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Opinion

Would success for Newcastle United be bad for business for Mike Ashley?

1 week ago
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For many Newcastle fans, what Mike Ashley has done with the football club makes little sense.

Supporters thinking that logically, surely the more successful NUFC are on the pitch then the more benefit there would be for himself.

Instead, since taking over Newcastle United in 2007, Ashley’s only strategy has been to try and get the club to survive in the Premier League.

This means continued worldwide TV exposure for his retail empire and Premier League level revenues flowing into the club.

The baffling lack of ambition was best summed up when the planets were all aligned and somehow Newcastle United were accidentally catapulted into fifth place in 2011/12.

There was zero interest shown in building on that breakthrough season, indeed it almost appeared to frighten Mike Ashley.

There was actually a small profit shown in that summer 2012 transfer window with a number of fringe players sold off and only Vurnon Anita brought in.

The stupidity of that summer was beyond belief and the law of unintended consequences took over.

By refusing to show any ambition, Mike Ashley set in motion two things…

None of those players who had done so well in the 2011/12 season ever hit those heights again for Newcastle, the lack of ambition definitely no doubt leaving them thinking ‘what’s the point’ of being at St James Park.

This in turn almost creating a relegation season, as Newcastle only confirmed safety when winning their last away game of the season at QPR.

From fifth to almost relegation, only at Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United, talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

Looking for reason as to why the NUFC owner is so averse to any kind of success apart from Premier League survival…could it actually be that Newcastle United success would be bad for business for Mike Ashley?

Or at least that is what he believes.

Imagine if when he took over the club in 2007, Mike Ashley had taken a different route.

Imagine if he’d arranged it so that he personally put money in each year to help grow the club on and off the pitch, plus had Sports Direct and his other companies paying premium rates for all the promotion of his retail empire via Newcastle United.

Imagine proper investment in the team as well as the infrastructure, money spent on expanding and improving St James Park, building the state of the art essential new training complex, investment in the Academy?

Imagine if thanks largely to Mike Ashley and his Sports Direct empire, Newcastle United had become really successful on the pitch…

Just maybe, Mr Ashley looked at this potential scenario and thought, if mine (Ashley’s) and Sports Direct’s money is seen to be the reason for making Newcastle United successful at the expense of all those other clubs, will many fans of other clubs decide they don’t want to help fund success at NUFC.

Instead deciding they will buy their cheaper white sports socks elsewhere.

If you think this sounds far-fetched, would it be any more bizarre than everything else we have seen him do with our football club?

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