It has emerged that Mike Ashley and his people have been in ‘lengthy talks’ with the FA.

Vauxhall are giving up their sponsorship as England team sponsors after the World Cup finals in Russia and the Newcastle United owner wants his Sports Direct branding to take over.

For various reasons it looks set to not go ahead.

The Mail revealing that Nike were worried that Mike Ashley would then have Sports Direct dictating the pricing policy of replica kit.

The newspaper adding that the FA would also prefer a ‘blue-chip company’ to partner with.

Yet another concern according to The Mail was having such a ‘controversial’ figure as Mike Ashley associated with them.

Finally, it is also claimed that having Ashley/Sports Direct involved would have gone down badly with England supporters.

The current Vauxhall deal sees the car manufacturer paying a reported £6m per season in their four year deal, having taken over from previous sponsors Nationwide, who paid £5m per year for the privilege.

When asked about turning down a deal involving Mike Ashley, an FA spokeswoman responded: ‘We never comment on commercial deals.’

It isn’t hard to see why Ashley would have been so interested in this deal, as Sports Direct are already the biggest retailer of England replica kit.

Having that greater association and exposure, as well as potentially more power when it comes to the retailing of the kit, would have most definitely appealed to him.

Sports Direct have a minimal spend on advertising compared to their turnover and of course Newcastle United play a key part in that.

Mike Ashley arranging for the football club to give completely free promotion/exposure to Sports Direct and other brands.

Not just on matchdays through advertising around St James Park – but every press conference carries the SD branding, as well as all training ground footage and whenever a player is signed. Plus the club website and everything else has SD branding.

Maybe Mike Ashley will now have Sports Direct pay the £6m or so per year that was set to go to the FA, into Newcastle United instead…

In April 2016, it was announced by Newcastle United that Sports Direct were going to start and pay a market rate for all the advertising and promotion that had previously been free, only for nothing more to be said and SD continuing to reap the benefits at NUFC’s expense.

  • Peaky Magpie

    The Church Of England who own a stake in Sports Direct have come out criticising the working practices/environment and levels of executive pay at Shirebrook.

    • robbersdog

      Even the lord above hates Mike Ashley!

      • Peaky Magpie

        He’ll be trying for SD banners behind the altar next….

      • Rich Lawson

        Cos he’s after his job ?

        • Wor Lass

          Clarko beat him to it.

          • Rich Lawson

            So he’s gone on to a higher place,that explains the lack of comments about my punctuation then ?

  • Steve Smith

    Would’ve been hilarious to have him inflicted on the whole country and not just us.

  • Geordiegiants

    Toxic comes to mind!

  • Ben Jones

    It’s a shame as I’d imagine if it had have went through then it would have possibly freed up the perimeter advertising at St James Park and finally put that issue to bed . Nevermind guess we’ll never know now

  • Rich Lawson

    Maybe hold the front page,find it hard to believe the clueless FA would turn down the highest bid from ANYONE,let alone a harmless clothes shop owner ?

  • Wor Lass

    They didn`t mind appointing Fat Sam as manager so what`s the problem with having a lying scum-bag as chief sponsor?

    • Peaky Magpie

      That is a very good point Wor Lass…

  • relaxed

    Some on here think that the club is up for sale thus ending his grip on free advertising and power at NUFC, DREAM ON, this is proof that he is trying to expand it into every household in the country.
    Thank god the FA can see exactly what kind of person Ashley is. Fat Sam is a saint compared to Ashley

  • mactoon

    Ashley’s reputation seems to have been Sports Direct’s undoing here. The FA are probably aware how SD under Ashley’s directorship has conducted itself not only with the scandalous free advertising at NUFC but also how they have a stranglehold on shop deal profit with us and previously Glasgow Rangers. The FA are too money orientated to allow that to happen. They have a new stadium to pay for :)

    I wonder what Sports Direct International (as a company) think of this, do they think Ashley is culpable or do they agree with it all. It was them after all who promised to start paying for the advertising. Whatever happened to that?

  • Paul Patterson

    I would imagine that the FA don’t want a company/brand owned/ran by an individual that has been summonsed by the government on his business practices, been hauled into court by a previous employee, whom was a previous England manager, was then proved by said court to be a liar along with his associates, disliked by 90% of the fans of the club he owns, a club that the vast majority of England fans will see as a laughing stock, has overseen the club he owns investigated by HMRC and has also endorsed a policy not to take the FA’s flagship cup competition seriously.
    The phone call wouldn’t have even got past the FA’s office lacky . .

    • mactoon

      If they knew back in 2007 what they know now it would have been an interesting fit and proper person test

  • robbersdog

    Even the Sven sex shop in Scotswood Road would be a more suitable sponsor than Sports Direct.