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What Sunderland Have Done This Week Puts Mike Ashley To Shame

Sunderland are mired in another season in League One in which they again have not gotten off to the brightest of starts. After a 2-0 defeat at Lincoln City dropped them to 6th in the table last weekend, Sunderland parted ways with manager Jack Ross.

Ross was appointed in May of 2018 after Sunderland’s second straight relegation. Owner Stewart Donald quickly made himself available to the media to address the situation to fans. This is what he said to BBC Newcastle after the Ross sacking:

“My judgement call would be that our best chance of promotion would be to change it.

“The only thing that is going to prove that is at the end of the season – whether or not we do get promoted.

“Jack certainly felt he probably had to win every game and any time we lost a game it was very difficult for him,”

“That is a high-pressure environment, but that is Sunderland in League One.

“The reality of this club is we have the best travel arrangements, the best medical investment, we have the best facilities, we have got the best budget. I believe we have got the best squad.

“We are, I would have thought, the most professional League One club there has ever been in lots of ways. With that set-up, I think it is fair to expect us to deliver success.

“At any other club in League One, there is probably very little chance of being sacked being sixth in the table.”

Sunderland fans were also hit with the news that the potential takeover by MSD Partners had collapsed on the same day at the Ross firing.

Donald responded to one despondent fan on Twitter who was upset about the takeover news.

Today the club has issued a statement on their managerial search and the situation with the takeover.

All of this communication from Sunderland’s owner in just a few days time.

Meanwhile, Newcastle don’t get much of anything from Mike Ashley. Sure, the club responded to Jeremy Corbyn this week. But that was all in an effort to save face on a national stage.

When it only involves Newcastle supporters it’s a trickle of information here and there.

There was nothing on the takeover saga that gripped Newcastle fans this summer until it was all washed away in a carefully orchestrated interview with the Daily Mail.

There was also nothing on the Rafa Benitez situation until the shock announcement that he was gone. When it comes to Newcastle’s fans, Mike Ashley has shown complete indifference.

In this respect, Stewart Donald has put Mike Ashley to shame.

115 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 11, 2019 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #1

    One of my best mates is a Sunderland fan. We normally avoid taking football but he reckons the Sunderland chairman is the best thing to happen to the club in years and one of the reasons he cites is the level of communication they get directly from him.

    There’s a real sense he’s in the trenches with them. Ashley could learn a great deal.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 11, 2019 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #3

    Aye Neil,
    We got months of silence before they launched a smear campaign against a manager who had pulled them out of the shite and saved them millions.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 11, 2019 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #4

    Jib I think you misunderstand a little. John J and I are not talking about Cal Roberts failing, but a failing on the part of the club for letting a bright prospect leave.

    I actually agree in that I think the club knew if he wanted to make a career, he had to do it elsewhere and let him go partly for that reason.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 11, 2019 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #5

    Getting him in a shallow trench would be a good start RobLeenio.

  • JohnReese

    Oct 11, 2019 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #6

    So England.. That was pretty awful wasn’t it. Really poor selections from Southgate I would say, how Michael Keane is making it into an England squad is beyond me. I’d also be very worried about Kane, doesn’t really play like a centre forward anymore, falling into the same trap as Rooney and trying to get involved in the build up. I wonder if that’s something Pochettino has encouraged in him from Spurs or if he’s just naturally dropping that bit deeper.

  • bettyswallocks

    Oct 11, 2019 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #7

    What’s Irish and stays out all night?

    Patty O Furniture.

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 11, 2019 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #8

    That’s why I was asking is it the clubs land as I thought Ashley bought the land from the previous owners?

  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #9


    Lets put this in a way your going to be able to understand it

    The club used to own the land

    Jabba took it away

    The club received nothing for an asset it used to own

    I hope thats simple enough for you

  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #10

    But remember kids

    We are , in his and his PR eyes , stupid enough to believe he hasnt taken a penny from the club

  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #11

    He wasnt even able to hide it with creative accounting , just wrote it off as a bad debt
    Can you imagine just how much he has taken with his talent for ” creative accounting” ?

    Ask Rangers just how his ” creative accounting” goes

  • IrishRob

    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #12

    Lol Betty that’s quality. Haha

  • lesh

    Oct 12, 2019 at 1:46 AM

    Comment #13


    The land was owned at some stage by a joint-venture company and one of the partners was NUFC.

    The plan was to extend the Gallowgate end and build a revenue generating hotel-casino operation. However, Ashley saw an opportunity to sell the land to his son in-law for a relative pittance and depriving NUFC of an asset.

  • Genjikai

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #14

    The land was split in two, phase one casino and hotel phase 2 the Gallowgate extension

    The phase one project was eventually scraped. And at a later stage phase one was built on.

    So basically nymags conversation is based on a past that didn’t happen. Regardless of the name change of phase one it still has nothing to do with phase two land which Ashley has removed from the club, land set aside for the extension of gallowgate end. He is basically talking about a separate bit of land entirely.

  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #15

    Keep it simple guys

    Remember some people need it in a language a 3 year old can understand


  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:08 AM

    Comment #16

    We are all THAT stupid

  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:14 AM

    Comment #17

    Seems to me maybe we should try and get the government involved in this
    Make them take charge of planning permission
    As if it’s not granted it’s an expensive car park

    Will look at it tomorrow

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:15 AM

    Comment #18

    Re. Cal Roberts had he gone to Peterborough he’d have joined up with Ivan Toney another player we should have kept, he scores quality goals on a regular basis, 9 in his last 11 games. Never got a chance with us, but for injuries i reckon Sean may well have gone on loan and then away to some backwater.

    Has been the Toon way of dealing with young good talent.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:18 AM

    Comment #19

    Following Jail’s decree I thought I’d better make a comment of some sort, so that was it, thought it might be some light relief from the Ashlie/finances saga.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:24 AM

    Comment #20

    Does anyone really think that Ashlie hasn’t taken money from the club and the rest of his companies, if he hadn’t what would he be living on.

    Are Spain and the British government paying for his British country house and Majorcan villa?

    toon22 we aren’t stupid why do you keep saying we are?

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:26 AM

    Comment #21

    Anyway that short interlectual burst has tired my feeble brain so i’m off to bed, G’dnight all.

  • one fine day

    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:55 AM

    Comment #22

    one fine day

    Oct 11, 2019 at 2:42 AM

    Comment #6
    toon 22
    Hopefully more and more are starting to get what he is doing
    The mess he has left rangers in during a short spell I shudder to think the web of shit he has spun through the club like a virus .
    A little of how he operates
    anyone still believing this guy has the interests of nufc or the north east anywhere near his business agenda needs to give their heads a shake .
    Ashley sold this land ,which he as owner of nufc ,could argue was his.
    He sold it to another of his companies for 6 million pounds.
    6 years later this amount has not been paid back or appeared in the nufc accounts ,written off as a bad debt so will never be seen.
    He then sold it from his new company on to Micheal Murray (happens to be his son in law) for 10 mil.
    SPORTS direct then paid Micheal Murray 11.5 million .
    plans to build etc were submitted and passed but then drastically changed after it went through and new plans have been submitted .
    If these new plans are passed then the same land with planning approved will be worth around 60 million pounds
    and an agreement is in place for this to happen.
    why would anyone who cared about a club they own allow an asset to be sold knowing how much it is worth in pounds and also knowing it will effectively keep a boot on the throat of the club in terms of increasing capacity in future?
    Now if any of our accountants here can show where any of this shows up in fatty’s ledger i would love to know.
    the chronicle apparently are well aware of all of this but why they are not acting or reporting it is anyone’s guess .

    Just catching up on last nights
    no surprise who appeared moments after this to attempt to dismiss and discredit every element eh jib .
    For the record no I perhaps don’t understand the subtle nuances of creative accounting but unlike you I don”t pretend to.
    What I do understand is that he bought that land as part of the purchase with the sale of nufc.
    Land that was set aside to be part of the complete stadium which is well documented so there fore an asset and something which could very much hinder a sale if prospective new owners wanted to expand the ground.
    so yes it should show in the books ….somewhere .
    Oh as for you and nufc 83 trying to rubbish the idea with engineering reports and a metro line …maybe take a look at what was archived with the 100km cross rail project going directly under the city of London ,a lot of the planning and designing was done by kids fresh out of uni too.
    I shall now prepare to be called uneducated , no nowt etc by the blog glitterati .
    the saddest thing is ashley didn’t need the cash I believe the guy sold this away from the club for
    1. Pure spite
    2 to keep a strangle hold on it so in years to come he can name his price knowing how important this area may prove to be .

  • Genjikai

    Oct 12, 2019 at 3:56 AM

    Comment #23

    The land was split in two, phase one casino and hotel phase 2 the Gallowgate extensionhere the new buildings are phase one as it was know. The club back then had planning for a casino/hotel. However the land that’s still there now was set aside for the gallowgate extension.
    The club had a mortgage for the level 7 (debt) with Barclays. Barclays refused to loan Hall/Shep. Anymore until it was paid. Sir john hall decided to sell his shares as he said the club needed a billionaire to come in. Someone with the funds to pay for the extension etc.
    Ashley had promised to do this and the new gallowgate
    Extension was due to be complete 2015.
    Instead he sold the land to himself and never paid for it.
    Plans for this were passed back in 1997. But they couldn’t get the funding for it.
    In 2007 Ashley on buying the club said that he would develop the ground. 2009 he moved the land to one of his other companies claiming that they would handle the development side. And the the extension would be finished by 2014/15
    Then he blamed relegation on delays.
    Original plans to develop a hotel, retail, and housing complex in the shadow of St James’ Park collapsed in August 2015 after Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley decided to develop the land for himself.
    Regardless the Strawberry land lease was owned by the Club up until 2009

    Ashley sold the land to one of his companies for £6 million
    6 years later the amount had not been paid the the club wrote it off as bad debt.
    Then Ashley sold the land to his son-law Michael Murray for £10 million. Sports Direct then paid Michael Murray £11.5 million.
    Plans were submitted and passed but then plans were drastically changed and have been resubmitted.
    If the new plans are passed the land with planning will be worth £60 million and an agreement is in place for this.

  • one fine day

    Oct 12, 2019 at 5:48 AM

    Comment #24

    Bang on
    Think what is known is only the top of the iceberg
    Seems the mainstream press haven’t got the bits to publish this or are sitting on it .
    Even media in Aus know about the way he sold the land .
    Jes corbyns views got coverage here and the pathetic response to him from the Ashley minions

  • lochinvar

    Oct 12, 2019 at 6:37 AM

    Comment #25


    Spot on
    The plans for extending the Gallowgate were drawn up and published for all to see with artistic impressions and drawings.

    The engineering required to complete the project was perfectatly feasible then yet alone now when technology has moved on.

    One conclusion ia that Ashhley led the Council to believe some yarn about building a new state of the art stadium and sites down by the Tyne or further into Leazes Park were mooted which of course would be music to the ears of the Council thinking that SJP could become part of their new Science City and development plans
    This is the sort of thinking that Dan Smith and Poulson had on urban regeneration..

    The whole saga is worthy of a Panorma style investigation and programme.

  • Genjikai

    Oct 12, 2019 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #26

    Just shows if your willing to put the effort in.
    You can get your message out worldwide.
    Our reach is global, our tower secure, our cause is noble, our power is pure.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride, live on the wild side.

    Pressure is mounting on ashley.
    He is cracking at the surface, he looks like a lost soul.
    Look into his eyes and you will see what i see.
    Stress breaks metal, metal is stronger than ashley, stress will break ashley.

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 12, 2019 at 6:56 AM

    Comment #27

    One fine day I know it was late so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. I suggest you read back again before suggesting I started discussions around engineering works.

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:04 AM

    Comment #28

    Genj I’m still not completely there remember keep it simple for an idiot like me. Let’s try this simply:

    – Mike Ashley buys the club and within the same deal buys a piece of land adjacent to the club that was set aside for stadium expansion.
    – Mike Ashley sells the land
    – Land has development project proposed that could generate 120m once offices etc built.

    So mike Ashley bought an asset at the same time he bought nufc. Just as it was part of the same deal does it mean it’s the clubs? He didn’t sell an asset that was actively being used by the club like the training pitch etc. The way I see it this was his to do what he pleases with.

    The question is as a fan do we want offices, hotels etc. To that you have to say no I would much rather a fan zone as mentioned previously on this blog (great idea that).

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:06 AM

    Comment #29

    So overall forget the land focus on his terrible ownership of the club which has much more merit.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #30

    Sir john hall decided to sell his shares as he said the club needed a billionaire to come in.Instead he sold the land to himself and never paid for it.
    Who bought the land SJH or Ashley ?
    I’m not trying to be a smartass
    It’s just not clear

  • Mad Frog Boom 22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #31

    Scumberland 1 – 0 FC Sports Direct

    #toon22support #ashleyout =frogsarehereforawhile

  • Mad Frog Boom 22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #32

    Frogs are here until A kiss our asses, after that we turn.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:44 AM

    Comment #33

    30 posts in nearly 11 hours
    Sunderland as part of an article headline may not be such
    a good idea on a Toon blog.

  • Mad Frog Boom 22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #34

    Sean for England

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 12, 2019 at 7:58 AM

    Comment #35

    Sean and Matty for England!

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #36

    Unfortunately unless you were part of Gareth Southgate’s
    former U21 squad (2013 -16) it’s very difficult to get in the
    England full squad.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #37

    Interesting point made earlier about Kane no longer playing as a centre forward and wanting to get too involved in the play. You ideally want a centre forward who one, sticks the ball away, and two, pulls defenders out of position to create space for others to run into, essentially running away from play, or who three, holds his position up top and acts as a target.

    I remember thinking when we started using Owen more in build up play, that we might struggle, and it also makes me wonder now about having Joelinton leading our line, because actually a strength is his movement and passing, but what we do want from him, is to drag players away and for others like Almiron, St Max and the Longstaffs to get themselves into goalscoring positions when he does.

  • Big Archie

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #38

    Maybe I’m just a bit strange but personally I’d prefer to be in the Prem, self sufficient and rated one of the top 20 teams in Europe than to be in the 3rd tier, in constant fear of administration and available to anyone who has a quid in their pocket.

    Having a “chatty” owner isn’t really up there on my wish-list.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #39

    It must be being on the other side of the pond but I don’t think
    Neils “gets” the dislike of Stewart Donald in the Toon
    Within 24 hours of buying the Scum
    Donald from Witney in Oxfordshire was slagging off NUFC
    like a charva from Hylton Castle

  • MagpieRanger

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #40

    Another thing about the whole club sale I cannot fathom is that Ashley and his legal team did not do any due diligence and found the club do be in debt. Who in their right mind wouldn’t look at the books before making a deal of that magnitude. It seems like it’s all been a facade from the start and an in my opinion an excuse to make it look like we “owe” something back to him. Either way if it is the truth then who’s stupid fault is it? Not ours. He’s made his money back twice over through sales, EPL money, free advertising and Strawberry Place. Ashley is a parasite and it’s in plane sight for everyone to see.


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