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Category: Mike Ashley

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Newcastle fans fear Rafael Benítez is ready to answer West Ham’s £6m call | Louise Taylor

Hammers are thought likely to trigger the disillusioned Newcastle manager’s release clause if the mounting pressure on Slaven Bilic ends with the sack

In football parlance, Rafael Benítez faces a late fitness test before Sunday’s trip to Swansea, City but is rated doubtful. Newcastle United’s manager has spent the last week recovering from surgery to clear infection from an old hernia repair, yet, despite being in considerable discomfort, he did not forget about a fan’s fundraising event for a food bank, which was staged on Thursday night. Benítez duly picked up the telephone and not only pledged a generous donation but asked what else he could do to help the cause.

Related: Rafael Benítez open to job offers amid anger over Newcastle transfers

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Rafael Benítez open to job offers amid anger over Newcastle transfers

• Benítez has lost virtually all trust in Mike Ashley’s regime
• Manager would seriously consider West Ham job if Slaven Bilic goes

Rafael Benítez has lost virtually all trust in Mike Ashley’s regime at Newcastle United and, no longer regarding his job as a long-term project, would be receptive to alternative offers of employment at similarly sized Premier League clubs.

Although Newcastle’s manager will not walk out in the wake of a disastrous transfer window, Benítez is angry, deeply frustrated and ready to contemplate a new life away from Tyneside.

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Trouble on Tyne: Benítez and Ashley reach boiling point again at Newcastle | Louise Taylor

The manager wants new signings, the owner to sell the club. What are the key questions at St James’ Park in what promises to be a vital week ahead?

Newcastle United face West Ham United at St James’ Park on Saturday after losing their opening two league games without scoring. With the euphoria of promotion a rapidly receding memory, tensions behind the scenes are escalating and the squad look ill-equipped for the Premier League. So how has it come to this, why is the “cold war” between Rafael Benítez and Mike Ashley intensifying?

Surely it cannot be true the manager and owner rarely speak, let alone meet?

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Huddersfield’s wholesome unity shows another way to Newcastle’s dysfunction | Paul Doyle

Dean Hoyle’s ownership of Huddersfield Town is based on a togetherness in stark contrast to Mike Ashley at Newcastle United, who they face on Sunday

Earlier this summer during a conversation with reporters at Huddersfield Town’s training ground, the club’s local-born chairman, Dean Hoyle, said it was important to him to tackle the Premier League “the Yorkshire way”. Asked what that meant, he replied: “By not spending any money.” Then he laughed to show he was joking; then he ensured the club’s actions showed what he really meant.

Related: Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United: match preview

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Rafael Benítez baffled but unbowed by dysfunctional setup at Newcastle United | Louise Taylor

Manager insists ‘we’ll do our best’ on return to Premier League, despite minimal transfer budget and a lack of communication from owner Mike Ashley

The mood inside the room had turned as gloomy as the dark clouds on view through the windows when someone attempted a joke. “It’s North Korea v the United States,” they said, deadpan. “Just without the nuclear weapons.”

It got a laugh, yet Mike Ashley v Rafael Benítez is a little bit different; less Kim Jong-un v Donald Trump and much more a particularly capricious brand of shortsighted parochialism against a worldly wise grasp of the bigger picture.

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Mike Ashley wins high court battle over ‘£15m pub deal’

Investment banker Jeffrey Blue loses claim against Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner over deal allegedly made in pub

Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has won a high court battle over a £15m deal allegedly made in a London pub, calling time on a case that will be long remembered for days of evidence concerning excessive alcohol consumption.

The case revolved around investment banker Jeffrey Blue’s allegation that during a “night of heavy drinking” at the Horse and Groom pub near Sports Direct’s Oxford Street store in January 2013, Ashley agreed to pay him £15m if the company’s shares doubled to £8.

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Mike Ashley may finally sell Newcastle as rumours swirl of Chinese takeover

• Club owner has not moved to deny reports of interest from unnamed investors
• Sale would end Sports Direct mogul’s largely unpopular 10 years in charge

Mike Ashley finally appears ready to sell Newcastle United after 10 turbulent, often unpopular years in charge, following the club’s promotion back to the Premier League. It is unclear how solid the reality is of the Chinese investors rumoured to be interested in buying Newcastle, given that overseas football takeovers have now been restrained in China, but it is seen as significant that Ashley has not moved to deny reports.

In recent years Ashley has moved strongly to reject periodic reports that he is preparing to sell the club, which he bought for £134m from Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall’s families in 2007, but this time Newcastle merely offered no comment. One of Ashley’s key operators in his Sports Direct businesses, Justin Barnes, was increasingly seen at St James’ Park last season, adding to perceptions that Ashley might be preparing the club for a sale.

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Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez promised ‘every last penny’ after talks

• Owner Mike Ashley says he will give full backing to manager
• ‘I’m pleased with the positive approach we are all taking’

Newcastle manager Rafael Benítez is set to be handed significant funds to rebuild for life in the Premier League after productive talks with owner Mike Ashley.

The two men, along with managing director Lee Charnley, met at a secret location on Tuesday to discuss the way forward in the wake of the club’s promotion back to the top flight, and fears that the Spaniard could walk away from the club less than 12 months after signing a three-year contract appear to have been allayed.

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Rafael Benítez to have talks with Mike Ashley before extending Newcastle stay

• Newcastle manager to meet the club’s owner in the next 10 days
• Talks will focus on Benítez’s remit and summer transfer budget

Rafael Benítez’s future at Newcastle United will be determined when he sits down for talks with Mike Ashley, the club’s owner, in the next 10 days.

Benítez is happy on Tyneside and hopes to remain in charge at St James’ Park but will require reassurances about his spheres of autonomy and transfer budget before committing to staying on.

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Newcastle United’s Rafael Benítez hopeful of backing in transfer market

• Rafael Benítez wants to beef up squad for promotion push
• Manager asks Mike Ashley to let him find the players he needs

Rafael Benítez remains quietly optimistic that Mike Ashley will continue backing his transfer market judgment and allow him to strengthen Newcastle United’s squad as he sees fit this month.

It is understood that Newcastle’s owner, who still listens to the advice of Graham Carr, the Championship-topping club’s chief scout, would prefer Benítez to acquire players aged 25 and younger with potential for high sell-on values but, although broadly happy with that policy, the manager craves the odd slightly more experienced recruit.

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Being Mike Ashley means never having to say ‘no comment’

The business select committee had to battle to get the Sports Direct boss to talk, then wondered if he was ever going to stop

Mike Ashley walked in surrounded by several anxious minders. Having failed in their efforts to keep the Sports Direct boss away from the clutches of the business select committee, they had opted for damage limitation instead. Stick to the plan, Mike. Say as little as possible.

“Is that a Newcastle United tie?” inquired the committee chairman, Iain Wright.

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Mike Ashley admits to problems at Sports Direct warehouse

Security procedures need overhauling at the sport retailer’s Derbyshire warehouse, acknowledges tycoon, whose chief executive has given up a £4m bonus

Mike Ashley, the founder and deputy chairman of Sports Direct, has admitted for the first time to problems with the security and search procedures at the retailer’s Derbyshire warehouse – as he said the group’s chief executive will forgo a £4m bonus in the wake of the scandal.

The move came as Ashley prepares to face a parliamentary select committee on Tuesday, which was triggered after a Guardian investigation revealed in December that the company’s compulsory, unpaid searches of warehouse workers meant they were effectively receiving less than the national minimum wage.

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Mike Ashley admits to problems at Sports Direct warehouse

Security procedures need overhauling at the sport retailer’s Derbyshire warehouse, acknowledges tycoon, whose chief executive has given up a £4m bonus

Mike Ashley, the founder and deputy chairman of Sports Direct, has admitted for the first time to problems with the security and search procedures at the retailer’s Derbyshire warehouse – as he said the group’s chief executive will forgo a £4m bonus in the wake of the scandal.

The move came as Ashley prepares to face a parliamentary select committee on Tuesday, which was triggered after a Guardian investigation revealed in December that the company’s compulsory, unpaid searches of warehouse workers meant they were effectively receiving less than the national minimum wage.

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Rangers launch legal action against Sports Direct and Mike Ashley

Civil case also lists former Rangers executives and directors associated with the billionaire retail boss

The increasingly bitter relationship between Sports Direct and Rangers FC took yet another dive on Monday as the football club launched legal proceedings against the retailer, its founder Mike Ashley and four of the club’s former executives.

The civil case lists Rangers’ former chief executives Charles Green and Derek Llambias, former director Imran Ahmad, and former finance director Brian Stockbridge as “defenders” alongside the sportswear chain and its billionaire boss.

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Mike Ashley will meet MPs on condition they visit Sports Direct

Sportswear tycoon says he will appear before committee investigating his business practices if they visit his firm first

MPs are to consider a letter by Sports Direct’s founder, Mike Ashley, in which says he will appear in front of a parliamentary committee investigating his business practices on the condition that the politicians visit his company’s headquarters first.

The billionaire’s move is a partial U-turn after he described MPs on the business, innovation and skills (BIS) select committee as “a joke” when they took the unusual step in March of issuing a summons for him to appear in front of them next month.

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Newcastle’s Mike Ashley pledges instant return to Premier League

• Owner writes open letter to supporters after relegation
• ‘I am prepared to go through both good times and bad’

Mike Ashley has written an open letter to Newcastle United fans pledging to do everything in his power to ensure an immediate return to the Premier League.

The newly relegated club’s owner described the descent into the Championship as a “terrible blow” and said he was “sharing” supporters’ pain. Reading between the lines of this rare missive, it appears clear the sports retail tycoon has no intention of selling Newcastle at present and is keen to convince Rafael Benítez to remain as manager.

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Mike Ashley in running to acquire Austin Reed

Sports Direct boss, who is also circling BHS, is said to be among suitors for 116-year-old tailor now in administration

The sportswear tycoon Mike Ashley is reported to be in pole position to acquire the stricken tailoring brand Austin Reed.

The 116-year-old tailor went into administration at the end of last month, putting 1,184 jobs at risk. On Friday Austin Reed’s administrators, AlixPartners, were evaluating bids for the retailer, which industry experts expect to be broken up. Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s owner, Philip Day, is also thought to be among the interested parties.

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Where did it go wrong for Newcastle this season? Fans react to their relegation

Despite spending £80m on new players this season, Newcastle United are going back to the Championship. Who is to blame: the owners, managers or players?

By Copa90, part of the Guardian Sport Network

For a city whose reputation is dominated by its football club, relegation represents a collective nightmare coming true for Newcastle. After dropping to the second tier for the first time in 16 years in 2009, Newcastle crawled their way back to the Premier League by winning the Championship in some style. The future seemed bright in 2010 but the people in charge of the club have proven incapable of solidifying their position in the top flight.

Related: If you want an example of hubris, look no further than Newcastle’s boardroom | Louise Taylor

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If you want an example of hubris, look no further than Newcastle’s boardroom | Louise Taylor

The startling reality is that despite spending £80m on new players this season – only Manchester City invested more – Newcastle have still ended up in this mess

So John Carver was right after all. A little over a year ago Newcastle United’s interim manager claimed even a world-class coach would struggle at St James’ Park and, sure enough, Rafael Benítez has vindicated his theory.

When, two months ago, Benítez succeeded Steve McClaren, he had 10 games to keep Newcastle in the Premier League and, justifiably, fancied his chances. Nine of those matches later – two won, three lost, four drawn – the Tynesiders are relegated but this costly tumble into the Championship is not remotely the Spaniard’s fault.

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Mike Ashley says he is working on bid for BHS

Sports Direct founder’s possible move ‘anticipates no job losses and that all stores would remain open’

Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of Sports Direct, has said he is working on a bid for BHS that would prevent job losses among its 11,000 staff and keep all branches open.

Related: Philip Green ‘should lose knighthood if integrity over BHS found wanting’

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