Interesting revelation on Thursday night, with news that Mike Ashley has drafted in somebody at Newcastle United who Lee Charnley has to answer to.

As reported by the Telegraph, Ashley has brought Justin Barnes into St James Park and they say that now Lee Charnley has to run any financial decisions past him.

One of the major reasons for this move is said to be that Mike Ashley has given Barnes the task of trying to persuade potential investors to buy a stake in the club.

The Telegraph say that Ashley believes it unlikely anyone will meet his £400m valuation of the club and so the next best thing would be if Justin Barnes can do deals with people who are willing to buy a part of the football club.

Barnes is a trademark lawyer and was originally in charge of Sports Direct’s brands, which included Dunlop and Slazenger, when the retailer floated in 2007 and was one of five directors who shared a £25m bonus back then.

He stopped being an employee of Sports Direct and other companies linked to them in 2008 – but has continued to work for Mike Ashley (in a kind of Number 10 role…). The Telegraph claim that Justin Barnes isn’t being directly employed by Newcastle United, simply working for Ashley.

Seemingly used by Ashley to try and close/arrange various major business deals, Barnes was reported to have led Ashley’s team that worked on a proposed bid for BHS last year – though Ashley did not bid for BHS in the end.

Justin Barnes was also involved with Sports Direct’s decision to put USC into administration and to then buy the chain back back minus its debts after stripping its assets.

He has also represented Ashley in his dispute with Rangers FC and in June 2016 became a director of Rangers Retail Ltd when Ashley and other Sports Direct representatives resigned from that company.

As usual, with Newcastle United you always feel that the club is only seen by Mike Ashley as a small cog in the overall workings of his empire – best seen maybe by the year on year massive free promotion job NUFC does for Ashley’s retail empire, with no revenue going into the football club.

What the end result of Mike Ashley bringing in Justin Barnes to St James Park will be, remains to be seen.

With only Christian Atsu’s loan deal made into a permanent one so far, there will be some Newcastle fans wondering whether this move will impact on the transfer window. Despite being linked with over a hundred players and a number of seemingly credible ongoing transfer targets amongst those, no other signings have been made so far and two weeks on Monday pre-season training begins.

  • Coach Clagnut

    If this is the prelude to an eventual disinvestment by fatty, all power to the bloke. Might even teach the gormless minion on how to get things done efficiently and quickly.

  • Geordiegiants

    We are due an almighty fuckup, let’s hope this isn’t it.

    • Jimblag23

      Exactly my thoughts.

  • Mr wobert

    Another job creation,could have been a good move if he fired penfold first..

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Nufc`s Lee Harvey Oswald, the minion Penfold. the patsy in case HMRC come kicking doors down & the Great Fat One has twigged on at last that he`s cost the cloob millions upon millions.
    all we need now is the usurping of the Gimp Carr

  • Leazes Ender

    Lets hope its to oversee the sale of the club.

  • Steve Smith

    Well there it is! If you’ve been waiting for Ashley to do something stupid, this is it.

    A legal person in charge of commercial matters, you couldn’t make it up…

    It will be safety first and abide by red tape at all cost for this guy.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      You’d be better off reading the Telegraph article, it explains things a little better.

      The most poinient part of the original article is that Ashley is more interested in finding someone to buy a stake so that he can share the financial risk attached in trying to turn Newcastle into a major force in English football again.

      The article does not mention free advertising or raise concerns that only one player has been bought in the transfer window dispute the window bring open a whopping 5 days.

      If we must read between the lines, the sensible conclusion is that big decision s are taken with some reference to any potential investors. We assume investors are happy with Rafa but it’s all about goal concurrent division making.

      • Leazes Ender

        …’ he can share the financial risk attached in trying to turn Newcastle into a major force in English football’……

        Where did you get that from the ToryTelegraph?

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Yes, the article from which Jim Robertson took the story was in the Telegraph, I could tell this by reading the line “As reported by the Telegraph, Ashley has brought Justin Barnes…”.

          I find the Telegraph pretty balanced, you should try reading something other than the Morning Star, you may broaden your horizons.

          • Leazes Ender

            The telegraph balanced? you must be off the edge of the world old fruitcake.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Says the bloke who claimed validity based on the source being the Guardian?

          • Leazes Ender

            The facts were in the Guardian online, so what do you disagree with Ashley uses these people to hide money transactions from HMRC…. fact

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The guardian likes to colour / distort the odd fact or two, as do you.

  • Leazes Ender

    What was the matter with that its all in the Guardian?

    All I said was….
    I’ve just looked him up…. he’s involved in Ashleys murky world of hiding transactions from public scrutiny…. Ashley has a someone called John Ashley running his international transportation business for SD, as well as his son in law running the shameful Gallowgate land development.

    This guy is was a Co Director of the transportation side and has been investigated by the Financial Reporting Council, the City regulator, who were looking into the agreement between Barlin Delivery Ltd and Sports Direct, (Barlin owned by Ashleys family)

    I’d like to just point out that I’m not implying any crime has been committed in the past by this Gentleman….. probably because of loopholes in the law.

    An Ideal person to take on HM Revenue & Customs in any forthcoming trial really.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      The Guardian is often the problem

      • Leazes Ender


        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Fair point, Everything written in the Guardian is a problem. a paper designed for public sector workers to justify their constant whining.

          • Leazes Ender

            The Telegraph is for old middle class bigots to justify their whining. Some intelligent writes such as my mate Luke Edwards but its what you do with justification to hate that gets me.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It you read more than one paper, you get a broader view and come to a more balanced conclusion.

          • Leazes Ender

            It’s a paper full of ignorance and channeled hatred, I wouldn’t want that as part of any equation seeking an answer.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            “Full of ignorance and channeled hatred [sic]” i can’t help think that you are looking at a mirror.

          • Leazes Ender

            I’m not fond of the mirror

            sic: American spell check prat.

          • Pelican

            I wonder when the last time was that ‘The Telegraph’ won a Pulitzer prize. Strange that ‘The Guardian’ won it as little as 3 years ago. Standards eh.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I hadn’t realised the Pulitzer prize was given to the most whiny left-wing nonsensical article of the year, Polly T must walk it every year.

            I’m not going to defend the Telegraph in particular, I don’t favour one in particular but you have to admit, the Guardian has it’s market and it plays very much to that sector.

          • Pelican

            “Article” as in singular? Not normally. It (Pulitzer) is an award for journalism. I prefer ‘The Independent’ myself, not that ‘The Guardian’ is substandard.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The printed newspaper industry is in difficult times, the Mag is no longer printed and it’s a struggle for these guys as they need to find their niche. Angry moany folk like to read angry moany articles and that is (if there is a boom in printed media) where the money is. The indy, guardian, metro and Huffington post have realised this and produce the weird left-wing articles to meet demand. Of course, by saying something nutty, you attract comment, his has Owen Jones created a career?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            So you’re not English, my apologies and commiserations.

          • Hughie_Gallacher

            Yeah, give them all bosses like Ashley. That’ll make them all nice and subservient.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It would be a start if the public sector workers realised they are actually employed to serve others and not themselves. Strip it down to the core IMHO.

  • hetonmag

    When Ashley brings someone into this club to oversee things it has got to be treated with suspicion because that’s in his make up, I only hope he hasn’t been brought in to undermine Rafa.

    • Viru leckworth

      Why would he do that? Surely that would be extremely counter productive. Rafa simply would walk away if that were the case. Ashley would not want that.

  • MadMag83

    Sounds like he’s been brought in to keep an eye on the purse strings. At least he can’t asset strip NUFC, Ashley has already done that by selling our best players for years!

  • HarryHype59

    I have a bad feeling about this. I hope Rafa doesn’t do a ‘Conte’.

    • Geordiegiants

      What’s happened with Conte m8?

      • HarryHype59

        He is rumoured to be very unhappy at interference from club officials over transfer targets. Alan Brazil says there are reports he may leave if he cannot get his own way.

        • Geordiegiants

          Let’s keep our fingers crossed 🤞

  • toonterrier

    This will probably be our most expensive signing of the season. Maybe they could send Chumpley out on loan to recoup some of the money and he can take Carr and Moncur with him.