Newcastle United fans protest tonight during their match against Leeds at St James’ Park to call for action against club owner Mike Ashley.
The group, ProtestTransparence NUFC for fans, said they were protesting “against the Premier League’s lack of transparency regarding not one, but two legal actions that Mike Ashley has initiated”.
A split between Newcastle fans and the board has existed for several years, with Ashley owning the club since 2007. He is also the CEO of Sports Direct and since 2018, Frasers Group.
The faithful of St James’ Park will unveil in the stands flyers which will also serve as paper planes which will be launched on the ground in order to stop the game.
What are the fans protesting?
They want to better understand when they can expect the end of the saga. A statement was issued to clarify the planned campaign.
“NUFC is in ‘separation’ arbitration proceeding which has been delayed, without explanation, until” early 2022 “while St James Holdings Ltd has jurisdiction hearing for appeal tribunal hearing de la concurrence (CAT) on September 29, 2021 to determine jurisdiction over alleged anti-competitive behavior in the context of the proposed takeover bid.
In April 2020, it was revealed that the club was to be sold “to a consortium made up of PCP capital Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF).”
A spokesperson for @ProtestNUFC said: “In our minds Mike has already sold the club, he said so, and we had rightly predicted that he wouldn’t invest significantly. In fact, why would he do it ?!
“We knew this in July when we went to London and delivered a letter to Downing Street and PL headquarters. Unsurprisingly, we have had no response to any of these letters.
Club supporters want “transparency” from the Premier League and their owners, which is why these protests are underway tonight.
Amanda Staveley, who headed the Saudi-funded consortium, tried to buy the Magpies but collapsed last year, said in July: “We have done our best to acquire the club and we are determined to do so.
“It has been an amazing process. If we don’t get that intervention from the government and they don’t listen to what we’re saying today, then I’m afraid this process will break down and we’ll never get a fair hearing.
“We think this is important for Newcastle and the fans and we will never give up.”
Will the protests continue?
Fans want to focus on sending a message and continue from there if they don’t get clarification.
“We just want a decision so we can move on from hoping for something better,” organizers added.
“That being said, we are looking to build on the momentum at Watford and then we have Spurs at home, who would have opposed this takeover for a variety of reasons, which could be interesting.”
After 20 months, fan frustration clearly continues with manager Steve Bruce coming under fire.