Mike Ashley looks to be now counting the cost of his actions in recent years.

Adopting a ruthless and maverick approach to running both Newcastle United and his wider business empire looked to be a winning formula, at least financially.

Refusing to allow the club to properly invest in Newcastle’s squad for a number of transfer windows saw initial (financial) success for the owner, as the club remained in the Premier League regardless.

However, that failure to invest eventually caught up with Mike Ashley and NUFC, leading the club’s owner to then belatedly splash the cash to try and retrieve the situation after near relegation in 2014/15.

Only for the failing transfer policy of young inexperienced future profit players from overseas, to bring about another calamitous relegation last season (2015/16).

In his Sports Direct retail empire, Ashley is also paying the price for some business decisions which have proved a negative longer-term.

The whole business model has been called into question and a tide of bad publicity has followed, with Mike Ashley forced to appear in front of MPs and justify the running of Sports Direct.

Back in 2011, Mike Ashley had said:

“I’ll finish off JJB (Sports) first and then I’ll move on to JD (Sports).”

JJB Sports collapsed in 2012 but…

JD Sports has been a different kettle of fish for Mr Ashley.

Having already overtaken Sports Direct in terms of valuation, the latest JD Sports financial figures have left Mike Ashley and SD trailing in their wake.

The JD Sports revenues increased from £1.8bn to £2.3bn when announced this morning.

Pre-tax profits jumped by 55%, with profits of £246m up to the 28 January.

After the figures were released earlier on Tuesday,  shares in JD Sports surged by almost 13%, the share price having risen by over 40% in the year to date.

This all means that JD Sports is now valued (market capitalisation) at £4.3bn, whilst Sports Direct is left well behind with a value of £1.7bn.

While Sports Direct and Mike Ashley have repeatedly made negative headlines for the way they operate with regard to staff, shareholders and customers, JD Sports have flourished by targeting younger, more style-conscious customers. Trading on quality rather than perceived bargains….

  • Bearsize


    • Davey drape

      agree what he were doing at SJP was the start of poor PR. I some of our fans protesting etc have played their part. also, a teams supporters in glasgow are refusing to buy thousands of shirts & if he steps over the border he could be putting himself in danger

      • bobbi fleckman

        The rangers fans are even more deluded than some of ours on here. Rangers can;t repay MA, they are close to getting in the financial clarts again.

  • Geordiegiants

    He certainly has blew it for his jumble sale. The thing is he did or still does own a part of JD. He thought he was clever chasing Dave Whelan, but he blew his company with his greed at Newcastle and Rangers. I personally have 2 young children and go to JD and pay double for a pair of trainers than going to the jumble sale. When I’m in there all of the staff say lots of people say the same thing.

  • magpiefifer

    I pay a hell of a lot more at JD than I would at SD, but to paraphrase KK – I love it!!!!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I read the Fat [email protected]@ka has 19% shares in JD Sports, the Snides everywhere

    • Mark Davies

      Snide……jees you really are a f00king mackem. Wouldnt you rather the bloke was a success therefore making extra revenue available for us? Short sighted makem moose

      • Geordiegiants

        He has got us in massive debt, never mind extra revenue, we have zero revenue from him, except from SKY.

        • bobbi fleckman

          He hasn’t got us into massive debt, we were in massive debt when he took over, we were also losing £30m a year which, had that continued, we’d be another £300m in debt if the bank allowed us to continue for the 10 years of over-spending. They didn’t and that is why we are run as we are.

          • Geordiegiants

            He has got us in massive debt! Don’t care how you dress it up or who else you want to blame, HE HAS GOT US IN MASSIVE DEBT! No one else.

          • bobbi fleckman

            Go on, explain.

            You see, I see a business in 2007 in debt, technically insolvent and making £30m losses with the bank ready to pull the plug. We are now solvent, profitable and have a one major creditor who happens to own the shares. Tell me how I’m wrong????

          • Geordiegiants

            So are we or are we not in debt because of the fat cancer?
            As I understand it, it bought our club in 2007 for £110 million and cleared our £100 million or so debt?
            He then went on to borrow money from himself or his companies to put Newcastle in to debt again. That is not Freddie Shepperds fault or anyone else connected with the club that is all the parasites doing.

          • bobbi fleckman

            No, He bought the club and realised we were in a precarious position, £100m in debt, no funds to pay for players (as well as not even settled debts on players playing for us and even at least 2 players that had since left NUFC), we were also running a loss in excess of £30m. The bank were very nervous about their loan and putting pressure on. Ashley came in and lent the club £129m which repaid all the major creditors and put a little in to finance the ongoing losses and the purchase of a couple of players.

            In our relegation season, he threw some more money at it to pay for the loss in that year, these loans have since been paid back to MA. As it stands, we still have a debt of £129m, but still running a modest profit so the situation is better than he inherited plus the business itself is worth about 3 times as much. A valid argument is there will be a debt at the en d of this season but he’s financed that and the loss this year may only be similar to that of our last relegation.

            Had he not restructured the business, it would have been in a far bigger mess.

          • Geordiegiants

            No he bought the club and cleared the debt. Then saddled us with debt from his own companies. Dress it how you want, but that’s how it is.

          • bobbi fleckman

            I think you’ve missed the point.

            If your pal lent you £100 to pay off a loan from a money lender where the the interest rate was crippling and every month you had the threat of your kneecap being shot off, it would be a good thing for you as you’d have spare money at the end of each month and you’d not have a limp. You would still owe £100 just that it would be better for you as presumably, your pay would let you pay back over a longer period and he’d not shoot your knee off.

            That is what has happened here, MA has lent NUFC to pay off Barclays, MGM, a whole host of football creditors and enough to cover the £30 odd million pound loss in the accounts. The reason for doing this was that Ashley did a deal to get a discount on these debts so the club was better off. Furthermore, MA didn’t ask for the money back or charge interest so the club was better off again, it was not going to have a cashflow crisis as it had during 2006/7. The money is still owed, the debt did not increase, it simply stayed in place neither going up or down. I doubt MA will demand it back until the club is sold.

            That debt has not gone up, the £129m is still in MA’s name. This year, it’s highly likely NUFC will make a loss, that money has to come from somewhere and it comes from MA and subsequently a company that he owns. I suspect that will be paid off over the next two seasons if promoted.

            The point being, at the end of the last season, the club had no more debt than when he took over and it was making modest profits.

          • Geordiegiants

            The thing is I wouldn’t borrow it from my pal if I already had it, that would be a bit snide.

          • bobbi fleckman

            the bank would not have pulled the plug? The club were maxed on their overdraft, struggling to pay the ‘current’ debt and had a major stage payment or re-organisation of the lending due. What were the bank going to do?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Scotts or JD for me, you get what you pay for. that`s why we`re in the Chamionship

    • bobbi fleckman

      JD eh? fancy, but you got to look good for the beak. I somehow didn’t have you down as a regular at Waltons on Westgate road.

  • toonterrier

    If he had put money into the club myself and several others would not only have renewed our season tickets but would also still be buying gear from his stores. Don’t go near the place now and wont until things change but cant see it happening.

    • Leazes Ender

      Absolutely…. instead he filled the top tier with kids at really cheap prices and called it a family section….. then he says we cant compete financially…. of course you cant… you’ve cheapened the product and yo-yo-ed the club.

      • bobbi fleckman

        I can’t believe a supporter of this club is complaining about making the match accessible to all pockets.

        • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

          At what price Bobbi? Football is about winning entertainment & hope…. to achieve silverware. If only Ashley realised the potential of this great club

  • Leazes Ender

    Ashley buys up labeling rights and sticks them on to any cheaply made items….. I could stick the ”’spirit of ecstasy” onto the bonnet of my car but it doesn’t make it a rolls royce….

    His whole business ethos seems to be to con and to cheapen, and to bully…..

    …..one day everything will collapse around him

    • bobbi fleckman

      So when I bought a pair of adidas Stan Smiths at SD, i bought a pair of cheaply made items with a label on it?

      Also, I think you have to take a look at the quality of branded goods, you are very often just paying for the brand, a running vest from Karimor is just as good as an adidas, new balance or Puma equivalent and far cheaper. Their running jackets are very good. Lonsdale protein powder is £10 cheaper than even the decathalon equiv and exactly the same.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        he doesn`town Adidas, does he ? dipstick

        • bobbi fleckman

          The point being, it’s a sports shop which sells a number of brands much like JD. It also stocks it’s own brands which is fine as it opens sport up to all budgets.

  • MadMag83

    I hope SD go bust! He might sell up then.