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.