|Job||xxxx Football Owner|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Coach||Newcastle [Owner]|
2019 05 27 Retrieve
[Mike Ashley’s days as Newcastle owner appear to be coming to an end, as Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan edges towards a takeover at St. James’ Park] We can confirm the representatives of his Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club. We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club. We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity. Best Regards, Midhat Kidwai, Group Managing Director, Bin Zayed Group
: 2019 07 09 Rafael Benitez has revealed he has already had more meetings with club officials in one week with Dalian Yifang than he did during three years at Newcastle United.
2019 07 27 Retrieve
[Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Newcastle United starlet Sean Longstaff after Magpies owner Mike Ashley said the young midfielder is not for sale] The message we want to put out is that he is not for sale. If you’ve got one like Sean - keep him
[And when questioned about Ayoze Perez’s untimely departure earlier this summer after he ended the 2018-19 campaign as the club’s top scorer] We didn’t want to sell Perez, but had no option once Leicester reached that figure [his release clause]. These clauses are the highest you think the player will accept, so he can’t batter your door down and demand to be sold for £10m. I don’t care what people say, it’s very difficult to keep a player when they want to go. The age of slavery is dead. But we’ve learned our lesson on release clauses from here
[Ashley admits a recent visit to the club’s training ground provided a rare glimmer of positivity in what has been a difficult summer] I go to the training ground, hot day, all lovely - you can’t help getting carried away. I’m like, ‘What can I do to help? Can we get another one in? What’s he like, is he fast?’. It’s one of the amazing things about owning a football club, the way you get caught up. It’s like someone has put something in your coffee. You look around, you want to lift the place, hit the ground running. I hope we’re not finished at Joelinton.
[And on the latest takeover chapter, which this summer saw the Bin Zayed Group claim they had reached an agreement for the sale of the Premier League club] I have to assume I will stay running this football club. There are no offers. Define an offer. I’m not a believer any more. I think I could own this football club for ever. That is my new mental state. The reality is with these deals that once it gets out, if it’s not done, it’s probably not going to get done
2019 07 27b Retrieve
[Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has insisted that keeping Rafa Benitez at the club proved to be an impossible job, and has accused the Spaniard of being money first] If you come out and say the things he did you would think it was football club first, Rafa second, money third. I’d say it was money first, Rafa, then the club last. He took the totally soft option, took the money and went to China. That disappoints me. If he’d gone back to Real Madrid, or a top six club in the Premier League, I get it. But it was about money and all he had to do was say that from the beginning.
My view always was we had to keep Rafa. For my own personal safety we had to keep Rafa. I thought he had us offside, he had us cornered, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right. I’ve been totally out-manoeuvred, I probably shouldn’t own a football club, it’s ridiculous, but I’m a big boy. Yet every time with Rafa it was impossible - there was always another thing, and the next thing, and the next thing. He asked for a 50 per cent pay increase and I think he did that because he knew it couldn’t work. And if we had agreed to that, I think it would have been something else. Everyone thinks we lost him because we wouldn’t pay a couple of quid more. He had the microphone and we didn’t.
[Ashley insisted that he was happy with the job Benitez did as manager, with the Magpies having won the Championship and then finished 10th and 13th in the Premier League in Benitez’s three full seasons in charge] I’m not disappointed in him as a manager - he did an excellent job. It puzzles me why any fan thinks I wouldn’t want him. I’m not the thickest person on the planet. Why wouldn’t I want excellence? Why wouldn’t I want this manager? Accuse me of many things, but not that. We couldn’t have done any more. At one stage they were talking about a one-year extension and I said my preference would be for an eight-year contract. That’s what I have to do in business when I invest. I have to take a medium to long-term view. Looking back, though, it doesn’t really matter what Rafa asked for because I think the Chinese thing was done. He had talked about what he could earn in China previously. We were not even slightly surprised by that move
2019 10 08 Retrieve
[Newcastle United have defended owner Mike Ashley in the wake of criticism from UK politician Jeremy Corbyn] In overlooking existing governance and regulation, as well as the hugely positive impact Newcastle United and other professional clubs have in their communities, Mr Corbyn has demonstrated a surprising lack of knowledge about our national game. Financially, other than sums provided to the club on a short-term, interest-free basis and repaid to him as intended, we would like to make it clear that Mike Ashley has not taken a penny out of Newcastle United in interest, salary or dividend, as is customary at many clubs.
As stated on numerous occasions before, every penny Newcastle United has will continue to be available to it. In this financial year, the club will use an overdraft facility to manage its cashflow following a significant spend on talent in the summer. As a well-run, responsible club, that amount will be repaid in full and on time and our other regulatory obligations will be met. We will not apologise for being financially sustainable, but we will push the boundaries of our budgets as far as possible to maximise the impact on the team.
We agree with Mr Corbyn that ‘a football club is more than just a club; it is an institution at the heart of our communities’. That is why our vast work across the local community will continue, with Newcastle United Foundation providing services and support to tens of thousands of people in our region each year who truly need them. Often, Newcastle United Foundation’s projects fill in significant gaps that the public sector sadly cannot stretch to, particularly at a time when government cuts are so prevalent. We would like to invite Mr Corbyn to visit one of these initiatives to experience at first hand the incredible work that is being undertaken by the Foundation in our local community every day
2020 03 23 Retrieve
[Mike Ashley criticised as Sports Direct remains open despite government lockdown over coronavirus] We stock a huge range of sports equipment for exercising at home from yoga mats, gym balls, skipping ropes, weights, indoor and outdoor trampolines, resistance bands through to bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, static exercise bikes, multigyms, fitness clothing and footwear in order for people to remain fit and healthy during this period of isolation, indeed home fitness is the number one trending topic on social media after coronavirus itself
Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open where possible to allow us to do this (in accordance with the Government’s current social distancing guidance). There is no one else that has the range of product and range of stores to make this reasonably accessible for the whole population
2020 03 25 Retrieve
[Newcastle fans turn on Mike Ashley as club continues to charge season ticket costs] Last week Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) contacted Newcastle United Football Club to express significant concerns regarding Season Ticket payments. We did not receive a response. Yesterday we went public with our request for the suspension of all future Season Ticket payments during this incredibly difficult time.
There is no prospect of professional football recommencing any time soon given the current global health crisis, let alone the prospect of understanding the implications on timing on fixtures for next season.
We find it incredibly disturbing that the club continues to take payments from supporters during these extremely difficult times, in what is a health and economic crisis. Following our call for the suspension and delay of all future Season Ticket payments Newcastle United contacted us earlier today. The club stated it has no intention of freezing or delaying payments, both for those that pay annually and monthly.
Today, Tuesday 25 March 2020, Newcastle United took payments for the 2020-21 season from those supporters who opt to pay for their season ticket annually. Monthly payments will also continue as normal.
We are disappointed that Newcastle United is unwilling to offer a meaningful support system to fans through this difficult time. Many supporters can afford to continue to pay, but we still feel more MUST be done for supporters who will suffer most due to the knock on effects of coronavirus global pandemic.
We are also deeply concerned to learn that some supporters who normally pay monthly have seen the full payment taken today. Any fans in that situation should contact the club immediately