1. ITV Report

Newcastle fans announce plans for a protests outside Sports Direct

A Newcastle United supporter group have announced plans to protest against Mike Ashley’s running of their football club outside a popular Sports Direct store in the city centre, ahead of the team's first game of the season.

The Magpie Group have encouraged fans to 'stand united' against owner Mike Ashley, who has just purchased troubled House of Fraser for £90 million, the day after transfer deadline day and day prior to the start of the season.

Crowds are urged to gather outside the popular Northumberland Street branch of Sports Direct, in the hours ahead of the first game of the season at St James' Park against Tottenham Hotspur.

The supporter group has made relevant authorities aware of protest plans Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The announcement claimed, 'A peaceful protest will take place outside of the Northumberland Street branch of Sports Direct (Newcastle North) on Saturday 11th August at 11am, it is expected to last until 11.30am.'

The group then say, the crowd's full attention will turn to support Rafa Benítez and the team.

  • The Magpie Group released the following statement:

With Newcastle United’s opening game of the 2018/19 Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur kicking-off at 12.30pm, supporters are strongly encouraged to attend in order to help create an audible and visible display of dissatisfaction with Mike Ashley.

This is just the first of what the Magpie Group envisage to be many protests against Mike Ashley and his Sports Direct chain. Protest action will not cease and will likely escalate until Mike Ashley sells Newcastle United Football Club to a fit and proper person.

– The Magpie Group
The Northumberland Street branch of Sports Direct Credit: ITV News

Representatives of the Magpie Group say that they will be present in high-visibility jackets to lead proceedings and provide protest materials. They have assured there will be no entry into the Sports Direct store, and all relevant authorities have been informed of the group’s plans.

The protest encourages fans to 'stand united' with Rafa Benitez Credit: The Magpie Group

Mike Ashley is one man, we are a city. If you love United, stand united.

– The Magpie Group

The Magpie Group have encouraged Newcastle United supporters to take part in an audible and visible display of displeasure against Mike Ashley and his running of their football club, before showing solidarity to support manager Rafa Benitez at St James' Park.

Benitez will lead out his team to face Tottenham Hotspurs on Saturday Credit: John Walton/PA Wire/PA Images