A source close to Mike Ashley has claimed to The Rebound that the Newcastle United owner ‘didn’t have his phone on him’ for most of Tuesday, meaning he ‘probably now wouldn’t have the time to set up a bank transfer’ in order to contribute an agreed £250,000 ‘gift’ to departing Premier League chief exec, Richard Scudamore.
When it was pointed out to Ashley by an aide that he could do so at any time and that there was ‘no rush’ about making the payment, the discount-clothes baron responded by saying, ‘ah well you know I’ve a lot of things on over the next while and I don’t think I have the mobile app, sooooo….
‘Anyway, I’m off to Magaluf on Thursday so I’ll need all of Wednesday to pack, and oh is that my phone ringing? I’d better take that call, cheers.’
The Rebound’s source has confirmed that Ashley has not been seen since.
Prior to these events, a Newcastle representative had seemingly agreed to stump up the contribution to the Scudamore fund before a meeting on Tuesday, but has now been left in hot water by his boss’s subsequent scarcity.
‘Well, I asked Mike for the money,’ reveals the representative. ‘He had to take a call, apparently, though I happen to know his phone battery was dead at the time. So I texted him a bit later but got no response.
‘I’ve left it up to the people at the Premier League and wished them all the very best with their task of trying to get blood from a stone they can’t even find.’
Another source within the PL backed up this claim in a private meeting with The Rebound, and added that interns within the company had emailed Ashley ‘14 or 15 times on Tuesday afternoon.’
No response was received until around 6pm, when an email was delivered to the source’s inbox from Ashley’s personal address, reading:
‘Sorry lads, I didn’t have my phone on me all day today, so I haven’t got any emails about paying £250,000 to Richard Scudamore and actually I don’t even know anything about that because as I said I didn’t, and in fact still don’t, have my phone on me. Sent from my iPhone’.
No further comment or response has been received by the Premier League from Ashley.
When questioned about whether he thought Ashley would process the payment to Scudamore, Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez commented, ‘Haha are you serious? Not a bloody hope, mate. I can’t even get the b*stard to fork out for Custard Creams at the training ground.’
In seemingly unrelated news, Jamaal Lascelles has been transfer-listed by the club.
The Rebound is Paddy Power’s weekly breaking news story that may not actually have happened or be real in any way.