Mike Ashley has put out an official statement through the football club, responding to accusation from Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour Party labour visiting the region at the weekend and attacking the model of football ownership in the Premier League.
Making clear that he believes Mike Ashley is one of, if not, the worst owners of all.
You can read below what Ashley has put out.
Quite shameful that for the most part Mike Ashley tries to hide behind the work of the Newcastle United Foundation.
Yes they do great work but they act separately from the football club and are NOT financed by Mike Ashley.
Like the foundations of all Premier League club, much of their funding comes from grants allocated for specific projects to all PL clubs.
With most of the other funding coming from other outside companies/sponsors and from events the Foundation put on.
Whilst those at the Newcastle United Foundation do a great job, it is simply a fact that Sunderland’s Foundation have raised more money and spent it on projects down the years than Newcastle have, their owners giving the SAFC Foundation far more support and their own money (in terms of past owners) than Mike Ashley has ever done.
The Mike Ashley statement picks out Jeremy Corbyn talking about – ‘bad owners’ put their ‘business interests above everything else’ – well that is exactly what Mike Ashley has done, for at least 10 years Newcastle United giving massive free promotion to Ashley’s retail empire and even now belatedly, the Sports Direct supremo only arranging for them to allegedly pay a pittance each year going forward.
Official Mike Ashley Statement out out through Newcastle United:
Newcastle United has issued the following statement in response to recent comments made by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“We are disappointed by comments made by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the weekend regarding football governance and club ownership, in which he specifically attacked Newcastle United.
“Amongst his comments, Mr Corbyn accused ‘billionaire owners like Mike Ashley’ of ‘ruining our national game’, claiming these ‘bad owners’ put their ‘business interests above everything else’ and risk their clubs’ financial security.
“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.
“We feel, therefore, it is important to address his damaging and misinformed opinions in the interests of the club and its supporters.
“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.”