The latest Sunday Times Rich List has just been published.

The 2018 figures being of particular interest when it comes to the North East contenders.

The people included in the North East Top 20 richest don’t actually need to be resident in the region, the fact they have business interests in a location is enough.

So often you will find the same people turning up on various regional Top 20s, such as…Mike Ashley.

A bit like an absentee landlord, Mike Ashley never even goes to any matches these days at St James Park, but continues to reap the benefits of his ownership at the club.

He has predictably retained his position at the very top of the Sunday Times Rich List for the North East, with the £277m rise in his estimated fortune mainly due to a rise in the Sports Direct share price.

Ashley owns roughly two thirds of Sports Direct and in the past year it has increased the share price by around 33%, moving from 303p on 11 May 2017, to 413p on 10 May 2018.

Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List:

“It’s been a slightly better year for Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who has recovered some of his wealth after the wobbles of Sports Directs’ share price in recent years.”

Sports Direct gets massive benefits from the free advertising and promotion provided by Newcastle United each year and that continues, even though Newcastle United announced in the 2014/15 accounts that SD were going to start and pay a market price. That decision was later reversed with no public comment or explanation from either NUFC or SD.

Mike Ashley’s fortune has increased to £2.437bn in 2018, an increase of £277m on the 2017 figure, though he still has some way to go to get back to the £3.75bn of 2014, that year he saw the Sports Direct share price reach as high as 866p.

Down the road, another largely absentee landlord hasn’t fared quite so well, Ellis Short now valued at [only…] £1bn, with affairs at Sunderland contributing to a £200m drop from 2017.

Steve Gibson is a third football club owner in the list, in 11th place.

He actually lives in the region and despite his relatively smaller fortune of £195m, has been the one reason why Middlesbrough are capable of competing at all, as his support for the club has been massive in terms of his time and personal money propping it up.

The Sunday Times North East Rich List

List shows 2018 wealth and then in brackets how much up or down compared to 2017:

  1. Mike Ashley/£2.437bn (Up £277m)
  2. Ellis Short/ £1bn (Down £200m)
  3. Mark Fenwick and family/ £730m (No change)
  4. Peter Stephenson and family/ £483m (Up £51m)
  5. Alastair and Michael Powell/ £425m (Up £1m)
  6. Jonathan Ruffer/ £425m (Up £19m)
  7. The Duke of Northumberland/ £382m (Up £12m)
  8. Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour and family/ £355m (Up £10m)
  9. Duncan Bannatyne/ £280m (Up £55m)
  10. Sir Peter Vardy and family/ £197m (Up £20m)
  11. Steve Gibson/ £195m (No change)
  12. Sting/ £190m (Up £5m)
  13. Duncan Davidson and family/£175m (Up £32m)
  14. Michael Cannon/ £170m (No change)
  15. Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan and family/ £160m (No change)
  16. Graham Wylie/ £160m (No change)
  17. Phil Cronin and family/ £153m (Up £18m)
  18. Christopher Maughan/ £152m (New entry)
  19. Stuart Monk and family/ £142m (Down £43m)
  20. Aran and Arvan Handa and family/ £140m (Up £3m)
  21. Philip Noble and family/ £140m (No change)


  • Paul Patterson

    That’s a lot of wallpaper. He still knows the value of nothing unless it makes him a profit . .

    • ghostrider

      He’s a businessman. Show me a businessman/person that isn’t out to turn a profit.

      • Alex

        Mansour bin Sayed. There’s a businessman who invests and develops his business, multiplying the value of his football investment x 10.

        Ashley is just an absentee landlaord, who sits around, letting his house fall to disrepair, and, effectively, just takes the rent.

        • ghostrider

          Sheikh Monsour has a toy to add to his collection of toys.
          Flouting the fair play and being allowed to.
          Handing out blank cheques to bring in what was/is needed and also wanted, regardless.
          Man City isn’t a well run CLUB.
          Take notice of what I said when I said “CLUB.”

          Man City is a club that is well financed externally, not internally.
          There’s a massive reason as to why Man City are called a plastic club who can’t even fill their own ground.

          Is this what you want Newcastle United to be?
          Go and take a look at their wage bill and ask yourself if a legitimate CLUB could actually run effectively, IN HOUSE under those conditions.

          And before you say, ” well of course, they are doing it right now”…think about how they’re doing it. Add in sponsorships and stadium naming, etc and see how much it’s all worth.
          No right minded company would sponsor like this unless it was part of the actual toy collection.

          Have a think on it.
          Newcastle United…although not pulling up trees, is financially stable and also legitimately run IN HOUSE with fans that are loyal in famine as well as in feast, in terms of trophies…as long as there’s hope, which there always is with this club.

          Man City is a club of fan expectation, like a lot of the elite clubs. Hope is for minnows would be there likely motto.

          • TheFatController

            Bizarre. Yes, every club that’s successful becomes accused of being plastic because it takes money to succeed now.

            But you’re missing one simple factor here. I know you can easily miss it in the joy of not being plastic whilst in the championship with only true fans attending, but football is a competitive sport where the ultimate aim is to win things.

            I know, it’s hard to keep an eye on the prize when you’re obsessed with the bottom line and percentage of ‘true fans’ and ‘loyal players’, but winning things is actually very enjoyable too. No, seriously, hard as it is to believe, it can be an ambition to realise, winning.

          • Lakeland Mag

            Well said !

          • ghostrider

            I’m not missing any factors. I fully understand what’s what in terms of success and how you get it.
            I certainly don’t blame every club that becomes successful as being plastic, but success is measured with?………………with what?
            History?
            A yardstick?
            One major trophy?
            Two major trophies?
            What is success and how do you look at a successful club that’s doing it ALL on their OWN as a fair game?

            I’ll put it more simple to you.
            In a fair race all contenders would at the very least have running shoes and attire fit for purpose…fair enough?
            We can accept that all runners will likely vary in size but that isn’t always indicative of their ability and strength because it comes down to natural ability and the ability to harness it. Fair enough?

            Like football clubs.
            Newcastle United by appearance and fans in stadium, plus fan base should beat smaller teams in smaller stadiums with smaller fan base and less history. Not by reality but by expectation of fans .
            However, as we know, this is not always the case, right?

            Just like the race with all participants at least having the attire that is fit for purpose.

            However, when the race becomes unfair where some participants are made to wear hobnail boots whilst the fancied wear Adidas spring heel super fast, track burners (made that up myself lol) then it becomes unfair and the winners can be deemed cheats or severe advantage taking.

            This is your Man City type.
            So if you think they got success from in house then ask yourself a big question.
            Why did they spend so long trying to hang onto the premier league and also when it was the old first division… and why did they get relegated twice from first to second then second to third division?

            Where was the success?
            What money could catapult them into the higher reaches for success?
            The answer is simple. Blank cheques and shady shenanigans.

            Believe it like you should because you know it’s true.
            Man City do not get success by normal means and they’re not the only one’s. They buy it and in doing so they add plastic fans to the bandwagon whilst the true fans are slowly squeezed out by being priced out or whatever.

            Expectation takes over because only expectation can come from that. Every mistake is bought and rectified and every manager is bought and paid for at the highest possible level to ensure the best players are snatched from whoever, wherever and whenever. Including ages down to blot in terms of young talent all over the country.

            Hate Ashley all you want but his stance is firm. This club generates its own cash to run on. His pocket is not a dipping pocket for events that do not run smooth.

            However, one thing Ashley does – is make sure that the club has a contingency plan in case of failure.
            It might not be pretty or pacify many initially but it still leaves a “what if” hope in the next chapter.

            The club’s been successful under Ashley and gave the fans some real excitement but the success isn’t the premier league title or the FA cup or the champions league.
            You see only one club can win any one of those.
            We managed to win the championship title…twice under Ashley.
            We had a manager of the year under Ashley.
            A Europa cup entry under Ashley.

            Success?
            It depends how you want to look at it.
            How many teams actually get to boast just that little tummy tickler?

            What about the rest.
            Failure?
            It also depends how you want to view it all as a whole.

            But guess what. We’re proper fans. Thick and thin in the main.
            Black and white through and through because we dream through the bad times and we hope when the clouds start to part.
            Like a lot of club’s fans who all dream of something and live on a hope.

            The natural bigger clubs fans tend to hope that bit harder and it can be mixed up with some kind of expectation for success, but the reality is always “what if” and this is why St.James’ Park is near full 90% of the time.

            We scream and shout and have a great few weeks dining on a title. It doesn’t matter that the title was known as second tier. No more higher screams and excitement would be given or heard for the higher tier title…but expectation would replace hope and disillusion would replace expectation if we didn’t flirt with the very same thing from then on.

            Even up the playing field and let’s see the reality.
            It’ll never happen until the sugar daddies stop sugaring the clubs.
            But never forget that those clubs are not running on in house economy or reality.

            We all want the fantasy but all we’ll ever get is a potential Leicester as and when allowed, just to keep the natives from getting restless and calling foul.

            Sustaining it will be a long term burden.

          • TheFatController

            Can someone do me an executive summary of that, not a chance I’m reading it. I got past the first line and then remembered I have a life to get on with …

          • ghostrider

            Then I suggest you get on with it.

          • Wezza147

            Hardly surprising they would have a dig at Man City considering the trolls are Utd fans.
            Very well said TheFatController!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            My goodness, you really are thick as pig poo.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            If the Mansours pullled their money out right now, City would no longer be trading within weeks.

            Man U, Liverpool and to an extent, Arsenal have the ability to operate closer to that level, anyone else who tries is throwing money away.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          “multiplying the value of his football investment x 10” ????

          So, how much do you think City are worth? He’s not going to get his money back.

          • Alex

            I don’t think, I know. He bought Citeh for £265m, then sold 13% of it to some Chinese investors for the same price. That equates to near-as-damn-it a 10 fold increase.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You think that City have taken just £265m to get to the position they are now.

            Ashley has put in £277-£279 (depending on which report you read on his share purchase), are you saying that Mike’s put £12m more into NUFC than it took City to get where they are? WOW.

    • Billmag

      Marvelous isn’t it Paul he’s a director of 20+ companies buys up land down in the smoke and in Newcastle, has his own aviation company, all that bought with wallpaper, unless he’s had some spare cash in the attic.

  • Leazes.

    You could have done a graph…. it makes it easier to compare things.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    What the article says is that 85% of his wealth is tied up in Sports Direct Share and the remaining 15% will be in other business interests. Steve Gibson effectively
    got the club for nothing as it was bankrupt. Ashley has £279m of his own money ties up in Newcastle a huge amount. However all he gets is stick that is why he does not attend matches. Would like to see Shearer put ten million in never mind what Ashley put in and he just slags him off. How about people on here putting a few million in not a chance of that.

    • TheFatController

      That £279m isn’t a charity donation. He bought a club with manageable debt just as football was entering its boom time.

      11 years later he won’t sell unless he makes a profit, yet has added to the debt.

      What’s not to slag off about a man using his wealth to use our club to promote his other company, adding to the debt in Boom time, getting us relegated twice, seeing 6 in a row under Pardew, disrespecting Shearer Keegan and Jonas, and seeing us finish lower in the league all but once?

      Not quite a Mansour is he?

      And yes, I’d put my own money in because I’ll get it back and then some if it’s run properly and it’s value goes up as a result of realising it’s potential.

      I know you like to troll but you make such bad arguments, like he’s out his own money in when no one else has, as if he’s chosen us as his charity, giving rather than taking. Good trolling, but do you think it’s healthy?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        He will make far less money when he sells than Hall and Shepherd did who put next to nothing in and took £144m out which the club could not afford. Tell me which people have put significant money into Newcastle United. I await your answer with interest. Percentage wise he will be making a small profit something which equates to 2.5% return per year. It’s a shame that nearly everyone thinks he is a bad man when he has kindly put in £279m of his own money into the buying and loaning the club money.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          To make 2.5% per year, he needs to sell for £359m, as you say, that’s not really milking it.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Did not think anyone on here would be able to understand my workings so well done. I based the sale on £350m and just rounded the percentage up.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’m not just a pretty face and I was counting the last extra £15m loan as if it was put in at the start of the year so £350 – £359? ;-) .

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Unlike the rest of the people on here bar five or six you well intelligent well impressed that you worked that one out.

          • TheFatController

            Ah, the old ‘if You don’t agree with me your stupid’ emperor’s New clothes technique.

            Are you 5?

          • TheFatController

            I’ll wager you’re not a pretty face? Just a guess …

          • TheFatController

            Stupid fat idiot investment then?

            Not the smartest when it comes to football is he?

        • TheFatController

          Which people have put significant money in? The fans.

          Next question ?

      • Wezza147

        Apparently they are Man Utd fans trolling and one of them works at s****s d*****t – clearly his working conditions are so great and amazing pay with zero hours contracts has caused him to worship MA.
        Alas, we all know he has taken plenty out of the club and added to the debt.

        • Wezza147

          Monkseaton. Give it a rest you are just plain trolling and if you think anyone believes you when you say your beloved boss hasn’t taken a penny out of the club then you’re talking out of your bottom. Kindly do one and troll some place else.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Apparently that’s right, Jezza has hired a private detective and broken into the Discuss servers to find IP addresses!!!!

          This is the same Jezza who couldn’t even pay up on a charity bet to the alzheimer’s society.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        “He bought a club with manageable debt just as football was entering its boom time.” how on earth do you come up with tat theory?

        • TheFatController

          Because we had £70m debt on the stadium and we’re moving towards £150m pa turnovers.

          That increase in turnover is the basis for me calling it Boom time. What would you call it? Football’s recession?

          Weird.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        “Disrespecting Shearer” How? By not keeping his name on No, 9 Bar? Shearer was still getting paid for that whilst he’d ruddy well retired.

        • TheFatController

          He shook hands with Shearer and then Shearer couldn’t get hold of him. That’s passive aggressive disrespect from a clearly childish mentality that doesn’t like straight talking honesty.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        You do understand that to remove debt, money leaves the NUFC bank account into his own and therefore leaves the club with less cash?

        • TheFatController

          The debt is bigger due to two relegations. He caused the debt with bad decisions. He told us that himself. What’s repaying the debt logistics got to do with the fact he increased the debt? Weird.

  • Wezza147

    Don’t forget to add on the hundreds of millions he has taken from the club.
    Manc trolls don’t even bother replying you’re all blocked.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The first Chairmen never to take a penny out the club. Some of the Ashley haters on here love Sunderland been proved by the comments recently when any one has a pop at them.

      • TheFatController

        I think we can safely say, taking out the materialistic aspect of Ashley’s reign, he’s taken plenty out of the club.

        The one things he’s added to is the debt, making it much harder to sell than it was when he bought it.

        That’s a time when the likes of Mansour were interested in us. Thanks Mike.

        • Paul Patterson

          Even IF he hasn’t taken any money out of the club, the one thing he has REPEATEDLY taken out of the club, it’s legends and it’s fans, is the p**s . .

    • thewildchimp

      That is off the radar, taxes payed by the club, of course.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      So there, blocked I tell you from wezza147 little tiny headspace.

  • Rich Lawson

    Quite apart from the real story,can’t believe Sting is only worth £195mil,he made that much or more from The Police’s reformed world tour, never mind the royalties, Is he still using the same dodgy accoutant and losing money down the back of the sofa ?

  • nufcslf

    And still not a penny available for his manager to buy player’s with. C**t…….

  • Cockneytrev

    He was worth £950 mil when he bought Newcastle,, he has increased his wealth by 2 1/2 fold,,
    This has been off the back of using NUFC as a marketing tool for free,,,
    He has never had any intention of running the club as a football club,,, it has always been to further his retail brand,,
    He isnt and never has been a fit and proper owner of us,, he has cheapened the club like he has to every other brand he has acquired,, being found a liar in court, hiring minions who are not fit for purpose, selling any decent player we acquire , hiring a manager and keeping him in place after he assaulted an opposing player,,, selling off NUFC land, the list goes on,,,
    For any trolls who have any kind of response,, don’t bother,, I’m not interested in your wind ups,,,,,

    • Paul Patterson

      Whenever he clears off, I’ll be interested to see the sponsorship revenues which he has for free.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Our sponsorship revenues are about 8th in the country. For a club that’s about 8th biggest in the country, would you say that is right?

    • Wezza147

      Well said! The more people who can see these facts the better. I did not know he was worth £950 million when he took over. I’ve estimated he has taken hundreds of millions of pounds out of the club. What more proof do we need. I also agree with what you say about the pathetic trolls! They talk through their bottoms and their love for Ashley proves they are not Newcastle fans.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        You’ve estimated?? How, show your workings! You are as thick a pig sh.. fella, you couldnt estimate 2+2 correctly.

        Utterly stupid, words fail me.

        “What more proof do we need” ha ha, have you ever passed an exam? You can’t make a simplistic statement and pass it off as proof. Utter cheese if the doorknobs.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Jesus Christ, you really think his wealth is down to NUFC? How the ruddy heck do you compute that in your simple world? If that were true, do you really think Stavely’s lot would have baulked at £400m? This guaranteed billionaire maker is up for sale at just £400m

  • Mike

    cant take it with you bonny lad and you will NEVER be remembered in North East when you go. not like legends at the club. The whole of North East will rejoice when you go.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Fatso hasn’t got the money to compete though. He told us so it must be true. . This increase in profits is obviously a malicious lie!!