Mike Ashley Is Just Out To Promote His Own Business


A man has been charged with criminal damage after writing graffiti at Newcastle United’s ground just before 2:00 am in the morning.

The graffiti before club officials removed it yesterday morning

The famous St. James’ Park sign was removed by workmen on Thursday to the anger of Newcastle fans, and gaudy and cheap looking red and blue Sports Direct Arena signs are currently on show and they look so cheap.

Newcastle officials say it’s only a temporary measure,  and they are hoping to get a sponsor for the naming rights of the ground, but no success as yet.

Michael Atkinson, 29, was arrested early Friday morning as he wrote St. James’ in white paint on the wall that once had the black letters showing St. James’ Park.

Michael said he had walked to the ground from his home about two miles away, because he was so upset at Mike Ashley’s decision to change the name of the club’s famous ground, which has been Newcastle’s home for 120 years.

But it seems prestige and great history mean nothing when they are up against the mighty dollar.

Atkinson is unemployed and lives in Newbiggin Hall, and he was a little inebriated after drinking 8 cans of beer on Thursday night, and he had this to say after his arrest:

“I got so angry at Mike Ashley. I couldn’t believe they had waited so long to do this after selling the naming rights last year.”

“I couldn’t believe that they were doing it in broad daylight. It’s such an iconic name, and Ashley is just out to promote his own business.”

“People on Facebook were saying someone should go and put a new sign on the stadium once it had been taken down and I thought why not.”

“I’d had eight cans of Fosters, so I decided I was going to make a stand and speak for all N e w c a s t l e fans.”

“I started to paint the letters on but after only two minutes, I was spotted by a police riot van and they asked me what I was doing.”

“A security guard from Newcastle United then came out and I just held my hands up straight away.”

We must admit it looks like Ashley is simply using Newcastle to promote his Sports Direct franchise, because when the matches come on TV, all you see are Sports Direct signs all over the place – and it’s a small wonder they are not on the shirts – they seem to be everywhere else.

A Northumbria police spokesman had this to say:

“At 1.57am a man was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage after a wall was spray painted at the Newcastle United ground.”

“Michael Atkinson, 29, was charged with criminal damage and will appear before Newcastle magistrates on March 7.”

We don’t know whether the new uproar over the renaming of St. James Park will affect Mike Ashley at all or his decision on the naming rights.

But if history is any guide it will not, and of course Ashley will never ever win any popularity contests in Newcastle,  whatever success he has with the Tyneside club.

Mike comes across as a hard-nosed businessman, who has no appreciation or respect of the history of the great club he bought in the summer of 2007, and I’ll not even mention that he never speaks to the fans – which after all are his customers.

And lest we forget here is what it all  used to look like – and we never see this again.

And we don’t know how how Michael Atkinson will fare in court,  and we suppose if depends on whether the magistrates are Newcastle fans or not. 😀

Comments welcome.



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36 comments so far

  • israeli_fan

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #1

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR BOBBY ROBSON!
    and happy birthday to jermaine jenas as well i think..

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  • pbNcl

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #2

    I hate the fatman, sheer hate. And I’m a compassionate soul, but as far as I am concerned this is an act of war

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  • kingkev9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #3

    Mike Ashley’s only interest is making money.

    10 year price freeze? Funny how all memberships are going up £10 next season. You know the membership all season ticket holders have to buy! So that’s a nice £500k in his back pocket again next year. FCB

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  • Brutooon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #4

    Michael Atkinson ON THE WALL

    Ryan Taylor OVER THE WALL

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  • ogm

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #5

    To the supporters it will always be St James Park, but Ashley if wanted to call it the Pink Pagoda he can (he does own the club after all) and it won’t make a bit of difference what some of the fans think.

    People should get real and look at the realities of life, football is a business now, if you don’t run it as a business, then the club is doomed.

    Don’t like it, then tough cos theres nowt you can do about it unless you happen to have a few hundred million hidden down the back of the couch to use to buy Ashley out.

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  • roshan MAGPIE

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #6

    . 🙂 🙂 . . . . . . . .MINIMINGOGOGO GOINGOGNINGMH GOINGOGNINGMHOG GOINGOGNINGMH GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNINGMH GOINGOGNINGMHOG INNINGOGOGNING GOINGOGNINGM GOING ING ING GOINOIM GOINOIMINGOG GOINGOGNIN INNINGOG GOINGOGNIN GOINGOGNINGMHOGMHOGMHOGMHOGMHOGM MIN ING ING GOING ING ING GOINGOG GOINGOG GOING ING ING HONG ING HOGO ING ING ING ING HOMOG HOW MINING MINIMINGOG INNINGOGOGNINGM GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNINGMH GOINGOGNI GOINGON GOINGOGNI GOINGOGN GOINGOG GOINGOGNI GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNI INNINGOGOG GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNINGMH GOINGOGNINGMHOGMHOGMN GOINGOGNINN GOINGOGNINGMN GOINGOGNINNGO GOINGOGNI MINING GOINGOG GOINGOG GOINGOGNI GOINGOGNING GOING GOINGOGNING MINIMINGOGOG GOINGOGNI GOINGOGNING GOINGOGNI GOINGOGNI GOINGOGNI GOINGOGZ NEWCASTLE NEWCASTLE NEWCASTLE NEWCASTLE NEWCASTLE NEWCASTLE

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  • bills-son

    Feb 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #7

    Ed says – and of course Ashley will never ever win any popularity contests in Newcastle, whatever success he has with the Tyneside club.

    Really????

    So you are saying even if we win the double and Champs League under Ashley you Ed – and others – will never give him credit and will continue to demonise him?

    That is a very sad indictment of you and those who would act the same. A very sad indictment.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #8

    i don’t see anyone else writing cheques for all the players and staff etc. Thank god we are not a Portsmouth, despite freddie’s best efforts.

    So what if a by-product of owing NUFC is a bit of maketing for Sports direct.

    Some people still don’t appreciate we now have the calibre of Krul, Santon, Tiote, BA , Cisse, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Colo etc. I guess they never will.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #9

    wow £10 lol!!!!

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  • Durham_Toon

    Feb 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #10

    @7 Correct. It’s gone way to far for me to forgive MA. Ever. Any success the team has is despite him not because of him, remember that.

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  • bills-son

    Feb 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #11

    Rotunda – you are right.

    As you can see from Durham Toon’s post below yours.

    Rotonda heights // Feb 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Some people still don’t appreciate we now have the calibre of Krul, Santon, Tiote, BA , Cisse, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Colo etc. I guess they never will

    Durham_Toon // Feb 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    @7 Correct. It’s gone way to far for me to forgive MA. Ever. Any success the team has is despite him not because of him, remember that.

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  • rotherschild

    Feb 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #12

    I have supported NUFC @ St James Park since i was eight years old that’s Sixty Two years the last forty as a season ticket holder I’m what you call a proper supporter like Ed Harrison. Ashley would sell his soul for a mess of pottage if he thought it would ultimately earn him a buck. He is a ruthless hard-nosed southern business man with no love of NUFC, and even less of its proud Geordie followers.
    We inherited this club from our fathers and their fathers before them when they had only their football club to look forward to as some form of relief from the daily grind. How any true supporter of NUFC can condone defacing St James Park by wanting to rename it Sports Direct or Furniture Direct or Toys Direct is beyond me.Mike Ashley openly rapes Nufc clubs famous name on a regular basis to use it as a vehicle to promote his empire it is by default we gained success this year it was never in MAs master plan Reinforcing his brand is the prime mover. Ed Harrison is right this charlatan known as Mike Ashley will never be accepted by true followers of the beloved black and white . NUFC. St JAMES PARK the proud home of football since the 19th century.

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  • Sav

    Feb 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #13

    Why do people equate crapping on your own customers as being good business?
    I don’t hear anyone squawking about the SD signs all over the in side of the ground. Most accept that is okay. But the stadium entrance wall was an unnecessary act of sheer bloody-mindedness and antagonism never did any business any good. You can be ruthless to your opposition, but not your own customers. Is Mashley too thick to figure out what PR stands for? Of course he bought the club and has every right but I’ll be exercising mine by not buying in SD shops and I don’t buy any add-ons inside St. James’ Park either.

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  • Sav

    Feb 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #14

    ..and we won’t be seeing a whole wedge of money in exchange for our famous name, either. Just ‘keeping it warm’ for the eventual moneybags sponsor? Don’t make me laugh.

    To think that poor slob is done for vandalism while billionaire Mashley gets off scot-free is a bit of an irony.

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #15

    bils-son ” win the double and champs league under ashly” have a day off mate ffs.

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #16

    rotherschild@12 here m8, every true nufc fan is behind you on this one. what i have noticed in the past is-the majority of fans – maybe fans is a bit naive of me, – people who agree with the name change and the ripping down of the name dont actually come from the area, or dont live in the area, or are young and dont actally know the history.

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  • Benton Toon Exile

    Feb 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #17

    wonder if Michael Atkinson has a just giving site?

    I would be very happy to contribute to his fine.
    Strike for us little people, well done Michael.

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  • Benton Toon Exile

    Feb 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #18

    I also hear the Council are refusing to change the signs around the city from St James’s Park, good for them….

    I was discussing this at a conference in London on Wed and they seemed to be of the opinion we were over reacting, until I suggested Stamford Bridge, White Hart lane became the Sports Direct Arena……The penny then dropped and they all agreed!

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #19

    michael atkinson “LEGEND”

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  • rotherschild

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #20

    Benton Toon Exile I’m with you I would willingly contribute to his fine.

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  • rotherschild

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #21

    Stuart no9 A proper supporter. Understands the history that helped build the legend that is St James Park

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  • Ian Magpie

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #22

    Never thought I would see the day that I wold see NUFC fans selling their soul to the devil in the name of so called progress and modern footbll! You hven’t got an ounce of dignity left! Crikey……I have even been criticised for hating SUNDERLAND over the past couple of weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES BLOODY SUNDERLAND!!!!! Any Toon fan worth his stripes hates the red n white scum down the road with a passion second to none. I m so dissilutioned with the modern football supporter. You sit nice and quietly more concerned with your mobile phones than making a noise for 90 mins and you will sell your soul at any costs for a sniff of the top 4!!!! Give me the supporters of years gone by anyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Ian Magpie

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #23

    Spot on rotherschild!!!!!!!

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  • g_lish

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Is it me or are most Newcastle fans just deluded idiots? The history will always be there, as thats what it is…. history. We need to look forwards and the only way to progress against the big clubs is by having a sound financial footing.

    Yes, Ashleys cocked up more times than most, but St. James Park will always be St. James Park, simple as that. If our owner wants to promote his business then thats fine. Do you think that Man City fans are bothered about their stadium being named after some airline? dont think so. A lot of people need to grow up and get their priorities right.

    And as for the scum bag who painted the wall, I hope the little scroat gets locked up. People just cant go round doing what they want to anything they like.

    Lets worry about the important things…. NUFC winning games and getting back where we belong – no matter who owns the club.

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  • cupiddstunt

    Feb 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #25

    The moron was certaintly not acting on my behalf, unemployed and still able to afford eight cans , drink get pissed and think he is acting for the rest of the world who have brains.

    Lock the idiot up he does not represent me.

    Ed I thought MA made it quite clear his intention of buying NUFC was to help promote his main business and give it a more global face. So where is the problem?

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  • Jonty

    Feb 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #26

    Well I hope the lad gets an absolute discharge at court. He can’t get off cos he’s clearly guilty. I’m someone who supports a lot of what Mike Ashley has done but I feel completely removing the name is a step too far. As some boffin said yesterday a new sponsor would get immediate good will if they reinstated the name.

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  • Thump

    Feb 18, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #27

    I prefer the idea of putting up a banner saying “St. James’ Park” – no bedsheets mind.

    Personally, I applaud the lad. Certainly, it’s not how I’d go about it but he did what so many fans simply wouldn’t have the balls to do – stand up for the club.

    As for “it will always be St. James’ Park” – assuming things don’t change – in 2 or 3 generations “St. James’ Park” will be just a part of Geordie folklore and I don’t know about you, but that’s unacceptable.

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  • rotherschild

    Feb 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #28

    g_lish@24 You ask the question “Is it me” It is you. History! History! History is a mere record of the past. NUFC and its followers are a very very proud Northern Culture not to be diluted with history Ask Alan Shearer who so respected is home team Newcastle United he sacrificed his career and turned down richer suitors to come home. Now that’s what Culture is all about. MA would not know the true meaning of the word. Ask Sir Alec Ferguson he knows precisely what NUFC means to its loyal supporters and followers.

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  • g_lish

    Feb 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #29

    Rotherschild…….. Alan Shearer sacrifice his carreer??? dont be so narrow minded! Alan Shearer joined Newcastle when they were fighting the likes of Man utd for the title so had every intention of being successful. As a footballer his record speaks for itself, but as a man…. a lot less desirable. Do you think that Man Citys owners bought them because they wanted to go home to Moss Side??? Of course not, if they had bought NUFC had us top of the league and changed the stadium name to make a few more quid would the majority of fans be moaning? dont think so. We need to bet this cockney hatred out of our system and just get on with supporting our club. Its not our company, MA can do what he sees fit with that, but its our club…. and the 2 things are very different..

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  • rich_toonfan

    Feb 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #30

    in agree g_lish @29

    if we had a £400 mil sponship deal to call it the durex stadium and used that to buy players nobody would care….its not about history only its about money.

    Just back the manager and the players, hating an owner who we are now doing well under and building for the future is good…..ashley is more likely to invest if fans back the team and him, if we slate him every chance we get he might think why bother…not saying we have to love him just respect his vision for the club to be self sustaining.

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  • bills-son

    Feb 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #31

    g_lish, cupidstunt & richtoonfan – good to see that common sense prevails among others on this forum.

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  • AndyMac

    Feb 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #32

    Ian Magpie says:

    “Never thought I would see the day that I wold see NUFC fans selling their soul to the devil in the name of so called progress and modern footbll! You hven’t got an ounce of dignity left! ………….. I m so dissilutioned with the modern football supporter. You sit nice and quietly more concerned with your mobile phones than making a noise for 90 mins and you will sell your soul at any costs for a sniff of the top 4!!!! Give me the supporters of years gone by anyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Absolute Gold Ian Magpie some alleged supporters on here and on .co.uk have lost sight of what makes a football club unique.

    For “Thatcher’s children now read “Ashley’s offspring”.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Thatcher%27s_children

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #33

    g lish @ 24 its you mate!

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Comment #34

    if a lot more fans stuck up for the club like michael atkinson has , then we probably wouldnt have that scumbag of a cockney cretin still in our city. well done chap.

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  • xfer

    Feb 19, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Comment #35

    I have not got the chance to go down to the stadium staying in Asia, take a picture with the sign, but when i do, i will miss it now…

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  • aussietoonfan

    Feb 19, 2012 at 5:36 AM

    Comment #36

    “I’d had eight cans of Fosters, so I decided I was going to make a stand and speak for all N e w c a s t l e fans.”

    Sorry lad, you don’t speak for me!

    ANYTHING the owner wants to do, PLEASE DO IT! I would rather have a successful team in the Premier League than fighting every week.

    6th on the ladder with the money that’s been spent? I’ll gladly take it.

    If anyone should be unhappy, it’s the supporters of the glamor clubs that DON’T win silverware despite spending enough to buy a small country.

    As a relatively new supporter I say…………………….KEEP GOING MIKEY BOY!!!!!!!!!

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