‘All the money you made will never buy back your soul’ Bob Dylan.

When a young Michael James Wallace Ashley sat down to watch Rocky 4 he turned it off in disgust. It was after all a massive mistake for Rocky to travel to Russia to fight. When he could have really cashed in on Creed’s death by having the revenge fight on US soil in Apollo’s home town. All that money missed out on. The triumph of the indomitable spirit against the odds is not for him. The very heart of sport, striving to be the best you can be is not for him. Fighting with everything you have to win is not for him. Coming together as a community to support your heroes. To represent where you come from. It’s not for him. You see Michael is the hero of his own story and it is measured in one currency only. Currency.

How much money he can get out of other’s pockets?

Not to spend it. Just to accumulate it as a sort of scorecard. To see a number on a screen. A big fat balance. The more money he extracts the more he is winning. The more people he makes miserable along the way the happier he is. What a pathetic existence. How much is enough when you’re already a Billionaire? The pathological acquisition of more and more and more and more wealth is an illness. Actually probably better described as a sickness. I often joke if somebody paid me a million pounds a year I’d take the next ten years off. What the fuck is wrong with a person who has so much but still greedily slavers over the prospect of adding to the money he already has piled up? More than any one person should ever have. He could’ve been the King of Newcastle.

He could’ve enjoyed the club and been truly loved by adoring supporters but instead he’s despised as a pitiful example of greed personified. When I was little the one thing we were taught by my Dad was that if we’d done something wrong to admit it and we wouldn’t be in trouble as he placed telling the truth above all else. Fair to say Michael didn’t receive similar counsel. His parents should be ashamed. Rotten to his very core he lies whenever it’s required. Always in pursuit of more money. So this is a plea to the man. This is the Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader moment at the end of Return of the Jedi. An appeal to the shred of decency left within him. You are no longer a young man. You are not going to live forever. In fact with the weight you seem to have been carrying throughout your adult life and your regular binging to the point of vomiting inside bars the ticking of that particular clock will be getting louder in your ears. It is not too late to do the right thing by the people of Newcastle whose lives you’re ruining. You’ve made a lot of money from us. Y

ou’ve grown your businesses off the back of our support. Against our will we’ve lifted you up and elevated the name of Sports Direct around the world. All we’re asking is for you to leave us alone. We’re beaten up, bloodied and on the floor. Just walk away. Because ‘I’ll tell you this’ as somebody once said. We’re beaten but not broken. We’ll rise up off the canvass and wipe the smile off your face if you continue. As much as you care about money it’s nowhere near as powerful as the love people have for their club, their city, their friends and family who you’re making unhappy. Watch the end of the film Michael. You may think we’re smaller than you.

You may think you can crush us. You won’t.

Get out of our club.

 
DAVID CROSIER – FOLLOW DAVID ON @CrosierDavid