Musician’s album launch coincided with football club’s takeover
On Thursday (7 October), it was announced that investors from Saudi Arabia had bought the club from Mike Ashley after 14 years, with fans hoping the investment will translate into better results for the team.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Friday (8 October), Fender, who comes from North Shields, said that he was feeling slightly worse for wear after travelling up to Newcastle for the occasion.
“We did Jools Holland and then went straight up to St James’s [Park]. My saxophone player Johnny got on the statue and started playing ‘Local Hero’ and 5,000 Geordies just started singing along.”
Asked if this had been for the club takeover, Fender replied: “Because Ashley’s out, yeah.” Michael Ashley is the British billionaire retail entrepreneur who owned the club before.
Fender then said that he’d taken “about a thousand selfies” with fellow fans, adding: “Everyone was absolutely class and they gave us a lot of cans and I’m really hungover. I’m really, really hungover. But these things happen, don’t they.”
Asked about his opinions on the takeover, Fender said: “Woah, I feel like I’m on TalkSport.”
He then said that the deal was a “contentious” one, with human rights groups accusing the Saudi government of “sportswashing” human rights abuses.
Fender appeared on BBC Breakfast to promote his new album Seventeen Going Under, which was released on Friday.
You can read The Independent’s four-star review of it here.