June published 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 2020/21 season and Mike Ashley continued to use taxpayers money to pay many of his non-playing staff.
Now in June 2021 the Government have made the latest furlough figures available and named the businesses that are claiming.
These latest Government figures refer to money claimed by businesses in March 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 March 2021.
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 originally set up to satisfy Premier League regulations regarding communicating with fans, 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.
The furlough scheme will run until the end of September 2021 and no doubt Mike Ashley will look to take advantage of taxpayer money to help pay his Newcastle United staff, right up to the bitter end when the scheme closes.
Unless of course a Newcastle United takeover happens in the meantime…
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