Donald Rumsfeld died the other day. You’ve probably missed me wearing the black armband and lowering the flag to half-mast. Amidst all the platitudes and sentimental guff being written on his behalf were a look at his “greatest hits.”
Foremost amongst them was his infamous statement that, “
There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
It was widely mocked, but in fact it was right on.
Today Castore formally signed their deal with Newcastle United.
It’s been coming for a long time, and the only surprise was that it took this long to be made official. People have been talking about it for many months. It wasn’t in the slightest doubt that it would happen.
It comes after weeks of mixed emotions in Sevco Land about their own deal with the manufacturer. A lot of fans are unhappy about the piss-poor quality of the “150 anniversary kit” – no laughing now – and some of the other gear that’s been released.
What’s more, a lot of this stuff was on sale via Sports Direct before it ever got to their own official club channels. Taking that into account, it’s no wonder some of them are concerned that for the last year or so they’ve been lining big Mike’s pockets even as he edges through court cases against them. The concern is not at all misplaced.
Ashley is all over the Castore deal. You can smell his presence on it at every turn. As this site has long pointed out, the company did a major fundraiser shortly before inking the Ibrox deal and an unknown organisation took a major stake in their business. It seems all too likely that Ashley was behind that and continues to be intrinsically involved.
This should serve as a warning to Ibrox about other things, of course.
Their board gets a lot of credit these days, but there are clearly matters relating to them about which the Ibrox support is almost totally oblivious.
The known knowns are bad enough; they know that Ashley still has some role in their merchandising outfit.
The known unknowns are that they have no idea how big that involvement is or what his relationship with Castore truly is.
But the unknown unknowns should scare them more; those things they don’t even know they don’t know, the secret goings on behind the scenes which they haven’t even guessed at yet, probably to do with money and the whole way the club is financed.
If this was our club, we’d want to know and maybe some of them do.
For others, they would obviously rather live in ignorance than be acquainted with uncomfortable facts. It is not a healthy way to be. You’d think they’d have learned having already paid a high price for that stuff.