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Mike Ashley launches legal action against Newcastle United owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi

1 week ago
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An exclusive has revealed that Newcastle United owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi are now the target of legal action from Mike Ashley.

The media scoop comes from The Mail, who report that a High Court legal action has been launched by Mike Ashley against Amanda Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi.

The report says that Ashley has launched the legal move via his company St James Holdings, although the details have not yet been made public.

The Mail adding that Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi are yet to be served with proceedings but that they are aware of the case.

The newspaper saying that when approached, representatives of both parties have declined to comment on the case.

It is three months since Newcastle United was at last removed from the control of Mike Ashley and on the day of the takeover and ever since then, any public comments from the new NUFC ownership have been positive about the former owner.

Indeed, in a New Year’s message (see below) from the new Newcastle United owners, published only nine days ago on the club’s official website by Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi, they thanked Mike Ashley for making the deal happen and his commitment to turning it into reality.

The Mail remind us that as well as owning a 10% stake in the new ownership, Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi also have a management contract to run the club.

In terms of what the legal action could be regarding, it is difficult not to wonder that it has some connection to the removal of the stain of Sports Direct from both St James Park and everywhere else throughout Newcastle United.

When the SD branding wasn’t instantly removed post-takeover, the new Newcastle United owners responded by making clear that there were issues preventing the SJP adverts and everything else SD related being instantly binned.

However, early December at last saw the massive operation begin and around a week before Christmas, to the huge relief of supporters, the last remaining SD presence disappeared ahead of the home game against Man City. Those same fans having always worried that even if Mike Ashley one day sold the club, he could potentially find certain ways of ensuring his presence remained in some way at Newcastle United, to continue to wind fans up.

What we do know as Newcastle fans for sure, is that Mike Ashley is like a dog with a bone when crossed, after Newcastle United supporters went against Ashley after his shameful treatment of Kevin Keegan, the next 13+ years saw the then owner appearing to take great pleasure in the way he ran the club, in the knowledge of how it wound up supporters. Even refusing to allow proper communication between club and fans apart from when it was completely unavoidable. This despite promises from Lee Charnley on his and the owner’s behalf back in August 2019 when Steve Bruce was going to take charge of his first match, that the ‘mistakes’ of the past had been acknowledged and that from this point forward, he and Mike Ashley would ensure proper communication. Needless to say, these promises were never kept. Indeed, the way that Ashley and the club acted throughout the Covid crisis was shocking, Newcastle fans always the last of any Premier League fanbase to be offered refunds on unused tickets etc.

If you wonder about the persistence of Mike Ashley, you only have to look north of the border and how Rangers are still not totally free of him due to contracts entered into before the current Rangers owners took control, Ashley continuing to take legal action on various matters and the Glasgow club still not free to totally move on.

This reported legal action against Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi, coincides with widespread media reporting of Mike Ashley allegedly making moves to try and take over Derby County.

These past few months that have been almost completely Mike Ashley free when it comes to talking about him with regard to Newcastle United / football, seemingly now at an end.

Official statement released by the Newcastle United owners – 31 December 2021:

‘The turn of the year is, of course, a time when we all reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

Despite the current challenges, we see a bright and, ultimately, successful future for Newcastle United. The Club has amazing fans. It has serious, long-term investors. And the Club has a workforce committed to getting the best for both the football club and the City of Newcastle.

Obviously, we face some stern challenges ahead of us – not least the issues surrounding the continuing pandemic. But we will meet these challenges with fierce determination and a strong resolve to improve every aspect of the Club, while playing a full role in the community we serve.

As we look back at the last twelve months, we were of course delighted to finally complete the purchase of the Club on 7 October.

This reflected the patience of each investor and the belief that we would get the deal done. It also reflects the commitment of Mike Ashley and his team – shown over a lengthy period – to ensure that not only did the deal go through, but that ownership of the Club passed to people who could take the Club forward responsibly. We thank Mike and his team for that commitment as, without it, the deal would not have been possible.

We also thank each member of our staff, who have embraced the changes that have already been made and shown a tremendous work ethic in very demanding circumstances. We all know that we have a great deal to do, but we will strive to fulfil this great Club’s promise.

As ever, the massively passionate support of our fans will be crucial as we look to improve our results on the pitch. We have had a very tough first half of the season, but you have been right behind the team and we want to take this opportunity to let you know how very much we appreciate it. Our most recent match at St. James’ Park showed the power that can be generated when the players and supporters unite and feed off each other, and it was wonderful to experience that special atmosphere.

Let’s take that positivity into 2022 as we aim to progress on and off the pitch. We have very important fixtures ahead of us and a January transfer window that we have worked tirelessly to prepare for, so let’s face our challenges head on and look forward to the second half of the season with optimism.

Wishing everyone a healthy and Happy New Year.

Amanda & Mehrdad’

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