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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…)


Cisse gets a real winger to break his scoring duck at last

September 26th, 2013 | 71 Comments |

Papiss Cisse scoring against Leeds United in the League Cup.
Cisse – Back in the goals against Leeds.
My latest blog at metro.co.uk is now up!

Now entitled “Left-field selection Sammy Ameobi helps Papiss Cisse break his Newcastle scoring duck,” it orignally had the same title as this piece until a sub-editor got his or her hands on it. Thankfully though, they seem to have left the story intact this time, apart from taking my correct spelling of ‘Yoan Gouffran’ and changing it to ‘Yoann Gouffran’ like another French player, Yoann Gourcuff.

Enough of my petty griping though, the piece itself takes a look at the return of Papiss Cisse to the score sheet in Wednesday evening’s League Cup game against Leeds United. It also takes a look at the role of two of the best players in that particular game, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran. In particular I look at how, for a change, Alan Pardew actually had a left footed player, Ameobi the younger, playing on the left hand side rather than a right footer who would constantly cut in. This resulted in a superb left footed cross by the big lad for Cisse’s goal, with Ameobi also playing a role in Gouffran’s spectacular second goal in what was an excellent performance overall on the wing from the youngster. (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…)


Toon fans! If you want to protest, here’s what you should know

September 9th, 2013 | 45 Comments |

Revolting Newcastle United fans.
The fans are revolting, but Will they be effective this time?
Newcastle United fans are revolting!

However, writing as someone who used to be an protester and fundraiser myself in the past, not over Newcastle United but over causes such as civil liberties, racism and the like, from what I have read and seen of Newcastle United fans’ planned protests so far, the chances of success don’t seem to be that great at all. This isn’t because the protestors don’t have a case, more that the protagonists don’t seem to be protesters, quite simply, they don’t know how to do it properly. They’re more like brickies and plumbers who are blundering around in a field they don’t understand, a bit like Mike Ashley trying to run a large Premier League football club really!

Please don’t misunderstand, this is not to be unecessarily disparaging at all, it’s just an appeal to realism, a plea for the protestors to consult with people who know what they are doing this time before they go blundering in once again with their size 10s and misspelled bedsheets. In a David and Goliath struggle, you don’t just need all the help you can get, you need the right help to avoid falling at the first few hurdles. (more…)