Labour's football forum falls foul of Sky's fury
Thursday 16 September 1999
Joe Ashton, MP for Bassetlaw, in Nottinghamshire, who is the chairman of the Parliamentary All Party Football Group, has written to his members to tell them that their popular annual gathering has been cancelled because Sky has ceased funding the event.
"We were led to believe that Sky would not welcome a request for sponsorship this year," Mr Ashton wrote. The annual forum, which Sky has sponsored for three years, involves prominent figures from the game debating issues with group members and conference delegates.
Mr Ashton said yesterday: "This year, because our group stopped the Sky takeover of Manchester United, the unofficial word came back from Sky that it [the forum] wouldn't be funded." When Sky first launched its bid to take over Manchester United last year, Mr Ashton wrote to Peter Mandelson, then the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and urged him to oppose the bid on behalf of the group. Mr Ashton also persuaded 153 members of the Commons and Lords to sign an early-day motion to refer to the bid to the Competition Commission.
He said that he found out in June that Sky was unwilling to fund the forum, and preparations were too advanced to find a new sponsor.
Last night a Sky spokesman said: "Sky will still be involved in events at both the Labour and Conservative Party conferences. There will still be a football forum, organised by the Football Trust, and sponsored by Sky Sports." But Mr Ashton countered: "That's hardly the same [as the usual forum]. It's a fringe event, held in a school."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Iraq crisis: Government forces execute 255 Sunni prisoners in revenge for Isis atrocities, says report
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...