Newcastle United have criticised Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for a lack of knowledge about football after he hit out at what he called “bad owners like Mike Ashley” in reference to the Premier League club’s boss.
Speaking at a rally in Newcastle last Saturday, opposition leader Corbyn scolded club owners “who put their business interests ahead of everything else, marginalise supporters and even put the financial security of clubs at risk”.
Newcastle responded with a statement on Tuesday, saying: “In overlooking existing governance and regulation, as well as the hugely positive impact Newcastle United and other professional clubs have in their communities, Mr Corbyn has demonstrated a surprising lack of knowledge about our national game.
“Financially, other than sums provided to the club on a short-term, interest-free basis and repaid to him as intended, we would like to make it clear that Mike Ashley has not taken a penny out of Newcastle United in interest, salary or dividend, as is customary at many clubs,” the statement added.
Football clubs are too important to be left in the hands of bad owners like Mike Ashley, who put their own business interests ahead of everything else.
Let’s take the beautiful game away from the billionaires and hand it to the fans instead.https://t.co/satZNl7Kkf
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 7, 2019
Thousands of Newcastle fans have been staying away from matches this season to protest at the way Ashley, who bought a controlling stake in 2007, is running the Premier League club.
Newcastle are languishing in 16th place in the standings, just one point above the relegation zone, after Steve Bruce’s side beat visitors Manchester United 1-0 last weekend.