Put Football Club Ownership In Hands of The Fans

Culture secretary Andy Burnham, has called for the English FA to follow in the footsteps of Spain and Germany, and put the ownership of football clubs in the hands of their fans.

Andy Burnham – Secretary of Culture

Given the terrible situation at Newcastle United right now, we think this story is worth more than a cursory look.

As more English clubs are being bought up by rich owners, Burnham has called on the Football Association to do something about the future, and the obvious dominance of the richest clubs, who are monopolizing the Premier League.

The top four clubs have been unchanged in the Premier league for quite a few years now, and it’s so difficult for other teams to mount a challenge. As Kevin Keegan so rightly pointed out in May, the best players will always choose to go to the top four clubs, so where’s the long term competition in that?

There will need to be a salary or wage cap soon on Premier League clubs, as they have implemented in the US, so that the richest clubs, like Chelsea and now Manchester City, cannot just go out and buy a team, and have an enormous wage bill, and pay out about £200M, or more, in doing that.

In a speech to the Cooperative Party conference in Westminster, Burnham said he was getting increasingly concerned at the big-money takeovers, most recently seen at Manchester City.

“If football follows the same path in the next 10 years as it has in the last, there is a real risk that the game will lose touch with its core support,”

“We need to ask urgently what we want for the future of our game, before something precious is lost.”

Burnham is an advocate of clubs being owned by their supporters – which is in place at Barcelona in Spain, and is eager for that model to be implemented in England.

We’re sure a lot of Newcastle supporters would be willing to participate in owning their famous club, so that it would take away the power of current owner Mike Ashley, who has managed to go directly against the fans’ wishes by not doing everything he could to keep Kevin Keegan at the club, and siding with Dennis Wise instead.

Burnham believes it is the English FA who have the responsibility for getting this going, but if the English FA is truly responsible, that’s bad news, because it takes them years to even think about something, let alone actually get something done.

“Regulation has to be led by the FA – it is not for the government to run football,”

“I want the FA to step up to the challenge and lead an in-depth look at regulating the finance of football, for the overall health of the game.”

“Professional football has its origins in the community and community organizations.” “Those origins built the fierce loyalty in clubs, with supporters seeing the clubs as expressions of their identity.”

“That loyalty is actually what makes the clubs so marketable but in marketing them there is a real risk of eroding their place in the community.”

An FA spokesman said that the governing body’s chairman, Lord Triesman, agrees that clubs must not abandon their basic roots, in pursuit of riches at any cost:

“Lord Triesman met with Andy Burnham to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the game, including fit and proper ownership of clubs and the development of home-grown talent,”

“Like Andy he firmly believes that clubs must preserve their links with their communities, and shares concerns if clubs are being bought for their short-term investment value rather than their long-term success.”

“These issues, and the need to reconsider football’s regulatory framework in this area, are very high on the chairman’s list of priorities.”

Mike Ashley has talked about allowing Newcastle fans to buy some of the club, but of course, that would do no good in the current situation, because Mike would still keep enough of the club to exert full control over all decisions.

And we shouldn’t hold our breath on Anil Albani coming in and buying Newcastle United anytime soon, because Sky Sports News has been reporting today that the Billionaire is no longer interested because of the turmoil ongoing at Newcastle. That’s not good news.

But hey, maybe we can take Hull City apart 6-0 tomorrow afternoon.

We need some good news from somewhere – that’s for sure.

Comments welcome.

27 comments so far

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #1

    1st can i have my medal

  • Mag1Pie

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #2

    Brilliant…just brilliant..Ambani has pulled out of the bid to buy NUFC…what a joke!!!!…Well done fat arse Ashley…stupid fagg0t!!!

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #3

    Never mind the fans. Stick to basics and bloody sell to Relience, they are obvously interested big man.

    At least hear them out, your clearly not wanted, you clearly have no interest in Newcastle United, your actions over recent week have proven that.

    Now chase after Relience and do the best thing all round and sell

  • 51times

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #4

    There’s only turmoil because of Ashley…if Ambani was to buy the club I doubt that it would continue.

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #5

    Hopefully quite a cunning trick by Relience.

    The timing of their statment coming out just before the Hull game!

    Really cranks up the pressure!

  • sweendog

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #6

    Mag1Pie .. don’t believe everything you read .. this is a sky sports announcement .. it hasn’t come directly from Ambani … anyways this could be a hard ball business tactic ..

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #7

    Mind u im also fat.if ashley sells d club 2 d fans im also interested in buying at least less than a percent of dclub

  • Mag1Pie

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #8

    Read the Chornicle guys….Reliance have officially pulled out…this fat man is just a pure born and bred w4nker!!!

  • Thump

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #9

    To be fair, all we know right now about Ambani is rumours and speculation and sadly Ashley has left us with a bitter taste in our mouths about the words of “associates” and “spokespeople”.

    I’d love Ambani to buy Ashley out, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

  • little willie

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #10

    I don’t blame them. The latest overreaction from the fans makes us look like an impossible club to run, if i were Ambani i would probably steer clear aswell.

  • Thump

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #11

    Mag1Pie, read what Sweendog has to say.

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #12

    Shares of Newcastle.how much does it cost

  • London Mag

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #13

    Had your chance to get out FAT BASTARD, Now sit and suffer. Because, my god, you are going to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ed_speed

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #14

    this will please “fans whould own the club”.


  • London Mag

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #15

    You grabbed the tiger by its tail, and now it is going to bite your head off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ASHLEY OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mag1Pie

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #16


    I do not think that this a hard ball tactic…We have been complaining that Ashley has been invisible to the fans and the club has lacked communication…not even Ambani has been able to have any communication with the club…and the fact that this statement means that they were interested means it was true all along…I can say now that it has been confirmed that Reliance were interested that the club is going down…Fat jabbadahut Ash is looking to close Nufc down…I have bitten my tongue so far with regards to the Reliance rumour as it was not confirmed but now that it has I am seething…as I am sure are all other Nufc supporters….

  • beyethegreat

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #17

    i have to say that for the long term us owning our club would be a great idea but could it happen

  • Ben

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #18

    Watch this space, we havent heard the end of the Ambani story. If they have maintained silence on whether they want to buy the club up until now, why release this statement today? Assuming the statement is genuine, I believe this is an attempt to put more pressure on Ashley ahead of tomorrow’s protests.

    The current turmoil makes the club a more attractive proposition to a potential buyer in a lot of ways because it puts them in a strong buying position.

  • hmm

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #19

    LOL wtf london mag

  • London Mag

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #20

    If it is a hard ball business tactic, this guy knows that this is the right time to drop this one.
    If this is a result of the outpouring of venom towards the owner and board we need to convince him the fans are fully behind him, and we should chant his name tomorrow.

    It would surprise me if it was the latter, as he didn’t become as wealthy as he is by not facing difficult situations himself.

    He is obviously aware that the fans intend to cut off Ashley’s money making from the club, and should it work, will devalue the club.

    This may just be a brilliant move to heap more shit onto Ashley’s head. We really need to show we will welcome him with open arms.

    Howay Anil fix the TOON!!

  • Steve

    Sep 12, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #21

    Ambani was never going to bid for Newcastle anyway pure speculation by the press.

    Think that this idea that each and everyone of the 52,000 fans give almost 6k in order to buy the club is pie in the sky.
    We’d have to stump up money every year in order we could compete in the transfer market.
    Once we started winning stuff / qualifying for champs league it should be self sustaining but how much and how long would that take

  • mitch

    Sep 12, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #22

    I think they would bid maybe even after those talks i was crucified for mentioning funny this statement came out the next day after i said talks MA probably wants too much we all know how greedy he is but if no one buys from the club eventually he will sell as it seems businesses are keeping there distance as well

  • ed_speed

    Sep 12, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #23

    season 3 is out tonight


    Sep 12, 2008 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #24

    isnt it the norm for a labour minister to talk a load of bollocks

  • Rem

    Sep 12, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #26

    I think you should only be able to spend money on transfer that have come in purley from the clubs profits, so from tickets, merchandise etc.
    Not private funds.

  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 12, 2008 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #27

    Hi Ed Speed–It certainly does please me!

    I think it’s a great effing idea and it’s widely done in Spain and Germany. Big clubs too, like Barcelona and (I’ve read) Real Madrid.


    Eff the billionaires. Ownership to the people!

    This lot is talking about 200 pound memberships. Most of us drinks up 200 pounds in a good weekend or two, methinks… http://www.savenewcastle.com/index.html

    Wow-have just seen the crazy reports that Ashley and Keegan are in talks again.

    Madness… absolute madness…

    To borrow a phrase: “‘mon the lads…”



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