Mike Ashley accepts he can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

However, he does believe that if you put out occasional lame statements and pull off the odd stunt, it creates at a minimum enough smokescreen and distraction to occupy the media.

On Wednesday evening hundreds of Newcastle fans met in the city centre to discuss the abysmal state of the club and how best to help persuade the absent neglectful landlord to sell up.

Only minutes after that open public meeting kicked off, the first images started to appear in the media of a restaurant in Ponteland, to the north of Newcastle.

A restaurant where Rafa Benitez and his players were meeting Mike Ashley and his minions.

What a coincidence, if you were a real cynic (one of the 50,000 who go to the match), you would almost think it was planned. Especially when any number of media were there filming it, taking photos, reporting on it.

This was the much heralded Mike Ashley meeting manager and players to….who knows?

Obviously the PR intention is to try and convince us all that this meal equals the owner of Newcastle United genuinely trying to re-engage with the manager and other staff/players, to start building bridges towards a better future.

It is really excruciating but in all the media coverage I have seen so far, none of them are laughing at the shambles that it clearly is. They are reporting it almost from a script, a script which reads ‘Mike Ashley met Rafa Benitez and the players for a heart to heart as the Newcastle United owner shows he is blah blah blah…’

The players and especially Rafa Benitez aren’t turning up for their pizza tonight thinking this is a great u-turn, it is simply a club event where they are expected to com along and bottom line is they are just going along for a meal and a laugh with their mates.

Mike Ashley and his sycophants are obviously there just to be seen to be doing so and of course nothing changes because of this painful PR exercise.

It is laughable that after an entire tortuous summer of disbelief and painful lack of investment, yet again, we have this publicity stunt where so much of the media are happy to carry the PR line that this is all about building bridges and taking the club forward.

To do that, all that needs to happen is for Mike Ashley to agree to there being proper investment in the playing squad, training complex, Academy and St James Park.

None of these has happened, despite only one of the four being constrained by windows.

What is to stop Mike Ashley announcing after his potato skins that the new essential state of the art training complex that was first announced in 2013, is finally going to happen?

Or after his jellied eels pizza, the owner announcing that Rafa Benitez is to be backed with a properly funded and revamped Academy?

Then maybe after his tenth lager top of the night, agreeing to a belated January investment in the squad, to give Rafa Benitez at least a chance of avoiding relegation?

If Mike Ashley was in any way genuine about improving the club, he would be having private conversations with Rafa Benitez, either in the flesh or on the phone.

He would be meeting behind closed doors and try to convince the manager that things would change, not create a media circus/photo opportunity that achieves nothing.

Mike Ashley was at the match on Saturday and could easily have met and spoken to Rafa Benitez then without anybody knowing, rather than this farce.

It doesn’t prove anything positive, apart from the fact that fan protests are clearly working, so that he feels it necessary to come up to Tyneside and have this pointless PR exercise, just to distract from the supporter protest meeting in the city centre.

He would have been better off heading to St James Park and writing up the minutes from the Newcastle United Fans Forum that happened nine days ago, and which the club are so reluctant to publish, as they attach their spin to the proceedings.

Quite amazing how positive some fans and the local media in particular are trying to be, attempting to attach positive connotations to this meal.

Suggestions that Mike Ashley could be announcing to manager and players that he is selling up, right down to it being a genuine attempt to open lines of communication and improve the whole mood of the club.

Why don’t people get that he just doesn’t care?

Look at how he acts in his business life elsewhere, ending up in countless grubby legal cases including the current Tony Jimenez one. Playing real life Monopoly with so many companies and thousands of people’s lives. Just look at the cavalier and disingenuous way he is dealing with the issues at House of Fraser.

If Mike Ashley is suddenly taking an interest in Newcastle United, after 13 months without even going to a game, you can rest assured that it won’t be because of any concern about the overall health of the club on or off the pitch, it will simply be for his own selfish reasons.

Tonight’s meal isn’t about any scrap of goodwill to Rafa Benitez, the players, or the fans, it is simply all about Mike Ashley and his ongoing manipulation of and disrespect for our great football club.

Mike Ashley actually puts two fingers up (see video above) to Newcastle fans confronting him after PR meal stunt with Rafa and players tonight,

The PR mask quickly slips….

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  • Taz

    The fatman is just one bigcock

  • Leazes.

    Excellent…. blow the picture up an make a poster of it and email it everywhere…. he’s just committed suicide!

    The chronicle stuck with Ashley by not naming the town or restaurant….luckily there is a world of information out there!

    Kowtow Mark Douglas there’s a good boy!

  • Steven05

    Some people might think he’s thick skinned and untouchable

    I agree he is thick and not many ladies would touch him free of charge – he’s certainly not invincible

    • Leazes.

      He’s touchable and thin skinned.

      • Steven05

        Well I wouldn’t want to touch him – unless it was with an axe

        • Leazes.

          That backfired spectacularly for him didn’t it?

          • Steven05

            Absolutely. Keep the pressure up and enhance it.

            He WILL be gone one day (and I feel that day must be getting closer, especially after tonight)

          • Leazes.

            One second slip of the mask….. bingo!

          • BigHairyDog

            He’s very thin skinned, you can bank on it that the show at the last two games was Bishop’s idea. He thinks if Ashley shows up and laughs off all the criticism and abuse it will stop. Bishop must be the thickest PR man in the world, 1st he advises Ashley it will blow over by September, then laugh it off at Palace and home against Leicester and it’ll fizzle out…

  • Paul Patterson

    If anyone is now in any doubt- parasite!!

    • Leazes.

      Made my day…. brilliant!

      January ‘why should I buy players for a club I care nothing for’….. pret-a-manger!….kept his word … loanees!

      He opens up after eating and drinking.

  • lupa

    Horrible fat ignorant / arrogant [email protected]

  • Fisherking

    Hope I’m still alive to s p i t on his grave

  • Stephen Paylor

    The thing that gets to me is the fact that Ashley has the money without really going beyond what the club is capable of to really create something and become a living legend to the fans. Leave a legacy that could have lasted hundreds of years. Instead he wants to create friction and anger and just fuel his empire further. You can’t take it with you Mike when you leave this life.

    • Stephen Paylor

      Im willing to bet that at least half of the people here if they had the money wouldn’t think twice about spending it with zero thought about making it back. I would be one for sure.

      • Leazes.

        Its not about money…. its malevolence towards United.

        • Geordiegiants

          Towards United fans.

          • Leazes.

            Its the same thing…. United are the fans not the bricks and mortar, not the owner and his shares, a club means people!

    • Martin Rooney

      Unfortunately he doesn’t, but that’s the point isn’t it nobody should have to at any club in any City, football clubs should live or die based on their support. Not on whether they stole the shares of an oil company, inherited daddies oil company, sweated to start their own car parts or sportswear company in to billion pound businesses employing thousands. You’ve said it out though what a lot of nufc fans want is an owner who will spend their money on top players for them.
      We’ve done that before it didn’t work for us.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    He’s absolutely reeling 😂 fatty is feeling the pressure, he had photographers there it was nothing but a pr stunt, and it’s totally back fired 😂😂😂😂

    • Ram Kishore

      No one really knows what he did with those two fingers. Itch scratch or f…k off✌️😂
      U may not like what I said but I am being honest lol. He should have had this in a bit more anonymous place lol

      • SuperDesHamilton

        It’s all part of his plan Ram, everything he does is for a reason

  • Geordiegiants

    Wish I hadn’t been at the Labour club, I would happily of taken a knicking to get through that taxi window. Shows what a coward he is, heavily guarded and sticking his finger up ON THE WAY OUT!
    Vile cancerous scum.

    • Leazes.

      There’s some good lads in Ponty Land…. well done!

  • Toonrobbybobson

    NUFC is a battle he doesnt want with HoF on the go. Got to keep it up.

    Total PR stunt this. It will have bugged him having to do it. This is kept up then imagine have aggravated he will get with Keith Bishop.

    Hes getting rattled and does not like this. The fact he has had to start making appearances will be a big irritation.

    Also why are we paying for Police to be there?

    • Leazes.

      He’s turning HOF into a tat shop not ‘Harrods of the High Street’….there’s a surprise!

      • Toonrobbybobson

        More like bric a brac of the high street

  • BigHairyDog

    If that was Glasgow after what he’d done there, someone would’ve bricked his people carrier, someone would’ve tried to get to him.

    • Geordiegiants

      If I had of known or been able to get there, I would happily of taken a knicking.

      • porciestreet

        It’s a good job for me that I’m living in Greece as I would have done something really stupid by now, and I mean it sincerely.

  • Wezza

    Disgraceful. And thousands of two fingers right back at you MA. Vile scum. Where’s the money gone? We know where.

  • Carverlier football

    If he turns up next home game hows about at a given time 50k fans all stand up and stick two fingers up at the director’s box?

    • Wezza

      Then the media would spin it in his favour and not actually report that he actually did stick his fingers up first.

      • Carverlier football

        I don’t know… We’d have to see how it is reported first but surely this will go viral. I’m simultaneously outraged, full of loathing and yet absolutely delighted – this was the best thing he could’ve done tonight (barring choke on his tea…)

        • Leazes.

          Look to see who doesn’t report it tomorrow.

          • Dillon Tovak


        • porciestreet

          Or his puke, face down in a fireplace somewhere.

    • Kev Newcastle England

      How about someone go and NUT him instead???

  • killymag

    i do not think Keegan would have swallowed the Fat mans sp#nk the way Rafa did he would have walked

  • Kevin Christie

    Ashley letting his guard down and making a PR gaffe like that on camera is actually a great sign – we’re getting under his skin. Keep up the pressure!

  • Shields Mag

    Fatty is rattled no doubt about it, keep up the pressure!! Ashley out!!

    • graham18

      Oh yes keep up the pressure on the FCB…he’s feeling it.It’s just how is he going to react is the question now.

      • porciestreet

        Well you know it wont end well.

        • graham18

          Point taking but what more damage can the FCB do??He’s ripped the heart and soul out of the toon

          • porciestreet

            Administration big enough for you…?

          • graham18

            Never mentioned administration.If you check up on my previous comments:even if it means dropping down a few divisions and the fcb to sell so shall be it.

  • Ashley-out

    Just Die, youfathorriblecunt, painfully.

  • Ashley-out

    Take a look at the top photo, if you go to St James or buy one of Newcastle shirts
    that is you he is laughing at !

    • Geordiegiants

      He doesn’t give afuck, just look at his reaction last night. He got off very lightly in my opinion. He is abusing our region and people and he got nothing last night, in my day bouncers or not he would of been pelted and probably had the windows smashed on his bus.

  • robbersdog

    From one newspaper report…

    Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley sat next to Ashley at the table on a night the restaurant was offering a £5.95 one-course Happy Hour special.

    Most of the players had a pizza, and Ashley had spag bol. One course – £5.95 each. It’ll probably be deducted from their wages.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Pasta joke innit?…………

  • Peter

    I am not sure all 50 000 who go to the matches are real cynics…and that might be part of the problem…

  • porciestreet

    Why not chuck all the chatty pen sets on to the pitch, quite safely, by waiting till exactly 1minute before the start of the second half, even before the officials are out.
    Timing is critical as nobody gets hurt,
    Cameras are ready, and the delay would be considerable. Perhaps with a banner.

  • porciestreet

    Would you have ever seen any other Chairman stick two fingers up to his clubs own fans in public.

    I thought not..! but I’m pleased he was seen to do it.
    It screams volumes about the despicable creation that is Mike Ashley.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Shows the contempt of the man……

    • BigHairyDog

      Oyston’s at Blackpool.

  • Themoscow72

    Was a much better meeting than the first one and was well structured with no idiots shouting across the floor. While Chi Onwurah did her best including putting on her black and white top during her speech she was out of her depth in some areas especially the accounting side but did call for peaceful protests and did give valuable time up as she was due in London. Ian who I know very well spoke from the heart like he always does but let himself down at the end by saying he liked some of the protest songs from the Gallowgate. Man of the match which was no surprise was Keven Miles who was there as an independent. Up with the greatest public speakers of all time he is on par with Tony Blair and David Cameron and could listen to him all night. Mentioned the last time he was at the Labour Club when fans had to pay £500.00 just to guarantee the right to have a season ticket. Also said the comment of the night be careful what you wish for the next owner could be worse.
    Questions for the Magpie Group. What efforts have you made to find a buyer What efforts have you made to raise £300m to buy the club. To get Ashley out the club we need a buyer so instead of protesting please go and find one.

    • TheFatController

      As a counsellor, I don’t think I would tell victims of say, Jimmy Savile, that they could end up with Jeffrey Dharma next so careful what you wish for. Stick with Jimmy.

      So no, looking at all other PL clubs and the majority of owners in the championship, I have no care at all in wishing for new owners.

      None at all. No owner has been worse in recent times- even Eliis Short and Tony Xia sold to new investors to allow their mistakes to be put right.

  • Cockneytrev

    What a class act he is,,
    I don’t expect to see this on sky news or the BBC or any other news platform,,
    The FA and the premier league and in fact UEFA, should all be looking at this but of course he was just resting his head as he was tired after a busy day.
    without fans, there is no football.
    This shows the contempt he hold us in,,

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    People will read into “Pizza Night” and make of it what they will in the media etc.
    To me though, It was nothing more than Ashley and his lackeys pulling a lame a**e stunt at morale building.
    They will be naively hoping that this little get together will somehow improve results on the pitch.
    The kicker with that though, Is you cannot get a bad squad of players to perform any better !
    That job should have been done in the summer with sound investment so that ship has well and truly sailed.

  • Hughie

    He is only concerned about relegation and loss of his advertising platform. The more people confront him the more he likes it- think about it!! NUFC is small beer to him. Perhaps his pizza trip was designed to tell the players and manager to get their fingers out rather than showing support?. He perceives himself as the pantomime villain- so he sees the whole thing as a trivial game, and as I said nothing will bother him apart from the possibility of relegation. Like me he may also have growing reservations about Rafa too?
    Thevthreat of relegation may be our only hope that proper funds will be released in January?

  • mactoon

    Typical TalkSport. Jim White states fans are asking about the two fingered gesture and he simply says “He didn’t”. He obviously didn’t see the fan’s video (which is up on the Mirror website)

    I’m not sure what else he said after that as my internet dropped out so if anyone can let me know…