The Chronicle is reporting that Justin Barnes has been announced as a board member for the Iconix Brand Group, which is located in New York City – here’s their website.
Sports Direct invested in the company and acquired a stake in it, and as a result, the company were given two seats on the board, and one is to be taken by Mr. Barnes.
The Group is the world’s leading brand management company that licenses brands to retailers and manufacturers primarily in the apparel, footwear, and apparel accessory industries.
But when you join a Board, there’s not too much heavy work to do – turn up to the meetings they have each year.
Barnes is an independent consultant who does work for Mike Ashley (he once worked at Sports Direct), and some of that work is at Newcastle United.
While Barnes’ role has never officially been announced he is seen as Mike Ashley’s “fixer.”
He seems to be the finance guy who decides for Ashley how much can be spent at the club – including transfers – and was presumably brought in to put the financial books in order – so the club could be sold.
And his personality is said to be abrupt and abrasive.
Rafa has rightly become anxious that Ashley is unwilling to invest in the club and Sky Sports produced figures today that say since Rafa joined the club in March 2016 until now – we have made a net profit of £40M in the five transfer windows.
We don’t really think the new position for Barnes will stop him from continuing his work at Newcastle.
We just hope it does.