Mike Ashley is feeling the pressure.
Friday morning seeing the Sports Direct and Newcastle United supremo lashing out at those people who are getting in his way and/or opposing him.
Newcastle fans have (correctly) identified Sports Direct as Ashley’s Achilles Heel, in terms of where to target protests when it comes to trying to ‘persuade’ him to sell up and release his hold on Newcastle United.
As well running interference online with the SD accounts and protesting outside his high street stores, Newcastle fans bought nominal amounts of shares to allow them to attend the Sports Direct AGM on Wednesday in London.
Ahead of that meeting, Mike Ashley and Sports Direct released a statement revealing that two key Ashley allies were leaving the board, including Chairman Keith Hellawell.
Many independent SD shareholders have repeatedly tried to force Hellawell’s resignation, blaming he and Mike Ashley for a significant proportion of the bad publicity that Sports Direct attracts
In his public statement released on Friday (see below), Mike Ashley savages is critics/enemies and claims they have stabbed him (and Sports Direct & Keith Hellawell) in the back.
As usual, everything is somebody else’s fault and if only Mike Ashley was allowed to do exactly what he wants without interference, everything would be perfect.
However, everything is not perfect at Sports Direct, nor at Newcastle United, under the ego-fuelled tyrant.
He talks of how he and his businesses are unfairly criticised, yet he is the one who said he was refusing to go to his own company’s AGM because he was supposedly too busy, only to turn up at the last minute. Then at that AGM on Wednesday it only lasted 15 minutes and none of the independent shareholders present were allowed to ask a single question.
Mike Ashley claims that ‘True Entrepreneurs’ will never be accepted but this is another lie, it is people who behave like Ashley (whether they are entrepreneurs or whatever) who will never be accepted by decent people.
The (fair) pressure and spotlight that is being put on Sports Direct is definitely getting to Mike Ashley, Newcastle fans given every encouragement to continue with their targeting of the NUFC owner’s empire.
Mike Ashley statement:
“Despite significant challenges within the retail sector in the UK and beyond, which have resulted in many retailers failing, Sports Direct have continued to perform well and exceed expectations.
“As I stated on Wednesday, the acquisition of House of Fraser will be a game changer. I welcome its staff and suppliers into the Sports Direct family, and we look forward to building a brighter and significant future.
“Despite this progress and the undoubted good performance of Sports Direct led by Keith Hellawell and myself, the company’s shareholders appear to be affected by the pressure of the media and certain other organisations, and they have failed to support Sports Direct, Keith and myself, on this journey.
“It is blatantly apparent that true entrepreneurs will never be accepted in the public arena.
“The media circus surrounding Sports Direct, including but not restricted to matters connected to our AGM, only proves that whatever progress Sports Direct makes, it will always be subject to disproportionate scrutiny and misrepresentation.
“In the light of the above and despite the substantial progress made over the last few years, the shareholders have now made it extremely challenging for future engagement to take place.
“On the one hand they are delighted with our performance and progress, yet with the other hand they have stabbed Sports Direct and myself in the back by repeatedly hounding Keith Hellawell
“The people within the Sports Direct group, including House of Fraser, are and will continue to be my number one priority.”