The club have released the headline figures for the latest Newcastle United accounts.

These are for last (2015/16) season and relate to what happened in that Premier League year, not what has happened since we have been in the Championship.

The club’s official statements are always going to only tell part of the story and these Newcastle United accounts can’t be seen in isolation, rather they have to be taken as a package with previous seasons.

The latest figures show that turnover dropped and NUFC say that is down to TV money dropping. However, this doesn’t explain the failure to make any progress with commercial revenue, something that the club have previously said in past years was an area that was crucial to the growth of NUFC.

Much is made of Mike Ashley allegedly bailing the club out after relegation, just as he did supposedly seven years earlier on the previous relegation.

However, that can only be taken in light of the fact that his disastrous running of the club was responsible for relegating the club both times.

If somebody throws you in the sea and then eventually pulls you out just before you drown, you can only be grateful up to a point!

Much is made of Mike Ashley’s/Lee Charnley’s shock that the spending in summer 2015 didn’t ensure safety from relegation as a minimum. Well the stupid ongoing transfer policy that allowed the manager/head coach to have no say in signings and insisting on bringing in young inexperienced players with a future sell-on value was always likely to lead to short/medium/long-term misery.

The previous season (2014/15) saw Newcastle only survive relegation on the final day of the season, yet a (relative) fortune was spent on two 20 years olds (Mitrovic and Mbemba) who were playing in the very weak Belgian league, a 22 year old (Thauvin) from the weak French league, with the only signing that made sense being Wijnaldum who had more experience than the other three put together but still far too much was asked of him.

Yes there was spending in summer 2015 and January 2016 but once again we only saw realistic (if chaotic) spending happen when Mike Ashley was suddenly confronted with a very real risk of relegation.

Back in 2012 after that breakthrough 2011/12 season of finishing fifth, only Vurnon Anita arrived and that was financed by selling Leon Best and future England goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Then we had summer 2013 and January 2014 when not a single player was bought, incredible.

Even the summer of 2014, whilst more money was spent it still saw really bad decisions and not nearly enough cash invested on signings. A cut price £6m Emmanuel Riviere was a laughable answer to our dire striker shortage, whilst the focus was overall also very much on getting ‘bargains’ from weaker overseas leagues – hence the arrival of Cabella, de Jong, Perez, Janmat, Ferreyra and Riviere.

This also has to be taken  alongside the fact that Yohan Cabaye was sold for £18m the previous January, whilst the sales/departures of Debuchy, Shola, Remy, Gosling, Luuk de Jong, Amalfitano, Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Yanga-M’biwa brought in more cash and massively slashed the wage bill.

Yet again Mike Ashley was doing things his way and trying to ‘cheat’ the system, thinking he could run Newcastle United in a new/different way that would produce Premier League survival each season but on a budget.

Then when getting desperate and realising the writing was on the wall, gambling on (relatively) big money (with future potential profit) signings was the final straw that broke the camel’s back (again!), especially when appointing another patsie in Steve McClaren who was so desperate for the job he accepted it on humiliating terms with no say on anything important such as the players he would be relying on!

It is Mike Ashley’s business and he is simply protecting his very valuable asset which he has gained massively from in his 10 years at the club, we as fans have nothing to be grateful to him for.

The future health of any football club is inextricably linked to how it performs on the pitch and that is dependent on employing the right people on the football and business side and having the correct structure to run the club.

Newcastle have employed Rafa Benitez which is a massive first step but there is so far little evidence that the other pieces of the jigsaw are going to be made available.

Official Newcastle United statement on release of 2015/16 accounts:

‘Newcastle United Limited has filed its annual accounts for the year ended 30 June 2016.

The club recorded a profit after tax for the year of £4.6m, down from £32.5m in 2015.

Whilst the results mark a sixth consecutive year of recorded profit, the club had a hugely disappointing 2015/16 season, which ended in relegation to the EFL Championship.

Key financial performance indicators:

Turnover £125.8m (2015 – £129.7m)

Operating profit £0.9m (2015 – £19.1m)

Profit after tax £4.6m (2015 – £32.5m)

Wages to turnover ratio 59.4% (2015 – 50.1%)

Loans/Debt £129.0m (2015 – £129.0m)

Cash at year-end £1.7m (2015 – £48.3m)

Average home league attendance 49,754 (2015 – 50,349)

Turnover fell by three per cent, the most significant element of this being a £4.5m drop in media income, down from £77.2m to £72.7m. In addition to the impact of an 18th placed finish on the merit-based payments received by the club, there were four fewer matches screened live (16 compared to 20).

Operating expenses increased seven per cent to £96.5m and amortisation of players’ registrations increased by £7.8m to £28.3m.

In both cases this reflects the significant spend on additions to the playing squad in the summer 2015 and January 2016 transfer windows, which included the purchase of Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrović, Florian Thauvin, Chancel Mbemba, Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet.

The total net cash spend on players in the financial year to June 2016 was £70.7m, compared to £23.8m in 2015.

The significant increase in the wages to turnover ratio, up to 59.4 per cent from 50.1 per cent in 2015, again reflects the spend on the squad, combined with the change in first team management personnel in March 2016.

Net debt increased from £80.7m at 30 June 2015 to £127.3m in June 2016, representing the reduction in the company’s cash position at the year end.

Term loans from the owner, Mike Ashley, and companies under his control, remained unchanged at £129.0m and continue to be interest-free.

On 21 December 2016 St James Holdings Limited, a company controlled by Mr Ashley, provided a further loan of £33m. £18m was used to repay Mr Ashley his outstanding personal loan with the remaining £15m providing additional essential funds for operating activities.

Managing director, Lee Charnley, said:”The 2015/16 season was extremely disappointing for everyone connected with the club.

“Significant sums of money were spent to strengthen the playing squad in the summer 2015 and January 2016 windows, which also resulted in an increase in our annual wage bill. In the context of this spend, relegation was both unacceptable and totally unexpected.

“The financial impact of relegation is difficult to overstate and this will become evident in our next set of financial results for the year ending June 2017.

“The biggest impact by far is the dramatic reduction in centrally distributed income that comes with dropping down a division; the reality being our income in this area is forecast to fall by over £30m compared to 2015-16.

“To highlight the differences, our 16 live TV games last season earned us £12m in revenue. Contrast this with 2016/17 EFL live fees which, based on our current number of confirmed appearances (12 away and 6 home), will earn us a total of £720k. 

“To illustrate further the cost of relegation, 2016/17 marks year one of the new Premier League TV deal and the team that finishes in 18th place this season is expected to receive in the region of £30m more revenue than we did for the same place finish last year.

“Our approach, following relegation, was to make further sizeable investment in our playing squad in preparation for the EFL Championship season ahead and our annual wage bill is, we believe, still above and beyond many current Premier League teams. Whilst not without financial risks, this strategy was adopted in order to maximise our chances of promotion at the first time of asking.

“Outgoing transfers will ultimately generate a significant net player trading surplus for the summer 2016 transfer window but, due to the cash profile of the deals, this will result in a net cash outlay in 2016-17.

“Our adopted strategy has therefore only been made possible by the cash injection from our owner, who continues to provide interest free funding to support the club’s operations, never more important than during this financially challenging season.”



  • dannymc21

    “relegation was both unacceptable and totally unexpected”.
    Ashley’s mouthpiece forgot to say it was also totally avoidable. If Ashley continues to asset strip and gamble with an asset he still doesn’t know how to run properly another relegation is, not possible but very likely.
    Ashley has done nothing but line his pockets since he became owner. Any ambition he has for NUFC is entirely linked to Premiership money, not trophies.
    We have absolutely nothing to be grateful to him for. He kept Rafa because he knew he was the man to, hopefully, secure promotion.
    Unlike Ashley, Rafa seems to be a man of principles with footballing ambitions, and if Ashley doesn’t back him financially he will go, and I will certainly not blame him.

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment. Spot on in every respect.

    • Andy Mac

      Agreed. Nothing the Fatman has done has ever been for the success of the club. He only hired Rafa because he thought there was a chance of staying up, keeping hold of the Sky money thus allowing him to parade his tacky brands to a worldwide TV audience. Once we’re back on the gravy train I’ll be surprised if Fatso doesnt find a way to engineer Rafa’s departure.

      • Jezza

        I agree, Andy. I can certainly see Ashley constructively dismissing Rafa just like he did with Keegan. It won’t be difficult, he will just deny Rafa the required funds to strengthen the team for the Premiership. Rafa will leave to take up one of the many better offers that will come his way and you just know what will happen next. Ashley will replace Rafa with the one manager he trusts implicitly and knows he has got complete control over. Pardew.

  • Leazesl Ender

    I wonder how they extracted the figures from those inter-twined with the parent company! As the clubs shop uses a Shirebrook tax point isn’t it just another S***** Direct outlet under a different name?

    This is the same Lee Charnley who was responsible for the relegation?

    As we are undoubtedly aware the aforementioned overpromoted office boy is on the lowest salary of any large club chairman, but nevertheless can make up for this deliberate deficiency by keeping the clubs overheads very low for which he receives a handsome bonus.

    Charnley undermines his head coaches by promising signings then stringing out lengthy transfer talks and then deliberately failing to agree terms, a trick Keegan came across at the start of this regimes tenure. Ashley is a gambler but unfortunately for United’s long suffering fans his game is Russian roulette!

    Charnley relegated us twice, with the consent of the owner.. Rafa will learn what charnleys words mean in due course…. absolutely nothing!

    I will be very surprised if Rafa hasn’t figured this guy out yet!

    • bobbi fleckman

      Leasesl, have you read the figures? You will see the breakdown of income and expenditure. You clearly do no know what you are on about but coming up with your well worn record.

      Go away, read the figures, if you need any help, just ask but you make some very daft comments when it comes to finance.

      • GToon

        To be honest you don’t have to take much notice of the figures to realize what a bunch of so and so’s this lot are. The underlying current in this article is one of surprise at going down, one of greatfulness for all of the backing from our great owner and one of austerity for the future. Now you can dress that up however you like but i reckon my friend with the green heed is not far from the truth. Still who are we to say. Maybe “Mike” will see the untold riches that the top clubs can generate and back the first decent manager we have had in many a year. Then again he might play off the fact Rafa is a good manager and will avoid investing in the team. I mean lets face it one year we finished fifth so we should have finished fourth the next year according to those in charge. To sum it up I really believe the people at the top haven’t got a clue. We got lucky with Rafa joining us but luck won’t get us far next season.

        • bobbi fleckman

          Financial statements are a legal requirement and I think you have to understand this is a narrative from the club on their financials. The statement is made to show how the directors are addressing financial issues. If you are running a football club that has been relegated, it means a huge financial hole has been left and the directors have to address this thorny issue. If they don’t, as directors, they can be accused of trading illegally and should those expensive wages and contracts they committed to could be ruled as reckless, should the club run into financial ruin, as a very long shot, the directors could be personally made to pay those big contracts.

          Whilst it may seem a little deferential, the point of this statement is to show a) the directors authorised these big purchases and contracts and did so with a view of moving up the league, not recklessly spending company money in the knowledge it was doomed. b) now we are relegated, the subsequent spending has been with a view to keep the business as a going concern and to show that spending is viable, it’s been financed correctly (as it happens by M Ashley / St James holdings)

          The actual figures will be available on Co House in a few days, until then, we’re just going on a statement that has to be written as a justification of actions.

          • Leazesl Ender

            That’ll be fun as the financial year is out of synch with the football season and the football season is out of synch with the calendar year…. and part of United’s finances are channelled to Shirebrook and another part is in Ashleys pocket!

            Deloitte have there work cut out…. maybe they’ll chicken out of it let the office boy do the synopsis….. as usual!

  • Alex

    “Significant sums of money were spent to strengthen the playing squad in the summer 2015 and January 2016 windows, which also resulted in an increase in our annual wage bill. In the context of this spend, relegation was both unacceptable and totally unexpected.”

    Yet, the idiot who masterminded this double-whammy of disasters remains in the club employ. Bonkers.

  • SAMTHECAT

    And the responsibility for this relegation for the 2nd time was?

    • Andy Mac

      The same person responsible for the last relegation.

  • SAMTHECAT

    Basically Rafa don’t ask for any money next season, crikey at this rate you can see Pardew coming back.

  • hetonmag

    Unacceptable and totally unexpected says the man who employed two barrow boys to look after team affair’s, not often I agree with Leazes Ender but he is correct with what he says, how is the office boy and his sidekick Carr still in a job.

    • Guilttripjunkie

      I knew the Rafalution was nonsense when the hapless Carr and Charley were not sacked. Both are still running the club under the direction of Ashley.

  • MadMag83

    Relegation “was unexpected…” Was it really? I’m sure I wasn’t alone in being completely underwhelmed by the appointment of McLaren, I expected we would be in for yet another relegation battle after only scraping it on the last day the previous season and then employing that idiot.

    Reading between the lines, the board had the blinkers on and thought we wouldn’t go down, hence waiting too long to sack McLaren and including a relegation release clause for Townsend. You can see why no money was spent in January, Rafa will expected to sell some fringe players to fund any new signings in the summer. Unfortunately it looks like we could be in for another painful slog of a season if we go up because our board are only interested in the bottom line on the balance sheet.

    • bobbi fleckman

      I think you need to understand the dates of these accounts. It’s for the year to June 2016. At the start of the season, I think many thought we’d bought well and if they clicked as a team we should have been stepping on from the previous season.

      As for relegation release clauses, if you refuse to allow players to put these in, they will go elsewhere.

      Rafa will not be expected to sell fringe players this term, we have players near the end of their contracts and some who will simply be moving because they are not up for the step up a league. Transfers will be financed by borrowing on the basis of income from the TV deals.

      • MadMag83

        Wow, Lee Charnley has an account on The Mag!

    • Andy Mac

      It was nailed on as we’d performed so abysmally the previous season only staving off the drop on the last day of the season. The so called board were a disgrace, just a bunch of R’s licking yes men with no backbone

  • Taz

    I agree with everything below, … to even use the word unexpected!!! really??? What are those inside the club smoking? The appointments of those to scout, take charge, run and manage newcastle were a disgrace on any business level.. wtf do they expect? Morons

  • Guilttripjunkie

    So another relegation sees the debt rise from 80m to 127m. Ashley insulates himself from the consequences of his mismanagement by passing debt on to the club. Appointing Lee Charley as MD has been disastrous. I fear for the long term financial future under this regime.

    • bobbi fleckman

      No, the debt in these accounts remains at £129m (2015- £129). This is the debt that refinanced the club after the H&S regime. As for insulating himself, he’s lent the club £18m since these accounts and that has subsequently been repaid after St James Holdings Limited, a company controlled by Mr Ashley, provided a further loan of £33m – that’s not insulating himself, £33m seems pretty chilly to me.

      • Leazesl Ender

        No he’s just bumped it up again….

        So far Charnley is responsible for two relegations to the value of £40m and £60m…. he’s also responsible for the non collection of advertising revenue for the club to the tune of five million a year for the tenure of this administration…..

        … Charnley has channeled money and bankrupted the club to the same amount as the Hallls…. £150 million

      • Guilttripjunkie

        He has mismanaged the club massively both in business and football terms. Each relegation adds millions to the notional debt. He has had hundreds of million of TV money yet still burdens the club with his loans. He is a millstone around this clubs neck. You can happy clap his ownership to your hearts content, but he had been a dreadful owner.

  • Biggs Darklighter

    mike Ashley is like a cancer, at best you can hope it won’t get any worse for a while, but sooner or later it will, eventually killing us.

  • GToon

    Love the way the comments suggest “Mike” has somehow helped us. To me it’s the equivalent of somebody punching you in the face and then handing you a tissue for the blood and expecting you to thank them for their kindness.
    No doubt this is just to sow the seeds ready for the disappointment of the summers transfer window. Bye bye Rafa, it was good while it lasted.

    • Leazesl Ender

      Fake news and fake accounting.

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Yes we should be all so f%#*ing grateful to Ashley……for tearing the heart & soul from the club! Some may think he is a Psychopath?!
    Rafa is our hope but reckon he’ll walk in the summer?

  • bobbi fleckman

    A bit of reality, I responded to G Toon and wanted to put some perspective on this article and the statement from the club.

    Financial statements are a legal requirement and I think you have to understand this is a narrative from the club on their financials. The statement is made to show how the directors are addressing financial issues. If you are running a football club that has been relegated, it means a huge financial hole has been left and the directors have to address this thorny issue. If they don’t, as directors, they can be accused of trading illegally and should those expensive wages and contracts they committed to could be ruled as reckless, should the club run into financial ruin, as a very long shot, the directors could be personally made to pay those big contracts.

    Whilst it may seem a little deferential, the point of this statement is to show a) the directors authorised these big purchases and contracts and did so with a view of moving up the league, not recklessly spending company money in the knowledge it was doomed. b) now we are relegated, the subsequent spending has been with a view to keep the business as a going concern and to show that spending is viable, it’s been financed correctly (as it happens by M Ashley / St James holdings)

    The actual figures will be available on Co House in a few days, until then, we’re just going on a statement that has to be written as a justification of actions.

    • Leazesl Ender

      … another responsibility of the Chairman is securing the maximum income for the club…. he doesn’t…. he gives away free advertising! Charnley has relegated the club twice.

      • bobbi fleckman

        The advertising income is £2m less than similar clubs, yet we save at least £8m in interest. Charnley did not get us relegated, the players did.

        • Guilttripjunkie

          So who signed the players and appointed the hapless McClaren? The club has been dreadfully run and each relegation has added 50m to the notional debt. Newcastle are underachieving both on and off the pitch under this regime.

          • Leazesl Ender

            Man sets fire to his own house. Man then pats himself on the back for ringing the Fire Brigade.

  • Leazesl Ender

    If I may quote the Chronicle……

    ‘Charnley you have two things to do firstly secure the signature of Rafa Benitez and secondly in the name of God …Go!’

  • Toon Army AZ

    Fictional account of what might have happened…

    31 January 2017. The phone rings in Lee Charney’s office

    LC: Hello Mr. Ashley
    MA: Charnley, tell Rafa no new players. Don’t spend a single penny until you start paying back my loans.
    LC: Uh… Right, sir.

    A knock on the door.

    LC: Hold the line, sir… Come in. Oh, hello Sr. Benitez.
    RB: Charnley, where’s Townsend? And dammit, get someone to cover for Shelvey. You have ’til midnight. Don’t fail me!

    Benitez slams the door behind him.

    LC: Uh… Mr. Ashley?
    MA: Well, Charnley? What did he say?
    LC: Uh… He’s good with the squad, sir.

    1 February 2017. Rafa logs into The Mag

    RB: WTF?!?!

  • Lord

    Is it just coincidence that the club statement makes two references to getting £30m less this season due to relegation – not one reference to £30m but two.

    And our transfer surplus from this season’s summer dealings was…..£30m? Funny that.