Figures released this morning show that Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct have posted a 21% rise in profits, with the help of the free advertising/promotion provided by Newcastle United to the owner’s retail empire.

SD reported that their underlying pre-tax profit for the year to April 26 was £300m which is up from last year’s £249m profits, this latest figure was higher than the forecasts of £293m.

Mike Ashley’s company also enjoyed a rise of 5.5% in sport retail sales as the company goes from strength to strength.

Whilst it would be daft to put down Sports Direct’s ever increasing success simply to the free support Newcastle United provide.

It would be equally daft not to accept that it plays a key role in helping to drive the ever increasing sales and profits.

Especially when you take into account that Ashley’s advisers told Sir john Hall that this was exactly the reason why he was buying Newcastle United, to promote and grow his retail empire worldwide.

Mike Ashley must struggle to believe just how well his plan has come together in terms of the reach of the Premier League worldwide TV deals, alongside the massive increases in cash with each successive round of broadcasting contracts.

As Newcastle fans  we just have to hope that the club’s owner accepts that he has to keep his golden goose relatively healthy with an increase in the meagre rations (transfer spending) he feeds it this summer. As relegation would be a disaster for Ashley with the loss of the Premier League TV exposure.

sports direct

Georginio Winjaldum was a great start but even that was predicted to an extent, when earlier this year it was reported that Mike Ashley could target Dutch players, as Sports Direct are targeting Holland as a big growth area for expansion.

Newcastle now have five Dutch players with four (Wijnaldum, de Jong, Krul and Janmaat) of them sure starters if fully fit.

Little wonder that Mike Ashley appeared on TV in advance of the West Ham match, saying that he was going nowhere and would not be selling Newcastle United under any circumstances.

Feed that goose Mr Ashley.