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Newcastle United Sports Direct Mike Ashley

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley admits brand is in trouble and regrets Newcastle buy

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By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

March 22, 2016 | 2 min read

Sports Direct boss, Mike Ashley, has admitted that the retailer is in serious trouble and blames MPs and the "media circus" for the spiraling decline.

Speaking to the Times Ashley revealed his concerns and about Sports Direct’s performance over the last year and said he would refuse to appear before a Commons select committee in June to answer questions on the company’s business practices because he believed the it was an “abuse of parliamentary process”.

Discussing the sports retailer’s performance Ashley openly stated that "we are in trouble” and said “the more the media frenzy feeds on it, the more it affects us."

He blamed the brand’s misfortunes on Ed Miliband who publicly accused Sports Direct of Victorian working practices. According to Ashley the condemnation cost the staff of Sports Direct £60m in lost bonus payouts which made him want to "box him [Mr Miliband] in the ears".

Newcastle United are also adding to Ashley’s mounting concerns due to the club’s dismal performance this season which could see it lose out on £100m for next season’s Premier League broadcast deal.

"Do I regret getting into football? The answer is yes. I have had tonnes of fun in it but I haven’t been able to make the difference I wanted to like I have at Sports Direct," said Ashley.

Ashley maintained he had decided to speak out to stop the “public vilification” of Sports Direct because the negative publicity from the media has unquestionably harmed his business.

Newcastle United Sports Direct Mike Ashley

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