Mike Ashley has had a busy Monday using his media partners to get his PR spin out on both Sports Direct and Newcastle United.

Monday morning he invited Sky News into his Sports Direct Shirebrook HQ and posed for a number of (I’m just one of the workers I am) photos, whilst hitting out at MPs who have summoned him to appear before them to answer questions about the way he runs his retail empire – especially the treatment of thousands of workers.

During that Sky News visit he also touched on Newcastle United, speaking to camera – which you can see HERE.

However, late Monday night saw the focus most definitely shift to Newcastle United, as Mike Ashley gave an exclusive interview to another media partner, The Mirror.

This is what he had to say to them – we will bring you further analysis/comment later but have a read.

Mike Ashley talking to The Mirror:

“Do I regret getting into football? The answer is yes.

“I have had tonnes of fun in it but I haven’t been able to make the difference I wanted to in football.

“I wanted to help Newcastle, I wanted to make it better, that’s what I wanted to do. I haven’t seemed to have had that affect.”

 “I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle United, in reality, because I only pick the board.

“To get a football club to be the best it can be, you have to get the sun, the moons and the stars to align perfectly.

“But there is negativity around me as an individual when it comes to Newcastle, so the best thing was to make sure it was on solid ground and then step back and get them to self-manage Newcastle.

Create a board, get the board to appoint the manager, put the manager on the board as well and then not interfere.

“I don’t know what players they sign, I don’t know what team they are going to pick on a Saturday.

“All I say is, there is a bank account, when you have emptied it, it’s empty, don’t come crying to me for more money.

“They have had a proper go at it this season, I think everyone can agree with that, but the results haven’t been ideal.”

Asked how much was is in Newcastle United’s bank account:

“Virtually, nothing now. They have emptied it.”

Asked whether he will increase his stake in Rangers:

“I don’t really want to have any influence in football to be honest. Looking after Sports Direct is more than a full time job.”

I am reminded of the classic lyrics from the band Madness, featured in their song ‘Shut Up’:

‘I tell you I didn’t do it cos’ I wasn’t there

Don’t blame me it just isn’t fair

You listened to their side now listen to mine

Can’t think of a story sure you’ll find me some time


Now pass the blame and don’t blame me

Just close your eyes and count to three

One, two, three!

Then I’ll be gone and you’ll forget

The broken window T.V. set


It wasn’t me either I’m just his mate

He told me stand here and watch the gate

I’ve got a wife and three kids you know

They’ll tell you I’m straight at least I think so


I’m as honest as the day is long

The longer the daylight the less I do wrong


Pass the blame and don’t blame me

Just close your eyes and count to three

One, two, three!

Then I’ll be gone and I’ll forget

That what you give is what you get’