Intimidation

Mike Ashley has repeatedly claimed that Newcastle United supporters were threatening violence against him, his family or colleagues.  This has been a tactic to illicit sympathy where there was no threat.  Ashley has never provided any evidence of a threat and police have never backed up any of his claims, they have in fact commended Newcastle fans on their behaviour whenever they have protested him.

August 2018
On 3rd August 2018, Mike Ashley sent a letter to the Secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright. The letter was intended to defend himself from what he called "a wholly inaccurate assessment of the situation at Newcastle United" by Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah in presenting a petetion to parliament on "Football Club Ownership and the deep concerns surrounding Newcastle United".

In his letter, Ashley made claims about abuse without presenting any evidence or obtaining any police response supporting his claim.

"Following publication of the petition, an unprecedented volume of unacceptable abuse was directed towards staff at Sports (re)Direct and its associated companies, via social media, email and telephone. This included digital material of an obscene nature, incitement to commit criminal damage, and language that was clearly intended to intimidate and harass staff. We are in the process of bringing examples of this behaviour to the attention of police. - Source
 Since the publication of Ashley's letter there has still not been one report of police having acted on any of these examples.

September 2008
The day after protests at Newcastle v Hull over the treatment of Kevin Keegan, Mike Ashley explained his absence in a statement.
"I am now a dad who can't take his kids to a football game on a Saturday because I am advised that we would be assaulted" - Source
Police quotes not only directly contradicted his claim
"We gave no formal advice to Mr Ashley about not attending Saturday's game. It is not our place to do so." - Source
But went further in congratulating Newcastle fans on the peaceful nature of their protest
"A number of groups came to the ground to carry out their lawful protest and I would like to praise those fans for the way in which they behaved." - Source
Ashley's own personal security people may have advised him of some perceived danger in making an appearance. That would not explain why Chief Executive Derek Llambias wasn’t cautioned similarly though, he was far more instrumental in the whole chain of events that provoked those original protests and the dissatisfaction among the fan base since.

The reality was that Ashley was unwilling to face the vocal ire of fans, but was able to pay his managing director to grin through it.


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