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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

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #41


  • Nufc-83

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #42

    I doubt Ashley didn’t do the due diligence I really do as it’s so incomprehensible. The fact it is suggested shows how much of a clown Ashley is. I really think he got lucky making so much money it can’t have been from sound business decisions.

  • MagpieRanger

    Oct 12, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #43

    A spelling mistake doesn’t make it any less true Jib!

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #44

    I wasn’t trying to devalue your comment
    I must admit it may have come across like that
    I’m like Ron Knee I can’t help myself when I see one

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #45

    You have to think of the time he did it
    Eleven years ago he had become a billionaire
    virtually overnight thanks to the stock market
    He thought he had the golden touch , and could
    do no wrong financially
    Add to that his obvious arrogance , and it’s quite
    believable that it never entered his head to do D/D.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #46

    Big Archie bit of a strange comment, really. Donald didn’t arrive at Sunderland till after they had been relegated twice, he can’t address that but is an owner who appears to want the best for his club and communicates as much to the fans.

    Ashley on the other hand appears to want what’s best for Ashley, and fauna to communicate with the fans even to the minimum levels required by the premier league’s own guidelines.

    The club will exist whatever the league, I’d rather have an owner who gave a toss.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #47

    Jib, evidence suggests otherwise. If I recall correctly, Ashley set up a holding company as a pre-sales vehicle a good few months before the sale of NUFC went through.

    It’s on companies House, I just don’t remember the details.

    His claim not to have done due diligence is likely hogwash, and the other parties to the sale are likely held even now to an NDA over the specifics.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #48

    *fails to communicate


  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #49

    You’re absolutely nothing like Ron Knee, a polar opposite I would say.

  • posada

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #50

    Not happy with Neil Harrison standing up a post like this.
    Talking about that lot from down the road or mentioning them by name brings bad luck.
    Seriously. I never talk about them or mention them by name.
    Something I started about three years ago and look how they have done since.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #51

    Are you sure English is your first language ?
    I said I’m like Ron Knee in regard to spelling

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #52

    Ashley’s legal people setting up a holding company
    a few months before he purchased NUFC is not
    evidence he did D/D.

  • posada

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #53

    This Due Diligence thing is a myth.
    Often think folks just like using the sound bite.
    I realise the term can be used in different ways.

    If I offer £2.30 for every Marks and Spencer share I can make the offer subbect to D/D.
    Ashley did not do that. He bought a large number of shares from SJH. He then kept buying from anyone who would sell. Eventually he triggered I think it was the 90% level when folks were obliged to sell.

    He could have done research yes. However, I think Jib is correct. He had just sold half of SD and had 900 million in cash. He probably had the confidence to do it that way.

    By the time of Keegans departure he had lost 300 million or so speculating on the value of bank shares. He had 100’s of millions on deposit with Icelandic Banks, which went bust and at one stage he thought he would not get it back.
    By then not such a confident big shot.

    The speculating on bank shares and Icelandic Bank issue. This was reported on and put into the public domain by the main stream press at the time.

  • posada

    Oct 12, 2019 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #54

    What exactly did Mike Ashley not know about that caused a big problem.
    30M or so of future income had already been spent.
    Probably on Michael Owen and Albert Luque.

    Everyone knew about that.
    It was in the annual and interim reports received by shareholders. I knew about it as the holder of a few shares in the company.

    He must have known about it. You did not need to do D/D to establish that.
    What’s 30M to someone worth 3 billion. Should not be a game changer even if he was daft enough to be unaware of it.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #55

    Jib, you’re right, it doesn’t prove that due diligence was done. It does, however, suggest that the purchase was not the impulsive, sir if the moment decision that Ashley states it was, which calls into question the veracity of all other statements he’s made on the subject.

    It also begs the question, if he wasn’t doing due diligence, what else was he doing in that time?

    Posada, the big thing Ashley was apparently surprised at was the 100 million pound bank loan which apparently threatened the future stability of the club and which Ashley felt he had to personally pay off immediately on taking over.

    This was the back loan which had paid for the stadium expansion, which we never missed a payment on and which we would have paid off by now had we still kept it on.

    Instead, we’re now in hock to Ashley himself, albeit interest free, to the tune of 133 million, with no potential for paying it back unless and until we are sold.

    This is why it’s important to know if he’s lying about the due diligence. If he knowingly took on the club with the debt in place, he always intended to put this debt on us. I honestly do think that is the case.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #56

    Just like the Strawberry Place thing
    It’s evidence of the protesters getting bogged down in
    irrelevant detail.
    One minute they say he doesn’t give a fig for fans opinion’s
    In the next breath they say he fakes a sale to assuage the
    fans over not spending in the transfer window
    Some very muddled thinking going on

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #57

    *spur of the moment

    Damn phone…

  • posada

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #58

    He simply must have known about the 100M debt. The bulk but not all of it was down to the extension to the Milburn and SJH Stand.
    Even folks who were not shareholders and did not read the annual reports knew about that.
    The forward income bit I think added the extra 30M.

    He was represented by Freshfields and Chris Mort handled things for him. They knew about the debt. No question.

    The extension. An extra 16K seats. If Fredy and SJH and their associates had not completed the project we would have been stuck with a 36K stadium all these years.

    Fag packet accounting. Even at £20 a ticket it has provided an extra 5/6 million a year in gate receipts.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #59

    re “sir”
    I thought you were giving me my due respect

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #60

    Munster if you are out there
    Ireland play Samoa at lunchtime
    They have to rattle up a few points/tries to have
    any hope of topping their group
    It should be a cracker

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #61

    Rob you are wrong about Stewart Donald
    he’s a rat
    He was picked to head a consortium to buy Sunlun
    When he found out Ellis Short’s terms he shut the
    consortium out and bought the scum on his own.
    There are players at NUFC worth more than him.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #62

    I find it quite offensive that Neil should put his pic up on a Toon blog

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #63

    Gate receipts, merchandising, food and drink, all adds up. Then you have the rugby, concerts, England matches etc, all of which are well attended and wouldn’t have happened if the stadium hadn’t been expanded.

    The stadium expansion has to have paid for itself twice over, I think.

    Ashley must know this, he must also know that any similar investment from him would two equal benefits. Why not just get ‘er done?

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #64

    Jib I have no real opinion on the guy, just passing on my mate’s opinion.

    At least he communicates, no matter what else he does.

    Surely the worth of an owner isn’t counted in how much material wealth they possess, otherwise Ashley would be doing alright.

  • geordietom

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #65

    jib …#61…

    agree with you he’s a Lang Cowie , when he bought them first thing he done was slag us off to ingratiate him self to the fans …

  • bettyswallocks

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #66

    Jib……….. Ashley would not have just steamed in Gung Ho fashion and bought the club just because he’d sold some shares in SD , it’s not how he operates. Unless he thinks he’s getting a steal or let’s say better than normal value for his money then he doesn’t buy anything.
    He doesn’t like paying for things , he won’t even pay attention he’s so mean he wakes up during the night to see if he’s lost any sleep.

  • AncientC

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #67

    Vulture capitalist forgot to do due diligence, seems about right. The stadium needing paying up seems like something Ashley would have asked to do anyway. Ashley lost no money buying the club. The DD scenario was great leverage against the fans to enact austerity measures. And yet the debt sits there stagnating. Ashley running the club like some poor old lady that can only afford to pay the apr on a credit card overdraft. The debt never receding.

  • bettyswallocks

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #68

    Jib………….. Munster probably won’t be around. He’s having trouble with his goldfish which is apparently suffering from epilepsy.
    He took it to the vet who said that it looked perfectly normal to him but Munster then replied, ” Yes but I haven’t taken it out the water yet! “

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #69

    Betty from what I recall there was a definite imputation at
    the time that MA had bought NUFC on a whim

  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #70


    Why bother posting as Posada
    We all know it’s just another one of your alts lol


  • toon22

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #71


    Defending Jabba


  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #72


    Maybe TMG should confer with this lot and pool ideas

  • carl

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #73

    AncientC and Jail for Ashley
    Posting as requested during the International break.

    AC- Just like Jezza- You’ve got a face leak a forty shilling pisspot- pure white, but aal chipped.

    JFA- The ernly big thing aboot ye is yer ears- yer looks leik an elephant wi the wind beheend yer.

  • IrishRob

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #74

    Have to say it’s very weird not having a story to wake up to every morning anymore, but on the converse of that its also really nice to get stories after 5-6 o’clock in the day.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #75

    Jib that was all from Ashley himself, part of the narrative that he rode into town on his white charger to save the Geordies from themselves.

    It didn’t matter whether the Geordies bought it, you’re right that he couldn’t give a fig over our opinion. It was the media he was interested in duping.

    That way he’d have time to mess with the club any way he saw fit without being called to account, a state of affairs which had lasted about twelve years. Roughly until the Magpie Group started with their own media campaign.

  • IrishRob

    Oct 12, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #76

    Toon22 who’s defending Jabba? Gimmie names and I’ll sort them out.

  • Jib

    Oct 12, 2019 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #77

    I have a Spanish alert app
    It’s just warned me:-
    Rana de cabeza vacía buscando atención

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 12, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #78

    Anyway, off out for the day. Best wishes to any and all readers in Japan, particularly Nicky the ball tosser. Keep your heads down and stay safe

  • posada

    Oct 12, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #79

    I declared a truce the other day.
    With everyone apart from you.

    Nut job.

  • Trent1211

    Oct 12, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #80

    Jib, you, sir, are an utter disgrace. Minimising Strawberry Place again. It does matter. It matters a lot. It’s asset stripping. It’s instructive. Why would any supporter of Newcastle United want to curtail its discussion? Certainly matters to NUST. You don’t run this place much as you like to lecture even the blog owners wife. Loser.


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