Anybody who believes that there is no connection between how Mike Ashley treats Newcastle fans and how he treats his staff, is sadly mistaken.

The fact that over 90% of Ashley’s staff are on zero hours contracts is bad enough, never mind what happened to the staff at USC.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct bought a majority stake in USC and its 90 stores in 2011.

Last month (January) USC went into administration leading to the loss of 200 jobs in Scotland and the closure of 28 stores, only for Mike Ashley’s Republic clothing chain to buy USC out of administration almost immediately.

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Now however, the Newcastle United owner is being called to account by the Scottish Affairs Committee and has being warned as to the repercussions if he fails to appear in front of them.

The Scottish Affairs Charman Ian Davidson MP released this statement:

“The Scottish affairs committee is investigating how employees in small businesses are treated when big bosses decide to shut down a company or sites.

“Following our inquiry into the closure of City Link, we are now inviting USC and Sports Direct management, and Mike Ashley as the directing influence of this group, to meet with the committee.”

Ashley the guiding influence:

“Mike Ashley is clearly the guiding influence behind the group and we want to have him there.”

“We have had people in the past who didn’t have enthusiasm for coming in front of the committee and eventually they understood that the reputational damage from not coming along was much greater than not coming. Eventually he will realise that he is not bigger than parliament.”

The politicians only have five more weeks before parliament’s dissolved for the general election in May.

The committee says it will meet shortly to consider what to do next if Ashley doesn’t respond or refused to go to Westminster.

It is a pity that politicians aren’t calling Mike Ashley to account for what he has done to both Newcastle United and the City of Newcastle.

In a region so badly affected by the economy, having a football club to be proud of and be a flagship for the region has never been more important.

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