The Sports Direct AGM took place earlier today.

Blink and you would have missed it.

From start to finish the AGM in London lasted only around 15 minutes.

The headlines are almost exclusively about what happened before the meeting.

Firstly, Sports Direct (Mike Ashley) released an official statement shortly before the AGM kicked off, revealing that two of Ashley’s people were resigning from the board.

The statement also making public that Sports Direct had elected a female director to the board.

These were clearly designed to shift the focus and convince some that Mike Ashley and Sports Direct actually care about what outsiders think, though of course a falling share price and problems dealing with constant negative publicity have clearly impacted on the company.

Newcastle fans have protested long and hard against Mike Ashley and some were there today having purchased SD shares to enable them to attend the AGM.

At Newcastle United, Mike Ashley doesn’t even bother appointing a proper board or top executive team to run NUFC, Lee Charnley the only board member and the only executive (supposedly) running the club, though everybody just assumes it is the likes of Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop who control things at St James Park on Ashley’s behalf.

The Newcastle fans and other Sports Direct shareholders need not have bothered, the 15 minute rushed AGM saw Mike Ashley’s people refuse to allow any questions from those present.

The other surprise pre-AGM, was Mike Ashley actually turning up, the controlling shareholder and Chief Executive having previously said he was too bust to attend his own company’s AGM.

Ashley clearly holds everybody in contempt, so Newcastle fans shouldn’t feel especially picked out.

However, it is an absolute disgrace that in both the football and retail worlds, he is allowed to continue and treat people in such a way, having  such contempt for any suggestion of doing things in a fit and proper way.

The Mag – Earlier today (Wednesday 12 September 2018):

The pressure looks to be getting to Mike Ashley.

The owner of Newcastle United and controlling shareholder at Sports Direct, has been getting criticism from all sides due to the way he runs his empire.

It is the Sports Direct AGM at 11am today but Mike Ashley has refused to attend and answer any awkward questions.

However, only minutes before that AGM is due to kick off, he has shown his ruthless side.

Having  previously refused to bow to pressure to get rid of close allies who have also been targeted for the failings of Sports Direct, we have now seen a sudden desperate wind change.

Mike Ashley has sacrificed his chairman Keith Hellawell and Non-Executive Director Simon Bentley, Sports Direct releasing a statement revealing their ‘resignations’ this morning.

In an obvious move to take the wind out of the sails of angry shareholders, Ashley has made these concessions.

Amongst the other (numerous) criticisms of the company, the lack of women in top positions has been regularly pointed out.

Mike Ashley this morning confirming that Nicola Frampton will join the board as from 1 October 2018.

Newcastle fans are set to protest inside and outside the Sports Direct AGM, those inside having bought a nominal amount of shares so they can attend and attempt to ask awkward questions.

Sports Direct Official Statement – 12 September 2018:

The Company wishes to announce the following changes to the Board.

Dr Keith Hellawell, QPM, has today informed the Board of his decision to step down as Chairman and as a director of the Company, having served since November 2009. Dr Hellawell will retire with effect from the conclusion of today’s AGM, and will therefore not be seeking re-election. David Daly, Non-Executive Director, will take up the role of Chairman at the conclusion of the AGM. He will also take on the role of Chair of the Nomination Committee.

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director Simon Bentley has also today decided to retire as a director of the Company, having served on the Board since 2007. He will retire with effect from the conclusion of today’s AGM, and will therefore not be seeking re-election.

Furthermore, Nicola Frampton is to join the Board as Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 October 2018, and Cally Price has been elected by the workforce as the next Workers’ Representative to the Board from May 2019.

Chief Executive Mike Ashley said: ‘I would like to thank Keith and Simon for their valuable service and significant contributions to the Company over the years. Meanwhile, we are delighted to welcome Nicola and Cally to the boardroom, and look forward to David Daly taking up the role of Chairman.’

  • Kenny

    fancy being in the trenches with that Rat, if you were losing the battle he would shoot all his mates & defect.

    • panther

      he wouldnt have any mates

      • Kenny

        he would buy some 😁

        • Ron

          Can’t imagine him having to buy “Mates” who would he use them on?

          • Ron

            Mind you the rhythm method is unimaginable!

    • Wezza

      I think this is why the minions exist. Do his work and he will ‘reward’ them but they also take the fall as well. Anything to shift the blame from himself.
      What a complete snake of a man he is.
      Get out of our club!

  • Ron

    Interesting to see what the city makes of this, lets hope his share price doesn’t attract parachute payments.

  • mactoon

    The vote to re-elect Ashley as a director of the company went as follows:

    Votes for 406,068,127
    Votes against 44,014,380

    So the bad publicity doesn’t appear to be making that much difference to the SD shareholders yet.

    • Ron

      But aren’t about 61% of them him? He’s never going to lose a vote it’s the pressure on him an the fall in the share price that will win the day.

      • Leazes.

        Yes and he rewards his senior management with shares as bonuses as well…..

        ….still he darted to the AGM in case they sprung something on him out of the blue though.

        • Kenny

          he’s got the wind up

        • Ron

          His complex will be the end of him. Such a shame!

      • mactoon

        not sure if you can vote in your own re election?

        • Kenny

          he can

        • Ron

          He can and even if he couldn’t he would.

          • mactoon

            True. or standing at the door handing out free “vote for me” mugs

          • Ron

            No, the voter would be the mug if he voted for him!, understand the thought process though.

    • Steve Smith

      A vote against Ashley is a vote against their share value.

      Senior figurehead changeovers generally cause share prices to drop as more often than not it’s a sign of further problems to come at the company.

  • Down Under Mag

    Well I also found out I have been blocked by The True Geordie – seems Wise and Bishop aren’t the only ones easily offended hehe

    • mactoon

      wot did you say to him ?

      • Ron

        Nothing just wouldn’t let them have their rattle back.

      • Down Under Mag

        I think I mentioned in passing that he got famous off the back of being obnoxious and swearing a lot in the modern “Gordon Ramsay” way… was more a sad indictment of today where being sensible gets you nothing and being loud, obnoxious and crude seems to get you a cult following. I feel like a social experiment would be fun on this …

    • Kenny

      Watch him on YouTube
      True Geordie

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Blocked me years ago when he use to embarrass us regularly on YouTube with the rubbish he spouted. He’s gotten better

  • TheFatController

    Only two things can happen:-

    – pressure from FA and government to be transparent in finances will make him sell as he loses the many advantages the club offers
    – we get relegated and don’t come back, after two years he sells for pennies and we re-build from scratch

    Once Rafa goes we’ll be relegated, not because the new manager won’t be good, although every chance he may be an optimistic yes man, but because other clubs getting promoted will be smarter than Ashley. This year ? Fulham and wolves. Next year? Maybe Boro and Leeds.

    So he’ll be gone. The game has moved on as we go backwards, I expect the likes of Bristol City, forest, West Brom, etc to overtake us in the next five years.

    Why? How could they not? We employ idiots, they won’t be doing.

    • Ashley-out

      3) he dies

      • lupa

        We can only hope

      • SuperDesHamilton

        That’s my favourite option

        • Ashley-out

          mine as well, choke on a pie would be a fitting end

          • porciestreet

            Or chowk on his own puke. Oh happy day.

    • Carverlier football

      I reckon number 2 is the more likely unfortunately

    • Lord

      Sell for pennies? Not before he mitigates his losses by taking back his £144m loan (tax free) by any means necessary, potentially bankrupting the club.

      That loan is a real millstone around our neck with Ashley backed into a corner.

      • Alex

        I believe he just has. Last seasons media and performance money, and Rafa’s £20m transfer bonus adds up to a nice, timely loan repayment. Coincidence – I think not.

        • Damon Horner

          Agreed. Every last penny on transfers after settling with a “creditor” with a large outstanding amount.

    • Wezza

      – we get relegated and don’t come back, after two years he sells for pennies and we re-build from scratch

  • t00nraider

    Someone must have told him there was a free bar on!

  • mentalman

    unfortunately it was a predictable outcome

  • Mike

    He can an will do wot he likespecially. A billionaire is always right ha ha

  • Stephen Taylor

    Did anyone notice that the new SD chairman is a director of Fulham FC (according to the BBC), let the F.A know you thoughts of a director of another club having a input on the finances of NUFC. Already sent an email asking about advertising and retail revenue concerning NUFC and SD.

  • gavnufc85

    How can someone with so much wealth still wear such ill fitting clothing. He could be tailored into an Armani suit and still look like a hideous pin striped blimp monstrosity

    • Ron

      H of F finest, saving up for a jacket.