Mike Ashley is never going to change.

However, his PR people will never stop trying to convince you otherwise.

The idea that he leaves the running of Newcastle United to Lee Charnley and the rest of ‘the board’ is laughable.

In March 2016 with the club looking doomed to the Championship after Mike Ashley failed to replace stooge Steve McClaren with a proper manager soon enough, the NUFC owner tried to distance himself from the disaster he had orchestrated.

Mike Ashley – 21 March 2017

“So the best thing was to make sure it was on solid ground and then step back and get them to self-manage Newcastle.

“Create a board, get the board to appoint the manager, put the manager on the board as well and then not interfere.

Then on 15 June 2017 we had proof that as usual it was all spin from Ashley’s side of things, particularly with the Newcastle United ‘board’ now consisting of Lee Charnley and Bobby Moncur.

Mike Ashley has drafted in somebody at Newcastle United who Lee Charnley has to answer to.

As reported by the Telegraph, Ashley has brought Justin Barnes into St James Park and they say that now Lee Charnley has to run any financial decisions past him.

Then we had this from The Mirror on 27 August 2017:

After a series of transfer window moans, Toon boss Benitez was visited by managing director Lee Charnley and Justin Barnes — a lawyer working for Magpies owner Mike Ashley — after Saturday’s win over West Ham.

PR man Keith Bishop was also present amid concern at the European Cup winner’s comments about his transfer budget.

Owner Ashley is believed to have asked Benitez to stop his unsettling comments and to “get on with his job”.

Then on Saturday we had this from Sky Sports (10 September 2017):

‘Mike Ashley says he will donate £20m to the players if they win the FA Cup this season’.

Finally we covered this on The Mag yesterday (13 September 2017)

Miles Starforth (of the Shields Gazette) has had the inside track on this story from the start and he has revealed that a phone conversation between Mike Ashley and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles saw the bonus scheme eventually agreed.

The bottom line is that Mike Ashley may not be stalking the corridors of St James Park each day personally but he pulls all the strings.

Whether that is via minions such as Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop who have no role at the club in a made public sense, whilst obviously Ashley also gets on the phone to Lee Charnley, Jamaal Lascelles, whoever, and gets what he wants done by that route.

Rafa Benitez has one hell of a job on dealing with the politics, manipulations and stupidity of this Mike Ashley ran club…and that is before he gets to the fact he was only allowed to spend £11.5m net in the transfer window, compared to Huddersfield’s £43m net spend and Brighton’s £48m this summer.

Detailed below are the quotes from above but also with additional stuff that was reported at the time for more info.

The Mag – 13 September 2017 (yesterday):

Miles Starforth (of the Shields Gazette) has had the inside track on this story from the start and he has revealed that a phone conversation between Mike Ashley and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles saw the bonus scheme eventually agreed.

Sky Sports – 10 September 2017:

‘Mike Ashley says he will donate £20m to the players if they win the FA Cup this season’.

The Mirror – 27 August 2017:

‘Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez WILL stop his transfer grumblings after talks with MD Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley lawyer

Rafa Benitez has agreed to “shut up and get on with his job” after clear-the-air talks with Newcastle chiefs.

After a series of transfer window moans, Toon boss Benitez was visited by managing director Lee Charnley and Justin Barnes — a lawyer working for Magpies owner Mike Ashley — after Saturday’s win over West Ham.

PR man Keith Bishop was also present amid concern at the European Cup winner’s comments about his transfer budget.

So far, Newcastle have splashed out around £40million in this summer’s transfer window on six players, but missed out on four early deals Benitez wanted done, leading to tension.

On Friday afternoon, Benitez claimed Newcastle was no longer a “long-term” project.

And all summer he has hinted at unhappiness at the speed of business being done.

Owner Ashley is believed to have asked Benitez to stop his unsettling comments and to “get on with his job”.

The Mag – 15 June 2017:

Interesting revelation on Thursday night, with news that Mike Ashley has drafted in somebody at Newcastle United who Lee Charnley has to answer to.

As reported by the Telegraph, Ashley has brought Justin Barnes into St James Park and they say that now Lee Charnley has to run any financial decisions past him.

Mike Ashley – 21 March 2016:

“Do I regret getting into football? The answer is yes.

“I have had tonnes of fun in it but I haven’t been able to make the difference I wanted to in football.

“I wanted to help Newcastle, I wanted to make it better, that’s what I wanted to do. I haven’t seemed to have had that affect.”

 “I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle United, in reality, because I only pick the board.

“To get a football club to be the best it can be, you have to get the sun, the moons and the stars to align perfectly.

“But there is negativity around me as an individual when it comes to Newcastle, so the best thing was to make sure it was on solid ground and then step back and get them to self-manage Newcastle.

“Create a board, get the board to appoint the manager, put the manager on the board as well and then not interfere.

“I don’t know what players they sign, I don’t know what team they are going to pick on a Saturday.

“All I say is, there is a bank account, when you have emptied it, it’s empty, don’t come crying to me for more money.

“They have had a proper go at it this season, I think everyone can agree with that, but the results haven’t been ideal.

“I don’t really want to have any influence in football to be honest. Looking after Sports Direct is more than a full time job.”



  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    #AshleyOut

    • Georgia Peter

      Me too.

  • Paul Patterson

    I don’t know what’s more damning of the man, the fact that he thought people would believe that he has no input, or the multiple disasters from a supposed successful businessman that he has actually overseen in the last ten years . .

  • Steve Pearce

    Most dictators throughout history have assumed that their evil reigns will last indefinitely only to be unseated by people who believe in justice and fairness. Our owner is no exception and he should do well to realise that.

    • Georgia Peter

      Big AMEN to that Steve.

    • Jimblag23

      Maybe we’re the footballing equivalent of N.Korea and when he departs the club will hand over to a more evil family member.

      • Steve Pearce

        Nah – no woman would ever stoop so low to allow that thing to impregnate her!

  • Kneebotherm8

    Were his lips moving?……………………….yeah,thought so.

  • hetonmag

    The man is a born liar and how long Rafa puts up with him is anybody’s guess, people keep saying he is a good business man if he was we wouldn’t have been relegated twice in 10 years, he wouldn’t have been put in front of the select committee for his disgraceful practices against his employees.

  • Geordiegiants

    Every morning when I wake up, I pick my phone up from the side of my bed, and check to see if he has sold us, or died, or gone bankrupt etc. Any of these options would make me so happy.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      And the outcome of that will be?

    • ghostrider

      Until one morning you wake up and realise that Ashley wasn’t the club killing machine you thought he was.
      This is not too long after the new owners are making a real laughing stock of the club.

      • TheFatController

        Whilst I recognise that things like covering the debt interest free, lowering wages etc are signs of good sound financial footing, we are in football’s boom time.

        Consider the court cases, the lack of £15m signings, SD ads for free, Shearer, Hughton, kinnear, jonas, lower matchday income and commercial revenue etc

        Then it’s countered with Villa, Sunderland, Norwich etc situations. I agree totally.

        So when you get relegated, getting you back up first time is the most precious thing to any club

        Agreed? Ok, explain the treatment of Hughton and Rafa on having secured this most precious thing for the club in the last ten years?

        If people think Ashley derserves credit for saving us from financial oblivion, so do Hughton and Rafa. Yet Look at the thanks (treatment) they get from Ashley. Ashley supporters can’t ask us to treat him better than he treats Hughton and Rafa, surely?

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Hughton wasn’t considered the man to take us forward. Pardew was and did for 18 months or so. As a chap in football (who had played under him) said to me at the time that Pardew has new ideas and the players in the team take to him. I suppose, even new stuff goes stale after a while.

          Rafa IMHO has more say at this club than anytime in his career. Perhaps rightly so, he’s earned that influence. However, he does protect his CV and will deflect blame via the media. I don’t think Rafa is treated badly.

          If someone with money but with a realistic business plan comes in to buy out Mike Ashley, that’s great but we could easily end up with worse owners.

          Who could be worse? A buyer could come in, put his £400m in Mike Ashley’s account, take the shares and the loan a with the next day, taking out a loan in Newcastle united’s name for the £400m and take his investment back (Glazers at Man U). I see this as the most likely option and whilst Man U can get away with it by refinancing across the world markets with a super-brand, NUFC cannot. A buyer could come in with great intentions, buy a few top names but we’ve seen hoe that policy pans out.

          This is not popular opinion but I’d like to see new investors (ideally, fans who put money in) but I’d like it to be 50:50 with MA. If it’s 50:50 there is no chance of external borrowing being used to line pockets and no chance of running before we can walk.

          • Geordiegiants

            Don’t be so silly.

        • ghostrider

          I’m not asking you to treat Ashley any different to how you do or think about him. I’m simply saying that the hatred of him does not help you as a fan and nor does it help Ashley as an owner to give you anything you ask for or demand.
          Ashley came to this club for more reasons than to just put SD on a world stage. He wanted the club to follow suit. Two businesses working hand in hand whilst Ashley gets to be a fan of one (Newcastle) and a full on businessman of the other (SD).

          He loved being the fan among fans but soon realised that fans and friends are two words that can be miles apart if you incur the wrath.
          The Keegan debacle killed it for Ashley, nothing else.
          The rest of the bile and hate is just an ongoing nit pick for everything bad and a change of praise to anyone fitting (except Ashley) for anything good.

          Hughton can count himself fortunate that he was sacked, because he’s one of the few managers that can walk away from this club with his integrity and managerial prowess, intact.
          He’s a man that wasn’t trusted to battle it out in the prem on a long term basis.
          Whether that was the right or wrong decision, we will never know…but what we do know is, Hughton was dealt a blow that he didn’t deserve but unfortunately befalls many managers.

          If Hughton had stayed and had us struggling and playing bad football, he would have felt the full force of the fans.
          A hero to zero can be as quick as turning on a light switch with fans.
          Luckily Hughton went out a hero and is thought of as more a sort of legend rather than a quick fix manager.

          As for Rafa. He hasn’t been dealt any bad hands as of yet.
          Next season will be the ultimate telling point as to whether he gets dealt a bad hand, because that’s when he gets to open the purse to finally put his full stamp on an assault into the inner top 10.

          Time will tell, but it’s not too shabby as it stands.
          Imagine if we had Ellis Short as owner, eh?
          The same Ellis Short that would have backed Keegan to the hilt and been a SUPER owner, until the mercenaries that Keegan would have brought in, didn’t produce more than a fleeting glimpse of their former selves but still drains the bank account of the club.

          Then Keegan walks and Ellis Short would be?……………..Would be?

          Exactly…he would be crucified.
          This same Ellis short that not too many years ago was mentioned by Newcastle fans as being a PROPER owner….not like horrible Ashley.
          Ellis Short wants the best for the mackems and is willing to spend.

          Be careful what you wish for and also never throw stones at the glass house if you cannot genuinely see what is inside of that glass house, because you just might be breaking something that has better inner workings than you believed.

          When you’re sat around a big boardroom table trying to ensure your club goes tick tock and not just tick or tock, then you can genuinely know what’s really happening.

          Newspapers and word of mouth, plus fantastic stories are all well and good. The issue is in picking the reality from the fiction.

          Not as easy as it appears and just because thousands upon thousands of people follow a trait, it does not make it correct in all senses.

          • Geordiegiants

            Mug

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Why is ghostrider post awaiting moderation? Considering the bile posted by other folk on here, it’s a university thesis.

            Spot on ghostrider.

      • Hughie_Gallacher

        How much more of a laughing stock can you be than having your ground name replaced by an email address?

        • ghostrider

          He made some big mistakes. That was one of them.
          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. he’s no saint b ut he’s done a lot more for this club than some people give him credit for.

      • Geordiegiants

        What a muppet!

        • ghostrider

          Do you feel better now?

          • Geordiegiants

            No not when people like you are being thick as.

          • ghostrider

            Try not to believe you know what’s what and getting yourself all worked up over it.
            You don’t agree and that’s fine.
            Chill out.

      • Oldgeordie

        Just like Man City and PSG et al. Where have you been hiding for 10 years?

        • ghostrider

          What do you mean by, just like Man City and PSG?

          • Oldgeordie

            Did their new owners make a laughing stock of them? maybe you were asleep when they were taken over by new owners.

          • ghostrider

            Yeah, in a way they are being made a laughing stock. Want to know why?
            Because their clubs are being run by personal wealth of owners not by realistic generation of funds by the club and the fans.
            Nearly 400 million for Neymar and Mbappe?
            Seriously….I mean, seriously.
            Half a million euros a week in wages just for one of them. Seriously?
            And you think they’re not a laughing stock?

            Let me tell you what those clubs are. They are cheats.
            They’re not only cheats, they are cheats that are being allowed to be cheats, whilst the rest….the minnows….or those looked on as being that, which includes us, have to not only abide by every penny in the rules but also have no real choice in the matter, because we cannot compete.

            Handing your fans mercenary players is all well and good. They generally give a feel good factor for those fans.
            However, those players are creating the very thing that a club doesn’t want and that is UNREST.
            That comes from bitterness by other players who are on a fraction of the wages, which leads to ultimatums.

            Aye, they’re a laughing stock alright…but you know what?
            Imagine the come down when those people get bored or it all goes teets up for whatever reasons.

            Imagine years down the line, the grandfathers of the fans of the day will be able to tell them how they stole titles and paid players wages that didn’t border on silly, it bordered on outlandishly sickening.

            We are laughing stock in your eyes because we won’t spend tens of millions on players wages or pay transfer fees that go inline with the chancers of the league, when we literally cannot legitimately afford it, without putting the club at risk.

          • Oldgeordie

            You are a very clever person. You know why I think he has made us a laughing stock. The only problem is you are 100% wrong. I do not expect any “normal” owner to spend mega bucks buying players and paying them inflated wages. What I do expect from a club which draws home gates of 50,000 is the ability to compete in the transfer market with the teams who will be competing at the same end of the league, especially those who can only attract a home gate which is half the size of ours.I accept that we are now financially viable but wonder what happens to the revenue from the sale of merchandise in the club shops and the sale of season tickets and gate receipts. I believe there was also a profit from last season’s player sales. His so called interviews on Sky also made HIM a laughing stock with his very obviously false apologies to KK and other managers he either sacked or caused to resign.
            However as they say “Things come around that go around”. I have been a supporter since 1946 and I remember the Stan Seymour/ Ald. McKeag years when the directors creamed off most of the profits but we still managed to turn out a great team in the 50s and at least I (and other oldies like me ) have great memories to keep us going through the winter years! What’s more we support the lads through thick and thin and live in hope of more good years to come. Hope if you make 60 years ‘ support you have some good memories too. With Mike Ashley at the helm I doubt it.

          • Oldgeordie

            I gave a considered, lengthy answer but it has not been posted as it is considered spam whatever that means.

          • ghostrider

            I actually seen it and replied to it with an equally lengthy post but when I went to reply to you it said your post basically wasn’t there, so I couldn’t reply to you. That was obviously when they took it away as spam.
            I think we’ll have to condense our replies. Maybe its the length.

          • Oldgeordie

            Thanks for that. I enjoy the banter and exchange of ideas. I take the point and have posted a few short comments which have been accepted. Cheers

          • ghostrider

            You’re welcome, Oldgeordie.
            I enjoy the banter as well. I enjoy the debates, even if they become a little bit heated and frustrating between us all.

            It makes for better enjoyment without anyone going way over the top.
            We aren’t ever going to agree on all things and we will all have our past thoughts to bring up as well as future potentials of thought, which may or may not pan out, yet makes more debating points.

            I’m more than open to be lambasted if required. I’m not always right but I am a stubborn git who generally likes to stick to a thought process, unless I’m backed into a corner. Only then will I concede.

            However, I will still take another persons point onboard, just as you do.

          • Oldgeordie

            This is the reply I gave some hours ago.

            You are a very clever person. You know why I think he has
            made us a

            laughing stock. The only problem is you are 100% wrong. I do not expect

            any “normal” owner to spend mega bucks buying players and paying them

            inflated wages. What I do expect from a club which draws home gates of

            50,000 is the ability to compete in the transfer market with the teams

            who will be competing at the same end of the league, especially those

            who can only attract a home gate which is half the size of ours.I accept

            that we are now financially viable but wonder what happens to the

            revenue from the sale of merchandise in the club shops and the sale of

            season tickets and gate receipts. I believe there was also a profit from

            last season’s player sales. His so called interviews on Sky also made

            HIM a laughing stock with his very obviously false apologies to KK and

            other managers he either sacked or caused to resign.

            However as they

            say “Things come around that go around”. I have been a supporter
            since

            1946 and I remember the Stan Seymour/ Ald. McKeag years when the

            directors creamed off most of the profits but we still managed to turn

            out a great team in the 50s and at least I (and other oldies like me )

            have great memories to keep us going through the winter years! What’s

            more we support the lads through thick and thin and live in hope of more

            good years to come. Hope if you make 70 years ‘ support you have some

            good memories too. With Mike Ashley at the helm I doubt it.

    • Darrell Thompson

      Ha ha, you’re exactly the same as me.

  • East Durham Mag

    Let’s face it if Fatty could have got away with it the club would have been called SD United playing at the SD Arena. He only cares about ££’s and SD. All he sees NUFC as is a money maker and a giant advertising board. He has no emotional or geographical ties with the club or the city/area.
    # Ashley out

  • TheNutJob

    Penfold can’t even order 💩 house paper without the nod from the Fat one

  • TheNutJob

    I also heard a rumour that Area 51 put a Google implant into Clarko’s nappa
    😂😂

  • Grahame Johnson

    He must look at the German team red bull inc and wish if only

  • Rich Lawson

    Your
    (side)board from home would be better than the one you’ve assembled here,but I appreciate you clearing things up,you don’t want to ”interfere” and clearly just want to sit in the stand and watch a quality team with a great manager play attractive football with a chance of winning silver (don’t we all ?) that’s a weight of my mind then !

  • S.G.M.

    “Is Believed”, “Claimed” “As reported by”, “Inside Track”, “As claimed in the Mirror”, What a load of bollocks.

    • Rich Lawson

      ”From a close friend,source at the club”,never a real name,”fake news” as Mr President is so fond of saying.

  • Marco

    Same regurgitated news, nothing new here

  • Damon Horner

    Nothing news really. He owns the club and it is worth hundreds of million pounds, of course he isn’t going to completely ignore everything relating to the club.

  • Mike

    GET OUT

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Newcastle, Huddersfield and Brighton spent the same amount on players just the fact that they off loaded twenty four players and got nothing in that made the difference. Read Andy Simms article in the Mirror. Our transfer will turn out better than theirs mark my words.