How Much Do Sports Direct Pay Newcastle For Advertising?

Joe Kinnear used the program notes for yesterday’s game against Liverpool to show how Newcastle’s finances just couldn’t match those of the top six clubs in England, and the area Newcastle are really let down is in their commercial revenue, which is pitifully small, and this year will be only £17M, and that compares – as two examples to £64M at Liverpool and £53M at Spurs.

mike ashley

Mike Ashley – owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle

So why is the commercial revenue so low?

It’s good that the stadium is called St. James’ Park again, but when the ground comes on the TV screen you wonder why there are Sports Direct signs all over the place – on either side of the St. James’ Park sign at the top of the stadium – and on the leather seats in the dugout, and basically all over the place after that.

And it seems that one reason Mike Ashley bought Newcastle was to have a world-wide advertising facility – called St. James’ Park (and Newcastle) for his Sports Direct company.

So given our commercial revenue is so low, how much does Sports Direct pay Newcastle for all that advertising – we’d like to know – because they leave very little space in the ground for other companies to advertize.

We’ve said in the past that we assume Sports Direct are paying Newcastle for the advertising.

As an example Etihad Airlines are essentially owned by the same people who own Manchester City — and they pay £40M a year for that privilege – which is really a conflict of interest because that’s way over the going rates – but it’s an example of how much other clubs receive from sponsors.

George Caulkin of the Times tweets that Sports Direct should start paying for the advertising if Newcastle are to increase their commercial revenues, so if they are not paying Newcastle for that advertising – that’s probably illegal – and at best it’s questionable business ethics and would be taking advantage of Newcastle United.

So we’d like to hear from the club how much Sports Direct are paying for all that advertising – and Joe Kinnear should lay out what last year’s £14M was made up of.

If it doesn’t include money from Sports Direct that would be little short of a disgrace and a rip-off.

Enquiring minds want to know how much Sports Direct are paying Newcastle for all that world-wide advertising.

Comments welcome.

17 comments so far

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #1

    Sweet FA


    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #2

    Standing on the Terraces watching the lads play on a saturday afternoon i wonder how many of the grass-rootd support actually care about the financial side of how the club is run?

    Ashley is the owner, and can basically do what he wants with the club, warts and all .
    I was,nt pleaased when WONGA took over the sponsorship, especially when i read somewhere that the Sponsorship Deal done was for less money, than Virgin Money were sponsoring us for?
    Not sure if that,s true, but it speaks volumes if it is?

    As far as the advertising in the ground is concerned, the name of Sports Direct is all over the place, true but if that is Legal or not is a matter which people more clever than i am to ascertain?

    Your typical fan , i think aint too bothered about it?

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #3

    Maybe when the manager and kinnear have come out and said there is NO money for improving the team I don’t think it matters if you care about the finances or not you should be worried and if there’s a major source of revenue that is being exploited it’s a disgrace

    And if your attitude is oh well don’t really care then that kinda sums up how Ashley gets away with continually lower fan expectation and continues to piss all over us “oh well”

  • stevetoon85

    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #4

    They pay nothing for it….its simply used as a showcase to show what a brand/company could have if they stumped up £x,xxx,xxx amount.

    However….one benefit is that a contract can VERY easilly be drawn up between NUFC and SD should we need to comply with FIFA Fianancial fair play rules. IF (and its a big if) we ever spent £100,000,000 on players we would simply claim the advertising from Sports Direct is worth that amount.

  • jazzyp

    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #5

    Love the club with all my heart as im sure many do on this blog. But it just proves time and time again that the hierarchy are simply not doing there job.How can a club of this statue not have a significant turnover to generate expenditure when we spend jack,keep buying young lads hoping to push through the ranks-which is clearly not working !!

  • BandB

    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #6

    We were top six. Just two seasons ago.
    Mr Ashley seemed to decide quite deliberately that that was not what he wanted, and has twice lowered our targets since.
    He is doing what he does with Sports Direct. Concentrating on gross margins, driving down the cost of producing the product, in order to maximize the take for his shareholder.
    There is another way. He could try to improve the quality of the product, as truly great companies do.
    I had a deal with him.
    I gave him a rather large proportion of my annual income each year, as we all do, with a reasonable expectation he might invest some of that back into the product I was paying for. Remember, we are all investors in NUFC.
    Instead, he has decided that only one stakeholder needs to be satisfied. Himself.
    Every time you renew, he is forcing you to buy a pig in a poke.
    When he has his money back, who thinks he will push for better things? This is the final model. And it will get less and less competitive until it fails.
    Not yet perhaps, but it will fail.


    Oct 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #7


    I was thinking out loud, and just rambling on !

    The owner and Director,s at the club appear to have the mentality which says they are only in it to make money, in Ashley,s case is that obviously so.

    All the supporters deserve a hell of a lot more than the Mediocrity and penny pinching which accents the present way the club is being run.

    Like i already said, this aint going to change anytime soon, Ashley will just do what he wants with his play-thing and continue to make money with his advertising in the ground !

    The club is being exploited !

  • Hemel Mag

    Oct 20, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #8

    Ed, sorry mate BUT Dont lower yourself to spouting utter S**T

    I do not like Ashley and hate the way he runs our club. but the fact is he is the majority shareholder in Sports Direct. it’s also a fact that he has put nearly quarter of a BILLION ponds into the club. Yes some of it shows as debt on the balance sheet but at the end of the day – and listen carefully to this bit.
    As majority shareholder he could have taken that money out of SP as a dividend OR (god forbid) put it into a business that actually made a profit. SO
    Stop trying to be a Daily Mail journo and stop spouting sensationalist C**P cos if i had out that sort of money in damm right i’d be getting the name of the company that allowed me to invest in the first place, advertised!
    I know you have brains ed and love the blog, but i also know that you only write S**t stirring stuff like this to get the those that dont want to see the truth talking on your ad driven, money generating blog!

  • lesh

    Oct 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #9

    Why we don’t have good marketing people to promote the Newcastle United brand throughout the world?

    Why doesn’t Ashley ask himself why the ground has acres of Sports Direct advertising that brings in no revenue?

    Rather than be guided by a clown who’s out of touch with modern football or business, why not get rid of Kinnear and employ someone to market the brand and attract revenue by buying the advertising space currently promoting SD at no cost?

    There’s money there to be made, why doesn’t Ashley do something to attract it to the club rather than have Kinnear telling us why we’re a small club?



    Oct 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #10


    I would Tone down my criticism of Ed if i was you !

    If it was,nt for the ED there would,nt be a Blog to start with in the first place!

  • Ancientcoptic

    Oct 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #11

    If what is proposed in this article is true, then this is nothing short of extortion – Mike Ashley would essentially be stealing money out of the club, and it is a double edged sword because it keeps us in debt longer, and we all know who the club owes that debt too.

  • Rooster

    Oct 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #12

    HemeL, we all know how much MA has put in to NUFC, and we know that because of his aquasition of the club and the quickness of it he did not do his proper diligence, that has been well reported, so for him and with him having the money it made sense righ down the line to put that loan in to the club because if he had of financed it it was going to cost him and the club I suppose x amounts of millions in interest.

    He saw in John Hall someone who wanted a quick sale, as usual Mike DOSNT MISS an opportunity, and steamed in, and we all know h will no doubts leave with his purchase and loan monies tucked away back in the SKYROCKET.

    He did not loan the money out of his big hear,t it suited him simple as.

    And of course his accountants are going to advise him to get the freebie with Sports Direct, he wont need to be asked twice will he, it was said at the supporters for change meeting verified by one of the party representing NUFC when asked about finances that we pay ZILCH for all that masses of advertising, quite disgusting beyond belief then as JK went on in the programme notes to moan on about our revenue compared to other clubs in the prem and how it was nowhere near as good as theres, we all know bloody why now don’t we.

    We get no benefits from Sports Direct yet they get masses and masses from our great club, in the business world I would class that as a real criminal act. And something that needs seriously looking at by the relative authorities.

  • Malta Mag

    Oct 20, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #13

    I really love the way you write Ed and it can’t be easy having to keep your cool with one or two so called supporters on here especially with some of the personal attacks. I have to say though that I don’t agree with your take on the Sports Direct issue. Mike Ashley has every right to advertise his company simply because it was him and him alone who saved the club by pumping millions in when we were looking down the barrel of a gun. If a big company comes in then he’ll be the first to allow them to step in and have that advertising space he currently occupies but for now it’s the very least he deserves.

  • MacToon

    Oct 20, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #14

    The club have admitted that no income comes from his other main business interest for advertising at SJP.

  • AndyMac

    Oct 20, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #15

    I beg to differ Malta Mag.

    Fatman was the first bidder to not bother with due diligence as others had done before. If he had done so and walked away eventually the Robbing Baron and his cohorts would have had to sell for a lot less to buyers who knew how much debt was attached to the club.

    As for a big company coming in, please be aware that Branson was happy to offer £10m a season for the shirt deal but wasnt asked to bid when the existing contract was brought to an abrupt end.

    Ask yourself why the Fatman preferred a low life, loan sharking company with both a dubious past and reputation to a well known High Street brand ?

    “Thick as thieves” is a phrase that springs to mind !

  • puretoon

    Oct 20, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #16

    Don’t you lot (including Ed) tell me you’ve only just realised we don’t get a penny from SD???!!!! where have you all been these past 6 years?! or are you all that naive?
    come on! Ashley saw this club as his chance of a life time to advertise his cr*p SD to all the world with completely FREE advertising. And not one legal body has stopped him, which in it’s self is disgusting. He denied this when he bought the club, but like every other utterance from the fat mouth its yet another lie!


    We hate Ashley, Kinnear and Pardew with a passion and can’t stand the way this clubs is being run down and abused by all. This is why we’re not prepared to put another penny into it-if Ashley won’t, why the hell should we???

  • Ancientcoptic

    Oct 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #17

    I guess some supporters believe it is okay for Mike Ashley to steal finances out of our club; the reason being that he loaned the club money to save HIMSELF money.

    Mikey Ashley gets all of that money back.

    I would rather the club had a bank/other loan, and was making above board money from advertising… in comparison to Mike Ashley stealing precious advertising space worth millions of pounds, and using it to grease the cogs in his other projects.

    You do realise that the club is paying for Mike Ashley’s advertising space? All that lost revenue is revenue that the club will have to pay back to Mike Ashley – it is a total racket.

    How anybody can condone this cheating & exploitation of the fans money is ‘unfreakingbelievable.’


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