If Mike Ashley was hoping to provide a media distraction away from his court case with Tony Jimenez and problems in his retail empire (ongoing House of Fraser issues and a Sports Direct share price that has fallen from 429p to 324p in these past 11 weeks), then he appears to have succeeded.

After laughing at protesting Newcastle fans on Saturday and getting his people to tear down Rafa Benitez and Kevin Keegan banners hung outside the Gallowgate End, the club’s owner flicked a V sign at supporters who had gathered to see him off, after his pizza/pasta party with Rafa Benitez and the squad.

He often describes himself as being unfairly portrayed as a pantomime villain. Obviously he is much worse than that (a pantomime villain) but his running of Newcastle United has become a predictable pantomime, with no end in sight to what is in reality more of a nightmare.

Mike Ashley’s PR people even had the audacity to claim that he has shown the fans respect over these past few days and certainly didn’t flash a V sign last night…Oh yes he did!

Now the latest exclusive sees The Mail revealing what the NUFC owner said to the Newcastle players last night during the meal.

As an incentive if they stay up, the newspaper reports that Mike Ashley has promised all the squad a paid for holiday.

I’m not sure what kind of paid for holiday would be needed to inspire players who earn tens of thousands of pounds a week to play better – but it would have to be pretty special!

The Mail add that Mike Ashley also allegedly told both Rafa Benitez and the player that there is no chance of the club being sold because ‘No party has ever come close to meeting his valuation and that some had tried to steal the club at a knock-down price.’

This is actually interesting, because if true there has been interest in buying Newcastle United but he is asking too much money. Mike Ashley put the club up for sale 10 years ago and if something doesn’t sell in that time, when almost every other major English club has changed hands in that period, then clearly you are asking too much. That is, if you are genuine about selling anyway.

The Mail say that Ashley has admitted to making ‘mistakes’ (is that ‘mistakes’ such as undermining Rafa Benitez four transfer windows in a row and ensuring Newcastle have one of the weakest three squads in the Premier League?) and that he supposedly is going to correct these mistakes by being more ‘hands-on’, which will include now coming to more matches and rocking up at the training ground regularly.

Mike Ashley is also said to have promised the players that Rafa Benitez is going nowhere and that he knows he needs to keep the manager, to which end he is also supposedly promising backing for Rafa in the January window.

Great exclusive for The Mail but both Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle fans have heard this all before.

Rafa has repeatedly made clear that window after window he has had broken promises from the club’s owner.

There is also that saying about judging somebody by their actions, not their (empty) words.

Well, Mike Ashley’s behaviour towards Newcastle fans on both Saturday afternoon and Wednesday night tells us everything we need to know.

After over 11 years of his reign, we know learnt to never believe a word he says.

  • lupa

    Groundhog Day.

    • Kenny

      Groundhog decade.

  • Themoscow72

    The exclusive is by and large accurate as got a call early this morning from an ex player saying much the same thing. It was also stated that he from now on would be taking a more active role, not be selling the club at least till the Summer and will be attending most games till the end of the season and even some training sessions. The good news for those on here and the Magpie Group is that there has been a lot of interest in the club but no one has come near the asking price. My personal view is that he would not sell for less than £279m his breakeven figure for purchase and loan. So looks like you stuck with him till the Summer if not beyond.

    • Ron

      Conversely – he’s stuck with us! His two fingers shows he’s not happy with that idea.

    • TheFatController

      I wouldn’t have thought ex players would have your number, Keith?

    • Squintytoonarmy

      Who’s the ex player – Billy Whitehurst?

    • Carverlier football

      Who told the ex player then? Well if we’re stuck with him till the summer (it’s telling you said “you” not “we”…) then we’ve got loads of time in which to make him sick of owning this club – KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!!!

    • Billmag

      Was this another ex player you met in a lift one day in never never land.

    • East Durham Mag

      Is that you Monk,Clarko,Fleckman etc etc etc?

      • Wezza

        I think that may be Kevin Lee, David (Fleckman, monkseaton) has no longer posted and ran with his tail between his legs.

    • grantham mag

      There’s nn good news dicksplash.

  • GlasgowMag

    … and it goes on and on and on… if Rafa signs a new contact he will end up getting sectioned!!!

  • TheFatController

    “Hey everybody, there’s no point protesting as he’s not selling and no one can afford it anyway.

    “So put up and shut up, you poverty- stricken Geordie ingrates. He’s made of money – are you?

    “He’s flicking the V sign at you. Come and have a go back if you think you’re hard enough…?”

    This was the memo from Ashley to KBA, who naturally span this message into something they thought would stop the protests and get everyone back on the gravy train to SD PL publicity for 2019-20 season…

  • Paul Patterson

    Rinse and repeat..

  • Leazes.


    • Wor Lass

      I knew you were going to say that!

  • Carverlier football

    Blah blah blah blah blah… Is he going to ensure we receive a proportion of all commercial revenue commensurate with what other PL teams receive (and not hive it off to SD)? Is he going to start paying for advertising? Is he going to appoint a full and competent board whose priority is the wellbeing of NUFC, not SD? Is he going to invest in the infrastructure of the club? No? KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!!!

    • Leazes.

      No he’s going to tale the on holiday….. thats nice!

      • Carverlier football

        If that’s not an incentive to down tools and slip into the championship without a fuss I don’t know what is…

  • graham18

    Keep targeting SD!!

    • BigHairyDog

      That’s the key.

      • Kenny

        That is his Achilles heels, always has been

  • FatParosite

    Bad PR stunt done badly. Lashes the forks through sheer class. Stumble after stumble of mismanaged ham-fisted public relations amateurishness that beggars belief. Bishop is a high wind low sail media bluffer with no talent. I wonder why Ashley chose him during a 18 hour drinks binge?

  • BanJones

    “There is also that saying about judging somebody by their actions, not their (empty) words.” In a nut shell.

  • Andynufc

    Seriously considering cancelling my season ticket now and not at the end of the season. I seriously loathe this vile piece of sh#t. I actually don’t care if Rafa stays or not because nothing will change under Ashley. He’ll try and play mr nice guy to get Rafa to sign up them revert back to type. He’ll never change but he’s not getting anymore of my money and he shouldn’t get anymore of the suffering fans money either

    • Leazes.

      If Rafa signs a new contract….it just goes on and on…..he cant be that mad though, he’d lose his popularity as the third rate signings continue.

      • Kenny

        If Rafa signs a contract then he will be just another of the Rats minions. my money is on him walking

        • JohnnyH

          Not going to put with more years of working for a lying, thick, poisonous, greedy, inbred, cockney barrow boy.

          • Kenny

            His legacy is down the toilet if he stays & he knows that.

        • grantham mag

          And sooner the better, put us all out of our missery.

    • Phildene

      Good on you Andy-just how much more could you take after the two finger salute eh- we cancelled our season tickets years ago during our 10 year thingy and haven’t been back since. Mike Ashley has knocked all the passion etc out of both of us, but mainly for my hubby who had been going for over 62 years, which is such a shame as he loved it and still misses going. We hate Ashley vehemently and want to see the back of him ASAP!

  • Leazes.

    Meanwhile at the Pink Palace on Barrack Road a corner kick from St James Park. BBC’s Look North…..

    1. Ongoing Hospital/Leisure Centre in Berwick.*
    2. Nightmare neighbour in Redcar*
    3. Bloke in shed Carlisle*
    4. Nisan fears
    5. Hadrians Wall grant
    6. Weather with Owain Glyndwr

    *Yesterdays stories

    Good grief nothing from Yorkshire in our local news!

    • JohnnyH


      He just made the worst kind of insult to the people who support the football team of the City of Newcastle

      And it doesn’t even get a mention on a bad news day.

      Shame on the lot of them.

    • Cockneytrev

      When Shepard was caught out by the fake sheik,, it was all over every news channel

    • Fenwick

      check bbc local news tonight!

  • Steve Smith

    I bet the paid for holiday happens around about FA cup time in the winter.

    • Martin Rooney

      Tbf if we’re staying up by then I’ll take that

  • Lord

    Go on holiday where – Bobby Shafto caravan park? Without context, as meaningless as ‘Rafa spending every penny the club generates’.

    • Leazes.

      ….think it may be a fib.

  • Viru leckworth

    What a lovely gesture, buying multi thousand pound players a pizza. Wow!!!
    And promising a holiday if they keep their club up. The man is all heart.

    • Leazes.

      Cheaper than ‘Close House’ Vera.

    • Mike

      Wheres all the I love Cashley lot now?

  • Kenny

    We all knew he was going nowhere, as for a holiday this to guys who are on
    £30,000 to £80,000 a week.

    • Leazes.

      Sort of doesn’t ring true does it?…..

      … the story originated as an exclusive with MailOnline reporter Craig Hope, who just so happens to have interviewed Kenedy a few months back….a likely candidate for inside info then….

      …… if the player has said anything then it’ll be to wind-up the journalist after being taken for a rotten cheapo meal…..

      …..it fits…..’Yeah Ashleys going to reward us with a holiday if we stay up’

      Is that what the owner thinks will motivate players?

      Is that what a journalist believes will do the job of bonding him to the squad?

      Its tosh and the journalist knows it but filled the page with it anyway…. then the rest fall into line like schoolboys copying homework!

      • Kenny


    • Kneebotherm8

      Yeah and a £5.95 Italian happy hour meal……watch out Man U……you’re gonna get a proper thrashing this weekend…….

  • BigHairyDog

    I’m sure the players will be trying extra hard for that week in Blackpool!!!

    • Kneebotherm8

      Whoopeee a top B&B…….can’t wait….

    • grantham mag

      Blackpool he won’t spend that much, a. Dirty weekend in whitley bay.

  • JohnnyH

    Nobody’s that stupid
    They’re probably gloating over sticking it up Rafa, the players and the fans, once again with their £6 pizza and the vague promise of a holiday.

    Another deliberate act of spite, and the authorities and collective media are helping the fat [email protected] get away with it, in their indifference.

    Rafa will be counting the days until he can thank the fans and move on to a proper club.

  • Wor Lass

    Just imagine what the media would be doing if he`d come out of a House of Fraser creditors` meeting and done that.

    • Kenny

      I expect after the happy news that Jamaal & Jonjo`s agents will be working already for a move because by January chances are we will look certain to be going down.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      NUFC is worth more than HoF there should be more uproar

      • Jezza

        True. HOF was bought with NUFC money.

  • Steven05

    So it’s obvious what our next move is – we have to kill him

    • Dave Pattinson

      Ha! There’d be at least 52k suspects if we did! They’d never find the culprit!

  • Kenny

    Next up will be Merse, I expect him to forecast another loss & got to be honest, even with Man U in total disarray it will be hared to disagree with him

  • Paul Patterson

    All this smoke and mirrors, cloak and dagger meetings, meals out to bond the team and club, putting out shameless and lying PR, getting into bed with media types and orchestrated takeovers–wouldn’t it just be easier to build a team properly?

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      right? It’d be less time and effort to just sign a damned check (that he didn’t intend to deposit in his own bank account) for once

    • Phildene

      We know Ashley was at this meal with Bishop but I just wonder if this was also with Rafa and the players or simply a huge PR stunt? personally I can’t see the fat slug treating any manager and players to anything.

  • Mung Bean

    “Bullshit Artist” Mike may as well have dived into the kitchen himself, and dressed the pizza bases with… snake oil.

  • Coble’s Return

    My first wish is clearly that this parasite severs all links with our club. My second is that he somehow gets hold of a club like Chelsea, just to witness the vastness of the contrast in the media reaction as he flogs that horse for all that its worth and starves it until can no longer stand. You can just imagine the outrage.

  • Martin Rooney

    That’s not good, it’s against FA rules to change bonus structures mid season, could be a fine coming nufc’s way. Not sure if it’s a sanction that can have you docked points but if it is it would be Oro ic if we stayed up by one point, the staying bonus put us down.

    • Davey drape

      good point also he is doing his usual. crapping himself in case go down again yet he will just try and do enough of what it takes to survive

  • multipolice

    no one has ever come close to the imaginary price of the club that has never been up for sale!

    but it’s a cracking excuse not to spend..this club for sale type thing.

  • Davey drape

    MA doing his usual. hanging in and riding the storm for another season hoping we will all forget again and settle down again. he is a chancer. this club makes his core business millions so why would he want to sell it. ultimately only one way to get rid of him and reduce the price of the club for a quick sale

    • Toonrobbybobson

      We have to make the club a problem for him. Devalue it and force his hand.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    lies about a liar’s lies. I doubt there is any truth in any of this other than Ashley sat down with Rafa for a meal.

  • Ashley-out

    Looks like the only way to get rid of him is if the Grim reaper comes calling
    Die you fat horriblecunt

  • Dillon Tovak

    This is beyond ridiculous at this point.
    Just leave you fat slug.

  • Cockneytrev

    The majority of these players will love Ashley,, because without him there’s no way they would be playing in the premiership and earning this kind of money, as no other club would have them,,

    • Jezza


    • Toontaff

      The Hoss was worried Mike was going to have him spit roasted!

      • Jonas

        Thank god Dyer wasn’t there.

  • Jezza

    “Mike Ashley….. is also supposedly promising backing for Rafa in the January window.”

    Meaning if they can flog Lascelles for £30 odd million, Rafa will be allowed to bring in a couple more duffers on loan from the Championship, provided there’s enough time before the transfer window closes.

    • DC1964

      You’re spot on there. Where’s the Mitro money as well?!!

      • Dave Pattinson

        Ha! You’re right there DC! Have we spent the Andy Carroll cash yet as well?

      • Waxi

        Where is all the money not just the Mitro cash. We still have £125 million to spend after our 10th place finishBut Jezza has hit the spot with the way the FCB works.

  • Superdooperhooper

    Meanwhile at the chronicle – they’ve got a big exclusive with the restaurant boss – ashley had a 7.95 spag bol and gave big tips to the staff. Making him out to be a generous down to earth sort of guy ! They’ve been well house trained and neutered at the chronicle haven’t they?

    • Dillon Tovak


    • Geordiegiants

      They are as bad as Moncur and the other turn coat Judas scum.

  • Geordiegiants

    He is trying to get a reaction. He is wanting the police to intervene with the fans. Keep the protest peaceful and he can’t do a thing. I must admit I wouldn’t of been able to hold back.

  • Wezza

    ‘No party has ever come close to meeting his valuation and that some had tried to steal the club at a knock-down price.’’

    Yes we know he isn’t going anywhere soon.
    It is up to us to put a stop to his siphoning of the club accounts. I mentioned this months ago to people denying he made much money. Now everyone is finding out the truth.
    As for promising a holiday, I doubt the players would like Benidorm much. Yes avoid relegation and he can get his paws on the next 100M+ TV money.
    Just get out of our club.

  • Mike

    a happy meal and now Butlins or disneyland

  • morryJR

    There is one way that the manager….the players and the fans could know for certain whether these new “promises” were genuine ( we know they’re not)….and that is for someone to challenge Ashley to write all of these new proposals on a proper legally drafted document and SIGN it. Any chance of that happening? I don’t think so.