We have to admit to being a little surprised and even disappointed, at Dave Whelan’s almost out-of-control rant against Mike Ashley, in The Sun yesterday.
Mike Ashley – he has no class says Whelan – as he shows no class himself
We know the two don’t get on, and that is to put it mildly, but for Dave to come out and question the ethics and literally just smash the character of Mike Ashley yesterday in true The Sun fashion – hardly reflected well on Dave’s own character or motives.
Some would say that Whelan was displaying exactly what he was accusing Mike of – having no class at all. We hardly think his tirade reflected well on Wigan Athletic Football Club, where he is the Chairman.
One of Ashley’s friends told The Sun today:
“I suspect Whelan is commenting on the Newcastle business because those guys are about to re-enter competition on sports retailing. I just think Mike will laugh it off.”
And some of Mike Ashley’s friends are now rallying around the Newcastle United owner, and an unnamed Ashley ally (it’s that phantom spokesman again) has today told the Daily Star today:
“Mike has saved the club financially but, clearly, sorting out the football side is taking longer to do.”
“It would be interesting to consider what would have happened if he had not bought it, because the business side of it was clearly in financial difficulties.”
“Mike went in there to sort out Newcastle. It was in a bad way when he bought it.” “I think Mike feels that wearing a shirt and tie to matches is something that should be confined to the last century.”
“He certainly won’t be taking those comments seriously.” “They are old sparring partners. Dave Whelan used to own JJB and is the main competitor of Sports Direct, which has been a lot more successful over the last 10 years.”
“So he might be feeling a bit bruised because of that.” “It is no coincidence that the timing of his comments about Mike have reminded everyone he is back in the sports retailing ring.”
We are not going to defend Mike Ashley at Newcastle, and he would do well to keep mum about Dave’s personal attack on him.
There’s no doubt that Mike has made more than his share of almost fatal errors of judgement at the Tyneside club, but it’s also fair to say that Dave Whelan has gone down a notch in our view, because of his completely unprofessional outburst yesterday.
You cannot come out and just blast somebody in public, like Dave did yesterday, and not have some readers question the character of Dave Whelan himself.
In business you have to hold your dignity, and not let emotions get in the way of decisions or statements, and once you do that you are going down a very slippery slope indeed.
We know of which we speak.