Mike Ashley Punishes Sports Direct Shareholders and Newcastle Fans
New insights have become available into the apparently self-harming, self-loathing personality of our glorious owner this week.
The board of Sports Direct want to give Mike many more millions to compensate the giant oaf for not taking a salary. And they have tried a number of times to do so.
The problem is, the shareholders aren’t having it. They object to giving him so much cash in the form of shares in his own company.
Now Mike is coming back yet again to get his hands on dosh to which he and the board consider he is entitled. He has come up with a new wheeze. He is giving 25m shares to thousands of staff in the form of a bonus. And he is one of those staff.
Of course, Mike will get the vast majority of the shares, and, equally obviously, he is not letting on how much that is. It is the amount of the bonus the shareholders object to, and of course he is still intent on getting the amount they object to, and so the answer, to Mike, is obvious – keep everything secret.
It is possible that he will fail to get this past the shareholders once more. Each time he has failed to do so in the past he has dumped several million of his existing shares on the market, getting himself many millions, and lowering the share price at the same time.
He gets the cash. The shareholders lose out, because Mike punishes the shareholders. Of whom he is one.
He will keep doing this, relentlessly, until he gets his own way.
He will hit out, he will cut off his own nose to spite his face, he will thrash around, and, eventually, he will win.
Except he is really losing. He is annoying the people whose support he needs, or will need down the line, and he doesn’t care. His customers, you see, are not being hurt, and that is the only thing he understands. They go on getting cheapo trainers, or whatever it is he sells, and he needs to keep them onside, and inside his stores, spending cash.
We see the same behaviour at Newcastle United. But, at the Toon, he is indeed hurting his customers. He has made the calculation that he doesn’t need to keep us onside. He thinks we need him more than he needs us. He is treating us like his shareholders at Sports Direct.
If, as this website recently reported, at least seven thousand season ticket holders have jacked it in, Ashley might be getting some of his own medicine. The club might think that seven thousand refusals is six per cent of the total, but I don’t. He’s tried his lies, but now we see the truth.
Season tickets are being jacked in at double the rate the club admit. We can’t believe a word the man says. And this is a truth that Sports Direct shareholders are familiar with, too.
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