Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct and Newcastle came under fire in Monday's documentaryGetty

Newcastle United have issued a statement slamming 'erroneous media reporting' of their relationship with Sports Direct after a television documentary.

Channel 4's Dispatches programme aired on Monday (27 April) and referenced the close relationship between the chain and the football club, both owned by businessman Mike Ashley.

Within an hour of the programme finishing, Newcastle released a statement criticising Channel 4's findings as "wholly inaccurate", adding the broadcaster failed to seek comment from the club.

In a further statement released on Tuesday, Newcastle have accused Channel 4 and Dispatches of misleading supporters in an attempt to "further antagonise fans".

The lengthy statement read: "In reference to our statement last night (Monday 27 April) regarding the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, The Secrets of Sports Direct, Newcastle United would like to clarify the facts for the benefit of supporters.

"Last night's programme made a wholly inaccurate claim regarding the retail relationship between the club and Sports Direct.

"In the club's view, the broadcaster deliberately misled Newcastle United supporters and provided yet another example of erroneous media reporting which only serves to further antagonise fans."

The documentary questioned the sportswear retailer's business practices and inferred money from items purchased in Newcastle's official club stores went directly to Sports Direct.

But Newcastle have hit back and claimed such accusations are wide of the mark.

"In January 2014, in the minutes of its fans' forum which are published online, the club confirmed how the retail relationship with Sports Direct works.

"For the purpose of clarity, we can reconfirm that 100% of the income from goods bought in the club's official stores and on its website are received by the club and not Sports Direct, as the Dispatches programme claimed.

"The only money paid by the club to Sports Direct is for the stock (at cost price), plus a handling fee. This represents far better value than the costs the club historically incurred in relation to purchasing, storage and distribution.

"In fact, the change to our retail operating structure introduced in February 2013, which saw us partner with Sports Direct, increased the profit margin by over 50%. This benefits the club hugely.

"In simple terms, the club receives more money as a result of this relationship.

"Channel 4 failed to contact the club in order to clarify any facts in relation to our retail operation.

"Given that this information was already in the public domain, and had been for over 15 months, we find it incredible that the makers of an investigative current affairs programme chose to air information which was so obviously factually incorrect."