On Sunday, NBCSN reporter Neil Ashton announced on-air that his time with NBC Sports had come to an end. His unlikely destination? The popular English reporter has launched his own media consultancy business where his first client will be Manchester United.
Ashton has played a key role at NBCSN for the last several years where he has been the network’s “Premier League Insider,” sharing a unique perspective on everything from transfers to the latest board room and managerial changes throughout England.
In a 2016 interview with NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Pierre Moossa, the executive explained why Ashton was a key hire for the American sports network. “The number one reason we work with Neil is that he’s a journalist. He has absolute credibility. He’s not someone out there writing tabloid articles.”
In addition to relinquishing his role at NBC Sports, Ashton has also left his position at Sky Sports as the host of the critically-acclaimed Sunday Supplement. He has also left his role as the Chief Football Reporter at The Sun newspaper.
Turning his focus to the future, the launch of his Ashton Media Group has embarked on the difficult task of trying to repair the reputation of Manchester United and, specifically, Manchester United Chief Executive Ed Woodward.
“Part of my job is to re-establish Manchester United,” said Ashton.
“I got to know Ed Woodward a little bit. I discovered that the portrayal of Ed Woodward is not accurate. It’s a guy that absolutely loves Manchester United.
“I want to change perception of not only himself but the ownership of the club.”
Given Ashton’s role with Manchester United, his decision to step away from NBC Sports and Sky Sports makes sense due to a conflict of interest.
According to a NBC Sports spokesperson, “Neil Ashton is an accomplished writer, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavor.”
The NBC Sports spokesperson did not specify a timetable for when a replacement would be hired.