Mike Ashley travelling to Tyneside on Wednesday night for a meal out with Rafa Benitez, coaching staff, playing squad, and various Mike Ashley hangers-on.

A very visible and accessible public venue/restaurant was chosen, with a healthy turnout of media handily tipped off.

When Mike Ashley or his people say anything, the temptation is to believe the opposite.

A bonding exercise between club owner and manager & playing staff, or some part of a PR game?

The previous week had seen Mike Ashley turn up for two NUFC Premier League matches, his first in 13 months. Yet before and after both games, he never bothered speaking to Rafa Benitez, or indeed the players.

A surprising amount of detail from the two and a half grand meal has been forthcoming, suggesting somebody is keen to milk it for all it is worth.

If only Mike Ashley had kept his hands in his pockets, they just might have got away with it.

Instead, after seeking refuge in a people carrier following the meal, the Newcastle United owner formed two fingers into a V as Newcastle fans chanted ‘Where’s the money gone?’, Mike Ashley later releasing an official statement claiming that it most definitely wasn’t a V-Sign to supporters.

A charm offensive that saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory at the last possible moment, it could be the story of our lives supporting Newcastle United.

Clearly the PR offensive was aimed at anybody but Newcastle fans, Ashley and his spin merchants know that this is a waste of time now.

Instead, the breaking of bread in Ponteland was to cloud the judgement of neutrals and media when it comes to Mike Ashley’s running of the football club.

An honest bloke trying to do his best, building bridges and engendering a new club/team spirit both on and off the pitch.

After over 11 years worth of experience, such tokenism was never going to really succeed to any great degree.

We all dream of it proving to be Mike Ashley’s last supper but clearly Newcastle United is far too important to the owner’s empire for him to be shaken off easily.

He is up to something with this return to being visibly associated with Newcastle United, working out just what that is, is definitely food for thought.

  • Toontaff

    He’d probably have been caught with his flies open, whilst shuffling his wad!

    • Toontaff

      …….a reference to ‘milking it’………..

  • graham18

    It might mean he is giving Rafa 2 million to spend in the next transfer window or it might mean I’m selling the club in 2 months time (wishful thinking on the latter).

    • Pezza

      If Kenyon can come up with the money, it is sold before January.

      Wouldn’t it be great if the Magpie Group had got a fund together to go in with Kenyon rather than just whine?

      • JohnnyH

        A fund with no guarantee of success, most people in the North East would struggle to justify forking out what would be significant sums of money, for what amounts to speculation.
        You don’t know whether prospective buyers would wish to have a supporter financed proportion of ownership.

        • Pezza

          So, there lies the problem, fans like to tell people what to do with their money but not have the courage of their conviction to do the same

          • MrShack66

            Idiot Bobbi. Socialists want decent jobs with fair pay and decent working conditions. All the rest is invented by stupid fools like yourself.

          • Pezza

            The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

            Not my words of course but sums it up nicely.

          • MrShack66

            Again you don’t have a clue what socialism is. #illinformed

          • Pezza

            Dont worry, Thursday is just around the corner #specialbrewday #scrounger

          • MrShack66

            Well done Bobbi for attempting a bit of humour despite all your shortcomings. #failure

  • Paul Patterson

    It’s easy to work out what he’s doing.
    Devise some delaying tactic to try and placate the manager, players and fans, spend little or nowt in the next window, hope for the best, quell supporters unrest and peddle some hope of a Takeover.
    All created by his PR stooges and he isn’t clever enough to think of it himself.
    Rinse and repeat for as long as possible. .

  • Toontaff

    The problem’s been him keeping his hands in his long pockets for 11years………….

    • Big Hairy Man

      And pulling nothing out of them.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Ive said al along that winning the media war is everything. As things stand we are unreasonable fans who are both deluded and demanding. Most people would agree with Mike’s gesture. Most pundits hate us and Sky back Ashley. This has to change and slowly, the tide is turning. Neutrals like Ian Wright are the measure. Everyone expects past heros to stick up for the fans but when outsiders sympathise, the general football population listen.

    • Cockneytrev

      Just watched the BBC and they are all over the way that Mourinho has been treat off the board,,
      I’ve never heard any mention of them about how badly the board has run Newcastle United,,
      IMO we need crowd funding to raise the money to hire a top quality PR company,, fight fire with fire..

      • Steven05

        Totally agree

        They did mention the nice pizza catch up, but obviously no mention of the two chubby fingers…

        • Steven05

          Actually would you mind if I start repeating your idea of a PR company of our own to anyone who will listen/read?

    • Carverlier football

      “As things stand we are unreasonable fans who are both deluded and demanding” – as I think I’ve said before, the simple question to anyone who thinks that (and I think a lot of other football fans are actually clued up on the situation) is “so how pleased would you be if Ashley sold Newcastle tomorrow and bought YOUR club…”

  • toonterrier

    He’s spent most of the last eleven years with his hands in the supporters pockets and things wont change until we force the fat greedy so and so out.

  • Superdooperhooper

    The events of this week have proven one thing beyond all doubt – we aren’t dealing with a sane rational person. The brazen denial is almost childlike. Anyone normal would own up and apologise . Psychologists would have a field day with him

  • Kneebotherm8

    One cunning,scheming individual is our Mike..

  • t00nraider

    Food for thought! Whey hey! Ashley buys his employees a meal to boost morale. More than my boss. I get a game of jenga!

  • mactoon

    A PR stunt to portray Ashley in a positive light I recon, why else would there be reporters there before they arrives at the ‘secret’ venue?

  • Leazes.

    Most of the press association have printed his denial of the gesture…… alongside a photo of him making the gesture…. excellent PR.

    It was reported by the very press he invited to his PR stunt the Express claiming he swore as well.

  • Taz

    A prime example of a coward that isn’t even man enough to do it properly, hides behind his minions, the bloke is pathetically. A disgrace of a human being.