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New £2billion+ Premier League deal tells you Mike Ashley has no intention of selling Newcastle United

2 years ago

The opening months of each new year are depressing enough without Mike Ashley tormenting Newcastle fans yet again.

The post-Christmas period, especially moving into January when people are back at work and spent up, with no money and dark by the time you leave work.

The last thing we then need is the now annual Mike Ashley is going to sell Newcastle United, or is he…?

No matter how much your head says here we go again with yet more false hopes, your heart tells you just maybe.

The frenzy that was set in motion by that Wall Street Journal exclusive has now generally receded, all we increasingly see are obviously invented new angles/information as the media are so desperate for visitors/clicks.

As for Mike Ashley, was there ever any intention to sell?

Well, when we asked Newcastle fans in a poll, a number of days after the WSJ broke the story, only 15% of supporters believed that NUFC wouldn’t be still owned by Mike Ashley by the time the 2020/21 season kicks off.

People don’t believe it and most importantly, they don’t believe Mike Ashley has any interest in selling Newcastle United. Just as has been the case right throughout these past 12 years when he has pretended he’s been genuinely trying to sell NUFC.

After all, why would he?

The reasons for him owning Newcastle United are even far far greater than they originally were in 2007 when he took over.

Back then, Ashley’s people told John Hall that he was buying the football club as a vehicle he could use to promote his retail empire around the world, especially thanks to the Premier League’s far reaching worldwide TV deals.

After Thursday’s meeting of Premier League clubs, The Times (see below) have now reported that it was revealed at the meeting that new PL Chief Executive Richard Masters had sealed his first overseas TV contract to follow when the current deals run out at the end of the 2021/22 season.

The deal agreed covers the Nordic nations – Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Starting with the 2022/23 season, they will pay over 20% more than their current deal, the new arrangement covers six seasons and is worth over £2billion.

This is just one of the countless overseas deals and covers four countries with a combined population of only 27m people.

The cash from the UK TV deals may have now levelled off or even gone down slightly but the cash floods in from overseas in ever greater amounts.

Why would Mike Ashley sell Newcastle United now?

After so many years of getting all the NUFC promotion (advertising at SJP advertising, at the training ground, on the official club website, right across the club’s social media, all press conferences, whenever a player signs etc etc) for free from the club, even now Ashley/Sports Direct get it for a pittance. Claiming they (Sports Direct – Now Frasers Group) are now paying a token £2m per season for everything they get from Newcastle United.

Mike Ashley has it all.

The perfect retail empire to be promoted by a Premier League club AND ever increasing cash flowing in due to central PL contracts that he doesn’t have to lift a finger to arrange.

He sits back, doesn’t spend a penny on the club’s infrastructure (SJP, The Academy, Training ground) and reaps all the benefits.

Mike Ashley will have convinced himself that the two relegations were just aberrations that were nothing to do with him, his reckless zero ambition business model not to blame.

This season just adding further fuel to his belief he has reinvented the wheel. Steve Bruce somehow sitting on 31 points despite all logic saying they should be in the relegation zone based on every single other measurement.

This latest January window summing the situation up further, not buying a single player despite an estimated £28m unspent of the £61m plus cash from sales that Lee Charnley stated was available to spend on players this season.

To protect the value of his retail empire adverts, Mike Ashley even took the decision to give away 10,000 free season tickets to fill the masses of empty seats caused by his running of the club. After all, with the PL cash continuing to roll in and up to £28m lying there that should have been spent on players this season, what does it matter to Ashley if NUFC have lost out on £5m or £6m that those 10,000 seats should be adding in revenue?

Sadly, reality is that with the PL riches continuing to rise not fall, it is only relegation and staying down that will force Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle United.

Writing in The Times, Chief sports reporter Martyn Ziegler revealed:

‘Signs that the Premier League bubble hasn’t burst… first post-2022 TV rights deal done is worth north of £2billion over six years – covering the four Nordic nations:

The meeting also provided details of the first overseas TV deal done by the new chief executive Richard Masters. The NENT group secured the rights for Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland from 2022-2028 with matches to be streamed or shown on pay-TV.

The size of the deal — annually it will mean more than a 20 per cent rise on the existing arrangement — is a feather in the cap of Masters and the league’s director of broadcasting Paul Molnar, especially with domestic rights having declined slightly for this cycle.’


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