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Government confirms how much Mike Ashley continuing to claim through furlough at Newcastle United

10 months ago

Mike Ashley acted disgracefully in the early stages of the virus crisis.

Amongst his actions he used the furlough scheme to pay many of his staff at Newcastle United.

Other Premier League clubs (such as Liverpool and Spurs) went to go down the same route but were quickly shamed into not using taxpayers money to pay their normal (not the players or first team coaching) staff.

In the end, of the 20 clubs in the 2019/20 Premier League only Newcastle United and Norwich City did use the furlough scheme, the Canaries having at least maybe some reason to do so, as they were already all but relegated by that point and had the least well off owners in the top tier.

Newcastle United spent around £35m on new signings in the summer 2020 transfer window, making it a £100m+ net spend on players allowed by Mike Ashley in Steve Bruce’s first three transfer windows.

The furlough scheme was most definitely not set up with the intention of Premier League clubs taking advantage of it and shameful that multi-billionaire Mike Ashley took advantage of it.

Now an investigation by ITV News has confirmed that Mike Ashley is continuing to take Government furlough cash to pay many of his staff, although it is believed to be a lower amount for a lower number of staff than last season.

The investigation using a Freedom Of Information request letting us know (roughly) just how much money Mike Ashley is taking from tax payers to help pay the wages of his Newcastle United non-playing staff.

The Government information shows how much furlough cash that companies are claiming, with the figures in bands.

The latest available furlough cash figures are for December 2020 and they show Mike Ashley claimed between £100,000 and £250,000 that month to help pay his Newcastle United staff.

Only one other Premier League club is in that same band (£100,000 to £250,000) and they are Leeds United. They are equally shameful when you consider that at the same time they have spent around £100m on players since getting promotion less than a year ago.

Yet another two Premier League clubs are also revealed to be taking furlough cash this season, with Sheffield United and Burnley the culprits. Though the HMRC figures at least show they ‘only’ claimed between £10,000 and £25,000 each in December 2020.

Quite outrageous that Mike Ashley is still using taxpayers money to pay his Newcastle United staff this season, especially when he allowed a net spend on players of over £100m since Steve Bruce arrived at the club.


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