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Archive for tag: Mike Ashley.

Newcastle United and one of the greatest blunders in football history

January 8th, 2015 | 64 Comments |

Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan
Before it all went wrong.
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Said Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and so it was with Newcastle United when they missed football’s greatest tide, leaving themselves bound in the shallows and miseries of mediocrity ever since.

To elaborate, in 1997-8, in the early stages of the biggest ever growth in football finances, Newcastle United were the fifth biggest football club in the world according to the Deloitte and Touche ‘Football Money League’ for that season. To make it seem even more unreal when we look at Newcastle United today, they were slightly ahead of Louis van Gaal and Bobby Robson’s Barcelona, who the Magpies had beaten 3-2 in the Champions League at St James’ Park that season. They also made the FA Cup final, after finishing as runners up in the Premier League for the second year in a row and signing the world’s most expensive player in the previous season. However the signs were already there, they also finished thirteenth in the League that season, the club lost some great players, Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla and certainly not least, a 36year old Peter Beardsley. Kenny Dalglish was then sacked early into the next season and things were to get even worse under his successor, Ruud Gullit. (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…)


Have ‘Time4Change’ lost their chance to seize the day?

November 17th, 2013 | 74 Comments |

NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
My latest piece on metro.co.uk was published earlier today.

Entitled ‘Have two Newcastle United victories cost ‘Time4Change’ their momentum?,’ as you might have guessed from the title, it takes a look at the Newcastle United ‘Time4Change’ movement.

In the piece I ask if they are now in danger of losing their momentum after their first march almost a month ago, which made more of an impact than they might have imagined due to Mike Ashley’s childish and ludicrous overreaction to their little stroll through Newcastle before the game with Liverpool on 19th October.

You can find it by following the link below.

Have two Newcastle United victories cost ‘Time4Change’ their momentum?

(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…)


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…)