Mike Ashley is on his holidays.

However, that doesn’t of course mean that Mike Ashley is not still active pulling everybody’s strings.

Friday night and Saturday morning has been full of fallout from the Peter Kenyon letter.

It was Martin Samuel from The Mail who broke the story of this leaked letter, said to be sent by Kenyon to Newcastle United for the attention of Mike Ashley before Christmas.

This is said Peter Kenyon letter to Mike Ashley:

“I know I speak for both of us in that we continue to share a serious determination to finalise the agreement we have to suit both parties as soon as possible in the new year.

“We have both spent many months discussing the parameters of a final deal and as you know we have also invested heavily in time and money on our various legal and financial advisors.

“And I appreciate the time and effort committed to the detailed discussions by your advisors, lawyers, club, and, of course, yourself.

“I fully respect your desire to ensure the next owners of Newcastle United understand the club, football, and have the appropriate financial resources, and I am delighted that you think the investor group led by myself is the best fit.

“On my side, I would like to personally assure you that I am committed to conclude our deal as soon as possible and, while we are both perhaps frustrated that we have not progressed as quickly as we would have wished.

“I would like to express personal gratitude for your patience and integrity in this matter and hope we can continue our discussions in the same spirit.”

This ‘update’ on the Newcastle United takeover has been met by all kinds of reactions, including disbelief, optimism, pessimism and laughter.

The thing is as well, Martin Samuel has ‘form’ where Mike Ashley is concerned. On a number of occasions the journalist has backed up the club’s owner and attacked the Newcastle fans at the same time.

So maybe no wonder Martin Samuel was the chosen one this time.

After a quick check, it turns out that it was only in August when Mike Ashley was getting Martin Samuel to publish another ‘leaked’ letter…

The Mag – 7 August 2018:

Past experience tells us that Mike Ashley doesn’t like it when Sports Direct attract negative publicity and/or when he/Sports Direct is put under scrutiny by the House of Commons.

So when MP Chi Onwurah presented a petition to the House of Commons 14 days ago on behalf of some of her constituents (St James Park is within her constituency), attacking Ashley’s running of Newcastle United, you can imagine it hasn’t gone down too well.

With Newcastle fans intensifying a campaign of protest against the owner for his neglect of the club and refusal to back/support Rafa Benitez, the NUFC owner is clearly not liking it.

It is now 15 days since the official Sports Direct Twitter account sent out promotional messages, thanks to NUFC fans bombarding any of their messages with replies attacking Mike Ashley and Sports Direct.

Whilst Ashley’s PR company have been forced to make their account private, due once again to Newcastle fans running interference on it.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Newcastle fans have also been ordering thousands and thousands of pounds of goods from Sports Direct online in single transactions, only to not checkout and pay at the end, meaning many items then show as out of stock for those who are looking to buy stuff.

Newcastle fans have also been urging other supporters not to buy the three new 2018/19 replica shirts, or at the very least not to buy them from Mike Ashley – either SD or the NUFC club shop.

If anybody had any doubts as to the effectiveness of the protests, a letter from Mike Ashley tells you otherwise.

It is addressed to Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright at the House of Commons but Ashley’s people have made it available to a journalist who has regularly shown support for the Newcastle United owner, Martin Samuel at The Mail:

mike ashleymike ashley

Even the fact that Mike Ashley has had it signed by Lee Charnley on his behalf, shows how desperate he is to try and present Newcastle United as a normal club.

The fact is that rather than having a proper board (or two boards of directors as some clubs have and indeed NUFC had, back in the day) and a professional management team running Newcastle United, instead Lee Charnley is the only board member AND the only named person at the club in a (supposedly) senior role.

However, both fans and media have come to take for granted that Charnley is simply put up there to take as much of the stick as possible, whilst Ashley’s shadowy people in the background, Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop, run things on his (Ashley’s) behalf.

No doubt the letter was put together by one of these Mike Ashley minions and so much of it is laughable and easily picked apart.

Chi Onwurah made a number of attempts to get Mike Ashley to engage with her in the past and invited formally to meet him at the House of Commons, a reply was sent to her some four months later telling her not to contact him in future, and send anything to Lee Charnley at the club instead.

For Mike Ashley to want the credit for promotion after it is he who relegated the club twice in eight seasons (plus a couple of near misses) is pathetic.

He talks of the debt owed to him by the club. Failing to mention that most of this ‘debt’ was in reality part of the buying price of Newcastle United, such as settling the mortgage balance that was still due on the rebuilding of St James Park.

Ashley claims that the training ground is fit for purpose and finishing 10th last season proves it, though if it helped NUFC finish 10th then surely it also ‘helped’ them get relegated, twice. In 2013 Mike Ashley declared that a new state of the art training complex was essential if Newcastle United were going to compete, yet five years later they haven’t even made a start on it. In terms of improvements, the only big one on the existing facilities, was when Rafa Benitez insisted on a new surface on the indoor pitch, the previous one had been deemed too dangerous for top players to use in case of injury and that had been the case for years.

A little belatedly, he is also now very concerned for his Sports Direct staff. Nobody would say it is acceptable if any staff are being  abused but with Mike Ashley’s record of lying in the past, you would have to be sceptical as to what he claims.

Mike Ashley wants credit for keeping season ticket prices down for 20,000 Newcastle fans, yet fails to mention how the other 25,000+ have seen massive price increases this summer, some rises over 20% on last year, making Newcastle one of the most expensive to watch outside the top six. Plus of course no mention at all of the fact that the long-term season ticket deals were introduced so that fans now start paying direct debits for the following season, months before the previous one has ended, before you even know what division the team will be in.

The biggest joke though of all, must be claiming credit for ‘retaining a World Class Manager’ like Rafa Benitez.

This is the manager he is determined to drive out of the club, a manager who has refused to extend his contract, a manager who these past three transfer windows has said Mike Ashley has not kept ‘promises’ given on signings and transfer budget. With two days of the transfer window remaining, Newcastle are sitting on a profit of close to £30m on transfers this summer, whilst Newcastle’s competitors spend relative fortunes.

Undoubtedly, Mike Ashley and his PR minions aren’t trying to convince the vast majority of Newcastle fans, by making this letter public they hope though to convince others who aren’t as clued up. Watch out for plenty of the media being sympathetic to Ashley’s letter, or indeed at the very least just repeating it without pointing out how ridiculous it is.

Ashley ruthlessly uses Newcastle United only as something to prop up his retail empire and amongst the lies and broken promises, in the NUFC 2014/15 annual accounts, he promised that Sports Direct would start and pay a market price for all the previously free advertising and promotion, needless to say this has never happened. If you wonder how much NUFC help SD, just look at the official photos of loan signing Salomon Rondon yesterday, an SD sign the overwhelming thing that you see.

The campaign of protest is working, Mike Ashley isn’t happy, let’s keep it going.

  • Gallowgate Dave

    For this letter to be published and Kenyon not to deny it then it must be either:

    a) genuine.
    b) Ashley via Bishop at his PR firm has paid Kenyon to front a fake “bid”.

    Last year I said it wouldn’t surprise me if Ashley had paid Amanda Staveley to front a fake bid, particularly when they went for a curry with Richard Desmond in full view of a Sun photographer, so as to string fans along for another year, spend nowt, bank the TV money and keep the season ticket renewals rolling through. Sometimes I wonder if I sound a bit paranoid then I remember our football club is run by a PR firm.

    • Steven05

      You aren’t paranoid mate. It’s just for most of us – the blatetent transparency of it all, the obvious truth, the obvious lies and problems – are driving us insane

      Dear Mike

      You are too good for us ungrateful Geordies. Your brand deserves better than SJP, you would be better off with much classier outfits. You should stop trying to make your Newcastle United successful and let us rot under new ownership

      • Wezza

        P.S Mike. What goes around comes around and when it does the entire region will delight in karma!

    • Wezza

      I’m sure Leazes pointed out that Kenyon lives near Chris Mort. Another link.

      • Leazes.

        Mort is Ashley’s neighbour in Totteridge Green….. Kenyon is a friend of Llambias and Ashley from Chelsea FC.

        • FatParosite

          All too cosy.

        • Wezza

          Ah there you are!

  • East Durham Mag

    Peter Kenyon may well be very sincere the problem is Fatty isn’t, he is a court proven liar and i doubt if he could even lie straight in bed. On the other hand the press are not to be trusted either. All in all utter 🐴💩.

  • Kenny

    Fake News

    • Alan

      …one more time…FAKE NEWS.

      • Wezza

        Just a hunch but I’m getting the picture that this may be fake news?

        • Shields Mag

          Don’t tell me…..FAKE NEWS!!

        • graham18

          it is

  • Paul Patterson

    Private letters don’t leak unless they are meant to ..

    • Toontaff

      As long as it’s not French letters he’s leaking!

  • Leicester Mag

    Yet more lies, this is the club who won’t pay 2K per week for arguably it’s brightest prospect. The organisation who pay stewards to physically intimidate those intending to protest. The organisation who have repeatedly sullied the good name of the club , club legends, fans. Court proven liars why in God’s name do people give any credance to anything tainted by this cabal?

    • Wezza

      It really is a total and utter disgrace. What is it going to take for the season ticket holders to realise what is going on.

  • robbersdog

    There is a genuine threat of relegation, and that must cause complications in regard to ongoing negotiations.

    I like Peter Kenyon; he’s a slick operator with a lot of experience at the very top of the game. But reading between the lines, I don’t think he can raise the money that Ashley wants, and as usual, the whole thing will probably just fizzle out.

    • GlasgowMag

      Of course there is a genuine threat of relegation. When you spend no money and aim for 17th place each season what do you expect!!

      Raise what money the club is not for sale full stop!! Why would you want to sell a club when you have free advertising for your shoddy brand, 200 odd million tv money to spend each season on your asset stripping retail purchases and 52 thousand gullible nutters who turn up every week even though the product is [email protected] that they have purchased!!

      • Wezza

        Spot on. I think most people are cottoning on but some still think FCB only has the club for advertising and merchandising. The clue to FCB taking millions out of the club is not just independent auditor Grant Thornton being under investigation for SD accounts (they do ours) its the LIES LIES LIES and more LIES!
        People lie to cover something up that they don’t want to admit or get out in public. I’m just so fed up of this club now!

    • Leazes.

      He’s a mate of Llambias and has nothing to do with this club or city!

      If you are praying for a takeover from a Hedge fund then it really is sad….. they will run the club the same way…. to take money out…. with the same result.

      ….just as well its a fakeover.

      • robbersdog

        Ah right, so using the same cretinous logic, you wouldn’t want the current owners of Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool to buy our club; not only do they have nothing to do with Newcastle, they don’t even have anything to do with Britain.

        Oh…and just for the record, the reports I’ve read in regard to Kenyon’s backers make it clear that they’re investment funds and high-net-worth individuals, not hedge funds. Yes, they’d eventually want a return on their investment, but that would only happen if we were playing in European competitions. And that’s what we all want.

        Kenyon was CEO at Man Utd and Chelsea when both teams won Premier Leagues and Champions Leagues, and his track-record, reputation and contacts throughout the game are second to none. If he fronted a successful takeover, we’d be bloody lucky.

        • Damon Horner

          Begs the question of what actually would be an acceptable scenario

          • Leazes.

            Change of law on ownership. Supporters on board.

        • Leazes.

          It isn’t true! No takeover!

      • graham18

        that might be the case but I don’t think he would be as stupid,arrogant,telling lies,spiteful as the b#llend we’ve got owning it

  • GlasgowMag

    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and Double Bollocks yip that just about covers it!!!!!!!!!!😱😱🤣🤣

  • mactoon

    Let’s be clear on one thing, the letter wasn’t ‘published’ it was ‘seen’ by the Mail and some of it’s alleged content put in an article. I won’t believe it unless there is an actual scan of it and in any case, all it says is that nothing has happened since before Christmas and Kenyon hopes for more discussions in the new year.

  • Wezza

    Busted! Good find Jim. Good article mate.

  • Geordiegiants

    Shitbags the lot of them. I can’t beleive how blatant and open this sort of journalism is getting. Where are the government bodies that are supposed to stop this sort of stuff going on?
    Fake news is now all over our national tabloids, as well as social media, it’s like it’s open season on the public.
    It’s getting silly with Brexit, Trump and the Newcastle take over.

  • Toontaff

    Lies, lies and bullshyte!

  • Hopey

    If the day ever comes when the news is announced that the take over is completed and we are rid of these vile people I am downing tools and heading straight to the toon to celebrate like we’ve won the Champions league final, until then my season ticket will never be renewed

  • Jewell Ahmed

    Look out for the way the Blackpool fans protest about their ownership today against Arsenal.

    Puts our lot to shame.

  • FatParosite

    Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuull$hit…. Martin Samuel = Kernt…. Move on.

  • Jonas

    Ashley jumped the gun with his fakeover news in early December which petered out before early January – so to cover January, cover giving the manager funds and staving off protests for another month we have this.

    deliberatey and persistantly misleading fans again (I say again, its never really stopped from day one) but that’s okay apparently.