Office of the Official Opposition 

“Money to Byrne”: Furey’s Minister scandalously wastes $171,000 to finance struggling basement league UK sports team


For Immediate Release

(June 25, 2024, St. John’s, N.L.) – Progressive Conservative Leader Tony Wakeham is outraged that the Furey Liberal Government – which can’t properly feed and house our own people – has just spent $171,000 of taxpayers’ money to finance a struggling UK sports team that plays in the basement league of English football (soccer), the fourth tier.


Wakeham questions the wisdom of such an expenditure by a province in which there is rampant homelessness, record food bank usage and seniors splitting their medication and unable to adequately feed themselves.


“This shockingly irresponsible waste of scarce Newfoundland and Labrador taxpayer dollars will do zero to promote immigration,” said Wakeham. “Even if viewers notice the tiny website address on a jersey crowded with other wording and symbols, how does advertising on a soccer jersey get people to move to Newfoundland and Labrador?”


Wakeham noted the Minister’s bluster about exposure through video-game soccer is just as ludicrous. “No matter how big EA Sports is, kids playing video game soccer will not be making immigration decisions based on pixels-high print they can barely read on the jersey of a basement-league team they may never play. Who would even notice it or care?”


“Imagine if this level of investment had gone into our Newfoundland and Labrador sports teams for upgraded fields, clubhouses, equipment, jerseys and travel,” added Wakeham. “Imagine putting our own kids on the podium instead of sending their parents’ money off to support a tiny, financially struggling UK team.  At a time of scarcity, it is shocking that this Minister apparently has money to burn and no one to rein him in from funding a fiasco like this.”


“We are demanding to see all the paperwork, analysis, emails, phone records, meeting notes and other information that preceded this scandalous decision. Governing is about choices, and this is what the Furey Liberals have chosen. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve and demand better.”