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Archive for category: Sports Direct.

Why Ashley leaving Toon for the Champions League with Rangers is nonsense

January 27th, 2015 | 32 Comments |

Mike Ashley boxing
Mike Ashley: A heavyweight who’s always up for a fight
With Mike Ashley’s recent attempts to take over at Rangers, and specifically his problems with the Scottish FA for having an interest in both clubs, it has often been said recently that Mike Ashley would be willing to leave Newcastle United so he can take over Rangers completely. There have been several hypotheses put forward for why he might do this

Champions League exposure for Sports Direct?

One which makes no sense at all is that Ashley would be willing to sacrifice Newcastle United and the English Premier League to expose his cheap sports goods in that great league of leagues, the Champions League. This would be once Rangers get through the small formalities of getting promoted back to the Scottish Premiership and then beating Celtic to win the Scottish Premiership title. This one is a complete non-starter though as there are two crucial things the proponents of this hypothesis have overlooked.

1. As both Newcastle United and Rangers fans should know from previous European competition, Rangers or any other side are only allowed to display advertising for their shirt sponsors and kit sponsors. There could be no pitch side hoardings or anything else emblazoned with cheap Ashley brands like Sports Direct, Firetrap and all the rest. Only UEFA sponsorship partners are allowed to advertise in both the Europa and Champions League competitions. (more…)


What was Newcastle United’s £498,000 payment to Sports Direct for?

November 21st, 2013 | 47 Comments |

NUFC in Sports Direct's 2013 annual report.
Exhibit A.
Firstly, I should declare that this piece was originally inspired by another, one of several on Newcastle United’s finances by a brace of accountants who also happen to be Toon fans in the latest issue of fanzine, ‘True Faith.’ It’s a very good read.

Of course, it has been known for quite some time that Sports Direct don’t pay a brass farthing for all the extensive worldwide publicity they get from Newcastle United. This was something which was finally confirmed by the club’s financial director, John Irving, at the first ‘Fans’ Forum’ meeting between representatives of the fans, the club, and sponsors, Wronga.

However it certainly less well known that although Newcastle United have been paid the square root of b*ggerall for all those vulgar signs, they actually had to PAY Sports Direct half a million pounds in 2012-13 as shown in SD’s 2013 Annual Report (page 90 under “Related Party Transactions”). Here you will see that Sports Direct received a payment of £498,000 from “Connected Persons,” Newcastle United Football Club. (more…)


Sports Direct get free advertising, but what about Dunlop, Firetrap, Cruise etc?

November 6th, 2013 | 61 Comments |

NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
My latest story on metro.co.uk is now up!

As is usual with the Metro, it now has a veritable cornucopia of titles chosen my their crack team of headline writers, sub-eds or whatever. However, my original title for it was the same as this piece, ie “Sports Direct get free advertising, but what about Dunlop, Firetrap, Cruise etc?” so I’ll stick with that one here.

On the piece itself, well we all know that Sports Direct don’t pay anything for all the advertising at St James’ Park and the club’s Benton training ground. However, some of you who might not follow Mike Ashley’s ever expanding business empire quite as closely as I do may not know that there are several other Sports Direct sub-brands such as Dunlop, Firetrap and Cruise who are also advertising at St James’ Park on a fairly regular basis. (more…)


If 1000 fans can scare Ashley, what could 50,000 do?

October 29th, 2013 | 29 Comments |

Kim Jong Un.
Another fat dictator.
Dear reader, if you haven’t seen it yet, my latest piece on Mike Ashley’s childish and pathetic attempt at censorship was published yesterday on metro.co.uk and you can read it by following the link below:

Why Newcastle United’s media ban is a bigger issue than the Sunderland defeat.

Just for the record though, the titles are not my own. I would never say that a media ban was more important than losing twice in a row to that lot! Also, I have never described the club I have supported since the 1970s as a “laughing stock” just its owners and a few other clowns who have been associated with it down the years.

Since I wrote that piece, there have been quite a few stories from a vengeful press pack over Mike Ashley’s crass attempt to muzzle the media. It takes a really nasty piece of work to actuallly make the fourth estate look like the good guys nowadays, but, alas, it’s a cakewalk for the odious Ashley with his laughable spoiled brat tantrums. Thanks to his latest blunder, he has now made a small march with only around 1000 participants at most into a major event in the national media, and even overseas. To borrow an American expression, Way to go, fatty! (more…)


Who is right? Patronising Pardew or revolting, self destructive fans?

October 18th, 2013 | 13 Comments |

Big question marks.
Who is right? Patronising Pardew or revolting fans?
As many of you will be aware, a motley collection of fan groups angered by Mike Ashley’s mismanagement, repeated dishonesty, a perceived lack of ambition and Newcastle United’s general underperformance on the pitch will be on the march before Saturday’s early kick-off against Liverpool.

On the other side, Alan Pardew in his recent interview with Sky Sports’ “Goals on Sunday” painted a picture of Newcastle United fans as small town, simple minded football obsessives who actually damage the club with overreactions like this, as well as being too financially unsophisticated to understand that Mike Ashley has put over £200 million into the club.

But who is right?

Pardew has suggested that we’re “not in a bad position” but that the fans have unrealistic expectations that the club should be competing with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United: (more…)