Monday night saw the much talked about ‘Secrets of Sports Direct’ expose aired on Channel 4 at 8pm.

The programme used an undercover reporter who went behind the scenes as a Sports Direct employee to secretly film how staff are treated (very badly) and customers misled (frequently).

However, within only an hour of the programme being aired, Newcastle United/Mike Ashley released the following official statement:

The Club has noted the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ programme aired tonight (Monday, 27th April) and in particular the reference to the terms of the retail relationship between the Club and Sports Direct.

The Club is extremely disappointed no-one from Channel 4 contacted the Club for comment.

The information broadcast is wholly inaccurate and the Club will provide further information and clarification tomorrow (Tuesday, 28th April).

We will await to see what happens today in terms of what Ashley and his minions push out in response to the Dispatches programme.

You would imagine Channel 4 will have done their homework before making specific reference to any contractual stuff mentioned during the programme, so the club/Ashley may well be just playing at semantics to muddle the issue.

Whatever the truth of that contractual relationship between the club and Ashley’s retail business, to me it very much looks as though Mike Ashley will be trying to use the Newcastle United angle to divert attention away from all of the negatives aimed at Sports Direct.

Classic diversion tactics, if you don’t like what the media are talking about then try and shift the focus elsewhere.

What is abundantly clear for Newcastle fans hoping to help ‘encourage’ Mike Ashley to sell NUFC, is that Sports Direct is where the club owner can be hurt, when his retail empire is threatened/humiliated he comes out fighting.



  • Charlatan30

    NUFCTheMag NUFC_Stats SonsofStruth NUFCTips but we hear nothing for weeks as the team plummets down the league

  • Andrew Barton

    Doesn’t mean a lot from a club that are proven liars

  • DownUnderMag

    So that’s Channel 4 banned from the stadium too then I guess?!?!?!

    But as @Charlatan30 says, nothing for weeks about the inept performances on the field, nor the failure to strengthen in January, nor the failure to get a positive change in the managers seat…and yet as soon as there is risk to the SD image (well more risk) there’s an instant statement….guess that tells the Ashley Out campaigners exactly where it hurts and where they can focus their frustrations!

  • They should counter the bad publicity by pointing to how well the club is doing and how all the staff and fans are so happy and grateful to Sports Direct for………

    Oh wait!!

  • Wingpaddock

    Funny how the hierarchy wanted to be contacted for comment. There’s a  change in policy. Charnley wanted to reduce the number of FF meetings. Last year I wrote to Lee Marshall about a particular matter and I didn’t even get a reply.
    Eagerly awaiting the release of their next waffle statement. The problems are all self made with Mr Tubbs being the main guilty party. Pantomime/circus are the best words to describe what is going on at the club.

  • RitchieForster

    This is the time for J.D.Sports to really ‘push’ their brand or better still, Newcastle fans to do it for them. … “we love JDSports yes we love JDSports .. We Love Channel 4 yes we love Channel 4…,”

  • Morpeth mag

    Will anyone still stick up for him and here? And put the argument forward that he is running the club well? These people are either plants or they have been on the pipe,, his whole time in charge of newcastle has been to further his sports business, he thinks of nothing but himself, the amount of money he has made through his free advertising and upping the profile of his company, he could walk away from newcastle for nothing and still have made billions out of our club,,,, he is a parasite,,,,,I agree totally with the other comments,, sports direct is where to hurt this man, bad publicity against his sweat shop company,,,

  • Roppa2

    I would imagine that the club will be highlighting the glaring and disgraceful research error made by channel 4 which was their comment about the free advertising that his sports empire receives. They incorrectly stated that he owned both businesses so it was up to him if he wanted to pay Newcastle United.  He only owns 55% the last time I looked of [email protected] Direct so, in my opinion, Newcastle united football club should received 45% of the cost of  the advertising they receive. Over the years that would be equal to a first class striker and his wages. 
    I look forward to the club highlighting that later today.

  • bill black

    Any pro Ashley people want to tell us how grateful they are we have him as owner.

  • tino o

    Channel 4 seem to have hit a nerve can’t believe he issued a club statement hours after like we want to hear his lies or believe them let’s hope the bad publicity continues hopefully this is just the start!

  • Andgeo

    Just a thought but as all of the shirt sales go to sports direct so boycotting shirt sales should be on the agenda. A just giving page could be set up with the purpose of giving money to the bobby Robson foundation this summer instead of buying a new strip. Promoting this idea via social media could be quite successful.

  • LeazesEnder

    Andgeo Yes….. the ‘club’ shop IS a ‘Spots Dirt outlet’….. I’ve been saying this for ages….

  • Wallsendstu

    Perhaps it has reminded them that Carver now has 7 strikes and he should have went at 6. I am looking forward to the tanoy messages telling the players to put more effort in or they are gone. They will need to do it in French and English though not Polish (yet). I also thought how apt the free gift was the guy got it said it all A big mug, exactly what anyone who keeps giving the fat man money is.

  • Ikeys Brother

    Fatso`s weak point always has been his jumble sale shops & always will be

  • Sickandtiredstill

    They can’t say a word to us about the state of the Club – yet the moment SD is highlighted out they come. 
    What can they disagree with?
    Simon Bird simply repeated what he asked and was told at the SD AGM last year. That has already been in print. It’s factual that SD does not pay for ground advertising, and they run the retail operation. Retail was worth 3.4 million a year, yet even the accounts do not suggest that amount (for 12/13 they reported only 0.8 million of stock from SD) and they continue to report sales as NIL.
    Just goes to shows all the dissenters among the support that harming SD is the way to get at Fatty and ALL he remains concerned about.

  • Did you notice how Halliwell used his police skills ie disrespecting the MP’s at the committee hearing by talking to them with elbows on the table and fists under his chin ? No wonder Ashley sent him in his stead !  Why did the MP’s let him get away with that ?

  • Caution to everyone , Ashleys solicitors will be all over this site so think about what you type !

  • A lex

    Hilarious how the SJP minions can work late into the night to get this statement out, yet at the same hour on Transfer Deadline Day, all the lights are out and the doors are locked.

  • toon tony

    Goes to show if he’d ran the club like his business we’d be top of the league. FAT SCUMBAG (his solicitor’s can’t get me as that statement is factually correct ).

  • dude 1

    Newcastle united are ” Disappointed with channel 4″ why are newcastle issuing a statement on behalf of Sports Direct this programme was not about newcastle united it was about Mike Ashley’s company and how he goes about his business,and how he treats his employees,

    They are disappointed that no one from channel 4 got in touch with them why would anybody from channel 4 ring newcastle and speak to them channel 4 probably tried to phone fat mike but he never picks up the phone to anybody so its his own fault,

    As soon as fatties SD comes under fire out come the statements (from newcastle by the way not SD) channel 4 are now probably going to be banned from everywhere the reporter who carried out this report will probably have to go into hiding for telling the truth and all people who spoke on the report are to have their zero hrs contract cancelled.

    I think the pressure is now slowly getting to Mr Fat (money grabbing)  Bast$$d but like the bully he is will it be Newcastle united that suffer only time will tell

  • ilullissat

    RitchieForster The Fatman even owns part of this.Google’Sports Direct and Sweatshop,which used to be a top notch running store and read what is happening to these stores.Apparently the Fatman owns part of this and is trying to push the Karrimor brand and the runners are having none of it.Looks likely to be another branch of Sh.te Direct

  • prestondave

    toon tony What, the FAT bit. ?

  • ilullissat

    When you see what is happening at this football club it makes North Korea look civilised.it seems like a secretive organisation and when something is exposed they make a great pronouncement from Our Great Leader or one of his Underlings.They only seem to make statements when they have been criticised which tells me that they don’t like to be criticised.The fans can make it uncomfortable by their actions and inactions.