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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2015

Toon and TUSC slam 'cash cow' boss

Nick Fray and Tim Wall

Activists and football fans came together to protest against the billionaire owner of Newcastle United and Sports Direct on 25 April.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners, including Socialist Party members, joined Newcastle supporters in the demonstration against Mike Ashley. Events took place outside Sports Direct, the notorious zero-hour employer he also runs.

Fans are outraged by Ashley's cynical use of the club as a cash cow and to promote his leisurewear business, while almost allowing the club to slide into relegation. The protest was the latest in a succession of walkouts and boycotts by fans demanding changes to management.

Ashley's management of the club has been mired in controversy since he bought it in 2007 for some 135 million. He tried - unsuccessfully - to rename St James' Park "Sports Direct Arena". To add insult to injury, payday loan-shark firm Wonga is emblazoned on Newcastle shirts.

Disgraceful

It's disgraceful that Ashley, the richest man in the North East with a fortune of 3.3 billion, says he can't afford to pay his workers a living wage. Last year, Sports Direct - the UK's largest sports retailer - reported a rise of 15% in pre-tax profits to 240 million.

TUSC supporters got a great response from fans and passers-by. Despite pouring rain, fans bought numerous copies of the Socialist, making generous donations including 10 notes.

Two TUSC supporters who went in-store to leaflet workers were escorted off the premises by guards. But our actions got a laugh and a cheer from fans holding a banner that read: "Newcastle United - balance sheet champions".

The best way to hit Ashley is by unionising his workers, fighting for decent wages and guaranteed hours at all Sports Direct workplaces.

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In The Socialist 27 May 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop Tory welfare butchery

'Council of war' needed for fight against cuts

Are falling prices good for us?

NHS trusts heading for bankruptcy

'Spiderman' and political lobbying

Plymouth: Labour and Tories form grand cuts coalition

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

A new chapter in Chile's political crisis

Greece: subordination to or rupture with austerity?


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for our future!

Stop the privatisation of student loans!


Socialist Party workplace news

Organise to strike back

PCS conference: coordinated action can stop the Tories

Determined Dundee porters ratchet up pressure

Political fund threat changes Glasgow council's tune

National Rail strike threat results in new offer

Bromley council battle continues

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Toon and TUSC slam 'cash cow' boss

Thirty newcomers boost London post-election meeting

Peterborough occupiers protest at homelessness


Socialist history

VE Day: When 'liberation' meant socialism


Readers' comments

Tories have nothing in common with blue collar workers

Working class people's real aspirations


 

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