Mike Ashley never does anything by accident when it comes to Newcastle United.

Even when it appears he has made an on the spot shambolic decision…frequently, there will be a reason he is doing it, which normally benefits him rather than the club.

The weekend saw his mates (colleagues?) at Sky Sports put out the story/exclusive that he had promised to ‘donate’ £20m to the Newcastle squad if they won the FA Cup this season.

Newcastle fans shook their heads at the latest PR stunt and wondered how their supposedly skint Billionaire supremo was going to afford this and if he did have £20m spare, why hadn’t he given it to Rafa Benitez so NUFC might have a team/squad that had a tiny chance of actually winning a trophy.

Meanwhile, 99% of the media simply repeated it as a simple word for word news story, with many neutrals also seeing it as a ‘typical Newcastle fans moaning when the club has such a generous owner’.

The net result of all of this is that already, as always, Mike Ashley is quids in. He has generated a massive amount of PR/advertising for himself and by association, Sports Direct, because that is of course what he is primarily associated with. If you don’t believe me, just look through most of these reports about the £20m FA Cup bonus, nearly every one of the stories will mention  Sports Direct somewhere.

Imagine if the FA Cup win actually happened…as well as thousands of Geordies going missing for weeks from work as they celebrated, just imagine how much coverage Mike Ashley would be getting from paying out the bonus.

Yes he is a gambler but he could already be quids in anyway, even if ending up in the very unlikely event of having to pay the £20m to the NUFC squad.

All he would need to do is hedge his bets, Newcastle United are widely available at many bookies at 50/1 to win the FA Cup.

He would only need to risk £400,000 (50 x £400k = £20m) to ensure he had enough to cover the £20m payout and by my reckoning he is already well on his way to recouping that in free advertising with the FA Cup third round draw still some three months away.

Even if he didn’t want to go down the bookie route, insurance companies would offer a similar deal, pay a premium of £400,000 and safeguard against the very very unlikely loss.

Mike Ashley, always coming out in front.

Maybe one day Newcastle United will.

The Mag – Earlier today (13 September 2017):

Mike Ashley once again released a PR ‘exclusive’ through Sky Sports at the weekend.

The story being that the NUFC owner would ‘donate £20m’ to the Newcastle players if they win the FA Cup this season.

This leading to much amusement at what other unrealistic bonuses could be offered, such as winning the Premier League, or the Champions League, or the Great North Run before scoring a double hat-trick at Swansea.

This PR announcement came against a backdrop of a row that had lasted all summer, with Mike Ashley having offered the Newcastle players a bonus scheme for this Premier League season that was way below what rival clubs have incentivised players with.

The offer on the table was £1m if they finished 17th and avoided relegation, which worked out on average at less than a week’s wages for each player.

That amount would then increase by £1m for every position above 17th.

The Newcastle players though were refusing to accept less than their rivals and a month into the season there was still no agreement.

However, agreement has now been reached.

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.

On Wednesday morning he reports that the agreed deal is the same as what was on offer previously but that Newcastle players will share £4m if they avoid relegation in 17th place and then still an additional £1m for every position higher.

The Premier League payout at the end of the season sees the 20th placed club get £1.9m extra for finishing bottom, then for each place above they get an extra £1.9m.

So roughly speaking, Mike Ashley and the Newcastle players have agreed that the squad will receive half of the extra money the club receive depending on their position…plus the £20m for winning the FA Cup.

Now the players would receive the same £20m if they win the Premier League (cough cough) as they would the FA Cup.

I would happily settle for either…

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Clarko

    Complaining about Ashley wanting to win the FA Cup, absolutley pathetic.

    • fenhammag

      MA knows we would never win the FA cup, he could have offered £100mil and sat there safely knowing it is never going to happen

      • Clarko

        That is irrelevant to my comment and the article.

        On a side note, Leicester City.

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          and how many bookies reneged on their payouts because of that??

          • Clarko

            What does that have to do with anything?

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            You brought up Leicester as an example of why the Toon might win the FA Cup and I brought up sports books deciding that they couldn’t cover the losses and making cut price deals with people instead of paying the full amount as an example of why the 20m is still a hollow trinket offering from Ashley.

          • Clarko

            I brought up Leicester as an example defying the, “it is never going to happen” statement.

            I don’t see how that involves the bookies, I don’t see how it relates to the bonus.

      • ghostrider

        The FA cup final and winners are probably more like the football card taken round a social club.
        Everyone writes their name on a team and the top is peeled back to reveal the winner.
        The problem is, the winner generally has been picked by the committee members who take turns…but every once in a while they allow a random to win, just so it doesn’t look suspicious.
        Maybe. lol

    • TheNutJob

      you really believe that, it’s a PR stunt to make the 🐖 look like the good guy instead of the snide we all know he is

      • Clarko

        Do I believe he will pay a ~£20m bonus if Newcastle win the FA Cup? Yes.

        “United’s squad will now share £4million if the club achieves top flights survival this season plus £1million for every place above 17th spot. It is also claimed that Ashley has agreed a £20million bonus should the club win the FA Cup this season.”

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Course he will
          😁😁😁😁😁

    • justchampion

      I’ll give you 20m if it happens. Still feeling optimistic?

    • Alex

      You win things by putting the money up in July and August, not by putting up a ‘fictitious amount’ in September.

      • Clarko

        Irrelevant, you’re trying to make this about the transfer window, this article, the complaining in this article and my comment have nothing to do with the transfer window.

        • Alex

          You’re wrong, my comment is about money, the same as Ashley’s statement.

          • Clarko

            Ashely has not made a statement regarding the bonus . I’m not going to argue with stupidity, have fun.

          • Alex

            “…..Sky Sports put out the story/exclusive that he had promised to ‘donate’
            £20m to the Newcastle squad if they won the FA Cup this season….”

            Donation / bonus….just a play on words. Don’t argue, just learn to read and comprehend.

          • Clarko

            That is not a statement by Ashley, that is a quote from a Sky Sports article you complete moron. Below is where the word “donate” came from:

            “Meanwhile, owner Mike Ashley will donate £20m to the players if they win the FA Cup this season”

            From Sky Sports, not Mike Ashely, there are no quotes from Mike Ashley regarding the bonus.

          • Alex

            Haha, coming out with “complete moron” and verbal abuse – the usual tactic by those with low intelligence when they know they’ve lost the argument.

            Whether it’s a direct quote or not, Ashley has clearly said such. Don’t try and be clever about it – however it’s said, the meaning is all the same.

          • Clarko

            Hahaha, you were wrong, Ashley did not make a statement and there is no quote form Ashley. Again, you were wrong.

            “Don’t argue, just learn to read and comprehend.”

          • Alex

            Ashley has made a statement to his Sky contacts and they’ve reported it. A statement is a statement, irrespective of who it’s made to.

          • Clarko

            “Ashley has made a statement”, no he hasn’t 😂

            “Don’t argue, just learn to read and comprehend.”

          • Alex

            You can no longer make your point, you’re in denial. Ashley has said this, therefore it’s a statement.

          • Clarko

            No quote from Ashley.

            “Don’t argue, just learn to read and comprehend.”

          • Alex

            You know, I’ve gone through my posts with a fine-tooth comb, and I just can’t find anywhere that I’ve said it’s a quote from Ashley. All I’ve written is that Ashley has said this, and that it is Sky that are reporting what is said.

            You’re in a corner, and trying to use grammar technicalities to get out of it. Epic fail.

          • Clarko

            “the same as Ashley’s statement.”

            “Whether it’s a direct quote or not, Ashley has clearly said such”

            “Ashley has made a statement”

            Ashley has not made a statement, there is no quote from Ashley.

            #FlatEarther

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            Why does any of this pedantic word play even matter? He’s made a promise he knows he doesn’t need to keep. Ashley could offer up a billion and it would still ring hollow because there is almost no chance the Toon win the FA Cup.

          • Clarko

            @disqus_6XvCFNRF0t:disqus claimed that Ashley had made a “statement” regarding the bonuses, he hasn’t, that’s where the the conversation should end, they were wrong, factual information. Instead they take offence to being called wrong, get defensive and feel the need to try and deny or lie about the circumstances.

            There is no “word play” involved, go back and read the thread, any unbiased, sane person would see that @Alex is at fault and any unbiased, sane person would look to address their posts, not mine.

            On a side note, assuming the reports are correct, there will be contract regarding the bonus, Ashley will be legally obligated to pay the bonus.

            I don’t understand how the probability of Newcastle winning has anything to do with the bonus or this conversation. It’s a fantastic bonus, Ashley deserves credit.

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            If you can set foot on Mars within the next decade, I’ll give you 179 trillion pounds. I’m so generous, give me some credit!

          • Clarko

            This is not SpaceX and you are not Elon Musk.

          • Alex

            A statement has been made to his mates at Sky, or a Sky reporter. A ‘statement’ can be said while holding a beer in a bar, just before vomitting into a fireplace.

            Sky are merely reporting what Ashley has said, they haven’t quoted him, they’ve reported his statement.

            Oooo – hashtags…..or did you just miss the ‘enter’ key?

          • Clarko

            There are no quotes, therefore they are not reporting “what Ashley has said”. You believed that the word “donate” was a quote from Ashley, it wasn’t, you have stated many times that Ashley has made a “statement”, he hasn’t. You made a mistake, you were wrong, accept it and get over it.

            To clarify, I am not questioning the credibility of the article, you are trying to use a straw man, I have no problem with the article.

          • Alex

            I have never said it was a quote. I said “whether it’s a direct quote or not….”

            Either Ashley has STATED that he’ll donate £20m to the bonus pot, or Sky have peddled a total lie. If it’s not a lie, it’s crystal clear that Ashley has said this. A ‘statement’ doesn’t have to be an official announcement. Don’t be a prat all your life.

          • Clarko

            There is no quote, therefore you cannot say that “Ashley has STATED that he’ll donate £20m to the bonus pot”. Ashley has not made a statement.

            Give me a quote from Ashley’s statement.

          • Alex

            Sky Sports (10 September 2017):

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

            There is no quote and I’ve never said there was. But, Ashley has clearly said this, he’s stated this, and they’ve reported this.

            If you wish to continue showing your lack of understanding, then please do so. Enjoy the last word. But, I’m not diluting my ratio any more. Not a worry for you, since you don’t have one. ;-)

          • Clarko

            “There is no quote and I’ve never said there was. But, Ashley has clearly said this, he’s stated this”, that’s a contradiction.

            Again you seem to be trying to argue that I am doubting the report, I’m not, what you said said was wrong:

            “the same as Ashley’s statement.”

            “Whether it’s a direct quote or not, Ashley has clearly said such”

            “Ashley has made a statement”

            Ashley has not made a statement, there is no quote from Ashley.

  • TwinFire

    While i dont agree with this article, I do agree with fan comments that hes offering money for the moon. Its so unlikely we will win the FA Cup, so why not offer a big reward. Ill give all the players 10 mil each if they win the premier league this year. No worries!

  • TheFatController

    Will the 5 U23 players we field in the third round as we prioritise PL survival also get a share of the £20m Cup Final bonus when it’s not contested between Chelsea and Man City/Spurs/Liverpool/Man Utd and we book the open top bus?

  • Not a bad bonus, I hope the lads are up for it. I think we can get a good run, we have a good squad, and with the money they will be extra motivated.
    I really don’t see a problem here.

    • Alex

      The problem is that, by 13th September, Ashley has just announced that he’s found a Magic Money Tree at the bottom of his garden that wasn’t there a few days ago.

      • Clarko

        When does the FA Cup final take place? 🤔

        • Alex

          And, what has that to do with ‘donating’ £20m?

          • Clarko

            *”donate”, from the Sky Sports article? Idiot.

          • Alex

            More abuse, eh? Losing the argument, and, it would seem, losing the plot.

          • Clarko

            What argument? You thought Ashley made a statement 😂

        • Geordiegiants

          You of all people asking that question! You know everything.

      • Yeah, but at least it’s something. Fans want a good CUP RUN, glad to see the players will be a little bit more motivated.

  • Paul Patterson

    He’s playing the percentages game again. Fair play but he knows the chances of winning the thing is stupidly slim, no matter how optimistic you are..

  • Jimblag23

    Can you imagine looking your team mates in the eye if you fluffed in an own goal in the last minute of the final. 😱
    It would be like losing someone’s winning lottery ticket.

  • Leazes Ender

    You would have to be the thickest thicko to buy that line….

    • Alex

      Clarko is that very man!

  • Paul Busby

    I actually don’t mind Ashley making a bit of cash out of us winning the FA cup to be honest.

    • Geordiegiants

      I do not give a flying F, what Jabba makes or doesn’t make to be honest.
      I just wish that he would run our football club properly,ie meaning to win games and trophies not just make money for him.

    • Damon Horner

      Pleased I’m not the only one. I don’t like Ashley, he’s vile and greedy but bottom line I want to see this club succeed and if he makes some cash from a cup win then fair enough, sit at home and count it. I’ll enjoy the euphoria with fellow fans.

  • Steve Pearce

    The fat stinking bag of southern pus can stick the “money” up his jacksey for all I care..

    • Jimblag23

      I don’t know what being southern has to do with it.
      Solano is from south of the equator and the mans a legend.

      • Geordiegiants

        That is very true Jim, but Jabba is still a cockney wanka.

        • Wor Lass

          Nicely put!

  • Damon Horner

    I don’t this club starts and finishes with what Ashley makes or doesn’t make financially.

    Frankly if he offers the players bait to be more competitive and they take it and we do win a cup then that’s a good thing?

  • Mal

    I can’t really understand all the fuss about this. The bonus is high and it’s unlikely to happen but if it does the club would probably make more than £20 million in various spin offs from additional matches, tv coverage, sponsorships, publicity, european qualification etc. This is how bonuses work – the players get extra and the club get extra. Same as the deal on league positions. It’s good that it’s all agreed and put to bed with the players apparently happy about it.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The only Chairman in the history of Newcastle United to put money in (259 million)
    and not take a penny out. Between 1996 and 2007 the Halls and Shepherds took one hundred and forty four million pounds out the club then a further one hundred and thirty five million pounds on the sale of the club. Furthermore no one wants to buy us. Look at the trouble Sunderland, Middlesbrough Carlisle Darlington and Hertlepool are in. There are no teams in the north in the premier league except us and all you do is moan at the guy who puts the money in and support the Times newspaper how sad.