Alan Pardew has dismissed reports that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is looking to sell the club.
Speculation has been mounting that the businessman is willing to listen to offers for Newcastle as he aims to increase his stake in Glasgow giants Rangers. But Pardew said Ashley remains committed to the Magpies.
Mike Ashley has bowed out of a controversial profit-share scheme which could see 3,000 permanent staff receive a piece of £200m if profits double in 2019.
The scheme recently came under fire from investors groups and the Institute of Directors who were planning to vote against Chairman Keith Hellawell and other board members because they were unhappy with the arrangement.
In a statement on the Sport's Direct website today the company confirms that despite approval from a panel of independent shareholders that he could receive a payout he has - after discussions with the board - decided to refuse his payout.
Keith Hellawell, Non-Executive Chairman of Sports Direct International plc, said:
"The resolution passed by shareholders to implement the 2015 Bonus Share Scheme clearly recognises the success of previous company-wide schemes, and the significant contribution from Mike.
"On behalf of the entire Board, I should like to thank shareholders for the trust and confidence that they have demonstrated towards the team.
"Mike remains fully committed to achieving the scheme's stretch targets. Regarding the allocation of shares, Mike's focus is on ensuring that the scheme aligns all employees to achieve the Company's objectives.
"Following recent unhelpful speculation surrounding his potential allocation, he is determined to ensure that there is the maximum number of shares available for the eligible employees."
Mike Ashley has not received a salary or any bonus since Sports Direct was floated in 2007 when he received £929m.
A Newcastle United fans group is seeking further clarity over the club's alleged plans to sell a lease on land next to St James' Park.
The 125-year lease, on land opposite the Gallogate end, was purchased from Nexus in 1998 under the Sir John Hall and Freddie Shepherd regime for potential ground expansion in the future.
Newcastle United Supporters Trust says the club's current owner, Mike Ashley, is attempting to privately sell the lease. It's understood the land could then be developed for either a hotel or student accommodation.
NUST Chairman, Norman Watson, has written to Newcastle City Council to request further details under the Freedom of Information Act.
A group of Newcastle United supporters are staging a protest outside St James' Park against the club's owner Mike Ashley.
The Magpies host Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League this afternoon.
Sports Direct, which is owned by Mike Ashley, has announced that its profits are rising. They were up by 14.6% in the 13 weeks ending on 26 January 2014, totalling £280.7 million.
Here are some of the key figures in more detail:
- Sales for the 13 weeks ending 26 January 2014 were up 11.2% to £655.4m
- Sports Retail sales in the 13 week period increased 6.9% to £529.9m
- Premium Lifestyle sales in the period were up 52.5% to £71.2m
- The Brands division revenue increased by 15.5% to £54.3m
The company will release their preliminary results on 17 July 2014.
The chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, has been urged to act as a mediator between Newcastle United and three local newspapers, who have been banned from all the club's media events.
Journalists from the Journal, Chronicle and Sunday Sun were told they were not welcome at press conferences at St James' Park. Manager Alan Pardew was even stopped from answering their questions after the weekend's derby away at Sunderland. The club is unhappy with what it feels is unfair coverage.
Politicians and Unions are urging Newcastle United to think again about its decision to ban journalists from three regional newspapers from future media events at St James' Park.
Today Alan Pardew stood by the decision saying that it was up to the editors of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, the Journal and the Sunday Sun to respond.
Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah has reacted to the news Newcastle United FC have banned the Chronicle, the Journal and the Sunday Sun from press conferences.