Archive for category: Douglas Hall.

What has Newcastle United ever done for Mike Ashley (and Sports Direct)?

June 29th, 2012 | 62 Comments |

Sports Direct sign, St James' Park.
Cheap and nasty.
There has been something of a rehabiltation of the reputation of Mike Ashley at Newcastle United recently.

This, of course, has been due largely to the club’s generally upward trajectory in terms of it’s League position in recent seasons under Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew, as well as some successes in the transfer market since Ashley and Llambias cast their their three casino aquaintances adrift and let Chris Hughton bring in a proper chief scout, a move which has been highly beneficial for the club so far.

Less obviously, perhaps, there has also been a relentless PR campaign run through the media on all levels. Like the current coalition government, much has been said to demonise the previous administration, presenting Ashley as some kind of messiah type figure who made tough choices to save the club from certain liquidation as a great benevolent gesture to the people of Tyneside. But, according to the narrative, this has been a thankless task, with Geordie ingrates not showing the suitable appreciation of his selfless largesse. Admittedly, this isn’t the most difficult thing to do when the targets are the likes of Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall. According to a peculiar logic, much has also been made of what Ashley’s alleged financial “backing” of the club in terms of making a £140 million loan to himself, which is repayable on demand by the club, to save himself from paying high interest rates on his own Newcastle United debts. The term “clearing” the club’s debts has been used so often that many fans are still oblivious to the fact that the club is now actually far more in debt than it was when Ashley assumed control of the club in 2007. (more…)

Mike Ashley – Sorting the facts from the myths, including that debt…

September 8th, 2011 | 68 Comments |

Ashley: May be fat, but not a “Cockney”
Ashley: May be fat, but not a “Cockney”
Has Mike Ashley reduced Newcastle United’s debt?


Well, it has been several months since Newcastle United published their last set of audited accounts at Companies House (March 2011), and that was for 2009/10. However, at that time it did appear as if the debt had actually risen significantly, though it is hard to deny that the the club are in a somewhat less perilous position finacially since Mike Ashley took over the club from the gruesome twosome, Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall.

In June 2007 when Ashley finally gained full control of the club, it looked as if the club was £71 million in debt, however, after Ashley’s takeover, it became apparent that the mortgage on the ground had to be paid off, and the level of debt was actually £124 million. More details are available from the site NUFC Finances site.

In the last published set of accounts, published in March 2011 (for 2009/10), they revealed that the club’s net debt at that time stood at around £150 million, most of this figure being owed to a certain Mr.MJW.Ashley of  Totteridge, Hertfordshire. It also revealed that despite a slightly misleading statement by Newcastle United in May 2010 which read: (more…)

Big Sunday: NUFC deal within a fortnight?

June 6th, 2009 | 44 Comments |

Mike Ashley considering the future, yesterday.
Mike Ashley considering the future, yesterday.
The Daily Telegraph is today reporting that a meeting on Sunday (tomorrow) may determine the future ownership of our godforsaken club. Telegraph newshound, Duncan White reports that Ashley’s advisers are set to meet with a group of local businessmen interested in buying Newcastle United. He goes on to write that Ashley is looking for an offer in the region of £100 million, a figure already widely reported. Another report however, has suggested that the figure in this case may be closer to £80 million. As to whether any of the “local businessmen” were fan favourites, “Fat” Freddy Shepherd or Douglas “weaselface” Hall, it didn’t say. (more…)