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Mike Ashley’s Letter to Father Christmas

6 years ago

The following was mistakenly delivered to Hat Trick Hall…

Dear Santa,

The first thing I need to do is apologise for the lack of thanks for your present from a few years back. I was enjoying it so much, I forgot to write.

Those zero hours contracts mean I am saving a fortune on wages at Sports Direct. The other great thing about them is that a lot of the people who work for me now earn too little to feed their families some weeks. They cannot borrow money from a proper bank because I don’t pay them properly. So they go and borrow money from my friends at Wonga.

Then my friends at Wonga give me some of the money my workers pay them, and I put the Wonga logo on the front of the shirts. The same shirts that the people I don’t pay properly have to sell for me. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m a lucky boy.

Can I start this year’s list by asking for some defenders?

I’m not sure half of the ones I have now work properly. Some are slow, some are broken, some make a lot of noise and don’t do anything. And I sold some of my better ones for less than they were worth. In fact I’m not sure some of the ones in my collection are real defenders at all.

It’s a bit like the Rolex watch I bought Mrs Ashley last year. I thought it was a bargain at £100, but she called me all sorts of names when it stopped telling the time on Boxing Day.

Funnily enough, I lent one defender who wasn’t working to some bloke in Wolverhampton a few days ago, and he started working again straight away. He even got something called a Man of the Match award, which I assume belongs to me, as he’s still my defender.

I also need some spectators. My home in the North (It’s called St James Park at the moment, but I like to give it a new name every now and then. I go there sometimes) looks emptier every week, and the fewer people that pay to go in, the poorer I get. And I like being rich.

I don’t know why people have stopped coming. It couldn’t have been anything I said – I never speak to them.

A strange thing happened the other week – I lent St James Park to some people from Rugby, and they invited all sorts of people from places like South Africa and Scotland to a party. It was completely full, everyone said they had a great time, and I was told they enjoyed some great entertainment. That just sounds wrong to me…

Can I have some French lessons and a book of phrases please? My friend Graham keeps turning up with carloads of French boys that he says are going to work for me. To be honest, I think some of them were hired to work at Sports Direct, and that Mr Charnley in HR got the paperwork wrong, so they ended up at St James Park.

One of them beat up some boys from Northampton a few weeks ago, and then started hiding and falling over a lot the very next week. Graham told me he was better than the last French worker who hid and fell over a lot (I think I might still be paying some of his wages actually), but he looks just the same to me.

To be fair, some of my French workers have been excellent, but then they go and work for someone else as soon as they get more money. The phrase book might help me with things like “Hello, I am Mike. You work for me. Are you a footballer?”

Please pop a pair of earplugs in my stocking. There are some boys that come to St James’s Park and shout nasty things at me every time I go there. I think it’s the same lot that used to shout at my midget friend Dennis when he used to come, and it’s not nice. I even moved them to the opposite side of the ground, but I can still hear what they say.

As you know, I ignore every piece of advice that anyone from Newcastle gives me and plan to keep on doing so, so it makes perfect sense for me not to have to hear it in the first place.

Can I have some referees? I wanted to buy one called Mr Webb from my friends in Manchester a few years ago, but they wouldn’t sell him at any price. I keep getting referees who can’t see footballs when they hit people’s hands (unless they are wearing a black and white shirt), can’t see goalkeepers who are about to pick up footballs, and steal pens from me so they can write things like “Tiote” and “Mitrovic” in their little books before the game has even started. A couple of years ago, I even got one who saw an invisible man standing in front of that spotty bloke from Manchester with the dandruff.

By the way, please don’t send me a Joe Kinnear again. I thought I wanted one once, and then again a few years later, but – between you and me – all the Joe Kinnears I’ve had have been useless. All they did was swear a lot, make up imaginary friends and sell players for way less than I told them to. Then they forgot to replace them. People in the street were pointing and laughing at me, and when you are a fat boy with no friends, that’s not nice.

Could you send me some fans that are more gullible than the ones I have now?

I set up a committee to go and talk at them every so often (I don’t want to do it), and even though the committee clearly explains how I want the club to work, the fans don’t seem to like it.

All I want to do is finish 17th out of 20, save the fans from making trips to cup games, and sell players when it will make me some money. You would think that with “Homes Under the Hammer”, “Cash in the Attic”, “Antiques Roadshow” etc all over the TV, people would be pleased to see someone like me make a bit of extra money on the side, but this lot in Newcastle seem to think that makes me untrustworthy. It’s just not fair.

Lastly, can I just ask one favour: If there is any way you can send me 3 Premier League teams that are worse than mine, I promise never to ask again. I hear that if my team is there next year, I am going to be even richer than I am now. And if my team gets relegated in 18 months’ time rather than 6, I will get more money than ever before. It seems to me that next season I’ll be able to make money from success or failure; surely that’s an opportunity I deserve.

Thanks for reading this Santa, and I hope I get everything I want. By the way, if anyone asks you for a Lonsdale shell suit or a cap with “Slazenger” on the front, I know where I can get you some cheap…



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