Mike Ashley loves getting as much worldwide free advertising as possible.

After all, that is why he bought Newcastle United.

When selling the club, John Hall said that Ashley’s people had told him that the TV deals that saw Premier League beamed around the world were the big selling point. The new owner hoping to grow his retail empire and personal fortune, by SD and other brands being advertised inside St James Park.

None of us at the time ever imagined how appalling this would end up being.

Moved forward though to the present day and a different kind of free publicity is being broadcast around the world, namely, just how poisonous the ownership of Mike Ashley is at Newcastle United.

It has even reached Vietnam.

The Viet Nam News is the national English language daily in Vietnam and I came across an excellent piece on Newcastle United, the fans, the region, and the club owner – extracts are below.

There are some lovely comments from the author, who has clearly been to Newcastle Upon Tyne before.

It is always pleasing to hear when somebody appreciates our city and region, as well as understanding Newcastle United and what the fans are all about.

It is then a big fat bonus when they also know just exactly what Mike Ashley is…

Extracts from excellent Viet Nam News article:

‘For those of you who have never visited Newcastle, you really are missing out. It’s a great place.

A night out in this northeastern city of the UK should be top of everyone’s bucket’s list.  The people are warm, even though the place itself isn’t in the winter, and after many a visit I’m yet to be disappointed.

Just 70 miles or so south of Scotland, Newcastle is a tough, industrious city that has bags of both urban cool and traditional beauty.

Downtown is about as hip as it gets and you are always just a stone’s throw away from spectacular countryside.

In many ways Newcastle is a unique place.

Also, unusually for such a big city, it only has one football club. Manchester has two, Liverpool, one and a half, Birmingham and London, loads, even Nottingham and Stoke, places much smaller than Newcastle, are blessed with more than one team.

So by the law of averages, just about every single man, woman and child from Newcastle, supports Newcastle United.

If you are from Newcastle, all your friends will support the same team. Your work colleagues too will all be united in their love of United. Brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts, will all bleed black and white.

And right now, they are all suffering, all because of one man; Mike Ashley.

He may well be one of the wealthiest men in Britain (Forbes listed him as number 15 in 2012) but he’s also, it seems, one of the cheapest.

In Rafa Benitez, Newcastle have a great manager. This man has won cups galore, including the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.

But a good manager isn’t enough. He needs good players, and more importantly, a good owner, one who is willing to invest.

In Mike Ashley, they don’t have that. Instead it appears they have a sulky child who wants to hold on tight to his toys and is refusing to let anyone else play.

Football clubs may have owners but they all should have one thing in common, they work for the supporters.

Ashley’s MO in the past has been to buy struggling sportswear companies like Lonsdale, Donnay and Dunlop Slazenger. He then stocks his 400 plus sports stores with their merchandise and sells it on the cheap.

With Newcastle he seems to have done things the other way around.

The football club is supposedly up for sale, but Ashley seems reluctant to sell.

Newcastle United is a great club based in a great city with great supporters. They are not some cheap sports shop selling Kangol hats and Donnay golf clubs at rock bottom prices.

Mike Ashley needs to sell up. He is ripping the soul from Newcastle and it’s not fair on the real owners of the football club, the supporters themselves.

Last week he took the team and manager for a bonding dinner where he reportedly ate spaghetti bolognese and drank pints of larger.

Many on The Tyne really hope and pray it will be his last supper.’

To read all of this excellent Viet Nam News article go Here.

  • Leazes.

    …..”Liverpool One and a half”….. :)

    • Paul Patterson

      That coastal hamlet on the Wear has half a one as well ..

      • Leazes.

        I think we are half the club we could and should be….. mackems reached their pinnacle at a half.

        • Mike D

          Now they’re about 1/10000000 because there are more expensive things on sale in poundland.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Liverpools other half……….Everton…….😂😂

  • BanJones

    This guy’s English is a little better than my Vietnamese – great job.

  • Themoscow72

    For him to sell up he not only needs a buyer but one which can take the club forward. Our current income is not enough to compete long term even if we did somehow find a buyer. I wish the Magpie Group instead of jumping up and down with a few posters and the long haired hippy shouting on his megaphone would go to the Far East or Middle East and do something useful with their lives and find a buyer.

    • Kneebotherm8


      • Peaky

        So obvious isn’t it…

        • Kneebotherm8

          It is…..

      • East Durham Mag

        No wonder i recognised the style of writing from the condescending pratt.

        • Peaky

          I twigged on early as well….Perez been the new Messi on a previous post confirmed my suspicions……Ashley…Perez….away ticket allocations….conversations in lifts….club accounts from 2012…and so on…..same old patter all the time…

    • relaxed

      Why was my reply deleted ?

      • Themoscow72

        Nothing to do with me sorry as just logged back on.

    • Danimal

      More ludicrous nonsense from you Monk. He doesn’t give a toss who buys it or what happens to it – as demonstrated by how he treats it now, while he’s got it. Our current income should/would be among the top 6 or 7 in the league. Your hero is the only reason it isn’t. Every other owner who’s wanted to sell their club in the last ten years has managed it. There’s only one reason ours hasn’t. Are you spotting the common theme?

      • Themoscow72

        Liverpoo’ls match day income is £74m ours is £23m it’s called ripping the fans off buy charging more to get in.

        • Danimal

          Liverpool most expensive ticket £59, cheapest £9. Newcastle £50 and £27. Similar attendances (though ours was far higher for 20-odd years until recently. It’s called believing Ashley’s dodgy accounts.

          • Ram Kishore

            The price of the highest and the lowest doesn’t give the full income towards the rnd of the season Danimal. We may have only few thousand on the highest bracket. Their executive, corporate box tickets could be higher.

          • Danimal

            More than three times the amount? Something is badly wrong.

          • Ram Kishore

            I think it’s probably because of the CL, cup tournaments, reaching the final stages .

        • Ram Kishore

          The reason is they play Champions leagie football, they go to later stages in cup. More gate income

    • Tweed Mag

      Do you want Ashley to sell up? A simple yes or no will suffice.

      • Themoscow72

        Most people would love a new owner like Man City’s or Chelsea have but till we get one you should support the club.

        • Tweed Mag

          I’ll try again. Do YOU want Ashley to sell up?

  • Kneebotherm8

    His last supper?………..now that would be good….

    • Leicester Mag

      Need a hefty cross!

  • Peaky

    The “takeover” talks have all gone quiet I see since Keegan’s book has now been out a week….funny that….

    • Kneebotherm8

      Too much talk from the Ashley camp and no action,as usual……

  • The Postman

    I believe they eat dogs in Vietnam. Maybe someone could persuade the fat bulldog Ashley to go there on holiday

    • Kneebotherm8

      He would feed the 5 thousand…..

    • Leazes.

      We eat pigs brains in this country….. what do you think is in a sausage?

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Not sure if our attention to SD is valid. Yes he maybe advertises via our ground but would boycotts etc harm the brand. No such thing as bad publicity when advertising. Ask yourself this question, do you use FUN 88 now that they are linked to our club? Still don’t know how to bet online?

  • relaxed

    Interesting piece by Peter Whitfield over on the Magpie Group

    Thank you to Peter Whitfield for this piece but we’d like to apologise to Lee Charnley, for upsetting him by examining what is going on at United and who is up to what. It is our belief substantial sums are being leeched out of Newcastle United by Ashley and the people who work for him. We don’t allege any illegal behaviour but we do question how this works for our football club and challenge the motives and ethics of Ashley.

    Two of the 218 companies that Mike Ashley is (or has been) a director of have an interesting history and are perfect examples of how little this man cares for our great football club.

    While analysing the many links that Ashley has I came across a company strangely entitled “PROJECT J NEWCO No.39” which in turn lead me to NEWCO No.40 both of which have a significant link to Newcastle United.

    Both were incorporated on 4th March 2009, both had two directors in David Michael Forsey and Robert Frank Mellors with the Shirebrook address. Each company consists of one £1 share which was owned by “PROJECT J HOLDING COMPANY LTD”. Exactly one year to the day later and that share was transferred to St James Holdings Limited. Both companies filed their first full accounts on 1st April 2011 (an ironic date) and this is where things get interesting.

    Under Section 8 (Related Party Transactions) No.39 shows: “During the period the company acquired a long leasehold property from Newcastle United Football Company Ltd…for a consideration of £500,000. This amount remains outstanding at 30 June 2010”.

    No.40 meanwhile contains a very similar wording: “During the period the company acquired a freehold site from Newcastle United Football Company Ltd…for a consideration of £500,000. This amount remains outstanding at 30 June 2010”.

    There is nothing that I can find to say what land/property these relate to, there’s no specifics in the accounts or any other filed documents. I do know that neither are Strawberry Place, that has it’s own unique story. So two companies related to Ashley bought property/land from Newcastle United for a total of £1m but didn’t pay the club straight away. Chances are though that was just down to the timing of the accounts and the repayment will be in the next years accounts….won’t they?

    Erm well actually…In the accounts for years ending 2011, 2012 and 2013 No.39 states (under Section 5 (Creditors: amounts falling due within one year)) “Amounts owed to Newcastle United Limited £500,000”. In 2014 however the property was sold (appears to be for £500k) and the debt to NUFC is now shown as £50,000 so it appears that £450,000 was repaid (4 years late) however I am unable to see how it could have been repaid, No.39 had not yet received any payment itself or any other income so where did the cash come from? My personal belief is that it was not repaid but simply transferred to the buying company as their debt (or even potentially written off).

    The £50k still exists in the 2015 and 2016 accounts, finally disappearing in 2017. In those accounts however, there is another para that needs to be highlighted. The heading Fundamental accounting concept includes the following: “The Directors have also received a commitment from its related undertaking, Newcastle United Football Company Limited, that they will continue to provide the company with financial support so that it can meet its debts as they fall due for a period of at least 12 months from the date of approval of these financial statements”.

    Based on the fact No.39 does no trading and only has one debt which is to United then does this simply mean that we have agreed not to call the debt in? or does it mean we will support them with loans, cash etc when needed?

    No.40 is slightly different, their accounts also show the £500,000 being owed to Newcastle United in 2011 and 2012 but in 2013 that amount has increased to £530,000 however the sting with 40 is that in the same year they sold the previously “purchased” land for £1,602,052 the Balance Sheet now showing a lovely fat £817,441 (after Corporation Tax) being available as “Shareholders funds”. This is probably a good time to also point out that on 14 January 2014 a certain Michael James Wallace Ashley was appointed director.

    2014 & 2015’s accounts came and went and still the amounts were owing to the club however the additional £30k that appeared in 2013 disappeared in 2015 (it was nice while it lasted!) No.40’s accounts for 2016 didn’t show any amounts owing to NUFC, instead it recorded the £500k as being “Amounts due to group undertaking”, whether that means NUFC or the overall MASH holdings group we may never know but personally I think it’s likely to be the latter.

    In 2017 there was no longer a debt, whether that means it was paid, written off or what, is unclear but No.40 no longer owes anyone, they also,interestingly show that there was an error in previous accounts and a directors loan account which was overdrawn to the tune of £394,263 had not been recorded. Basically Mike Ashley had taken that amount from the company against the future dividends (something, I should add he is perfectly entitled to do).

    In short, we have two companies who were set up with the sole aim of purchasing Newcastle United assets to then sell on. In the case of No.40 that was for 3 times the original purchase price. Money that should have been United’s was now Ashley’s. In both cases however, strange accounting practices such as changing who the debt is owed to etc mean it’s very difficult to actually see if United have ever physically received recompense for these assets at all.

    This is not a man who has saved a football club, this is a man who has systematically stripped our club of assets, at best paying below the odds for them but more than likely never having paid for them at all.

    That ladies and gentlemen is our great benefactor Mr Michael JW Ashley.


    • Tweed Mag

      This is probably why auditors are not queuing up to go through Ashley’s accounts. Whoever signed this off must be worried.

      • relaxed

        Seeing accounts like that is maybe why the HMRC investigation is taking so long

        • Leazes.

          They should maybe look into EACOTTS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED who are Ashley’s auditors, link all of his companies!

          • relaxed

            I’ll bet that will take some sorting out

          • Leazes.

            Eacottt…..Its David Michael Forsey’s company who is a director of most of Ashley’s business.

        • relaxed

          looks like another post is getting pulled

          Interesting piece by Peter Whitfield over on the Magpie Group
          Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by The Mag.

    • Leazes.

      Asset strip in operation!

      The selling of a lease that belonged to the club is either the training ground or the Stadium, there are only two possibilities.

      Maybe someone could ask Charnley at the next Fans Forum….

      …. just kidding!

      Why are the accounts so vague?

      • Lord

        I listened to the Rangers podcast, shaking my head over the dubious practices Ashley employed to redirect club revenue into his own personal coffers through dubious and unethical contracts.

        It didn’t take long to realise that he must have been doing to same to us for years without us knowing (because of the opaque book-keeping and multiple legal entities) and he simply decided to try on the same tactic with Rangers but fast-tracked based on his experience with us.

        • Leazes.

          Those accounts seem like a deliberate attempt to confuse.

          We know Ashley doesn’t like paying interest or taxes, but it absolutely reeks of something not quite right.

      • The Postman

        The land that the ground stands on belongs to the council and the Freemen of the city (same as the town moor) so cant understand who would buy a lease that cant be used for anything without their permission. It will always be a football stadium on that site.

        • Leazes.

          Nothing to do with the land at the ground.

          Maybe he’s taken ownership of the Stadium personally and is taking the revenue for concerts and Rugby? and leasing the stadium to the club as income?

          Looking at the nature of what Forsey the Director of Project J and 39 and 40 and what he does….its ownership and land rights and copyright….. Forsey appears to be an asset stripper for Ashley.

      • Cockneytrev

        The only way to get to the bottom of all the accounts is to pay for an auditor/accountancy firm to go through all the accounts etc and start asking questions, this would be very expensive as they are so complicated, , even then they might not be able to unravel this whole mess,,
        Why has the media/ journalists not looked into this?

        • Leazes.

          How do you extract United’s income from SD accounts?

          • Cockneytrev

            It’s not my expertise, but surely, an auditor could come up with a figure that’s not far off, ?

  • killymag

    it really is time to get a new hobby if you have taken to reading the Vietnam News, watching paint dry , counting white vans or blades of grass on the town moor .

    • Leazes.

      It comes up on the Newsnow United feed… from everywhere in the world.

  • Cockneytrev

    This from Vietnam, yet the local newspaper says nothing???? It speaks volumes about the Chronicle,,,,,

  • GlasgowMag

    Wow best article I’ve read!! Straight to the point and he covers all bases why o why doesn’t a journalist in the UK write stuff like this!!

  • MadMag83

    Birmingham has loads? They’ve only got Villa and Birmingham City 😂 London is the only city with more than two professional teams. The rate Ashley is going, Newcastle won’t even have one!

  • Philippines

    Ha Ha, obviously written by Ho Chi Min Milburn.

  • Jonas

    Ashley does remind me of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now come to think of it.
    A fat, disgusting, bar-steward who deserved to be assassinated, same goes for the Brando character