Mike Ashley is feeling the pressure from a number of directions.

Sports Direct shareholders particularly upset as the share price crashes ever further, in the past four months it has dropped by a third.

Whilst on Monday the share price fell by 10% in just one day.

For Mike Ashley, this represents a paper loss of some £470m on his SD shareholding.

Newcastle fans are keeping up their protests against Mike Ashley as they try to encourage him to sell the club.

These protests are also regularly using the Sports Direct angle as well, as this is seen as the NUFC owner’s Achilles heel. This Saturday sees Newcastle fan protests going ahead at both the flagship store in London in Oxford Street, as well as at the SD HQ in Shirebrook.

Sports Direct has also been the subject of recent bad reports about their online service, a Which survey rated only Homebase as worse than Mike Ashley’s company.

Parliamentary scrutiny of Mike Ashley has also been a factor with both Sports Direct and Newcastle United.

Chi Onwurah’s Newcastle Central constituency includes St James Park and she has continued to drive forward the scrutiny of how Ashley runs Newcastle United,

Chi has now published a reply she has received from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Jeremy Wright) to her letter regarding the ownership of Newcastle United Football Club.

From Chi Onwurah’s official site:

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah has today received a response from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to her letter regarding the ownership of Newcastle United Football Club.

Chi’s letter raised key questions about the financial transparency of NUFC following on from Chi’s petition on football club ownership and Mike Ashley’s letter to the Secretary of State defending his ownership of the club.

Chi welcomes the response of the Secretary of State and is considering what further action to take.

In particular she is pleased to see that Ernst and Young are carrying out an economic and social impact report for NUFC as well as the continuing work on football club asset sales.

Chi said:

“I welcome the Secretary of State’s letter which responds to several of my concerns regarding NUFC and club ownership more generally.”

“As the petition said, football is an integral part of our city’s social and cultural wellbeing and the concerns of fans need to be taken seriously. I’m pleased that the Secretary of State’s letter recognised this.”

“I would welcome comments from constituents as I prepare my response to the Government on these important issues which I still believe need action.”

mike ashleymike ashley

A case of everybody doing their bit, you just don’t now what the tipping might be that could persuade Mike Ashley to call time on his disastrous reign at Newcastle United.



  • Steven05

    Keep the pressure up

    • Pezza

      Yes, shout at buildings….NOW

      • Steven05

        It’s about awareness – highlighting how he operates – which puts pressure on him. The shouting at buildings and a few Geordies not shopping in his shops may seem futile to some – but it’s about raising awareness which causes pressure

        Thank you to everyone who does their bit rather than moaning and waiting

        • JohnCornwell’sHair

          Pezza and his ilk are our equivalent of the Vichy French.

          • FatParosite

            Yes loads of subservient cow-towers not ready to give up their pathetic season ticket. Happy with glory days of beating Bournemouth and Watford. Those ST holders are the real block to NUFC achieving anything.

        • Pezza

          Utter rubbish, why do something that contradicts your aim?

      • joe mac

        your heads thicker than any building!!

        • Ashley-out

          that is a pathetic troll

        • Pezza

          Yeah! That told me.

      • JohnCornwell’sHair

        Or just do nothing NOW!

        • Pezza

          Nothing is better that doing something that takes you away from your goal.

          • Ram Kishore

            Rather than exchanging small liners, you can be more elaborate on things which u believe they should do( or they shouldn’t) and keep insisting.
            Just being fair

          • Pezza

            I’ll edit this reply in an hour

        • Pezza

          No, my suggestion id

  • Kenny

    All we need now is the Stormtroopers from HMRC to arrest Penfold again
    😂😂

  • Pezza

    Well done Jeremy Wright. Basically his reply it to tell her to stop being so stupid.

    • Ashley-out

      not a stupid as you though

      • Pezza

        I can’t cope, you are too good for me.

    • Big Hairy Man
      • Pezza

        That’s clever, really good.

  • Stephen Christie

    well the uneducated labor party MPs cant even think for themselves gutter politics from a e failed student dross from a thick self serving maggot

    • Jimmy_toons

      ‘the uneducated labor party MPs’…you couldn’t write it. Well, you couldn’t write it correctly.

      • KennySamsung

        He shouldn’t have written it full stop!

        • Pezza

          He was spot on, the Labour scumbag are trying to make political capital. Good little spat between Luke Edwards and the show-boating chi Onwurah yesterday, showed her up for what she is.

          • KennySamsung

            …and if she sat back and did nothing she’d be criticised for that too. I want this man out, you are happy having the p*** taken out of you.

          • Pezza

            No mate, she should have read up first.

    • JohnCornwell’sHair

      That didn’t go very well for you did it?

    • JohnnyH

      There are nearly as many grammatical and punctuation errors, as there are words in the entire sentence here. Well done.

    • Carverlier football

      If you’re calling somebody uneducated you need to make really, really sure you possess the ability to string a coherent and correctly-written sentence together…

  • mactoon

    It’s pathetic. He is doing nothing wrong as an owner of a football club other than not investing the club’s money into the first team squad, the infrastructure and academy. If you want to do something about it prove he is doing something illegal. Good luck with that! Nothing you do by way of protests will achieve anything if there is not a buyer willing to pay his price. FIND THAT BUYER anything else is not going to work.

    • Carverlier football

      There will never be a buyer willing to pay his price because it is too high. One reason why it is too high is all of the future income that SD will have contractually tied up, just like at Rangers (only probably worse). The only people who will definitively know that are whoever does due dilligence, who will be bound by non-disclosure agreements. Therefore financial transparency is actually very important as without it the myth of Ashley as a motivated seller is perpetuated, as is the myth of Ashley putting money in rather than taking it out.

      • Paul Patterson

        Correct. Any buyer that sees the books will no doubt see that Ashley will have future revenue tied up, try to get that negotiated out and then the price goes up or Ashley says no deal.
        Nobody buys a house but has to put up with the previous tenant coming in and raiding the fridge every weekend . .

        • Cockneytrev

          Exactly,,,,

        • mactoon

          I’ve no doubt that the current contracts within the sale of the club have assignment clauses to make sure they are transferred with the club meaning contracts like, for example the one between SD and the club merchandise will remain if the club is sold. The SD advertising will no doubt be carried over too, but given that Staveley did due diligence over a number of years and still left the final offer on the table indicates that despite all this, she was still willing to take it on and a deal could still be done at the right price.

          • Pezza

            I tend to agree

    • FatParosite

      More pathetic nay saying. High horse trumpeter who knows best. Well done pour cold water on something before it’s happened because you’re cynical and you’re already beaten. I bet you have a ST too.

      • mactoon

        I gave my season ticket up in 2013 mate as I refused to give him another penny. What I am saying is protests won’t do much if he doesn’t have a buyer so focus on finding that buyer because while ashley lives in London, protesting in newcastle won’t affect him. He can just sit on his money and ignore it
        Hardly pathetic nay saying.. more considered realism
        If you don’t find a buyer he is going nowhere

        • FatParosite

          Even if we do find a buyer (Not sure how that is going to work) Ashley won’t sell. Ashley want to keep this money making asset that he has spent time stripping to the bare bone and reaps shirt sales & tv money off. Any utterance from him is spiked with “I won’t sell to someone who won’t invest” which is BS for I’m keeping it.

          Buyer or no buyer he’s not going anywhere while he is comfortable sitting on the back of this golden calf. The truth is we HAVE been making it uncomfortable through efforts you think are not working, using your unerring sense of considered realism. The normally camera shy entrepreneur has not been off the screens as he’s being forced through KBH initiatives to launder his public persona. So whilst you know best in your jaded ivory realist tower. Others are fighting on social media of going to Shirebrook or flagship SD stores in London undaunted by your proclamations of ‘this will never work’ If everyone listened to you you’d be right. Thank what’s left of democracy they don’t.

          • mactoon

            You misunderstand me mate and comments like ‘my jaded ivory realist tower’ are unnecessary and unwarranted. I am not saying I disagree with protests or they aren’t having an effect, I am simply saying this MP won’t get anywhere because Ashley isn’t actually openly doing anything wrong, if he is, get some proof which will help get rid of him. The Sec of State for Sport isn’t interested/doesn’t understand the problem judging by his response. I am just questioning the usefulness of her line of enquiry.

            I am certainly not pro Ashley, I have contacted the Chief Exec of the Supporters Trust to see if he could get involved with regards to how Ashley is not using Premiership money to invest in the club and it’s squad. I have given several ideas to the Magpie Group in order to maximise the protests and cause the most discomfort to Ashley and I have also provided a way to help ATTRACT a prospective buyer which is where I think the group should be focussing on. As I have said, no buyer, no sale.

            The only way to get rid of him is to find a buyer who will offer Ashley what he wants. For me the answer is for The Magpie Group to actively seek out potential buyers, interested parties/consortiums and promote the club to them.

            Prepare a presentation showing all the good things about the club, the heart of the city, the passion of the fans, with interviews of genuinely passionate fans, the atmosphere of the ground, the history and potential of the club, our romance with the famous No. 9 shirt and goalscorers, Hughie Gallagher, Milburn, Shearer, Wyn Davies, Super Mac, Quinny, Sir Les, Andy Goal, Shearer.

            Bring together the local celebrities to contribute. Imagine Shearer talking about his homecoming, pulling on the No. 9 shirt, playing in front of the fans, why he chose us instead of Man U. John Hall talking about what he achieved, how we backed him and what it meant at the time, Show them Sir Bobby Robson talking about the club with tears in his eyes, Keegan being passionate about the club and the fans.

            Show them what the club means to us and how we would back them if they were to buy it. Better than just staying away in my book.

            There is so much inaccurate press surrounding the club and the fans, hire a PR business to get an accurate picture out telling the public what is actually going on with the club and the fans instead of the tripe you get from TV pundits and ex managers/players who actually know nothing about the facts yet paint Ashley as our saviour.

            The Magpie Group is perfectly placed to organise this.

    • KennySamsung

      I only agree with you because Ashley is so stupid he doesn’t give a u no wot.

    • Pezza

      Exactly. In all the terms required of him, he’s spot on. The mp must have known this before wasting everybody’s time. Vote another party in next time.

    • Ram Kishore

      Unless there is a buyer nothing is gonna happen. The protests will never make him sell.
      But Imo the protests will have short term pressure in few ways..
      1. Making the management back Rafa in Jan.
      2. Could make them change the ways a bit more by being a bit more transparent ( that’s a probability) and engage with fans.
      3. Rafa’s contract which will make the club make commitments for further improvements in different areas. The main aim may never get solved unless there is a buyer but there are these side benefits.
      4. Jan could be the last straw for Ashely to change ways

      • Pezza

        I happen to still think the protests could be counter productive to points 1-4 but if they were the aims, there would be some logic.

        However,vthe aim of s said to be

        • Ram Kishore

          Yep the aim of the protests were not this.. But if these 4 happens because of the protests it’s a good thing for all involved.
          Unless there is a buyer, there isn’t much the protests can do in regards to forcing Mike to sell the club.

          • Pezza

            If fans buy it, see my previous reply

        • Ram Kishore

          Yep, it could deter a buyer.
          I can’t understand why Mag censors you.

          • Pezza

            I think you can! I don’t follow the herd here, if you think for yourself on here, they don’t like it.

    • TheFatController

      There won’t be a buyer now that potential buyers are aware they can spend big sums of money legally and with accountants finding out they have no idea what is actually being sold.

      I am certain the word has got round the investment world not to touch with a barge pole dealing with Ashley over the club’s sale.

      The protests thus put pressure on Ashley to change his stance on selling from a position of strength (I only sell with caveats that suit me) to one of sense (you get the club lock stock and barrel )

    • KennySamsung

      The club is part of the community, he doesn’t give a toss about the club, community, fans, his reputation, investment, life, his friends are under his control, his treatment of potential buyers is pathetic, his contempt for government comittees questions on business issues shows his stupidity, he lies to just about everyone.
      But yes he is doing nothing wrong as a football owner other than not investing the clubs money into the whole of the club.
      Look at the whole picture and see this man for what he is, he doesn’t give a s*** about you and me.

  • Paul Patterson

    Parliament don’t care and neither does Ashley . .

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      neither do most fans by the looks of it

      • Leazes.

        Just me then….

      • Brian Standen

        That’s your perception but a large percentage of fans simply don’t have the time.
        I note from your articles you , like me still attend SJP, yet you slate fans for not doing enough to out Ashley!
        What are those who attend expected to do, shout 90 minutes of abuse, not buy his products?
        I work full time, often in London or the south west, I have a family that rightly takes up a fair percentage of my time also, match day is only chance I get to catch up with mates etc!
        So what exactly do you want us all to do, waste pub time standing outside SD singing anti Ashley songs?
        As pointed out above (mactoon) nothing people do will force his hand, he enjoys it, it gives him a sense of power!
        Before you stereo type me as ‘ not doing enough’ my services were offered previously it was only in a small way, but nobody took me up on the offer and that book is now closed!

        • Carverlier football

          Jeez, heaven forbid you waste pub time trying to do something towards improving the situation at the club you love…

          • Brian Standen

            Clearly you have time on your hands – I offered my services in a different way – feel free to check those facts!
            What have YOU done exactly ?
            So get off your mythical high horse and be real

          • Wezza

            Brian, just one question… do you regularly meet up with Monk in the 3 Bulls at 10am on a Saturday or is it mere coincidence that you said you’d be there at the exact same time 3 months ago?

          • Brian Standen

            Ok get the Monk fixation out your head.
            Monk turned up to meet me in Peppers where I go pre and post match!
            When he turned up I knew straightaway it had to be him, and yes I used to go to away games on his buses .
            Now he sometimes pops in after the games for a pint or he texts me, but make no mistake we have differing views – he respects mine as I respect his!
            By the way he is not pro Ashley but simply very pro NUFC!
            The Three Bulls heads is somewhere I don’t often go but I do recall offering to meet him there maybe a while back but as it happens he turned up to see me!
            Like him or loathe him he is genuine fan, goes to far more away games than me!
            For the record I’m happy to chat with anyone post or pre match and I’m easy to find.

          • Wezza

            Had he not said he frequents my local it is a bit difficult having a drink near a troll, lol.
            He is pro Ashley though, just like the other trolls on here and he is frequently peddling Keith Bishop lies. I’ve blocked him for good now though.

          • Brian Standen

            That’s your perogative to be fair.
            I can say for sure he def does not work for the club and knowing his record of being over exciteable he is more likely to get a banning order!

          • Wezza

            He acts like he works for KBA with his pro ashley ramblings. Either way I’m done with the troll. Someone who acts and trolls like that cannot be an NUFC fan and Jezza was right all along.

          • Carverlier football

            “He is not pro Ashley” – sorry, I’m hitting the nonsense button on that one…

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Is he ever on the dance floor in Peppers? Does he dance with Pom Pom Bob?

          • Pezza

            You really are a tawt

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Is it not 10.05am?

          • Carverlier football

            Oooh, my mythical high horse – that’ll be Pegasus then. Sounds impressive… My main gripe with that part of your post is the implication that those people who do protest and are actually doing something are wasting their time. What action you’re taking, if any, is up to you. There will be plenty of people doing more than me, and I applaud those people, and indeed anyone who is doing something, however much or little.

          • Pezza

            What is it you are doing then?

        • Realist

          Well said. I’ve never know our fanbase being more divided in my x amount of years following the club. Social media has played a big part and hasn’t helped. Worst thing invented.

    • KennySamsung

      This has always been the case for us. “we will fight them on the beaches and in the fields… we will never surrender..”…Churchill
      “We are a city, he is just one man”..Keegan
      “Splash the cas Ash”.. me

  • JohnnyH

    Don’t think anyone thought the establishment would roll over on the back of a petition and a few letters.
    The long game means keeping up the pressure on Ashley, and the way he operates.
    We’ve got to continue working to get rid of him. Apathy is not an option.

  • East Durham Mag

    In other words “money talks” and the Fattwat is loaded.

  • KennySamsung

    Government only want to know about whether or not the legal process has taken place, they can’t make a business person like people, he’ll never like the people who put money in his pocket. His world is about control and luck, his luck will one day run out.
    It’s all just a game to him and when people wake up to his cash and carry moves and boycott his anti social paradigm he’ll plunge to depths of dispair.

    • Wor Lass

      “anti social paradigm” – wow!

      • KennySamsung

        😉

        • KennySamsung

          I hate myself for being this good 😊

          • Leazes.

            You can tell it’s an international break…. dictionary comes into use.

          • KennySamsung

            Plus aricles about Isaac Hayden and also Demba Ba and Taylor to wet peoples black and white appetites. Translucent writing, looks good but ‘can’t quite see’ the point of it.

          • Pezza

            Whet

  • Gallowgate Dave

    Some worrying (but unsurprising) points in that letter:

    1. How can accounts be independently audited when Mike Ashley pays Grant Thornton to produce the accounts? The same Grant Thornton that is now under investigation by the FRC. It’s akin to trusting the rating agencies that were paid by the banks to give them glowing credit reports just before they went bust in 2008.

    2. Is Jeremy Wright actually claiming credit for the “success” of the fans forum? Clearly unaware of the utter disdain most fans have for it after the complete disrespect shown by the club towards it and it’s attempt delay, manipulate, cancel and control it.

    3. As a director of a limited company I know for a fact how much I’m allowed to leave out of my returns filed at Companies House. It’s perfectly legal, it’s not a plc. My company turns over a fraction of NUFC and I don’t have lots of fans who care about it I’m trying to hide things from either.

    4. Jeremy Wright believes the Premier League self regulation is sufficient. Hahahahahahahahaha! Clearly not been reading the news this week regarding Man City and FFP then.

    5. Jeremy Wright states NUFC is run as a private business. Yes it is. That’s the actual problem with football club ownership in this country. Any other “business” we’d have stopped giving it custom and it’d have collapsed years ago. Market forces at work. Fair enough. Sadly he clearly isn’t a footy fan because sport shouldn’t be considered a private business foremost, it’s too important to too many people and without fans the “business” is worthless. Start treating football as a sport first and a business second!

    • Themoscow72

      Apart from the £19m provision for wages which will show in the next accounts how much has been utilised every thing will be spot on.
      The Financial Controllers they have had are top people and honest.
      The M.P. is a bit of a joke when it comes to understanding football finance as was very evident at the meeting at the Gallowgate Club. She should stick to trying to do her best in other areas but does not strike me as being the brightest.

      • KennySamsung

        For caring about the people she represents in the sense that the biggest stakeholders in football are the fans and without them people like Ashley would be nothing. She seems to me to be at least in touch with the emotional side of the game. There is more to this than just a businessmans money or lack of.
        Ok she is a polititician so what, I think she’s right to question a mad mans integrity.

      • Pezza

        Exactly

    • Leazes.

      well said

    • Pezza

      I respect your view Dave, however

      Bear with me, I need a fresh vpn

      We are unable to post your comment because you have been banned by The Mag. Find out more.
      Post

      • Gallowgate Dave

        1. Well that’s another debate entirely Bobbi. But “independently” audited accounts are mis-named in my opinion if the accountant you directly pay to do the job counts as independent. Grant Thornton work for Mike Ashley, not for us fans/community, which again leads me back to football being ran as a private business first and a sport second. There’s so much money in football now and such a captive “customer base” that I can’t believe you or Monk, two educated men, dismiss any cynicism around Ashley’s intentions to the point of extreme naivety. And I’m not convinced either of you are extremely naive. So what is the motive?

        2. You really believe the club afford the fans forum enough respect for Jeremy Wright to continue to crow about the achievement?

        3. Yes an abridged version. I do alright but my turnover is a fraction of NUFC whom I’m sure pay far more money to a more sophisticated accountant than I do. I’ve no doubt what they do is certainly not illegal but are you saying there’s not a shred of doubt in your mind that Ashley’s ownership may not be primarily based around advancing us on a sporting level? Just because fans are missing a few jigsaw pieces doesn’t mean we don’t get the outline of the puzzle.

        4. Chi herself admitted she isn’t an expert and welcomed any help at The Magpie Group Meeting. Clever, immoral business folk who only care about the pursuit of wealth are frequently one step ahead of regulators, politicians and the law, I’m not doubting Ashley’s ingenuity, more his intentions. Jeremy Wright probably doesn’t care enough about football and thinks he has more important things to do like building a Death Star with his LEGO. Yes he really does do that in his spare time.

        5. Yes I know your free market principles and while I’m hardly a communist myself history is absolutely littered with rotten examples of unfettered capitalism and the devastation it causes to many. I dislike extreme left and right principles, most sensible folk are more centrist. I wonder if your dogma clouds your judgement. I have a hard right wing mate who defends every action Trump ever makes regardless of what it is. When Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his loyal voters would stick with him it reminds me of you and Monk with Mike Ashley.

        • Pezza

          This will be another disjointed reply due to the Mag’s censorshipill reply properly in an hour

    • Wezza

      “when Mike Ashley pays Grant Thornton to produce the accounts?”

      BINGO Dave!

      I touched on this a month or so ago. This is 100% not independent, in fact Grant Thornton are under investigation for SD accounts… it seems the books are not only fiddled here!

    • Gallowgate1982

      The reality is Mike Ashley does not even need the fans of NUFC. Yes his profits would be hindered bt as long as TV deals continue to be the main income at a football club it will not change..This boycott everyone is bleating on about for the wolves game will actually work in his favour as pictures are beamed all over the world of all the empty seats but still showing his SD signs …any publicity is good publicity …his SD business will actually profit from a boycott. Even if every NUFC fan cancelled their sky subscription the worldwide tv rights would pretty much cover it so even that wouldn’t hurt him..perhaps sky would start to question him then though instea
      d of giving his cronies a platform for his lies.

      • Gallowgate Dave

        Yes and No. His income would drop by approximately 14% (estimating £25 million of £180 million turnover) if we’re talking gate receipts alone but there’s also merchandise and food/drink to factor in too. Even if we only account for 14% though it’s still a pretty sharp drop in income, could your household afford a 14% wage decrease? Certainly many couldn’t and that kind of decrease would hamper our transfer dealings (even!) further. As you already say though an empty stadium doesn’t look good for the “product”. In isolation I’m sure Sky and the Premier League aren’t too bothered as long as the global money keeps rolling in but I bet they don’t love Mr Ashley in Premier League HQ as he hardly helps their cause if he’s alienating one of their club’s fan base. Empty stadia/protests/discontent don’t help them when it comes to sitting down to re-negotiate a global TV deal so in a very small way the Wolves boycott is my attempt to show my disapproval and exert even a minuscule amount of influence. It’s either that or walk away from a game I’ve played, watched and loved all my life which I’m not ready to do.

  • Cockneytrev

    This reply is about wether the owner is adhering to the letter of the law in the running of a NORMAL business,,, the point the reply totally misses , is that this is NOT your normal business, the customer (fans) cannot take their business else where, they are emotionally trapped and therefore carry on feeding the business,,,
    Until someone who is a football fan looks into this , nothing will change.
    ASHLEY OUT
    KEEP UP THE PRESSURE

    • KennySamsung

      Emotionally trapped.. I like that! Absolutely right mate.

    • Pezza

      What pressure?