Mike Ashley writes letter defending his actions at NUFC – and it’s absolutely unbelievable

After coming under criticism for his running of Newcastle United, Mike Ashley has hit back in quite unbelievable fashion – claiming he is being treated as the ‘pantomime villain’ despite providing Rafa Benitez and NUFC with ‘continued financial support’.

His strongly-worded claims have been leaked in a letter sent last week (3rd August) to Jeremy Wright – the secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – and come in response to Chi Onwurah’s complaint (via a parliamentary petition) that he had been neglecting the club and failing to support Rafa Benitez.

Here’s the letter in full – brace yourselves folks, it’s an unbearable and unbelievable read:



I don’t quite know where to start with this..

1 – ‘Our training facilities have greatly improved during my tenure and very clearly do not have a negative impact on performance, given we secured a place in the top 10 of the PL last season.’

This line sums up just how short-sighted and unambitious this bloke really is. It’s embarrassing. He’ll only act when the club are in a mess and until then will inject the bare minimum to keep us afloat.

2 – “My continued financial support.”

We have a net spend of MINUS 26m this summer. Rafa has missed out on several top targets once again and we’ve resorted to loan deals, swap deals, free agents and sub £10m signings – all after a year back in the Premier League.

3 – He boasts about “”swiftly recovering” from relegation 

It was your fault we found ourselves in that position in the first place Mike. Please don’t brag about the money you put in that summer to clear up the mess YOU caused.

I could go on.

What a pathetic response.

Thoughts?

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

17 thoughts on “Mike Ashley writes letter defending his actions at NUFC – and it’s absolutely unbelievable

  1. Isn’t Mr Ashley’s letter the equivalent of perjury? Does this not, amongst his other characteristics, disqualify him as a fit and proper person to own a potentially great Premier League football club? ❓

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  2. Shocking, he has yet to mention how he has squeezed profits which cast mountainous shadows on the pathetically small sums he has spent on the club. As for the ticket fees (I am not sure how accurate this is because I have yet to gather the funds to fly over and attend a match), but isn’t our ticket prices one of the highest in the league… I mean is this guy for real?

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  3. TBF – He has issued a formal/professional response to the points he has been challenged on – presumably with some legal assistance to check what he is saying is fair. If you think what he is saying is just lies and rubbish then can you respond with specifics on the points covered to challenge back and explain why it is inaccurate and why what he is saying is wrong rather than just ranting and insulting? Calling him fat and horrible and saying he has made a mess. That would probably be more balanced and interesting wouldn’t it? (Or is that just silly)? 🙂

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  4. It’s not often I agree with Mike Ashley but in this case I have to agree 100%. He does run the club like a pantomime and yes he is a villain.

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  5. Interesting that he sees himself as a pantomime villain and obviously NUFC as his pantomime. I’m afraid I don’t see him that way, this for me is not a jolly farce we are watching being played out for peoples entertainment, it is the sad unambitious running of the club that has been over seen by that despised parasite.

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  6. He says chi hasn’t contacted him but did she not invite him to the commons for tea and a chat which he declined over a year ago. Did he not send her a letter via Lee Charnley saying he would not take up her offer and that in future all correspondence should be directed to lee ?
    Guy seems to be an habitual liar or forgets what he has said or done previously.

    Further more the debt he inherited is due to a lack of due diligence on his part because he was in too much of a hurry to get his hands on the club. Why use it as a stick to beat the fan base with when it’s his error.
    The interest is more than being paid back after 11 years of free advertising for SD which has obviously grown quite significantly in global awareness and profit since he’s bought us.
    There are many reports that the training ground and even stadium itself are showing signs of neglect which needs addressing and any incoming new owner should need cash for updating and repairs/maintenance.
    He may well of topped up our loan after relegation but had he spent on quality players and employed a more ambitious stance we likely wouldn’t of been relegated.
    Finally we now have a situation where a world class manager will walk away because he isn’t being given the tools for the job, with the little he has been afforded very likely too little too late to repair any break down in good will that had maybe existed between owner and manager.

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  7. Obviously, a letter drafted by a QC, not by the fair hand of Mr Ashley. However, as it is designed just to carefully answer the exact charges lain against his tenure. Of course, he is writing to a person who has no knowledge of the running of a football club specifically Newcastle Utd. A carefully drafted letter spelling out the true wilful mismanagement of the club to the Rt. Hon Jeremy Wright should be sent. Perhaps this is a task that should be taken by the `#RafGoes We All go`, group, drawing attention to the numbers supporting this movement but refraining from the abusive language which gets people nowhere. I do not think that Ashley should get away with hiding behind legalise but has to be confronted, ensuring that ONLY truthful evidence-based statements are used.

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  8. Ashley is now being portrayed as a “Controversial” by the press in every report that involves this “Pantomime Villain” and that is hurting him on two fronts.
    1. His business dealings as people don’t trust him.
    2. His personal dealings as his narcissism is eating him from within.

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  9. Pretty sure thats the 3rd time he’s used thats description of himself.
    Said before but – he didn’t do due diligence before he bought the club, then employed a top London firm of solicitors to do it for him – £6.5m in costs. He paid £110m for the shares to buy the club, repaid a £60m ground redevelopment structured loan – secured against future season ticket sales.
    And, gave the club a £100m plus interest free loan. So, since his purchase, its been a debt free, self financing club. That’s not to mention the Sports Direct world wide brand coverage it delivers – Value £200m over the 11 years? Not a lot more you can say really.

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  10. Maybe you should have gone on, Olly because your argument is pretty weak.

    So are you saying the training facilities have not improved?

    Choosing to measure net spending over a 10 week snapshop and on transfer numbers alone is cherry picking in the extreme. Whats his net spend over 10 years? On everything ?

    If you continue to slag him off for his mistakes years later we never move forward. If you ignore his efforts to regain promotion – that were praised by the FA – well, we can only move backwards.

    Hes a businessman. He will only sell at a profit. The price for the club only becomes viable once he gets his interest free loan back. Say 2 years.

    No amount of slagging off or protests will persuade him to sell at s loss.

    Ironically the only way to get him out quicker is to give him more money. Buy season tickets.

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  11. Briaaaan:
    Maybe you should have gone on, Ollybecause your argument is pretty weak.

    So are you saying the training facilities have not improved?

    Choosing to measure net spending over a 10 week snapshop and on transfer numbers aloneis cherry picking in the extreme. Whats his net spend over 10 years? On everything ?

    If you continue to slag him off for his mistakes years later we never move forward.If you ignore his efforts to regain promotion – that were praised by the FA–well, we can only move backwards.

    Hes a businessman. He will only sell at a profit. The price for the club only becomes viable once he gets his interest free loan back. Say 2 years.

    No amount of slagging off or protests will persuade him to sell at s loss.

    Ironically the only way to get him out quicker is to give him more money. Buy season tickets.

    Please read the article below on 10 years of Mike Ashley NUFC
    https://www.themag.co.uk/2017/09/10-years-mike-ashley-newcastle-united-numbers/
    Undeniably grim reading… and this was written before TV money got crazy (but that disappears when it gets near Newcastle?).

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  12. It’s lovely to see the man hurting.
    Agree with so many of the sentiments raised above. Ashley is a liar and hides his lies behind half truths. He tries to mislead and misdirect rather than deal with issues honestly. He will stick his heels in and shadow box straw-men to try to convince that he is in the right and doing nothing wrong.
    We can all see through him, but he doesn’t care.
    Spud has hit the nail on the head – it is all about his ego – he would love to be loved and admired – but all he has brought NUFC is two relegations and after a string of poor to embarassing managers, he brought us Rafa. We thanked him for that, but Rafa’s presence just highlighted how poor Ashley is by comparison – he must HATE that – and like any narcissist, he ‘transfers’ (psychology-speak) that hatred onto Rafa. Its all about ego and when he forces Rafa out, he will cry crocodile (false) tears while smirking to himself, thinking he won. But, the club may well be heading into relegation after Rafa goes, so expect Ashley to spend a quadrillion trying to prove how much he doesn’t need Rafa to survive. Hopefully he fails and does a tone of money – then the hurting may become so unpalatable that even he feels its too much and actually sells up for a reasonable price and without all the conditions that have scared everyone else off (eg keeping control of all advertising, forcing the club to only use SportsDirect, sharing a percentage of the TV money).
    I’m with Egg – this isn’t a joke drama for your entertainment, Mr Ashley.
    You need to feel the pain a little bit more, the NUFC supporters certainly have.

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  13. Think the man protests too much! If he didn’t care what people thought of him this letter wouldn’t have been written in the first place! First signs he shown that he us up against the ropes and its been a long time coming!

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  14. Dear Mr Ashley,
    Could you please leave Newcastle united football club, Just sell up the club that you have draged down so far down in the time you have owned it that nobody thought humanly possible. So the hurt and misury you have infected on the Newcastle supporters and the region may end. If you don’t sell up it will only get worse for you and your other financial interest. together we are united
    Yours sincerely

    Very disgruntled nufc fan together we are you united you are only one man.

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