New Government figures show NUFC furlough money Mike Ashley is still claiming
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 already all but relegated by that point and had the least well off owners in the top tier.
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.
Moving into the current season and Mike Ashley has continued to use taxpayers money to pay many of his non-playing staff.
Now in May 2021 the Government have made the latest furlough figures available and named those major businesses that are claiming.
The Athletic have reported these latest Government figures and they refer to money claimed by businesses in February 2021 (the release of figures always running a few months behind).
The Government figures are always banded and Mike Ashley and Newcastle United have claimed between £100,001 and £250,000 for staff in February 2021.
The Athletic say that their information is that Mike Ashley has continued to receive taxpayers money since the February payout.
As the report correctly point out though, Mike Ashley and the club have never publicly acknowledged that Newcastle United have furloughed employees, even though month after month the Government figures are showing this to be the case.
With Mike Ashley banning the official Newcastle United Fans Forum (last one held in September 2018) which they had set up to satisfy Premier League regulations, it meant / means no longer could fans raise such questions with the club hierarchy directly.
A month after Steve Bruce arrived at Newcastle United, ahead of his first ever competitive game in charge, Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley pledged to herald in a new era of openness and clarity for fans. In the match programme Charnley apologising on behalf of himself and the owner because the communication with fans had been nowhere near good enough.
Very predictably, these promises haven’t been kept, Mike Ashley and his minions refusing to be open about what is happening at the club, with communication to fans almost non-existent. As well as having taken away that Fans Forum mechanism for Newcastle supporters to ask whatever questions they wanted to raise about the running of the club, through the forum fan representatives.
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