MAGPIES owner Mike Ashley may have been crying into his beer after Sunday’s 3-0 derby drubbing but he has 550 million reasons to cheer up.
That’s how much the Sports Direct boss’s personal fortune has grown over the last year, according to the annual Sunday Times Rich List, published this weekend.
The list again puts Ashley top of the region’s big-earners, with an estimated personal worth this year of £2,300million.
Black Cats’ owner Ellis Short is not a British citizen and so does not feature on the list but his personal worth is estimated at around £850million, enough to earn him third place on the regional list behind Ashley and property magnates Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, with an estimated fortune of £1,500million.
Instead, retailer Mark Fenwick and family are third, with a personal worth of a mere £473million.
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson is ranked 13th on the list, worth an estimated £145million.
Sir Peter Vardy and family are again the highest placed Wearsiders, coming in at 11th place, with a fortune of £155million.
And the bingo business has certainly seen Phil Cronin and family hit the jackpot.
The man behind Edward Thompson printers and the Tombola website is ranked 19th equal on the North East list, with an estimated family fortune of £75million.
Other high profile names on the North East list include Sage founder Graham Wylie and musician Sting, ranked joint eighth with a worth of £185million, and the Duke of Northumberland in fifth place with £325million keeping the wolf from the doors of Alnwick Castle.
Financier Jonathan Ruffer, who served on Lord Adonis’ North East Economic Review team, is valued at £330million in fourth place and wax jacket supremo Dame Margaret Barbour and family are ranked tenth, worth £175million.
The newest face on the North East list is entrepreneur Anthony Solomon, who established the Famous Brunswick Warehouse as a discount shoe chain and is now an investor in cut-price book and stationery chain The Works.
His £100million fortune is enough to earn him a slot in 17th place
The North East Top 20
1 Mike Ashley. Sports equipment and fashion. £2,300m.
2 Poju and Anita Zabludowicz. Property and hotels. £1,500m.
3 Mark Fenwick and family. Department stores. £473m.
4 Jonathan Ruffer. Finance. £330m.
5 The Duke of Northumberland. Land and art. £325m.
6 Alastair and Michael Powell. Cables and property. £250m.
7 John Reece and family. Engineering.£200m.
8 Graham Wylie. Software.£185m.
9 Sting. Music. £180m.
10 Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour and family. Fashion. £175m.
11 Sir Peter Vardy and family. Car sales. £155m.
12 Stuart Monk and family. Property. £147m.
13 Steve Gibson. Transport. £145m.
14 Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan. Fashion. £140m.
15 Duncan Davidson and family. Construction. £120m.
16 Sir Frank Williams. Motor racing. £115m.
17 Anthony Solomon. Discount stores. £100m.
18 William Rankin and family. Property. £90m.
19 Phil Cronin and family. Bingo. £75m.
19= Michael Dawson. Security. £75m.