Steve McClaren: I’ve only met Newcastle owner Mike Ashley ONCE – and we talked about Sports Direct!

Mike Ashley.
Mike Ashley.

Steve McClaren says he has only spoken to Mike Ashley ONCE since taking charge at Newcastle United.

McClaren was appointed as the club’s new head coach in the summer after last season’s near-disastrous flirtation with relegation.

We had 10 minute’s chit-chat, mostly about Sports Direct and how it makes so much money and how he’s turned this club around in eight years to be in profit and for us to spent £50million and not sell our best player in the window.

Steve McClaren

But the 54-year-old has only had one meeting with Ashley.

Ashley tasked managing director Lee Charnley with overseeing the appointment of a permanent successor to Alan Pardew, and McClaren only met the billionaire before the pre-season friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach.

And the pair spent most of their time together talking about Ashley’s multi-billion pound Sports Direct business.

Asked if he had a regular dialogue with Ashley, McClaren said: “I met him once before the Gladbach game.

“We had 10 minute’s chit-chat, mostly about Sports Direct and how it makes so much money and how he’s turned this club around in eight years to be in profit and for us to spent £50million and not sell our best player in the last two days of the window.

“The rest, we’ve said. Lee Charnley is running the ship.

“We’ve got a good relationship.

“I’m sure we’ll see him (Ashley) if he’s got a problem, but hopefully not.

“He’s kind of thrown it all over to Lee. It’s a huge responsibility.”

Chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur are on United’s new-look board along with Charnley and McClaren.

McClaren added: “Lee, myself, Graham Carr and Bob (Moncur) have to stay very close and tight, which we have been and we are.”