The Shame Of Mike Ashley As Newcastle Owner

We don’t think either party came out of the tribunal yesterday looking too good, but the findings of the Premier League tribunal were just a damming indictment of Mike Ashley and his reign as Newcastle owner.

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Mike Ashley – has brought shame on Newcastle and himself

And as we have said many times before we think this will extend the adverse public’s view of Ashley, to how he manages his Sports Direct business, as it exposes some of  his dubious business tactics and personal ethics.

When Mike Ashley appointed Dennis Wise as Director Of Football in late January, 2008, fans were a little bemused as to who was ultimately responsible for players coming and going at the club.

We had thought the structure was OK as long as Kevin had the final say on all things to do with player transfers.

And last year, then Newcastle Chairman Chris Mort, was first to make the statement that Kevin was ultimately responsible for who comes and goes at the club.

In a February interview on Newcastle TV, Dennis Wise himself also stated that, and added he was only going to help Kevin get players in he wanted, and have him look at some other players he had scouted – but he (Kevin) was the ultimate decision maker.

But yesterday, one of the major things the tribunal made clear was that essentially Mike and his cohorts were simply lying about the role of Wise, to the fans, to Kevin Keegan and to anybody else who was listening.

The panel, was comprised of Philip Havers QC, Lord Pannick QC and Kenneth Merrett, and they noted in their findings the Newcastle club repeatedly lied about Keegan’s responsibilities with regard to selling players – the crux of the case – in interviews in independent and official club publications.

The tribunal talked about the club’s claim:

“that they were nothing more than an exercise in public relations carried out so as not to undermine Mr Keegan’s position”,

and they added:

“we do not understand why the club could not set out publicly and truthfully what they maintain was the true position or explain its actions to Keegan.

That’s because  they seem a devious lot, and they have continued over the last 13 months, to show a complete disdain and disrespect to the fans of Newcastle United.

They continue to do that to this day, refusing to even comment on the decision on the official web-site yesterday.

Keegan claimed he had been promised the “final say” on all transfers, but the tribunal said it was “blindingly obvious” this was not the case.

So Ashley and his cohorts have dragged the name of the proud Newcastle club once again through the mud.

The best ting this man can do now is to sell up quickly and leave the club, which he has completely shamed and shattered over the last year.

There should be a law against somebody like Ashley ever being allowed to run a football club like Newcastle United.

Oh, and now we are a second division club under his very dubious leadership – almost forgot about that.

28 comments so far

  • Steve R

    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #1

    I don’t think that Ashley should sell to Moat…i mean i couldn’t find a single clip on youtube telling me how much money Moat has 🙂 hahahaha!!!

    I am proud to say that we are the most loyal supporters in the land, how much cr@p must we continue to put up with?

  • waddler

    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #2

    Dave 1961 left comments on your site yesterday claiming Moats plans are to sell a large chunk of the land he owns near Ponteland to the Newcastle City Council in return for planning permission to turn St James’s Park into a 75,000 – 80,000 seater stadium with shops, hotels etc.
    Have you heard about this, or anyone out there in the ether, if true it would be a sensational development.
    It has possibilities and would explain Moats interest in buying the club, even so its probably a pipedream.

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #3

    For all the crap that comes with Ashley I can’t help thinking we would have been worse off without him.

    Under the stewardship of Freddy Shepherd the credit crunch would have hit us like the iceberg in Titanic.

    At least when MA leaves the new owners will have a sound financial platform on which to build.

    While relegation was nothing short of disasterous it has given the club a chance to rid itself of all the dead wood (save for Barton and arguably one or two others) and for the first time in quite a while we seem to have a group of players who want to play for each other and the fans and not just their pay cheque.

    Now I’m not so naive to think that we’ll sail through this season and gain promotion without a hiccup or two, but I do think that we will be one of the promoted 3, and when we start the next season in the Premiership we will be as good as debt-free, with a good core of 15 or so players together with some hugely promising youngsters with a decent amount of experience under their belts.

    I think that when you look at it like that even the harshest of MA critics can see that it isn’t all bad.

  • inselaffe

    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #4

    And yet another reason for the rest of the world to snigger at us…

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #5

    waddler – that has to bs.

    For a start the houses on Leazes Terrace are all listed buildings.

    Secondly the land outside the Gallowgate couldn’t support any more weight because of the Metro tunnels.

    That is why we have a lop-sided stadium, and unless Moat plans to make it even more lop-sided I would say that extending the current stadium is practically impossible.

  • Sav

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #6

    The ‘blindingly obvious’ quote is not from the tribunals summation and findings but is a direct quote from Ashley. There’ll be enough banter and balloney written over the weekend without sloppy reporting of the published facts, Ed.

    And I entirely disagree with your assessment in your opening sentence which fails to distinguish between the light this affair casts on either party. Apart from the size of the claim he made – under advisement of his lawyers and the LMA – punitive damages against Ashley, Keegan behaved in an entirely decent and honourable manner throughout this whole affair. This in the face of demonstrable lies and a smear campaign you still seem to be buying into.
    In the light of these club tactics, his claim to want to see the truth come out deserves to be taken at face value now and an acknowledgement that he was entirely in the right. Had KK been the money-grabber you claim, he never would have agreed to a severance limit of 2 million in the first place – a clause which cost him dearly in the end.

  • Graeme

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #7

    Mike Ashley is proven to be a lying, devious scumbag. The quicker he leaves NUFC the better.

    Ed, Isnt it time, now the KK fiasco is over and done with, for some serious research into our next “Glorious Leader” in waiting?? Who is he? What are his intentions? Who are the mysterious “American Backers”?

    Will Moat actually own the club? How much of it will be owned by the mysterons? If they are as wealthy as rumour has it, why does he need a huge overdraft from Barclays?? Etc Etc Etc.

    I look forward to hearing the facts behind all the dross.

  • trimac

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #8

    Waddler at #2

    I think you’ve picked Dave 1961 up wrong there mate. The idea is that Moat, being the owner of Newcastle would propose that if the council gave him planning permission on the land at Darras Hall ,therefore making it worth billions to developers (and himself) he would in return build a new stadium on part of it thereby releasing prime city centre land back to the council (i.e. St James park). The chances of that happening are pretty slim because obtaining planning permission on arable land in England is nigh on impossible. (Just ask the provident group about that).

  • batty

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #9

    ed why do you keep saying we

  • Sav

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #10

    If you are still obsessed and seething over the 26million claim Keegan’s team made (no doubt hiked up as a tactic to be used in the event of a counter-claim from Ashley), how about an assessment from you of the ‘fairness’ of the 2 million compensation KK eventually got, Ed?

    Do you think its fair and should you not ewxpress an opinion about that? Its taken 13 months to get it and he was on over 3 million per annum. Big Sam received 4 million and was back in work within a couple of months at most. And have younot read anyone bleating about KK being a serial hoyer of toys out of his pram? Were his exits from Fulham, City, England and Newcastle not cited all over as knowing journos shook their heads and sniggered ‘we told you so’.
    So is there not some merit in his claim for damage to his reputation? And the club’s smear campaign must have caused him some distress ahen he could not respond. Add it all up, Ed and I think you’ll find KK has lost a great deal financially while winning his case entirely. Therefore, I think he deserves the good grace of congratulations and some sympathy.

  • Bill F

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #11

    I’m sorry to say that I am still not convinced about Keegans sincerity and pure motives in all of this charade. Ok he had a player he didn’t want foisted on to him, but he didn’t need to play him, did he? He was dragged from obscurity to managing one of the biggest (potentially) clubs in the world. He could have said ok I’ll prove my point and show I can make a success of this club despite the crap hierarchy.
    He chose instead to walk away, for the second time, from the club he professed to love.
    Ashley might be a totaly ignorant b*stard. But he is for the moment our totally ignorant b*stard, so we will just have to make the best of it and hope the lads on the pitch continue to make us proud and get us out of this nightmare situation. Ashley and co. might even start to look more palatable once we are back in the EPL.

  • sirjasontoon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #12

    I think we should all start making the Fat Cretin palatable because to think he is going anywhere in the foreseeable future is complete lunacy.

    Anyone in business would sell when the asset is at its most valuable and attractive to buyers…if he ever sells it will be when we are in the premiership and he can at least try and break even or recoup most of his losses.

  • batty

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #13

    never BILLF

  • Tino 11

    Oct 3, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #14

    I have never been a fan of Ashley but when people said he just bought us to make a quick profit then i thought they were wrong, especially when he made the statement about making us like Arsenal

    However now that he is a proven liar i get the feeling he just got someone to make the Arsenal statement up, and he probably did buy us and hoped we would have 1 good season so he could sell for a profit.

  • batty

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #15


  • sirjasontoon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #16

    His plan which he even said to Kevin was to use the youth time like a sports retailer by getting cheap kids in and flogging them on if they where anygood…bit like what he did with Bassong.

    Strategically when it comes to football Mike is completely docile.

  • MacToon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #17

    Ed, how can you say “We don’t think either party came out of the tribunal yesterday looking too good”



    “The Club admitted to the Tribunal that it repeatedly and intentionally misled the press, public and the fans of Newcastle United.”

  • Bill F

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #18

    I can appreciate the hate and ire being felt by the majority of us against Ashley, and make no mistake about it I include myself in the “us”.
    But I wouldn’t mind betting that when we get back to the EPL and a degree of success behind us that Ashley will start to be tolerated if not actually loved or liked. It’s human nature to see things as they are rather than as they were!

    I think I would now prefer to discuss our win today rather than the Eastenders show we have become. 🙂

  • dave 1961

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #19

    the post I made about moats land, and what I think he will do is based on things I have research. and I was putting 2 & 2 together, but based on things I know, to say he could not get planning look no further than Newcastle great park at Gosforth. ST James park can be increased to 80,000 this will not impact on Leazes terrace, and this is the only listed building, the £300,000,000 plan for the expansion of the Gallowgate end & both corner sections, was work in progress when Ashley purchased the club, and being overseen by Bruce shepherd, I don’t think moat would try to develop all his land but around 20% would be enough to finance all the work, and what I listed was council stipulation for what the development should provide for the city. And of course it’s what I would do in his position, it would benefit all. This is what I feel moat wants to do.

  • dave 1961

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #20

    my take on this is Ashley appointed Keegan on a con, so he could shaft the fans, while using Keegan as his human shield, like Saddam before him, the fans had to keep quiet, only one problem Keegan would not play ball, this is an indictment on Ashley, it is 100% in Keegan’s favor and the damages Keegan gets, was all he was going to, but I bet he made Ashley squirm. so when the sing about Ashley now they should add lying bstard

  • sirjasontoon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #21

    Dave without “concrete”facts we could waffle on all day about Moat,his mystery backers,his great plans for this plot of land and that…we all love to dream.

    I will be quite honest and right now I don’t give a monkeys about land in darass hall or wherever,I personally don’t think the club is really up for sale,Moat is being used as an excuse to avoid Mike investing in the squad.

    Mike will be here come the end of the season,he will gamble that with minimum expenditure (loan players etc) we can wing it back to the premiership and then he will was his hands of the mess that is NUFC and recoup some of his losses.

    We could look at it another way…Imagine there was a rumor some big shot billionaire,who owned a helicopter and a massive sports chain was buying us…yup we would all wet our pants and get excited…..well once upon a time that did happen and look where we ended up….on our backside,relegated,a squad stripped to bare bones,managerless in over a year….we need to get real because once we start getting the injuries and suspensions (which we know are going to happen sooner or later in abundance) things could go more pear shaped than we ever thought possible.

  • sirjasontoon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #22

    Will wash his hands-Typo 🙂

  • MacToon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #23

    Yep, he’s a gambler (a bad one at that) and proven a liar but I suppose he’s atleast paying the wages 😆 unlike some Prem team! I even find it difficult to joke about this guy because he’s purely a nasty guy, he doesn’t care about anything but his bank balance.

  • sirjasontoon

    Oct 3, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #24

    I hope the fans sing keegan’s name today….:)

  • Timmers

    Oct 3, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #25

    @Sirjasontoon, i have to agree. I’ve always said we’d be sold Dec/Jan earliest. But i’m inclined to agree we wont be sold at all. I thought one of two things would happen-1)we’d struggle and be in a relegation fight. 2)-start doing well on the bare bones and Ashley would make up buyers to avoid spending money and recoup with promotion.
    Moat is a less wealthy Ashley, they are business cohorts and i dont know where this mysterious backing that he supposedly has is coming from. Seems strange that Moat became the front runner when Ashley came back from the States and Hawai.
    I’d prefer never to hear of any more takeover/manger rumours as its not gonna happen any time soon. In the long haul id like to see an owner like Randy Learner. But thats enuff dreams im hoping for a convincing win today before the internation break. 3-0(i hope)

  • Bill F

    Oct 3, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #26

    SJT, hadn’t noticed your typo, but in passing has anyone seen that stuff where the bare bones of writing words are slightly jumbled, but you can still read what appears to be gibberish. Reminds me a little of some of the comments on the blog at times. 😉

  • dave 1961

    Oct 3, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #27

    anyone that thinks moat is a lap dog for Ashley can forget it, moat is a good friend of a MR Shearer and he would not mislead the fans, but all other possibilities are open, all I put forward was a spin not to get to despondent over moat as he has the potential to do well, Ashley on the other hand is totally unpredictable, I know someone that’s a friend of a close friend of mike Ashley, and he’s been told that Ashley does not want to sell, to anyone.

  • chuck

    Oct 3, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #28

    What would be the point of offering the club for sale , even naming a price, if he has in fact no intention of selling?
    Seems he cant wait to unload to anyone with the available cash.
    Also appears that in the present economic meltdown,not too many out there with a spare one hundred mill.
    Moat ? probably like the other chancers who have made their interests known, but when asked to put up or shut up, became obvious they could`nt come up with the readies.
    Soh ! until someone shows up with the required funds, we are stuck with “fatty Ashley”
    Guess we are going to have to deal with it.


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