Newcastle United reacted instantly to the Dispatches programme broadcast on Monday night which exposed the immoral practices Sports Direct use, when dealing with both staff and customers.

The one hour programme was broadcast on Channel 4 from 8pm and within an hour of the programme ending, the club released a statement saying they were going to release a statement….today.

Here is their statement just released on Tuesday afternoon.

Inaccurate media reporting by Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ – the media mislead again

In reference to our statement last night (Monday, 27th April) regarding the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ programme, The Secrets of Sports Direct, Newcastle United would like to clarify the facts for the benefit of supporters.

Last night’s programme made a wholly inaccurate claim regarding the retail relationship between the Club and Sports Direct.

In the Club’s view, the broadcaster deliberately misled Newcastle United supporters and provided yet another example of erroneous media reporting which only serves to further antagonise fans.

In January 2014, in the minutes of its Fans Forum which are published online, the Club confirmed how the retail relationship with Sports Direct works.

For the purpose of clarity, we can reconfirm that 100 per cent of the income from goods bought in the Club’s official stores and on its website are received by the Club and not Sports Direct, as the ‘Dispatches’ programme claimed.

The only money paid by the Club to Sports Direct is for the stock (at cost price), plus a handling fee. This represents far better value than the costs the Club historically incurred in relation to purchasing, storage and distribution.

In fact, the change to our retail operating structure introduced in February 2013, which saw us partner with Sports Direct, increased the profit margin by over 50 per cent. This benefits the Club hugely.

In simple terms, the Club receives more money as a result of this relationship.

Channel 4 failed to contact the Club in order to clarify any facts in relation to our retail operation.

Given that this information was already in the public domain, and had been for over 15 months, we find it incredible that the makers of an investigative current affairs programme chose to air information which was so obviously factually incorrect.

There were some amusing and outraged comments from Newcastle fans who reacted to the club’s statement last night and they can be viewed HERE.

  • Michael Teasdale

    The people running the club have been proven to be and denounced as liars by a court of law.
    No sensible person would believe anything they say.

  • Brown Bottle

    “which only serves to further antagonise fans”…..and that’s our job so keep your nebs out of it.

  • prestondave

    “Furthers benefits the club and antagonises the fans further”. 2 sentences in their statement that made me vomit. I dont need to go over what the “benefits” have been because our league position and record shows what the “benefits” are.
    As for antagonising the fans further well Im lost for words . Mismanagement and lack of ambition are all I have the strength to type.
    God help us and get rid of FCB .Please.

  • Andgeo

    Show us the books then!!!

  • Andgeo

    Will you be taking legal action against channel 4 then fatty? No?? Why not then???

  • Conman

    Piss off man.
    We don’t believe you. We don’t trust you. For the moment, we have to endure you.
    But in the end, we will have the club back.

  • RexN

    The bit that gets me is: “In the Club’s view, the broadcaster deliberately misled Newcastle United supporters”. What was it that the Keegan tribunal said about the club? Ashley, Charnley and Irving were at the club at the time.

  • dave1892

    This statement simply reconfirms (as if it were needed) how far out of touch with reality they are. It’s a tone and insinuation that we’ve heard many times before, and the record never changes. That’s a major factor in why we are where we are.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Coz they say so, eh?.
    Someone ask them to release the figures then – how much the retail operation is worth, how much profit it generates, how much the Club actually received AND how much it pays to SD for the stock (including any unsold stuff). Up at Rangers they have to pay back at the full retail price, not supply price, and I’d be very suprised if that isn’t the case here with us too.
    According to the the last accounts we paid SD 2.8 million, yet sales were accounted as NIL! 
    Would very much like anyone to be able to factually explain that and for some Journo’s now to use the clubs response to ask further questions.

  • stevennufc

    sports direct mislead the public with their “closing down sales” dont they???……….couldnt lie straight in bed!!!

  • LeazesEnder

    Is that it….. 

    Well Dispatches didn’t say the shop was a branch of Spots Dirt…. they noticed the similarity of products…. and ‘source stickers’….  50% off…..

    The main thrust of the programme was directed at the practices of the company.

    The products in the club shop are made for SD and their profit (retail) is added in.

    Why doesn’t Spots Dirt just give the club the goods for Nowt…. in return for the Free advertising.

    No mention of the Free Advertising at all is there?

    Full statement….. where is it?


  • Not a fan of the Fat Man one bit but slightly amusing reading all these comments following the Dispatches program as I guarantee that if he was reinvesting all of Sports Direct millions in new players for NUFC then nobody would give two hoots about how Sports Direct make their money.

  • mrkgw

    What a mess. Mike Ashley has only himself to blame by alienating the supporters. And to think, that it could have turned out so different had he not entrusted the likes of Wise and Kinnear. Even Charnley for that matter, another who must be forced from within the walls of St James.

  • PeterRobson
  • Michael Maximus Moose

    I always wear Bullshyte Deflectors everytime a Statement comes from Nufc

  • Toonbadger

    “we can reconfirm that 100 per cent of the income from goods bought in the Club’s official stores and on its website are received by the Club” THEN “The only money paid by the Club to Sports Direct is for the stock (at cost price), plus a handling fee.” contradiction in terms
    Cost price my R`ce and I wonder what the handling fee is?
    Absolute VERMIN

  • tino o

    Totally rattled to come back with that statement his weakness has been found. On the programme in his warehouse it’s six strikes and out how did pardew last for so long and carver 7 and counting. Ashley is a parasite keep up the pressure and get him out. !

  • Wingpaddock

    As has previously been said – publish the actual figures over the last 7 years – not percentages which in isolation mean absolutely nothing.

  • Ikeys Brother

    Bunch of snides

  • PeterRobson
  • Jail for Ashley

    Another damning indictment of club stupidity and what they really think of us supporters. We hear from them twice a year but here we have them reacting to criticism to Ashleys true love twice in two days. But rather than assuage our fears of being mugged by Direct Rot though, all they have done is proved beyond doubt where their priorities lie.
    Get the barstewards out.

  • Chemical Dave

    Well we’ll never know will we so your point is a bit stupid.

  • Consett Mag

    That can only be an assumption from fantasy land Robert.
    Let’s stick to the real world.

  • tino o

    Hopefully chanel 4 will do a follow up showing where his tat is made how much it costs to make how much people are paid in the sweat shops under disgraceful conditions. There is no bargains at sports direct if you are true to your morals !

  • GeordieDan1979

    “In simple terms, the Club receives more money as a result of this relationship.”
    EXACTLY the club IS Ashley!!!! HE gets more money as a result of this relationship! Where is all this money-its in Fatmans pocket whether u call it Shite Direct or NUFC.
    It certainly does NOT benefit anything positive for fans, players, club image etc etc. Just the fat slugs profit margin.
    And it took them all day to come up with this S****E!
    Haha morons from top to bottom!

  • PeterRobson
  • Morpeth mag

    The fans have got to keep the pressure up, the fact this statement has even been released so quickly, shows that all this publicity is getting to him, we need more media pressure also boycotting of his stores,,,about time the chronicle stopped sitting on the fence and support the fans who buy there paper,,,,,l

  • toon tony

    Ooooohh. …..hit a nerve did it. Well done Channel 4..

  • Peaco

    Release the accounts Mike -prove the relationship between SD an NUFC

  • williamjames837

    So “the program deliberately misled the supporters” what about s*ite direct deliberately misleading their customers with their phoney discounts and closing down sales, hypocrites

  • SDmag

    Come on all Toon fans, they are on the defensive now is the time to get at them.
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Atack.

  • bill black


  • Harry Todd

    Was at the Blyth v Morpeth game last night but from what I have heard is the program was a lie after lie.
    Firstly the income from the club shop goes to the club and secondly all retailers discount with such marketing as blue cross sales and closing down for refit.It,s all companies which do this and all the bar staff at my three locals are on zero contract hours.If i go into a shop and the price is reduced from sixty eight pounds to twelve ninety nine I either buy it or walk out the shop up the road and buy it there for twenty five pounds.It s your choice buy wht you want.

  • Ikeys Brother

    Harry Todd 

  • LeazesEnder

    williamjames837 Absolutely Ironic considering the program was about misleading customers and fans

  • PeterRobson

    pissed off mag PeterRobson Thanks mate !!! Just trying to maintain our great Geordie humour !!!

    Keep your eyes open for more !!!

    If I vanish for a few days it´s not coz Ashley minnions have found me but I start a new job soon !!!

  • magpie9

    For those of you who didn’t see the Sport Direct on channel 4 do yourself a favor & WATCH IT everything evil & vile you ever thought of confirmed in spades

  • Seventy2

    Not that the club statements contain any facts, or truth, it is highly surprising that they can quickly respond twice to a programme about another company. But not directly answer the questions put forward by our very own Fan Forum.

  • IntravenusMP

    Peaco Errrrr, he has

  • IntravenusMP

    toon tony Oh, a lie, well done Ch 4.  Hopefully the thick lemmings on here will realise they are just making up cr*p and getting angry about it.

  • IntravenusMP

    LeazesEnder williamjames837 Not really, NUFC are just going to comment on the fib that was told about NUFC, it’s up to Sports Direct if they wish to respond to the program themselves. It seemed to me that the programme made the terrible accusation that SD staff are asked to work quite hard and to meet their targets.

  • IntravenusMP

    GeordieDan1979 Not too sure who the moron is here. The complaint on the program was that somehow that NUFC as an entity were not making any money from the merchandise / shirt sales, a claim made by Simon Bird from that beacon of i, the Daily Mirror. 

    A simple use of ears and eyes should have led him to understand that NUFC get the profits from SD’s fulfilment of merchandise sales, nothing dodgy, simply that the club take advantage of SD’s efficiencies in delivering product.

  • IntravenusMP

    tino o So if you buy a Puma / Nike / Adidas item from SD, it’s somehow more exploitative than buying the same thing at Decathlon? Get a grip.

  • IntravenusMP

    LeazesEnder Look, it’s simple. NUFC used to do all it’s fulfilment itself. NUFC had a warehouse, it had staff and hired the couriers to send the stock to customers. In the accounts, it accounted for this as e.g. Items sold £200,000 less cost of those items £80,000 gives a gross profit of £120,000. Cost of hiring the warehouse £20,000, costs of staff £40,000 Profit – £60,000. What happens now is (excluding the club shops) that we simply get a fee for subcontracting the work to SD and that income is more than £60,000 (in the example given).