When Mike Ashley purchased Newcastle United FC it was said to be a spur of the moment deal, done so not for business but to allow the billionaire to “have some fun”. At the time it was made out that the deal was literally carried out in a couple of days.

“The deal was put to me on a Saturday. By the Monday, in advance of speaking to Sir John, I’d deposited the equivalent of money we hoped he would accept for his shares at the lawyers and on the Tuesday the deal was effectively done.

By Wednesday (May 23, 2007) the announcement was public and that was the first anyone, including the media, knew about it. Once I was told about it, it was done very quickly. Sir John was ready to act if I was and it was a very straightforward process.”

If that is the case then why did Sports Direct register the domain name nufcdirect.com 6 months earlier?

mike ashley

In fact, forget the date of the purchase, why did Sports Direct purchase that domain name at all? Without the will of the club they would have been on very shaky ground setting up any online store etc using NUFC in the name.

Since 2012 that domain name has been used to run the NUFC online store through which all online sales of shirts, clothing and general tat have been funnelled. Every replica shirt (current retail price £59.99), beanie hat (£13) or SoccerStarz Rafa  model (£3.50) that we buy from the “official” store goes through here.

And there lies the problem, the official site is just a front end to the Sports Direct website, they are one and the same just with a different look. Imagine a Sports Direct shop with a big cardboard front to make it look like the club shop!

Dont believe me? Have you ever compared any of the products between NUFC and SD? Everything is described, priced etc exactly the same.

Try this:

http://www.nufcdirect.com/puma-newcastle-united-authentic-home-shirt-2017-2018-377410?colcode=37741040

http://www.sportsdirect.com/puma-newcastle-united-authentic-home-shirt-2017-2018-377410?colcode=37741040

Or how about:

http://www.sportsdirect.com/team-knit-hat-mens-900013?colcode=90001310

http://www.nufcdirect.com/team-knit-hat-mens-900013?colcode=90001310

Now try this one

http://www.nufcdirect.com/team-club-3-pack-air-fresheners-840136?colcode=84013640

http://www.sportsdirect.com/team-club-3-pack-air-fresheners-840136?colcode=84013618

And now remove the last part of the URL….

http://www.sportsdirect.com/team-club-3-pack-air-fresheners-840136

Hmmmm Rangers….Spooky eh?

Try it, for yourself, go on nufcdirect and pick a product, then change the http://www.nufcdirect.com in the URL to http://sportsdirect.com and I’ll guarantee you’ll pull up the same page on their site just looking very slightly different. Word for word every description matches, every image is the same. Most importantly the prices are exact in every case.

Whats happening is that the nufcdirect site uses a subset of the Sports Direct product range. Basically anything related to NUFC is displayed on the nufcdirect site. Other than that though everything else is Sports Direct. Ordering, warehouse, delivery etc etc. You are even given a £5 Sports Direct voucher if you get your purchase delivered to one of their stores!

Remember this from 2013? The decision to sell Rangers items on NUFC site caused a kick off….Except I don’t think there ever was a decision to add them, it was a mistake caused by the fact that someone cocked up when writing the description and started the 2nd para with “The Newcastle United jacket sports a traditional…..” meaning it was picked up and included within the NUFC range by the website.

This link can be proven by another look at the nufcdirect who.is record however this time select the DNS tab and here’s where it gets a tad technical.

Look to the bottom of the list and you’ll see a CNAME record showing

www.nufcdirect.com        CNAME        599                others.sportsdirect.edgekey.net

Funnily enough, if you view the Rangers who.is record you’ll see

www.rangersmegastore.com        CNAME        599                others.sportsdirect.edgekey.net

A CNAME Record allows you to redirect a URL to a totally different site without it being obvious. Once you’re redirected to Sports Direct the website sees where you’ve come from and styles the site accordingly, narrowing the products down to the allowed subset (ie anything containing NUFC or Newcastle United). All the time leaving the domain name and any product URL the same as you visited originally.

A check of the sites code shows that the code is the same as well, examples such as..

<link href=”/desktopmodules/sportsdirect/basketsummary/module.css”

litter the HTML for nufcdirect.com.

This is exactly what happens when a company offers their products for sale via white label ie the ability to sell a third parties goods with a site that looks like its your own. In all white label solutions the referring domain (in this case nufcdirect.com) receives a small commission from every purchase.

When MA bought into Rangers there was uproar at the fact he negotiated a deal to see Sports Direct take over the merchandising of the club. That deal absolutely screwed Rangers seeing their share of the takings reduced to only 7%. MA owned 9% of Rangers and managed to do that.

He owns 100% of NUFC, there is zero chance that he’s not doing the same thing (or even potentially worse) here. Why wouldn’t he?

SO what does that mean in terms of actual cash? well based on a £59.99 shirt sale, assuming NUFC get the same 7% commission structure as Rangers did then you’d be looking at £4.20 per shirt coming NUFCs way. In 2010 the extremely knowledgable Swiss Ramble quoted the club share of a shirt sale in their own stores as being €10 – 15, that was 7 year ago when an adult shirt cost €46 (£40) so if we take €10 that’s approx 22% from every shirt sale.

SportingIntelligence.com had an article on shirt sales which stated that NUFC sold an average 100,000 shirts per year. Based on those figures NUFC would have received a nice straight forward &euro;1m under the standard standard commission structure. From a 7% SD rate that drops to €315k. Multiply that by the last 5 years and you’re looking at over €3m.

In itself, that’s not a massive amount however that’s shirt sales alone, we’re talking every piece of tat, scarf, kids gear, garden gnome, souvenirs etc etc. Just as importantly to Ashley however it boosts SDs standing, increases share prices and the overall value of his company while reducing ours. Add in the free advertising, payment of PR fees to his own company, movement of assets from NUFC to St James’ holdings etc and he’s not doing too badly at all.

That is of course, assuming we even get 7%, there’s nothing to say that NUFC’s cut from this isn’t a big fat zero.

One thing that’s always said about football ownership is that it rarely makes a profit and that’s what I believe Ashley wants. Think about it, you have 2 businesses, 1 is massively profitable the other makes nowt therefore why not take some of the profitable bit of business 2 and move it to business 1 meaning the 2nd makes a bigger loss while the 1st a bigger profit. Ashley then includes the loss of NUFC in his personal tax return meaning 47% of that loss is recovered by paying less tax!

So, if you’re still reading this, THAT is why I believe Mike Ashley bought NUFC and more worryingly why he has no intention of selling.

You can follow the author on Twitter @pjwhitfield and you can visit his own personal blog HERE.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Kneebotherm8

    So Ashley says he done a”spur of the moment” two day takeover of NUFC?
    I’ve always found that one questionable,and registering the NUFC domain name six months earlier proves what a lying individual he has, and always will be. The line he spins of not having done”due diligence”and ending up with a £130 million unforeseen debt looks pretty shaky as well. This was no knee jerk,fast track purchase by him and it would seem he’s been lying through his back teeth to get some sort of sympathy vote from all quarters. When his lips move he’s obviously telling another porkie pie.

    • Leazes Ender

      Hope some journalists pick this up….. its the kind of thing they should have been looking at. My only qualm is ‘who actually registered it’.

    • MadMag83

      I’m sure he’s usually eating another porkie pie when his mouth is open mate!

      • Kneebotherm8

        He likes his porkie pies does our Mike.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    King of knaves is Fat Mike
    😈😈😈

  • Paul Patterson

    Anyone just cottoning on to this must be stupid. I and many others saw this year’s ago. Nufc club shop is Sports Direct and anyone that buys merchandise and slates Ashley is a hypocrite.

    • Kneebotherm8

      But did you see it 6 months before lard ar$e bought the club?

      • Paul Patterson

        ?? No.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Well that’s the point isn’t it? Sports Direct registered the domain name nufcdirect .com 6 months before Ashley made the”spur of the moment” decision,according to him,to buy the club.

      • Leazes Ender

        Registered 6 months before take over.

        • Kneebotherm8

          He’s a proven liar,once again.

          • Leazes Ender

            Next time anyone mentions the ‘constructed’ debt this can be the answer…. there was Due Dilligence Ashley was building his NUFC marketing wing of SD before the buyout.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Exactly,the due diligence oversight, quoted by him,was totally unbelievable,he had to be aware of any”unforeseen”debts. He’s a stranger to the truth,as he has demonstrated time and time again.

          • Leazes Ender

            This also implicates Hall and Shepherd….. who have covered for the Cockney for years.

          • Kneebotherm8

            That nufcdirect domain had to have been set up with the clubs knowledge. The sale had to have been set up a long time before it happened.

  • Leazes Ender

    Six Months before the oaf bought Hall and Shepherd out leaves plenty of time to do……

    …..DUE DILIGENCE….. does it not?

    The whole nonsense that Ashley has spun of a snap decision to buy United has been a LIE from START to FINISH.

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    • Guest 2

      The brain dead and the bean counters all believe the multi billionaire genius couldn’t even check there was a mortgage in place.

      Sad fact is there’s a few still believe it and him.

      • Danimal

        It was common knowledge. We all knew about it. He knew about it. And I imagine if such an important matter was hidden by the sellers there would be a serious legal case in the offing.

        • Leazes Ender

          Yes It was common knowledge!

  • Stephen Paylor

    im getting so fxxxing tired of this whole thing. Can we not get together as a group and buy Gateshead. Rebrand them as Geordie FC and build a Geordie brand along with the club. Within a few years we will have a club of our own without all the BS. So easy to do and i would be willing to put a decent chunk in up to maybe 150k. I have proposed this before and even set up a website but was little support. We seem to love letting one person decide our fate and do nothing but complain like a bunch of goons. Come on lads power is in numbers and we could really get behind this.

    • TheFatController

      Build an 80k stadium on the Town Moor and I’ll back you …

      • Stephen Paylor

        Sorry mate you must have misread. I said I have 150k not 150 million. Unfortunately…

        • Leazes Ender

          Can you lend me a few quid I’m boycotting W****a

        • TheFatController

          I know, but joking aside I’d buy shares in a ‘non-mike Ashley’ version – you wouldn’t need the stadium immediately, just an agreement from the council to give land etc for a second club in the city…

          Anyone in at the start would probably end up with the same wealth as shepherd and hall shared out among its shareholders

          Make it like the Barcelona-style members’ club – over 100k members (waving white hankies every time we go a goal behind…)

          • TheFatController

            We could elect a new president each season, with the contenders offering to buy a world class player if elected .

          • Stephen Paylor

            Exactly right, fan owned with no one person ever able to gain control. Even set up as a non profit for tax breaks. All clubs should be this way. If ever NUFC became available we could look at a simple merger once the heart was back. It just needs a focal major person to lead it. Like a Shearer for example. I would even move back to England if it happened to really get behind the marketing and brand and club development. The Geordie brand could really become something big as could the club.

          • Kneebotherm8

            The club has massive,unexploited potential.

    • Damon Horner

      Fully agree. Bizarrely though there are some complaining like goons thinking they’re some kind of martyr and saving the club.

      Whatever happens needs to be decisive action because the man has a brass neck, a lot of money and no credibility, he can’t be damaged, the only way is to do what we can to get this club or another club.

    • ghostrider

      Course you can. Man Utd fans did it with their FC United brand/club when they were gutted about the Glazers running their club into the ground and winning them nothing…..or something like that.
      I’m trying to remember exactly what it was they wanted and why they actually did what they did.

      Anyway the beauty about being a supporter of anything is having choice.
      You can choose to support or not to support.
      You can choose to disconnect or take a small interest or being UNCONDITIONAL, or what’s known as a thick and THIN fan.
      I would seriously suggest to those who’s lives are blighted by what’s supposedly happening at the club to go and do what they say they’re going to do and form their own.

      That’ll surely make a right dent in Ashley’s pocket. Like it did last time.
      Get rid of the club and let’s be a fan of Geordie FC which will be run by the fans who will expect nothing more than a game of football at super grass roots level.
      No more Newcastle United because you don’t like Mike Ashley.
      Wow.
      Talk about wanting to cut off your nose to spite your face. This is like cutting off your own head to spite your own body.

  • TheFatController

    Newcastle united supporters – the only customers to be (morally) given a debt belonging to a retail/entertainment outlet when somebody buys that outlet ….

    It’s mike Ashley’s debt, not the supporters. I think he did know about that debt but wanted to make out he was a saviour when ‘miraculously finding it’….

    ….whilst claiming neither he nor his advisors thought due diligence was necessary – that NEVER happens when you spend £200m.

    Does anyone seriously believe it was just two days when it takes us 8 weeks to sign Lejeunes ??

    • Danimal

      The no due diligence thing is utter BS.

  • Leazes Ender

    Registrant Org Sportsdirect com Retail Ltd ….

  • Leazes Ender

    Registrant Org Sportsdirect com Retail Ltd …..

  • Mark Spark

    Why would The Parasite sell?Asset has appreciated in value since he bought it.Free advertising for SD,worth at least 5mil per year.If we go down,huge parachute payments to almost guarantee promotion.If we do go down SD still gets lots of airtime as we are big in the championship.Can cream off millions per year of merchandise.Is able to take any excess money that may not be used by the end of the year.(which I think he might of done this summer)Might hit the jackpot for a star player which will give him a win thrill.Has the ability to stick it to anybody who has went against him.(Fans,Rafa,Houghton,Nolan,any journos that have been banned)

  • Steve Smith

    SD now own 100% of Flannels which has gone under the radar.

    • Rich Lawson

      Blimey,that’s going to make an awkward strip to play in next season ?

    • Tony Mann

      Not bothered – stopped using those years ago. Use a shower sponge now.

  • Andy Mac

    As no one else has done so, I’d like to thank Peter for taking the time to research and write the article. Sadly its what a lot of us have known for some time despite various apologists making a case for the Fatman. This is just another reason why the hand sitters need to get off their R’s (and hands) and join with the rest to get this crook run out of town.

    Nothing will change until he’s gone.

    • Damon Horner

      What are you people doing that is going to drive Ashley out of town? I’m still not going to matches after years and he’s still there.

      • Andy Mac

        Neither am I but in case you hadnt noticed 50k are !

  • Leazes Ender

    Well done Peter…. keep up the good work.

  • Leazes Ender

    Don’t let the Media bury this Peter, the Chronicle boys will try to brush it aside…. lets see them rise to the occasion and expose Ashley!

  • Geordiegiants

    I would be flabbergasted if everyone doesn’t know that already.

  • wheyayeman

    Excellent piece of work ! Enough of the constant negativity we need more investigative work and exposure and a sustained, co-ordinate and unyielding protest group to push this slug out. Im not convinced empty grounds will do it but as part of a ‘ napalm approach’. Ashley is safe on his throne while fans argue endlessly over what plan will work. The fact is no 1 protest plan will do it – there is no magic red button to press then Ashley walks. What we need to realise is that we are already united ! We all know he has to go in order to get our club back. We all carry a responsibility and some power indeed enough to get him out. The answers and the solutions are not sitting in the back pocket of 1or 2 fans (unless those 1 or 2 can straight up buy him out) but they are among us all. What we need is an umbrella group to form to keep exposing the ruinous deceitfulness of the Chairman and to make sure that the pressure on and keeps on. Every option should be considered – Are there legal means to challenge his legitimacy as Chairman? Are there any technicalities which we can find ? One or two can’t find them but tens of thousands absolutely can! Campaigns, hash tags, big, small every little thing can help and every opportunity to protest should be taken – every interview with fans, ex players – everyone who hasn’t been bought out should do their bit to keep the heat on. Not every idea will find traction, not every protest will be heard, not every action will be as widely supported. A simple set of conditions can be set up to keep our decency and legitimacy as a true fans protest and to ensure Benitez and the lads get the support they need on Match days and the atmosphere is positive. Come on Newcastle! It’s time for Ashley to go!

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Ashley saved the club from going bust and his interest free loan on the debts which the halls and sheperds were paying is worth eleven million pounds a year. Barclays were charging us 8.5% interest on the debt so without his help would be bust by now.

    • fatboysneverendingstory

      zzzzzzzzzzzzz…..Monkbot……..You’d give the Maybot a run for her money.

    • Leazes Ender

      Shepherd.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Please see above thanks.

    • Guest 2

      Muppet.
      “Asked if Newcastle could have folded but for the intervention of Ashley, as Ashley has claimed, Shepherd replied: “Absolutely ridiculous. The only reason he had to pay a large portion of the debt was the cost of the stadium. When he took over, he had to pay off the [stadium] mortgage – if the Halls lost control, the money had to be repaid immediately. I think he had to pay around £57m.”
      Like Ashley didn’t know there was a mortgage. Duh!

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Yes the stands were around sixty million worth of debt which resulted in £7m pounds of interest charges to Barclays bank every year. However the other big problem was we were not only paying for current players over a number of years but were still paying for players who had left the club. What Ashley did was clear the decks and pay off all outstanding transfer fees and the stands with an interest free loan. This saves us eleven million pounds a year in interest alone. There is an excellent book by former director Denis Cassidy called when the promises had to stop stating that the Halls and Shepherds and family took £144m out the club between 1996 and 2007 prior to getting a further £135m on the sale. In short the money had ran out and the banks would lend no more. Please read the book for the true facts or the review of the book by when Saturday comes.

        • Guest 2

          Put another record on.
          TV revenue back in 2006 amounted to only 26 million. Compare that to the growth since and try to justify the supposed inability to pay.
          If you want to quote Cassidy then how about this from his book :-
          ““You’ve got a gem of a football club, a jewel in the garbage of recent history, I call it. But there’s been a terrible trampling on the community and its values, and the most frustrating thing is trying to predict what’s on Mike Ashley’s mind, because he obviously doesn’t talk to the supporters.
          I wrote an open letter in my book at the time, urging fans to give him a chance.
          What’s followed has been mayhem. It’s tragic.”

        • fatboysneverendingstory

          The club was paying off the loan on the stadium expansion at £7 mill a year not the interest. This was coverered by the extra revenue that came with the increased capacity. That specific loan was structured and affordable. Btw when ithe club askef me to sell my shares to Fatboy they guarenteed there would be a yearly investment (not loan) of £20 mill. Somebody was telling porkies.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            It’s in the filed accounts interest charges of nearly seven million pounds a year on debts of £76m.In addition to this the club owed £36m on past transfers on the never never so he paid them all off. These are facts in the accounts and account for his kind interest free loan. Barclays would charge us £11m a year.

          • fatboysneverendingstory

            The specific loan for the stadium expansion from 36k to 52k wss £43 mill repayed at £7 mill a year. .

  • Rich Lawson

    Ashley is a businessman not a football man,we are nothing more than a commodity to him,a way to generate income. Of cause he will sell if someone offers a profit on his investment and takes on any hidden debt.

    • Danimal

      According to this idiot below “Mike” will sell for no profit at all, unlike his nasty predecessors.

  • custurd

    Wednesday 6th September news: “Across the country, Unite union activists targeted over 30 stores after chief executive Mike Ashley broke the promise made at last year’s AGM to abolish zero-hours contracts”. Once again Mike Ashley is proven to be a compulsive liar.

  • custurd

    Wednesday 6th September. “Across the country, Unite union activists targeted over 30 Sports Direct stores after chief executive Mike Ashley broke the promise made at last year’s AGM to abolish zero-hours contracts”. Once again Mike Ashley is proven to be a compulsive liar.

    • Leazes Ender

      “Zero-hours no way — make Mike Ashley pay.”

    • Steve Smith

      Zero hour contracts aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If we ban them then hospitals and schools etc are going to start struggling even more than they already are.

      • Danimal

        Is he running schools and hospitals now?

        • Steve Smith

          Nope but it’s one of the few things I agree with him on – giving the middle finger to career politician pushed agendas.

          • Danimal

            And there was me thinking he was giving the middle finger to his staff. Perhaps the politicians are actually doing their jobs and asking the questions their electors want answering. Just a thought.

          • Steve Smith

            The problem is neither the politicians nor the electorate actually have a modicum of understanding of how public and similar services truly run or function.

            A career politician’s only true job is to get elected. I wouldn’t trust any of them to correctly manage any change to Zero Hour legislation.

      • Lord

        I think the issue is not Zero Hour contracts but the way SD exploits them to introduce a climate of fear for its workers who, incidently, have increased employment rights as soon as they get a contract that promises a minimum amount of hours worked per week.

  • TheTradge

    So basically if we really want to hurt Ashley, we need fans to stop buying replica shirts and other merchandise, if I was going to get a replica shirt it would be one from the 90s with the Brown Ale logo on it, representing a happier time as a Newcastle fan. If fans latch onto this and boycott anything linked with Sports Direct, especially the newest shirts and merch, the company will make losses across the board, meaning Ashley will feel like he’ll have to cut his losses and sell the club. I will never buy a new Newcastle shirt so long as the fat man is at the helm anyway, if some multi-billionaire from China or UAE comes along and restores the club to its former greatness, then I’ll be willing to shell out, until then we need to come together to do anything we can to try and draw out the virus infecting our club that is Mike Ashley!

  • Danimal

    He’s great. In the last ten years it has been so much fun following the team. We have had an owner who is honest with the fans and, although there have been some ups and downs, we have had a team to be proud of. I feel so sorry for fans of less fortunate clubs like Everton, Southampton, Stoke, West Brom, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace (ok pretty much everyone in the Premier League). They will never know what it is to follow a club that shares the hopes and values of its paying fans in the way that Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United does. Personally speaking, I would be happy to scrape Mr Ashley’s vomit out of the pub fireplace and feed it to my kids on Christmas Day. And I would expect them to be grateful. Yours sincerely, Bobbi Feckless, Clarko Street, Monksaton.

    • Tony Mann

      I think Bobby feckless is Bobby Moncur in disguise. Clarko is Dennis Wise and Monksaton Magpies have suddenly discovered how to spell their own name properly!

      • Tony Mann

        NB – There is no joking here.

  • Leicester Mag

    Fantastic article but how ultimately can this be leveraged? This needs a concerted campaign. So what and how? First the Chronicle develop a template letter aim for 10000 + to submit to the Chronic. Similarly consider a letter to the Times. Target local politicians, even fan groups in other clubs most genuinely fear similar futures at their club. Ask every football fan to boycott sports direct. Contact Unite can fans collaborate with trade unions? Just some ideas but surely doing nothing is now unthinkable

    • Steve Pearce

      Forget the Chronicle getting involved for a start. Lee Ryder and his cronies only have one thing on their minds and that is Moussa Sissoko’s rear end. I am firmly in favour of a campaign to unseat the fat stinking bag of southern pus by any means possible and targeting local or locally born politicians, musicians, entertainers and business people to form a syndicate to buy us out of his control is the only way forward. Indeed my mate has just told me he saw Ant and Dec in the middle east on TV talking to a rich sheikh . They said “have you heard of Newcastle United?” the sheikh said “Yes” then they said “Do you fancy buying us?” I believe he just smiled and would be very intrigued if this was indeed the first shots fired over Ashley’s bows and maybe just maybe we might indeed have rich Arab owners come the next transfer window!

  • Wor Lass

    This is just the sort of research and exposure the fools at the Chron should be doing but they haven`t got the nous and don`t want to fall out with their master again – and I don`t suppose that crawler David Craig will be bringing any of it up in his next “interview”, either.

  • East Durham Mag

    Mike 💕 ££££££’s not Newcastle United. People have two choices, go to the match and buy his wares whether it’s replica strips etc or pints and pies or don’t and hit his income. A lot of fans are tied into season tickets and have paid up front so it must be a difficult decision to not go. The only problem with Fatty is if the fans p*ss him off enough what is he capable of doing to get back at them?

  • MadToonFan&VitalPiaManDroveOut

    Yep, I have also been saying this since I quit going to matches few years back! For as long as there’s a global Tv advert available couple with ludicrous amounts of cash; pie man always will remain 😢
    Good tip for Firefox users, you can stop any site reading where you’ve been redirected from, search net to find out & more 😊

  • Steve Pearce

    Nobody but nobody does not have a price. I firmly believe that if a nice fat worm of an offer was dangled in front of Jabba’s nose he would swallow it whole. In fact I was recently thinking how great it would be if that offer also included buying all his business interests as well. That would rid us all of his toxic presence and leave him free to drink himself to death for all I care!

  • Albert Stubbins

    Brilliant research. Youve nailed it mate- He’s in it for the cash and NOTHING else- I thought he would have backed Rafa this year but I was wrong- he’s chasing the pound notes and to hell with the team and the fans.

  • Ram Kishore

    Come on guys let’s stop moaning..support the team..let’s start writing atleast one positive article..weekend is going to come..transfer window is done.. Let’s move on..

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    Not sure of the point here, You say a club makes a Gross profit of €10 a €46 sale of a shirt which is is on the high side for branded goods. The author forgets than if you sell through your own shops and website, you have all the fixed costs: rent for shops, rent for warehousing, shop staff, retain stall, delivery, shop rents, rates, power,, insurance and all the usual overheads.

    Sports direct run the website, shops and all the fulfilment of the product for NUFC so there is no rent, rates, energy, delivery, warehousing and wages to pay. The author is claiming NUFC get a Net margin of 7% after all the costs, that’s not at all bad, far better than most retailers.

    The 7% is not known, it appears that nufc’s deal with SD is more favourable as SD aren’t financing the club whilst the shareholders keep their money in their pockets.

    • TheFatController

      If only with all this superior business advantage we could compete with Bournemouth sometime soon…

    • Leazes Ender

      Merchandising has shrunk under Ashley you clown.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Merchandising has shrunk since the naughties for a lot of clubs, it’s not as fashionable to wear football shirts of merchandise now as it’s seen as a bit naff.

        However, it’s more profitable now which is considered important.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Do you have the figures for the merchandise?

  • MadMag83

    Is that photo from a court appearance?

    I think every fan except the brainwashed know that Ashley is in it for the money and that he won’t walk away because he’s making money, despite his claims to the contrary. He’s no knight in shining armour, no business man buys a football club they don’t care about unless there’s money to be made. He can waffle on as much as he likes about ‘saving the club from bankruptcy’ but the truth is he did it for personal gain, not for the club or fans. I’m​not naive so I’m not expecting him to have splashed the cash for our sakes, but cut the BS about rescuing the club please Mike, you did it for yourself. Perhaps if he was more upfront and honest about his agenda fans would have some respect for him and there wouldn’t be so much unrest.

    • Kneebotherm8

      That photo probably is from a court appearance,he seems to spend most of his time in court.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      You don’t go and throw £275m at a football club without a business opportunity and if he makes out of it, fair play to him, nobody else was willing to cough up.

      However, so far, he’d not made money out of the club, he should do if he sells, even part-sells.

      The article is interesting about the domain registration but a little naive in terms of the numbers. The domain reg costs about £12, we can all register a domain, there are a number of reasons but it MAY suggest SD were approached to do the procurement by either Hall who could have been frustrated about the terrible performance of the ‘in house’ merchandising. Also, both Polygon and Belgravia were doing due diligence at the end of 2006, it’s almoset certain they’d have uncovered an nonperforming merchandise operation and explored ways of doing things better by out-sourcing.

      • Leazes Ender

        He was communicating with the club six months before he said he was and United’s merchandising was better than it is now.

        How low can you stoop to protect an ‘entrepreneur’?

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          It was losing money, that is not better. NUFC has more product lines than back then so I’m not sure ho wit was better.

          It may have had a warmer feeling when you popped in to see Betty in the Haymarket but it’s hard to argue the supply was better.

          You also don’t know what the reasoning of registering the domain, Polygon and Belgravia were both doing due diligence around that time with both unearthing problems in early 2007. It’s as likely that either of them approached SD for procurement.

          You do realise SD as well as Kit bag and others provide this service for a number of clubs?

          • fatboysneverendingstory

            Of course we should of realised…… He set up the domain for his new NUFC fanzine. He bleeds black and white does good old Fatso

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            He could have been approached by Belgravia or Polygon who were doing due diligence on the club at the time. It really does not prove that Mike Ashley was going through a process of due diligence too and had he done so, there is no way he’d have paid that much for the shares.

          • fatboysneverendingstory

            Please excuse my attempt at humour. I’ll try and refrain in future. I never said he had done due diligence. I actually agree with you and still very much doubt he did. That in itself was reprehensible.