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Having A Rich Owner Like Ashley Doesn’t Guarantee Success But….

9 years ago

As we know at Newcastle United, having a rich owner like Mike Ashley doesn’t always equal spending money like it’s going out of fashion on the football club/team.

In the most recently published World’s Billionaires by Forbes magazine, Mike Ashley is in 491st position with a  fortune of around £1.6billion ($2.5billion).

In the Forbes listing they added;

‘Michael Ashley is a reclusive tycoon who does not shy away from bold business moves. He recently upset the British soccer establishment by renaming Newcastle United’s sports stadium the Sports Direct Arena, after his company.

A shrewd negotiator who prefers casual dress, he turned his retail chain into a sports clothing empire, netting $1.8B in a 2007 IPO. He still owns a 71% stake and remains executive director. Sports Direct’s stock price rose in 2011 on strong earnings despite a difficult U.K. economy.

Ashley pocketed $140M last year, when Sports Direct bought 32 stores he was leasing. Right after becoming a billionaire, he bought Newcastle United, then tried to sell it twice. He still owns the Premier League soccer club to the chagrin of some fans.

For every Chelsea and Manchester City, you have many other rich people (such as those at QPR) taking over clubs, not looking to spend money but make even more.

Maybe the real value of having a Mike Ashley came when Newcastle were relegated (which was largely down to his poor decision making at the time) and the fact that he could sustain his football club/business and get them through the financial nosedive going into the Championship brings.

You could make a similar case for West Ham, who in the last 12 months rather than tightening the purse strings appeared to actually  increase(!) spending to enable them to make a swift return to the riches of the Premier League, rather than a total fire sale of every decent player.


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