Ashley quotes

Since buying Newcastle United Mike Ashley has only addressed the fans directly a few times. Below is a collection of what he had to say.


Mike Ashley on his reasons for buying Newcastle United (12 August 2008):

“Maybe I could have bought a smaller club, but it just wouldn’t have been the same challenge. It’s like settling for the high jump when really you want to do the pole vault – you want more excitement so you go higher.

“I was being offered the chance to own one of the jewels, one of the diamonds of the Premier League. There was no hesitation, why would there be?”

Source: The Chronicle


Mike Ashley on standing amongst the fans when things aren’t going well (12 August 2008):

“Asked how he feels when the supporters react negatively to the team’s performance, he added: “Honest answer? There were times last season when the fans were singing certain things at certain games and I wanted to join in, I really did.

“I feel like they do. I’m in with the fans, and if we are not playing well I take this side because I’m thinking to myself: ‘How can this be? We are Newcastle United and we should be doing better than this’.”

Source: The Chronicle


Mike Ashley on the decision to appoint club legend Kevin Keegan as manager (12 August 2008):

“Again, it all happens so quickly. And it was another no-brainer. I took a call from someone who said ‘do you realise Kevin Keegan may be interested in the Newcastle United job again?’

“At first I thought it couldn’t be true. I was out of the country but my reply was ‘if he is interested then tell him I’ll meet him anywhere as soon as I get back’.

“It couldn’t have been an easier choice.”

Source: The Chronicle




Mike Ashley about his love for football and understanding the importance of a club to its fans (14 September 2008):

“I have enjoyed sport since I was a boy. I love football. I have followed England in every tournament since Mexico ’86. I was there to see Maradona and his hand of God. I know what it means to love football and to love a club. I know how important it is to other people because football is so important to me.

Source: BBC


Mike Ashley on his appreciation for the Newcastle United fans (14 September 2008):

“I bought Newcastle United in May 2007. Newcastle attracted me because everyone in England knows that it has the best fans in football. When the fans are behind the club at St James’ Park it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It is magic. Newcastle’s best asset has been, is and always will be the fans.”

Source: BBC


Mike Ashley says he did not buy Newcastle to make money (14 September 2008):

“Don’t get me wrong. I did not buy Newcastle to make money. I bought Newcastle because I love football.”

Source: BBC


Mike Ashley about his intention to invest £20m per year into the club without expecting anything back (14 September 2008):

“I was always prepared to bank roll Newcastle up to the tune of £20 million per year but no more. That was my bargain. I would make the club solvent. I would make it a going concern. I would pour up to £20 million a year into the club and not expect anything back.”

Source: BBC




Mike Ashley on his appreciation for Dennis Wise who has brought in some ‘world class players’ (even though he couldn’t spell any of their names correctly – 14 September 2008):

“It is in this regard that Dennis and his team have done a first class job in scouting for talent to secure the future of the club.

You only need to look at some of our signings to see that it is working, slowly working. Look at Jonas Guttierrez and Fabricio Collocini. These are world class players.”

Source: BBC


Mike Ashley demonstrating his level of football knowledge – for the avoidance of doubt, we got relegated that season due in no small part to his ‘hero’‘s mismanagement (18 December 2008):

“Joe’s the man to do the job. He’s my hero. Is he better than Capello? Definitely. We are going to be in Europe by the end of the season!”

Source: Sky Sports


Mike Ashley dares the fans to take a punt on finishing in the top 6 the season we got relegated (28 December 2008):

“When I looked at the table after the Spurs win I saw we were only five points off a top six place, so great credit to Joe, his coaches and the players for that. And if, like me, you like a gamble now and again then what price a flutter on us reaching that top six?”



Mike Ashley in a statement upon taking the club off the market, coincidentally on the day that the Newcastle United Supporters Club celebrated the life of Sir Bobby Robson (28 December 2008):

“I have withdrawn Newcastle United from the market, and for me 2009 will be the year in which we drive the club forward together. (…) When I took the decision to put the club up for sale in September I made a point of saying two things were very important.

“Firstly any potential buyer would have to show they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart and had both the commitment and finance to be worthy custodians of such a fine football club before I would even consider doing a deal.

“And secondly, I gave you my word that as long as I remain owner, this club would continue to be run responsibly at all levels. I hope you will accept that I have stood by that pledge.”

Source: The Guardian




Mike Ashley apologises for mistakes made which have led to relegation (26 May 2009):

“Seeing Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League has been a catastrophe for us all. I fully accept that mistakes were made during this and previous seasons and I am very sorry for that. I would like to say sorry to our magnificent supporters who have turned up in their thousands, home and away, up and down the country and who have given the team amazing backing throughout. And I would also say sorry to all of the Club’s hard-working staff, who have gone about their jobs all year long.”

Source: The Guardian


This was the last time we heard from Mike Ashley directly with respect to Newcastle United, until he was recently confronted with a question about the benefits of free advertising at St. James’ Park at the Sports Direct AGM (10 September 2014):

“Those relationships are very beneficial to Sports Direct and its shareholders. And I think that nothing else needs to be said.”

Source: Mirror