Ian Lavery MP joined with Chi Onwurah during Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Newcastle this weekend, to take the Labour Leader to meet groups of Newcastle United Football Fans.
Mr Lavery said that he was thrilled that Jeremy Corbyn, who was speaking at a rally in Newcastle’s City Hall alongside Mr Lavery and other Labour MPs, had used the opportunity to announce a brand new policy pledge from the Labour Party to Football Fans about club ownership.
Mr Corbyn said that a Labour government would legislate to ensure that supporters’ trusts had the right to appoint, and sack, at least two members of a club’s board of directors.
Labour would also legislate to give supporters’ trusts the right to purchase shares in a club when it changed hands.
“A football club is more than just a club, it is an institution at the heart of our communities,” said Corbyn, an enthusiastic Arsenal fan.
“Clubs are part of the social fabric that binds us together. They are too important to be left in the hands of bad owners who put their business interests ahead of everything else, marginalise supporters and even put the financial security of clubs at risk.”
Corbyn announced the plan as part of a package of proposals that he said would “empower fans” and improve football governance.
Labour is committed to reviewing the way football is run, ensuring that the Premier League invests 5% of its income from TV rights in the grassroots game and enforcing legislation designed to stop ticket-tout websites selling tickets at inflated prices.
It also wants to ensure that the Women’s World Cup is included in the list of key sporting events broadcast free-to-air, and improve access to stadiums for disabled people.
Corbyn said that football clubs should be run in the interests of supporters, not their wealthy owners.
“Sport must be run in the interests of those who participate in it, follow it and love it, not just for the privileged and wealthy few. We will ensure that supporters have a say over how their club is run and review how fans can have more of a say about how all of our sporting bodies are run,” he said.
He also said that staff working in football clubs would benefit from Labour’s plans to ban the use of zero-hour contracts and introduce a living wage worth at least £10 an hour.
Mr Lavery thanked Mr Corbyn for coming along and sent out a video message thanking people from across the region for coming out to take part in the rally which saw City Hall packed with nearly 3000 people.