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."
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£5120 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£9000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...