Amanda Staveley reveals how Newcastle United fans can help ahead of takeover arbitration - amid London protest march
A group of Newcastle United fans are to head to London later this month to protest in a bid for takeover transparency.
Both Magpies owner Mike Ashley and prospective buyer Amanda Staveley have demanded the club’s arbitration process – where a July date for the hearing is yet to be determined – is held in public, rather than remain confidential.
Tracey Crouch MP, who is leading a Government review of football governance, responded to Staveley’s letter and redirected the matter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden and Minister of Sport Nigel Huddleston.
A protest march, led by fan group NUFC Transparency Protest, is arranging buses to the capital to shine a spotlight on the issue. The protest will take place in London’s Parliament Square.
Holly Blades, a member of the group, told the Gazette: “As a collective group of Newcastle fans, we hope that by doing the NUFC Transparency Protest we will attract as much media attention as possible and get some recognition from influential figures to put pressure onto the Premier League so that our club’s arbitration is made public knowledge.
"The proposed takeover of Newcastle United has been ongoing for 18 months now and there is a feeling of frustration among the fanbase.
"Both buyer and seller have stressed the importance of this case being played out in the public eye. We want to support both parties with this in order to get a more promising future for our football club.
"If our protest can help with that – which we believe it will – then we must take this action in the best interests of NUFC.”
Blades is pleased with the response to the organised protest, which was set up on Saturday evening – and hopes more will follow the near 50 supporters who have signed up to the trip to London.
She said: “We organised buses from St James's Park to Parliament Square where we will be holding the protest less than a day ago and are already on course to fill a 50 seater bus.
"We believe that we can surpass this given the amount of time we still have to get people on board and we are willing to organise as many buses as we need to.
"It's up to the Newcastle fans how many buses that ends up being.
"For the entirety of Mike Ashley's reign at the club, our fanbase has been very divided, however, the one goal that we all have had in common is to get a new owner in to take over from Ashley.
"The proposed deal by PIF, PCP and the Reuben brothers is the best chance we've ever had to achieve our goal. It's now or never.
"We ask that all Magpies fans put their differences to one side for this occasion and join us on our protest to have a more successful future for our football club.”
When asked how Newcastle fans can help ahead of the arbitration process, Staveley told ITV Tyne Tees: "My message to the Newcastle fans is to ask for transparency, to urge the Premier League to put this process in the public domain.
"My husband (Mehrdad Ghodoussi) and I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all of the fans.
"We've had thousands and thousands of letters. We read and we can't respond to all of them, but we’re so grateful for the support we've had, and we don't want to let you down."