Whenever St. James’ Park comes on the TV screens all you see are hundreds of Sports Direct advertising signs – they are all over the place – and even when we sign new players there just so happens to be Sports Direct signs behind them when the players are photographed.
Lee Charnley explained why Newcastle received nothing from Ashley’s company for the world-wide advertising during one of the Fan Forum meetings and his explanation was both stupid and hilarious.
Mike Ashley at St. James’ Park on Sunday
Lee basically said the Sports Direct signs were all in fact available advertising space – and that the club were just waiting for companies to come in and request the advertising space.
No companies had requested the advertising space – so the Sports Direct signs remained in place.
Well, wasn’t that rather convenient …..
Maybe if the signs said something like “this space is available for advertising” with a telephone number listed – companies would come in for the space – but what told them the space was even available?
Lee also mentioned there was an interest-free loan outstanding, which Lee said was also taken into consideration for not charging for the advertising – but Newcastle need additional money now and the owner of the club can help with that.
And in any case wasn’t that a loan from Mike himself rather than from Sports Direct?
The answer given of course was pure fiction and Lee really has to stop talking nonsense during these Fan Forum meetings when he appears to assume those listening are stupid and ignorant.
There were hints earlier in the year that Mike Ashley may be willing to start paying for the advertising space he gets for his company and now would be a great time to do just that.
Etihad Airlines pay Manchester City a massive £40M a year for the naming rights of their stadium and in a new deal being negotiated that rises to £80M a year.
Why wouldn’t Mike offer say £10M a year (think of a number – the bigger the better) for the advertising space – and that money would help us for the coming financial year in the Championship.
Maybe the extra £10M would even mean the club doesn’t have to lay off some of the non-playing staff to cut down on the running costs?
It will not be worth that much in the Championship with the games not getting the worldwide coverage like the Premier League games get every week.
But it would be a start and we could use the £10M or more this coming season – and then maybe if we get straight back up then that £10M amount would rise significantly.
It would help with the commercial revenues at Newcastle, which have never been particularly strong and are not growing.
From a Sports Direct viewpoint it’s all a tax-deductible expense in any case, so why wouldn’t Ashley do the right thing and pay for the advertising he currently gets free of charge?
And hopefully with Rafa Benitez coming in and running the club like a proper club for the first time in almost a decade – maybe it’s time for Sports Direct to pay up.
Remember, it would benefit Mike Ashley because it would help Newcastle United – one of his companies.
Just like the formidable Rafa Benitez can make Newcastle United FC into one of the top clubs in Europe over the next few years and grow Ashley investment significantly.
After all, that’s exactly what Rafa wants to do.
Bottom line – time for Mike Ashley to pay up and also help the club.