This Is How Ashley Can Change The Way He Runs Newcastle

Mike Ashley is a self-made man, and he’s done extremely well in his business career, so much so that he’s a Billionaire, and even now his sports empire – Sports Direct – seems to be breaking all financial records, and the company and Ashley are doing extremely well.

Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear-6139216

Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear

When Sports Direct went public in early 2007, Mike used some of his new found wealth – around £135M of it to be exact – to buy Newcastle United and suddenly we had a Billionaire owner and spirits were high on Tyneside.

But Mike has turned out to be one of the few Billionaire owners not to invest too much into his club, other than to pay off debts of maybe around another £150M that Freddy Shepherd had amassed, and give Newcastle interest free loans – which save the club big money every year.

And in retrospect Ashley has stabilized the club financially. and Newcastle are now expected to be in the red from now on – and make profits – and that’s good.

There are a number of things the owner has found difficult at Newcastle, and he keeps making mistakes which upset Newcastle fans.

There have been a number of them. and one was last summer when he hired Joe Kinnear, a Londoner, who fans never really took to when Joe managed the club during the relegation season.

And then the bizarre story at the Sunderland game on Sunday, other than a team with one point from eight games managed to beat us, was that he banned the local reporters of the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun from asking Alan Pardew questions after the game.

Surely the owner knew that would only bring him more bad headlines and ridicule in the press, which ir has done, and doesn’t help to get the fans on his side.

But it’s an example of some of the bad mistakes Mike Ashley continues to make at Newcastle, and  his actions seem to go against the very people who  are his customers at Newcastle United.

The next stage in Newcastle’s progress is to make the team into a top six side again, but that goal is proving hard to attain, although everything looked good a short 14 months ago when we had finished 5th top.

Bit surely Mike Ashley needs to attempt to get closer to the fans, who after all are his customers.

Mike could hire somebody at a high executive level, whose job was to get the club closer to the fans, and find out what the fans want, like Chris Mort used to do when he was the Chairman back in 2007-2008.

Wendy Taylor was starting to do some of that, but it needs somebody higher up the club, and Wendy has lost some credibility being the person who prevented reporters like Lee Ryder from asking questions on Sunday, even if she was just carrying out orders from above.

Responsible groups like NUFC Fans United have proved they are willing to have good honest and professional discussions with Newcastle officials, about where the club should be going and what they should be doing.

Mike’s biggest problem at Newcastle has been his relationship with the fans, and this is one way he could do something about it, and for the better of all concerned.

When you think that companies like IBM spend so much time, money and effort on what customers want – and then give them those things – in IBM’s case they are products – it seems that’s the biggest thing Mike Ashley has failed to do at Newcastle – so far anyway.

Maybe it can change?

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #1

    For all those that would like the Chronicle to highlight the pettiness of this ban a little e mail from a few people wouldn’t do any harm
    darren .thwaites @
    kevin. dinsdale @
    If you cant march take five minutes to
    send an e mail, ignore the spaces inbetween address, it’s to stop the comments getting automatically moderated.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #2

    Some people say he’s a business genius, if that were the case how come we have fallen so far behind Spurs in revenues, anything to do with the club being solely used to promote SD perhaps.

  • mindshaft

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #3

    To be fair to Ashley, the Chronicles coverage of the march was way over the top considering thier were around 300 people actually marching, however banning the local rag is way over the top.
    Best way to get the fans on side is to start winning games, something we’re unlikely to do for the next few games.
    Still think Pardew might go this season but my worry is who will take over, people shouting for Lee Clark are way misguided, he did an average job at Huddersfield who had one of the largest budgets in league 1, fans there were more than happy to see the back of him due to his constant tactical changes and misuse of players, if you go on the Brum forums it’s the same – he is definitely not a prem manager
    Ashley won’t pay for a big name so I’ve no idea, god help us if Kinnear steps in

  • Rainrix

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #4

    I thought the chronicles coverage of the march was a bit flippant and apathetic tbh. Sure there were a fair few articles but you’d be hard pressed to say categorically that they supported it. After years of being ashley apologists it would be nice if this was the straw that broke the horses back and the chronicle actually started paying attention to the feelings of the fans.

  • geordieboy83

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #5


    As you live in Norway I trust you get see solskjaer first hand. I ain’t seen much of his stuff to be honest. What’s his style like bearing in mind the step up in class of opposition if hex were to manage in England? Would it translate well over here?


    We can criticise Ashley for a lot but I do think he is a hell of a business man. I don’t think we can argue that. However a footy club is no ordinary business. So a genius in one business and mediocre in another. Look at Alan sugar a genius entrepreneur and business man but my god he made a mess of spurs.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #6

    Police reports have a thousand marchers, so it’s difficult to say, if the banned journos start giving it more publicity then I think a lot more will be there, a late kick off on a Sunday would help.

  • Colo-Sus

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #7

    Why bother getting angry or upset anymore…

    ED you can write these types of articles until you are blue in the face…it will change/reach nobody with any say in the club.

    We the fans have no power and no say in how things are run at Newcastle.

    Alot gets said on here and on twitter and on radio shows etc…but very little actually gets done…

    300-1000 whatever it was people turned up at the march, (it was certainly closer to 1000- I was one of them)

    That isnt enough to make a statement, only enough for our owner to brush it off as a minority of troubke makers.

    there is one way and one way only to appeal to ASHLEY….HIS POCKET,

    In my view evryone on here that moans, twists and cries on about Nufc need to put up or shut up….


    it is THE ONLY way anything will change

  • lesh

    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #8

    Reposted from the previous thread:

    @ 27.

    toonarmydownsouth, it is a good read and although we know that Louise Taylor is a Sunderland gal, there’s no indication of that in the article. She has been objective of late and when she’s using Sunderland’s approach to marketing and developing abroad, it’s only because Sunderland’s on our doorstep but light years away from us in terms of foresight.

    Ellis Short has shown and acknowledged that he knows nowt about football, but he certainly has an eye for marketing opportunities overseas.

    Ashley knows nowt about football and his vision for the club appears to be non-existent. But will he appoint capable people to help take the club forward? Ok he prefers to employ people he knows and trusts it’s when you look at some of his appointments – Wise, Llambias, Jimanez, Kinnear et al, one must wonder about the circles he moves in.

    It appears, as Louise Taylor says, that he’s not Pardew’s greatest fan at the moment, that he’s being manipulated and moved towards the departure lounge and out of the club. I don’t believe for a minute that Pardew’s part of the inner circle but a victim if its conspiring and short term approach to running the business.

    The sooner Ashley and his cronies get bored and get out, the better as they’re never going to change their ways.


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