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Is Corbyn right about Mike Ashley and Newcastle United?

October 8th, 2019 | 158 Comments |

Corbyn in Newcastle
Jeremy Corbyn with NUFC fan group representatives.
Newcastle United’s next game after the international break is away to Chelsea – use betting bonus if you fancy us to upset the Blues the way we beat Man Utd!

“Barcelona is not a business, it is a feeling. We are not owned by anybody, we are an association.” Sandro Rosell, President of FC Barcelona (owned by 180,000 fans).

In case it has escaped your attention, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn was recently in Newcastle with North East Labour MPs Chi Onwurah and Ian Lavery meeting NUFC fan groups and outlining his proposals to democratise football clubs in a similar manner to clubs in countries such as Spain and Germany. (more…)


Newcastle United, Mike Ashley and eternal recurrence

July 1st, 2015 | 335 Comments |

Steve McClaren
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence as it is, without meaning or aim, and yet recurring inevitably, without any finale in nothingness: “eternal recurrence.”

Friedrich Nietzsche – The Will to Power

I quoted the great proto-existentialist philosopher there because it seems such a perfect summary of all that Mike Ashley has to offer Newcastle United fans, in the past, the present and in the future; existence as it is, without meaning or aim, and yet recurring inevitably This includes the humiliation of being lied to and treated as fools on a regular basis, and paying hundreds of pounds for the privilege in many cases. Mike Ashley’s latest alleged overhaul is just as superficial and dishonest as the previous ones, which is why everything coming out of the club must be so strictly controlled. In his hubris, Ashley still hasn’t learned that a Premier League club the size of Newcastle United has to be like Rolls Royce, not Sports Direct. The faces might be different, but the thinking which has taken Newcastle United nowhere is still the same, recurring inevitably. (more…)


Mike Ashley now the fourth richest Premiership owner with over £3 billion

September 11th, 2013 | 23 Comments |

Mike Ashley laughing.
Mike Ashley: Laughing all the way to the bank again.
With the news that Mike Ashley’s downmarket sports chain, Sports Direct, is about to be included in the reshuffled FTSE 100 Index of the top 100 UK companies, I took a peek at their latest figures, as I do from time to time.

As has been the norm with Sports Direct for quite some time now, the figures were obscene, with profits rising a whopping 23.2% to £260.1 million.

What caught my eye however was the current Sports Direct share price standing at well over £7 and rising three or four times just as I was reading it over the share ticker. This means that Ashley’s current 64% holding in Sports Direct International is now worth over £2.75 billion, and this is after Ashley cashed in some 4% of his shares for over £100 million back in February.

To put this in perspective in terms of Newcastle United and it’s importance in the scheme of things to Ashley, that is well over 10 times the value of what Ashley has invested in the club, around £262 million. This includes a debt of around £129 million to Ashley, most of which is repayable on demand with the rest secured on future broadcasting revenue. (more…)


Independent article accuses Newcastle United’s fans of anti-Semitism towards Mike Ashley

July 21st, 2013 | 77 Comments |

Mike Ashley.
Fans accused of anti-Semitism towards Mike Ashley.
Newcastle United have threatened legal action over a piece by Jim Armitage in the Independent newspaper.

The piece is a sickly hagiography of Mike Ashley entitled “Is Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley the best boss in the world?” In it’s original version, it alleged that Newcastle United fans had abused the club’s owner on the basis of his Jewish background, despite the fact that he isn’t even Jewish..

On the club’s official Twitter page they tweeted:

“The club is aware of the article in today’s Independent and has referred the matter to its lawyers. Thanks to fans who have raised concerns.”

There is also an image of the original tweet below. To get to the meat in the sandwich though, the anti-Semitic parts of Armitage’s piece were rapidly edited out, but it was too late for the Independent and the original part of the piece which made the slur is preserved below.

It read: (more…)


Mike Ashley’s transfer profits year by year

June 15th, 2013 | 90 Comments |

Fifty pound notes.
Part of Mike Ashley’s £25 million transfer profit.
Below are a series of tables showing the profits and losses (mostly profits) made by Mike Ashley in player trading since he assumed control of the club early in the 2007-8 season.

Firstly, they are broken down season by season from 2007-8. However, it should be noted the major transfers into the club in his first season as owner were either done in the days of Freddy Shepherd, or were arranged by Shepherd and completed in the transitional period of Ashley takeover, or the first days under the club’s new Chairman at the time, Chris Mort. Players in these two catagories include signings such as Viduka, Barton, Rozehnal, Smith, Cacapa, Enrique, Faye and Beye.

The following ones then display the season by season figures from the 2008-9 season (Ashley’s first full season as owner), with the first purely Ashley signings such as Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez, Xisco and the rest starting to come in. Of course, these are then followed by successive seasons up to the present day. (more…)