Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has defended his stewardship of the club in a letter sent to the government last week.
Ashley wrote in the August 3 letter - which was sent to secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Jeremy Wright - that he was being treated like a 'pantomime villain' over his running of the Tyneside team.
"As owner of Newcastle United, I have provided the club with interest free loans, the outstanding balance of which as at today's date is £144 million, whilst I also cleared all of its third party debts, which stood at £76m in 2006/07 and incurred finance costs of £6.5 million that existed when I purchased the club" Ashley's letter wrote.
"This enabled Newcastle United to establish an affordable ticket pricing policy for fans. This includes a number of season ticket price-freeze schemes, which allow over 20,000 supporters to secure their ticket at a significantly reduced rate every season."
Ashley also stated in the letter that following the petition, employees of his companies had received abuse and intimidation.