders are keen to understand how, and why, a normally confidential process was influenced by the EPL and some of its confidants into becoming a very public debate. We will seek information to demonstrate instances where information leaked was intentionally or carelessly carried out to derail the takeover of our club.
We are appalled to learn that your “top ten” members were “dead against” this takeover. Again need I say, a very anti competitive stance in every sense!
We would need to put a value on the impact of a highly competitive entrant coming into the market and assess potential losses and motivations by those who may lose a league title; champions league qualification and other financially rewarding achievements.
We understand, what appears a cartel of top clubs, viewed the influence of the Saudi Arabian government as being a dangerous development in English football and wait for it, they said,” Any influence of oil money was a potential threat to the integrity of their competition.” That is the only part of this communication that I find amusing Richard because translated into genuine text that could read in the real world as saying, a potential threat to their league positions, silverware, revenue, ability to capture the worlds greatest players and in short a threat to their profitability.
We are keen to investigate an article from the New York Times suggesting the “top 6” in the premiership help the EPL hire a CEO suitable to “their needs.” As a ruling body in any competitive market place it is unthinkable that those competing for considerable gain have any more say or influence in who governs that ruling body (i.e., CEO appointment) than any other less profitable member.
I won’t hold my breath for an acknowledgement of my points Richard (pictured above), nor will I await an invite to your birthday but even the most unempathetic person will appreciate reluctantly that the current owner, the new potential buyers, everyone involved or associated with Newcastle United FC, the Geordie public and all true honest football fans around the world has a lot of questions that need answering.
We have observed your behaviour throughout these most hideous events and quickly formed the opinion that you are not a man of great action or intent. You recently promised that you would make a decision “shortly” so on Tyneside that word now means….’Don’t hold your breath!’
We understand that your postman will have put a shift in over the past few days but in short we are not going away! We are a proud region, often criticised for expecting too much from football. Let me quantify that. We have not won a domestic honour since 1955 and have not won a European Trophy since 1969 yet we sell out a stadium every week with over fifty thousand supporters. We hold the record for the greatest every season’s attendances in the championship proving we stick with the cause! We are passionate, caring and determined people. This matter will not go away and we won’t allow it to be covered over.
A petition to our prime minister will achieve over 100,000 complainants to demand an investigation into your stewardship of the EPL and the accountability for our governing body within our national sport.
Fortunately, the people criticised so openly by some of your top members and those put up to damage this takeover are people who are held in very high regard by the UK government and the UK royal family. However, you and your cartel appear to discriminate against these people with a motive of financial and market control. I personally believe this is a very distasteful and naïve strategy. I do not for one moment believe their withdrawal was an acceptance of defeat, I saw it more as a realisation of how dirty the tactics could get. So I hope it is reconvened moment, where weapons are sharpened and an acceptance that the ethical battle was lost to your tactics but the war will be won in whichever way you so choose.
It is my hope that the very credible and wealthy body known as the Reuben Brothers buy the club from Mike Ashley and take away your unreasonable control of new market entrants as there are absolutely no grounds in which you could deprive them of doing this. Then in due course I hope they seek investment from Mr and Mrs Staveley and PIF from Saudi Arabia and then deliver the wonderful growth, investment and benefit that you have colluded to deprive our city of enjoying.
In the meantime I would draw your attention to a few points. They centre on competition law and the illegality of behaviour by parties that contribute to that effect.
The dictionary determines anti competitive behaviour as being strategies designed to limit the degree of competition inside a market and reinforce the monopoly power of established businesses. Does that remind you of anyone Richard?
Collusion is said to take place ‘when rival companies collaborate for their own gain.’ You could say I guess in getting together without the vote or opinion of the lesser, poorer members and choosing a CEO to run the ruling body to service “their needs”, don’t you think Richard? It goes on, when two or more parties (possibly 6?) act together to influence a market or price levels (such as transfer fees?), thus preventing fair competition.
A complex monopoly exists where at lease one quarter (25%) of the market is in the hands of one or a group of suppliers who deliberately, or not, act in a way designed to reduce the competitive pressures within a market. This one could be such as believing that members can decide or influence the acceptance or entry of “oil money” within their tightly controlled Cartel? In terms of numbers your “top 6” decision makers who appear to have been instrumental in your appointment would represent around 33% thus topping the 25% danger level Richard.
I am sure you get my point in my communication and in putting you on warning of your behaviour I am pleased to have drawn to your attention to our concerns in an open and lucid manner without any insult or abusive comments. Your failure to answer any complaints have left no option than to report you to the CMA and then consider taking an action against your organisation under the 1989 Competition Act and investigate collusion under The Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956.
For my part I hope the Reubens (pictured above) ‘pee on your cornflakes’ so to speak and buy the club themselves in the first instance and maintain their integrity by involving those parties who originally brought them to the table. Then, after deflating your Cartel balloon, encourage strong competition amongst ALL of your twenty members. If that happens then this letter and these suggestions may amount to words of warning rather than the start of a challenge to the EPL.
I would though be wary and less reticent to face up to your unsustainable practises that the media have openly presented in recent days of an allegedly corrupt body known as the English Premier League.
Maybe you should revisit history and recount 84 years ago when people from these parts were antagonised enough back in October 1936 having in their opinions been poorly treated so they marched over 250 miles to London to lobby the people they felt had wronged them. I was reminded of that movement during this week when I learnt some of our fans had made a personal visit for answers to your offices in London. Thankfully today’s methods and speed of complaint is much easier expedited these days. Those thousands of emails in your inbox which typically go unanswered, your considerable daily post sack and the soon to be delivered petition of over 100,000 complainants demanding an investigation will hopefully go some way to looking closer at your own behaviour, our national sports ‘governing body’ and that of other commercial entities within your membership quango.
Never underestimate the appetite of those 100,000+ Geordies donating as little as a £1 or £2 per man and providing a six figure legal fund to raise a group action against the disgusting, discriminative and anti competitive behaviour of yourself, your staff and your organisation.
I mentioned earlier, I would be content if the consortium that has withdrawn their original proposal were to reconvene and sharpen their weapons to fight you and your colluded partners in the dirty manner you seem to revel in.
If circumstances demand and it takes the people on the street to take this fight to the courts then I for one would look forward to challenging you in a court of law because I believe the evidence would be immense. The E-disclosure from you, your suppliers and your members would be fascinating and I suspect revealing. What would be more entertaining is watching you trying to dispose of this in the technological world we now live in. I would ask you in writing today to maintain all evidence and electronic communications in order to meet court requests for further questioning on this matter in due course. I believe any attempt to dispose of that information in the meantime will be viewed with scepticism by the CMA, UK and EU law courts.
We all understand that for the first time ever in a move never previously witnessed the EPL has made representations demanding that the Saudi Royal Family become directors of a UK football club in order for a Saudi Arabian business to seek ownership of that entity.
We understand this is unprecedented and we believe it is disingenuous and aimed at manipulating a commercial entity, whilst possibly intending to embarrass a foreign states royal family to be controlled and discriminated like never before. We would equally like an investigation or a court of law to determine the motives and reasoning behind such ludicrous demands.
We’d like to look into learning how owners of clubs including (but not restricted to) Chelsea, Sheffield United, Manchester City, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal, Liverpool and others all received the same and equal investigation and questioning and demands before their owners were cleared as being fit and proper under your ruling. Then we would like to compare how Newcastle United was treated differently before asking you why?
In the meantime we will continue to observe your procrastination while hopefully our investors and our stakeholders decide the best way to deal with this and would politely ask that you acknowledge receipt of this communication.
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