Chi Onwurah meets Mike Ashley: "We disagreed strongly"


"It’s clear he feels very strongly in his own defence, so it’s not a matter of indifference to him that he’s seen as the cause of Newcastle’s malaise as well as seen as undermining the city and asset-stripping the club - that matters to him. He and the people around him think he’s the victim of misrepresentation, that he hasn’t taken any money out of the club. We disagreed strongly. He didn’t convince me. Most worrying, in my view, is that he has no intention of investing significantly into the club. He said to me at one point, ‘Would you put all your money into it?.’

"But this isn’t just any company, it’s a huge part of our city. I would have recognised I was buying a cultural asset that required investment. "One of his people said, ‘But he has invested’. Buying the club wasn’t investment, it was buying something. Giving the club loans isn’t investment. Mr Ashley said the club can only spend what it generates but, as I’ll say in the debate, that is a form of austerity economics — a club needs investment to reach its potential."

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