There has been some awful publicity over the last several weeks for Sports Direct and specifically for its owner Mike Ashley.
At their Annual Meeting last week, 31% of shareholders voted to remove Ashley from his position as Chief Executive of the company.
That is the level of dissatisfaction with his management of the company.
But of course, since Ashley owns 62% of the company, he voted his shares to stay in control – and will do so.
The announcement of the Sports Direct results in July was a complete and utter farce.
After over ten hours of delay, the company was still unable to issue any profit guidance for the coming year.
The company had apparently just received an unexpected €674m (£605M) tax bill from Belgium, and that forced the Finance Director of the company to resign his position.
It was complete and utter chaos at Sports Direct – but it’s the likes of that which we have seen at Newcastle over the last 12 painful years.
Mike Ashley – incompetent, risky management on show at Sports Direct as the stock price has plunged
Here is the performance of Sports Direct stock over the last four years or so.
The price of their shares was £805.5 on August 7, 2015, but it had now dropped to £270.80 on September 12, 2019 – two days ago
That’s only 33.5% of the August 2015 figure and represents a 66.5% drop – a 2/3 reduction in price over about four years.
So it’s clear that Mike Ashley has not only lost 2/3 of his fortune since August of 2015, but that’s also how much shareholders have lost of their investment.
And it seems to be due to incompetent and chaotic management coming from the top of the business – from Mike Ashley – the Chief Executive.
The Sports Direct auditors Grant Thornton, after more than ten years as the company’s auditors, have also resigned with no company apparently wanting the job.
We have to wonder what state of the books of Sports Direct are like.
We have seen at Newcastle United a lot of Ashley’s chaotic, risky and incompetent management.
That seems to be the way he manages his other company, Sports Direct.
Maybe the powers that be at the Premier League should take another look at whether he is fit to own a football club and whether he passes the Owners’ and Directors’ test.
That’s if they take into account how he has shattered Newcastle fans’ dreams over the last 12 years; maybe they will find he is unfit to own a football club.
And have him sell the club and bring the fans’ misery and discontent to a merciful end.
We have to hope there is no more news of a takeover but that it happens quickly and silently.
But the word is now out there how that Ashley seems an incompetent executive and that Newcastle fans are desperate for somebody to come in and buy the club.
We just have to get lucky and hope that someone will do that – maybe even before the end of this year.
That would be precisely what we need.
Newcastle will not be able to regenerate itself until a new owner comes in – that’s the truth.