During a speech in Newcastle on 5 October, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn made a promise that shows he’s with the people. He promised to:
take the beautiful game away from the billionaires and hand it to the fans instead.
“Football shouldn’t be just a business…let’s take the beautiful game away from the billionaires and hand it to the fans instead.”
During a speech in Newcastle, Jeremy Corbyn says a Labour government would make Premier League clubs pay for grass roots football. pic.twitter.com/iFBzGLBQDQ
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 6, 2019
While Corbyn is not the first to make such a call, his message resonated with the Newcastle United fans present, whose club is owned by billionaire Mike Ashley. And while Boris Johnson has to answer whether his backers could make billions from Brexit, Corbyn, a keen football supporter himself, wants to channel money into the real people’s game.
Not just rhetoric
So it made sense when Corbyn said:
the Labour government will make the Premier League clubs pay money for grass roots football
And while mere speech making can come easy, Corbyn has promised to make sure the Premier League invests 5% of its TV rights income in the grassroots game. He said a Labour government would ensure supporters’ trusts could appoint and sack at least two members of the clubs’ boards. It would also allow supporters’ trusts the right to buy shares in a club when it changed owners.
A number of people took to social media to show their support for Corbyn’s plan. Even if some of the publicity came from a surprising source:
— sasha josette (@NatashaJosette) October 6, 2019
Other people got behind the idea as they simply can’t afford to go to matches any more:
I know so many fans, particularly older ones, who can’t afford to go to a match anymore..not right.
— sally garland (@florestaqueen) October 6, 2019
And it even appears as if Corbyn has won over some new support:
My Brother in Law (who is not Labour) is suddenly interested in Labour 👍🏽
He’s a frustrated season ticket holder
He’s now listening ✅
More engaged ✅
More ‘open minded’ to our other great policies✅
Great policy initiative Jeremy 🙋🏽♂️✅✅
Thanks @DailyMailUK for publicity✅
— Alexis #CorbynOutrider🌹🍷 (@TocquevilleJnr) October 6, 2019
Plenty of people see many of Labour policies as common sense , (although most are so brainwashed they have to see them "blind" as it were) including these ideas on more funding to grassroots football.
— Janet T Beckett 💚 #EngineofHope #JC4PM #GTTO (@carbonsaveruk) October 7, 2019
Mike Ashley isn’t the only billionaire owner in the premier league. As things stand, it has 12 billionaire club owners estimated to be worth $90.8bn (£73.6bn). Additionally, the clubs earn millions every year while ordinary fans have to fork out hundreds of pounds, even for the cheapest season tickets, to watch their team.
all fans to participate in a full boycott of St. James’ Park, club merchandise and all businesses associated with the club until Mike Ashley leaves the club.
Ashley was also brought in front of a Commons committee to answer questions about working conditions at his company Sports Direct. Some of the staff there were paid less than the minimum wage. Newcastle United, like many clubs, is also sponsored by an online gaming company, which is disturbing given the high level of “probem gamblers” in the UK.
Future of football
Corbyn’s plan makes sense not only for Newcastle fans but for football fans all over. Because, as Corbyn said [0:33m]:
Football is our lives, our community, and it’s the place where people go to socialise and enjoy each other’s company.
Football should belong to the people, not the billionaires. And there’s only one party sending out that clear message.
Do your bit for independent journalism
Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.
We need you to help out, if you can.
When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.
You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.
In return you get:
- Advert free reading experience
- Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
- 20% discount from our shop