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Opinion

Embarrassing Lee Charnley explanation of Mike Ashley decision to give out 10,000 free season tickets

7 months ago
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We know for sure that Mike Ashley is on a PR offensive, when on very rare occasions he sends out Lee Charnley to speak to the media.

That has been the case for the NUFC owner’s gofer today.

Lee Charnley doing an ‘interview’ with the Chronicle and also appearing on BBC Radio Newcastle.

The PR/Spin offensive is concerning the 10,000 free season tickets that Mike Ashley has decided to give away.

The Chronicle quoting Lee Charnley in their ‘interview’:

“With our crowd at the weekend against Southampton, which was lower than our average this season, the win followed and I had a conversation with Steve (Bruce) and he said ‘is there something we can do?’

“Sometimes these things are about momentum. The results we have had over the last week and Steve asked what we could do.

“I felt that the supporters that have been with us and been good to Steve and the team, really supportive, it was like: ‘Why don’t we give them something back? That’s what we have done.

“There’s no tricks, agendas, it is simply the club saying thank you to the supporters who have been here and stuck with us, and supported Steve and the team.

“It’s a thank-you to you and will give people the opportunity to come into the stadium that may have ordinarily not been able to.

“We have talked before and I think we have demonstrated we have been quite creative in terms of ticket offers for example our long-term ticket deals.

“We have continually looked at ways to try to keep the stadium full.

“At this moment in time, it felt like this was the right thing to do.

“It will give people who wouldn’t or couldn’t come for a number of reasons the opportunity to now come and watch us at St James’ Park and watch Premier League football.”

So we are honestly supposed to believe that this was all decided and announced in only the 24 hours after the Southampton match?

That Lee Charnley had the authority to decide this himself?

That this wasn’t decided at the very latest last week when Mike Ashley realised there were going to be over 10,000 empty seats on Sunday.

We are honestly supposed to believe that the reason Mike Ashley/Lee Charnley are doing this for the benefit of the fans???

If you believe that, then no doubt you think Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United to ‘save’ the club, rather than to benefit him

If this was indeed an ‘interview’, when Lee Charnley says ‘We have continually looked at ways to try to keep the stadium full’, why was he not then asked that if that was indeed the case, why did Mike Ashley charge season ticket holders up to 20% more last season (2018/19) and then put prices up all around the stadium by another 5% this summer?

Also, why are there no questions about how this is happening only days before the relaunch and rebranding of Sports Direct, with claims that the 10,000 free seats are to ensure a full stadium as all the SD advertising is changed over to ‘Fraser Group’, as SD is set to be called as from Monday?

It is all about Mike Ashley’s retail empire and the slavish part Newcastle United plays in promoting and propping it up, to make Mike Ashley richer.

No mention in the ‘interview’ either of how deep the boycott has bitten, fans still staying away and producing the lowest crowd in over nine years because of Mike Ashley.

No questions put to Lee Charnley as to why they are forced to now give 10,000 season tickets away, when only three seasons ago NUFC averaged over 51,000 in the Championship!

No questions as to what the reason might be as to why there were 10,000 more Newcastle fans at this same fixture only eight months ago back in April.

After 13 seasons of Mike Ashley we should all know by now when we are being played/spun by Mike Ashley. Good luck to you if you believe Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley on this one, no doubt you are still also expecting that fat bloke in red and white to get down your chimney in a couple of weeks time…

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