With his latest antics, Mike Ashley has really done it now.
Details have emerged in a court case brought by Jeff Blue and never have I felt so ashamed to have Ashley as Newcastle United’s owner.
The court case sees Mr Blue claim that Mike Ashley promised to pay him £15m if he (Blue) used his expertise and contacts to help get Sports Direct’s share price up to a certain level in a specified length of time.
Jeff Blue says this verbal contract was made whilst the pair were drinking in a London pub and that after agreed targets were reached, the Sports Direct boss paid him £1m but he is still due the other £14m.
In the course of giving evidence on Monday, Jeff Blue gave the court a vivid background picture of how Mike Ashley likes to do business, much of the time during drinking sessions in pubs.
At one such meeting where both were present, Mr Blue says that the Sports Direct owner challenged one of his (Blue’s) junior members of staff to a drinking competition.
After 12 pints along with vodka chasers, his competitor cried enough, whilst Mike Ashley then allegedly projectile vomited into a fireplace in the middle of the bar.
Just how embarrassing is this as a Newcastle fan…
The owner of our proud club throwing up after only 12 pints!
“These meetings were like no other senior management meeting I had ever attended in all my years of investment banking experience.
“On one such evening, in front of his senior management team, Mr Ashley challenged a young Polish analyst in my team, Pawel Pawlowski, to a drinking competition.
“Mr Ashley and Pawel drank pints of lager, with vodka chasers between each pint, and the first to leave the bar area, for whatever reason, was declared the loser.
“After approximately 12 pints and chasers, Pawel apologised profusely and had to excuse himself.
“Mr Ashley then vomited into the fireplace located in the centre of the bar, to huge applause from his senior management team.
“Mr Ashley was like no other client that anyone at Merrill Lynch had ever come across.
“By way of example, his ability to express boredom and frustration during client meetings knew no limits, including various episodes where he would lie underneath meeting room tables to have a nap.
“Notwithstanding the venue and the consumption of alcohol – I note that Mr Ashley was able during the evening to also conduct other business, including making decisions in regards to player transfers on behalf of Newcastle United.”
On a more serious note, the courtroom revelations do give Newcastle United supporters a real insight into just possibly why bizarre decisions have been taken during Ashley’s 10 year reign at the club.
Little wonder the club experienced two relegations within seven years of each other and how many decisions/appointments making little sense.
Who can forget (I often try…) Joe Kinnear’s ramblings after walking into a radio station and announcing that he was now Newcastle United’s Director of Football, it later turning out that Mike Ashley had just offered him the job during a….session at the pub.
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