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Opinion

These are not PR mistakes from Mike Ashley – An explanation as to why

6 months ago
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I have found it really interesting reading about these PR mistakes by Mike Ashley.

The Newcastle United owner in the spotlight yet again for a variety of reasons during this virus crisis.

The same with his Sports Direct / Frasers Group retail empire…but on this occasion I want to concentrate (mainly) on events at St James Park.

I have noticed this often in the past as well, talk of PR mistakes from Ashley.

This is especially so with the media that cover Newcastle United, even more especially the local NUFC media.

Saying that Mike Ashley has made PR mistakes, suggests that what he has done have been accidents.

Ashley himself has used this line as well, even publicly apologising a few times during his 13 years of owning the football club, saying he recognises where he has gone wrong and will now do his best to put it right, do things right, whatever.

The truth?

The truth is that Mike Ashley does not make PR mistakes.

Instead, he simply does what he wants to do, makes the decisions that are best for him and/or satisfy him the most, then very occasionally he goes so far that he manages to eventually provoke some limited criticism from the media, not just Newcastle fans.

He might claim he is sorry but can you ever honestly say you have been convinced that Mike Ashley has been sorry for anything that he has done, however reprehensible it has been? That is with both Newcastle United and/or Sports Direct.

It is quite incredible that when in the past Mike Ashley has made any kind of crocodile tears ‘apology’, the NUFC media report it simply as a news story, as in not question it and repeat it as though it is automatically genuine.

It wasn’t a PR mistake when Mike Ashley…

Told Kevin Keegan he had the final say on transfers but secretly gave Dennis Wise that power instead.

Told Newcastle United fans that they could stop protesting in September 2008 because he promised he would sell the club ASAP, only to still own NUFC 12 years later.

Gave Sports Direct a decade of priceless free promotion via Newcastle United, not just hundreds of adverts at St James Park (including massive ones on top of stands) but at the training ground, whenever a player signs, all over the official club website, the same all over the club’s social media.

Renamed St James Park the Sports Direct Arena with not a penny going to the football club.

Discriminated against Jonas Gutierrez when he had cancer.

Treated club legend Alan Shearer abysmally.

Rather than look into expanding St James Park with the land opposite the Gallowgate, he has instead sold the land to himself and then onto property developers at a profit. Leading to a development which once built would make it impossible to expand SJP in the future.

Ordered that Newcastle United shouldn’t put any effort/resources into progressing in cup competitions.

Starved Rafa Benitez of reasonable backing in the transfer market, breaking promises made when Rafa signed three year contract.

Broke Premier League rules regarding having proper consultation with fans, the Fans Forum an embarrassing farce.

The list goes on and on and I’m sure you could list many more as well.

So when we get to this current situation in March/April and beyond of Mike Ashley acting so disgracefully, it is just more of the same.

The acting so shamefully during this virus crisis is not Mike Ashley ‘PR mistakes’, he knows exactly what he is doing and doesn’t care in any way who it negatively affects, whether it is Newcastle United, Sports Direct or whatever/whoever.

Any media who are still reporting on Mike Ashley making ‘mistakes’need to take a serious look at themselves.

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