Speaking on a recent episode of the Pod On The Tyne podcast, George Caulkin discussed Mike Ashley’s recent statement in which he spoke out against the pay-per-view (PPV) Premier League matches, and what the journalist thought was the motive behind the Newcastle United owner’s words.
In his statement, Ashley claimed that he was ‘calling on the Premier League’ to ‘immediately act and review’ the current £14.95 fee charged for a fan to watch their team in action, as the Newcastle owner felt that this figure ‘is not acceptable to any football fan’.
He continued by stating that ‘supporters have overwhelmingly rejected’ paying the fee in order to see their team play, and that the ‘Premier League must now act’.
Ashley then suggested that the league lower the fee to ‘a more accessible £4.95 per match’, in order to allow fans ‘who are unable to attend matches in person’ to watch their side play at a more reasonable price.
The Newcastle owner’s statement was one topic of conversation on a recent episode of the Pod On The Tyne podcast, in which Caulkin gave his opinion as to why he feels Ashley has spoken out against the current PPV policy, suggesting that Ashley’s motive could be down to his own battle with the Premier League regarding the club’s failed takeover bid.
He said: “This idea of Mike Ashley being this sort of man of the people is an astonishing one. On the simple fact of this, he’s right – but why is he doing it? I think that’s the kind of question to ask.
“This comes hard on the heels of him calling out the Premier League at the end of the first takeover saga, and then the second attempt and engaging in a war of words with the Premier League about that – about what had been rejected and not been rejected.
“To me, it feels like this is part of that campaign, this guerrilla warfare against the Premier League – finding any and every available opportunity to cause them a bit of agitation and embarrassment.
“Something else that doesn’t make sense in the statement – he says that Newcastle agreed with the £14.95 price point for pay-per-view games because there was no other alternative at the time. Well, there was another alternative, the alternative was to disagree.
“So, it’s absolutely the same as everything with Mike Ashley’s Newcastle – a question is answered and it just raises several more. It’s weird – on the face of it, I agree with what he said, but there’s more to it than meets the eye, there always is.”
Do you think there is a personal motive behind Mike Ashley's statement regarding PPV?
TIF Thoughts on George Caulkin’s comments regarding Mike Ashley…
From Caulkin’s comments, it is clear that the journalist is somewhat conflicted by Ashley’s statement regarding PPV, as, while he agrees in principle with what the Newcastle owner states regarding the reduction of the fee charged to view a match, he is wary of the motives behind Ashley’s sudden decision to turn against the £14.95 figure that Newcastle themselves, and, thus, Ashley himself, originally voted for.