Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mystery man unmasked

It was only the last installment of A Month Of Saturdays that I began by describing Jabba as "something of a mystery man" and posing the question: "What do we actually know about him?" Now, thanks to an article profiling him in the Independent, we perhaps know a little bit more.

We know, for instance, that he's "a brilliant boss" because he's more than happy to strip down to his undercrackers to the strains of Tom Jones and gyrate around at parties in Chinese restaurants. I wonder if King Kev or ASBO - who once memorably described him as a "cretin" and "the Ayatollah" - would agree.

We know that, when it comes to rival businesses, he has no mercy: "Mike’s ruthlessness is just unbelievable. He set out to destroy his rivals in the 1990s and 2000s, and now look at them. They’re all but finished. The competition is destroyed. There’s no question: if you get on the wrong side of him, he’s not a very nice man." Acting as a wrecking ball for JJB was easy - just whistleblow on their attempts to fix prices of replica football shirts. Hence the continued antipathy between Jabba and Delusional Dave Whelan.

We know that he has a sense of humour - even if that often manifests itself as at the expense of those who line his pockets by filling St James' Park week in week out, chuckling at the abusive chants of fans protesting about any of the numerous unfathomable decisions he's taken during his tenure. (As an aside, I'm not sure where the claim of anti-Semitic abuse against him comes from - certainly it's not something I've heard or seen reported anywhere else.)

We know (at least according to someone "familiar with the negotiations") that his intention in buying the club was to flog it off almost immediately for a hefty profit. "But the deal never came off. And what do you call a deal that goes wrong? An investment. Newcastle’s become a very costly investment for Mike meant to make a quick buck but didn't work out."

And we know why he's sticking around - according to the same source, "He will never sell that club at a loss. It’s just not in his make-up". Biding his time, then.

But what we still don't know is what really makes him tick. What makes him feel compelled to lob a spanner in the works just as soon as the machine finally seems to be functioning to full capacity and efficiency again? Perhaps we'll never know.

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Anonymous JohnOliver said...

I don't know who your source is,but
the bit about "buying the club was to flog it off almost immediately for a hefty profit"
is bollocks,that was just certain newspapers trying to stir up trouble.
The share price when ashley bought the club was around 55p.he paid a £1
a share,and the club was in heavy debt,so he could never have made a profit.

11:39 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Not my source - the source quoted in the Independent article. By all means call them out on it if it's bollocks.

2:01 pm  

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