Now that the silly season is over with and the transfer window has officially opened, maybe just maybe, some of the bonkers people amongst the ranks of Newcastle fans, may jet off for some sun, enjoy the summer and chill out a little bit.

However, before that, a Newcastle United based question.

What happened on July 30th 1996? No prizes for getting that one….

While we are all aware that Mike Ashley is never going to be flavour of the month around these parts, and in many cases this is entirely justified and deserved, but getting to July 1st with no signings through the door (apart from Christian Atsu) was no cause for panic or the cue to slaughter the club/owner/directors etc.

I mean it’s almost like articles were written by some people way in advance of the transfer window opening, then sent this past week for maximum negative effect. From what I read, the insinuation is that the club aren’t going to spend money this window, or won’t spend nearly enough to make us competitive this coming season. A lot of this speculation is based on nothing other than press reports, transfer rumours and fans own past reservations.

The last one is fair enough, Ashley has hardly given himself an immaculate history at Newcastle United to be judged on but I think a quick history lesson is in order, for no other reason but to counter some of the doom and gloom that seems to be getting thrown at the club at present.

When the dung gets flung from outsiders like Stan Collymore and Tim Sherwood it’s fine, getting stick off some journalist who knows nothing or has twisted whatever small piece of information they have received is ok, that’s what they are paid to do. Those in the media LIE (shock, horror) and write what they write to get a reaction, truth and facts don’t even enter the equation most of the time.

Flak coming from the club’s own fans is something totally different and unacceptable, especially when there’s precious little to back it up. Truth and facts need to be remembered even if the mistakes and incompetence of Mike Ashley and others in the past won’t and shouldn’t.

Now that the transfer window is officially open, I’m confident that we will start to see some movement both in and out of the club. While writing this the club have already announced the signing of Florian Lejeune and as other clubs do business this will also help prompt the market somewhat.

If we look at years gone by, INCLUDING the last ten years under Mike Ashley’s ownership, we can see that mass hysteria over the perceived lack of signings is totally misplaced.

Last season we signed Isaac Hayden and Grant Hanley well into July and Ciaran Clark, Mo Diame, DeAndre Yedlin and Daryl Murphy all arrived in August.

For our last Premier League campaign the club signed Mbemba, Mitrovic and Wijnaldum in July and in 2014 Cabella, Riviere and Janmaat were mid-July recruits.

The summers of 2012 and 2013 saw what was widely regarded as poor club business in that the only signings made were Vurnon Anita and Loic Remy coming through the door, both in the August of the respective seasons I might add. With European qualification secured the previous May, this was hardly the best recruitment drive.

Rob Elliot, Davide Santon and Gabriel Obertan all signed in August 2011, Cheick Tiote being another August capture in 2010.

Under Kevin Keegan, the club signed Jonas Gutierrez early in July 2008 and added Danny Guthrie and Sebastian Bassong later in July and finished off getting Fabricio Coloccini in August.

Sticking with the Mike Ashley era, Sam Allardyce was allowed to recruit Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Habib Beye and Faye all in August, to to add to earlier summer signings.

Now we could go on…but it’s worth noting, (pre Mike Ashley) Freddy Shepherd wasn’t afraid to splash the cash, Obafemi Martins was recruited in August 2006. The season before, Albert Luque, Nobby Solano and Michael Owen were all late August additions. Even Sir Bobby Robson signed Stephen Carr and Charles N’Zogbia in August, supplementing James Milner, Patrick Kluivert and Nicky Butt who all arrived in July.

I see a pattern emerging. There are more examples obviously, but business will be done, and naturally the earlier the better to allow time for new recruits to bed in, but panic is not what is needed and certainly not required from supporters of the club.

Already sceptical ‘fans’ are saying that Florian Lejeune could turn out to be a bad signing and this is nothing short of scandalous. I’ve never known a period at this club where fans are jumping on players’ backs almost before a ball has even been kicked in training, never mind in a proper match.

Mike Ashley’s reign has harvested a very poor and at times toxic atmosphere but this has improved since Rafa Benitez came to St James Park.

He is still manager isn’t he? He hasn’t walked has he? Or is that what some ‘fans’ want just so they can write ‘Told you so’ articles?

Rafa came out and welcomed the signing of Lejeune and that’s good enough for me. Here’s hoping more follow soon, as I’m sure they will.

After all, we signed the biggest player in our history on the penultimate day of July in 1996, AFTER he’d played in the Euros and presumably had a holiday.

Players do still get them and will have been away until early this week, so I wasn’t expecting anything to materialise until around now anyway.

For now, keep calm everyone. Until Rafa walks, the signings fail to materialise, or fail on the pitch, people need to shut up, let others get on with their jobs and let pre-season pan out.

Then on the first day of the season get behind Rafa and the lads (it is nearly six weeks until we play a competitive match) and then hopefully try and get some positivity inside St James Park. Wouldn’t that be nice.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Brian Standen

    Exactly. Well said

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    the fans will give Lejuene a chance, Fatso` to blame for the Toxic atmosphere at Newcastle. Until he’s gone nothing will change

    • grantham mag

      Some people will never accept the truth, toxic owner breeds toxic fans

    • Mark Potter

      It’s Lejeune. As in “le jeune” – the young.

      I don’t see Rafa or Beardsley having low BMIs, nor the average NUFC fan over 30. When will you grow up?

      Ashley has made mistakes in appointment of personnel in the past, but he has appointed (and is paying alot for) one of the best managers in Europe, the best we have had at the club since Bobby Robson. And given him control over all football matters, including player recruitment, and a significant budget to spend. That’s everything an owner should do.

      • Leazes Ender

        …’And given him control over all football matters’……

        …..well no he hasn’t has he, he isn’t negotiating, the significant budget is that generated by the club minus advertising with no investment at all in ten seasons.

        We have been competing with the mighty Swansea and Brighton for players and losing out.

        This owner is in court again today for the umpteenth time over lies and deceit….. are you defending him?

        • rickyd

          Even Pep Guardiola doesn’t negotiate prices. It’s just the way the game is.

        • Geordie-7676

          In all fairness, there isn’t a single manager in professional football that is responsible for contract negotiations….and if there is, I very much doubt they ply their trade in what would be seen as a major league.

          Competing with Swansea? who did we lose? Abraham? A relatively unproven entity that chose them over us. I would put my house on that being a decision made based upon a guarantee of more playing time….something i would be more than happy to concede defeat on – do we really want to go in to the new season with Tammy Abraham leading the line because his contract says he has to play X amount of minutes?

          Brighton? who did we lose out on? Their only purchase so far has been Matthew Ryan from Valencia, and even with the HUGE list of players we have been linked with, i am pretty confident we were never in for him.

          • Pelican

            Managers do not negotiate contracts, but some are responsible for the decisions over incoming players and the outlay.

          • Geordie-7676

            OK, and at what point since his appointment has Rafa not had control over WHO comes in?

            And, i am guessing by your statement that you know as fact that he has categorically had NO say over contracts or outlay?

          • Pelican

            Because Charnley negotiates and Ashley holds Veto power. Let’s say for example the club has £30 million to spend in this window, do you honestly believe Ashley would allow Benitez to spend the lot on a 31 year old striker? Do you see now where the illusion of Benitez having total control over transfers is.

          • Geordie-7676

            Using your scenario, then no, Ashley would not sanction a deal like that under the current circumstances.

            But staying on the completely hypothetical level, IF we were to be playing Champions League football this season (Which would mean we already have a capable squad for the challenge ahead) and said 31 year old striker for £30 million would be the player to make the difference on a competitive level, then yes, i believe it would be sanctioned.

            I keep saying this over and over again on this site – our current situation, our current transfer policy and target market MUST be put into context.

            Are we a big club, with a rich history (albeit dated) fantastic support, top quality stadium, decent training facilities with a top quality manager and coaching set-up? Yes, we are, but unfortunately, through a multitude of mistakes that have been made over the last 10 years, by Mike Ashley, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of no longer being the attractive sell we once were.

            We are not going to attract the type of players that we as fans would love to see at the club this summer, it is going to take some more time unfortunately. However, after a consolidation period this season, where we show our future potential recruits that joining us would mean them joining an established, well run club, our target market changes, and we can reach higher up the ability scales.

            Will Rafa be the one choosing who comes in? Yes he will, but will he be working to a budget? of course. Rafa is not the type of person to blow a budget on a few players knowing he needs 3 times that.

            He has as much control as Guardiola, Mourinho, Wenger etc when it comes to recruitment, he is just working to different parameters is all.

          • goggsy

            Wenger has say over transfers at Arsenal because he runs the club like it’s his own money that’s being spent. He can have say over players with potential because he believes probably rightly that he will be at the club to oversee their development. All the rest will have a list of 1st team players that will improve the team and the odd squad player as back up,the owners will figure out who they can get the best deal for at the best price or which ever agent they are in cahoots with.Get the odd one to appease him a bit. No premier league manager apart from Wenger would sign a 17 who may play in the 1st team in 3 years time,why would they bother,when the likelhood is that the manager won’t be at the club then.But Benitez signing a 17 year old Spanish kid creates an illusion were fans believe that must be his decision,personally I don’t buy it. Ideal scenario for any premeir league owner/chairmen is no managers at all,which is the model that Ashley previously worked off and will revert to it Imo at the earliest point possible. Ashley as an owner and Benitez are polar opposites, there’s a reason why he was the last resort.

            Just my theory like,negative or not its just what I think.

          • Geordie-7676

            Nothing wrong with having your own theories and opinions, positive or negative.

            I may not necessarily agree with what you said……Wenger does have the same amount of say as Guardiola, Mourinho etc. its just that the Arsenal owner and board prefer to stay quiet and keep Wenger as the focal point. It was the same as Ferguson, he didn’t do the negotiations either, but because he had been there so long everybody looks at him as part of the foundations and then automatically determine that he must be the driving force behind all deals. It just isn’t the case.

            Rafa is just like them all. He will indicate his targets, when he does that he will give an indication of potential playing time (first team regular, team rotation player, squad player or third place backup reserve player, which will be left for the young guns) which will directly influence the salary. Then, he will give an estimated player value, what he thinks the player is worth. That is nothing more than an educated guess. Its actually a ‘guesstimate’.

            Charnley will then go and do his work, through the relevant agents. its exactly the same everywhere you go.

          • goggsy

            We’ll probs agree to disagree. Wenger and Ferguson to me represent what football was and what it probably won’t be again. Ferguson has stated that he had a big say in signing the likes of da silva, pogba,pique,macheda as the future of the club.i do believe that wenger works the same way and is trusted by the club. I don’t believe that for a minute either of Lakakus transfers to a team managed by Mourinho (potential today) have as much to do with the manager,for obvious reasons.

          • Geordie-7676

            I’m not disagreeing that maybe certain managers have a bit more sway when it comes to recruitment. It would be extremely naive to think that wasn’t the case.

            What i am trying to allude to, maybe not as well as i would like, is that there isn’t a HUGE gulf between those with more sway, and those with less.

            Does Rafa have more sway than the likes of Pulis, or Dyche when it comes to recruitment? I would say that he has when it comes to the selection, but it wont be a huge difference. The fees and contracts that we would pay can’t be compared to the big 6, because they just have so much more money than us it makes it an unequal parallel.

            Rafa could want a Pogba, or a Lukaku, but we just don’t have the funds to compete, which is where the likes of Mourinho and Wenger ‘appear’ to have more say. If they have 250 million to spend, with an already established premiership squad, and they want to blow 75 million on 1 striker, they can, and invariably do. Then when the papers come and Mourinho says he wanted Lukaku and he wasn’t going to rest until he got him, it makes it look, to us mere mortals like he had total control. He didnt, he just had his target, the target was affordable so the club bought him.

            Rafa wanted Lejeune, he wanted Ritchie, Hayden, Gayle, Murphy etc. and he got them.

          • Albert Stubbins

            he shelled out a reported 4 mill on murphy last season?

          • TheNutJob

            idiot.

          • Geordie-7676

            In what sense?

            Am i wrong?

            Or is it just a case of resorting to mud slinging when faced with an unwinnable debate?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Welcome to the Mag’s gutter contributors, sadly, TNJ is not the worst.

          • Geordie-7676

            Drive me mad the lot of them!

        • wheyayeman

          Well said ! Rafa being recruited can never in any way excuse Ashley for his horrendous dealings with NUFC and it’s fans.

      • TheNutJob

        idiot

  • anyobrien

    At last some sense in the mag… We’ll said lad.

  • Toon

    Well said, nice to read an article not written by an idiot

  • MagpieG

    Good article. I’ve read comments on various Toon sites saying that the club are lying about being in the market for players or that Ashley will only bring in free transfers and loans. I sometimes wonder if we have the most miserable fan base in the country.

  • Jezza

    “From what I read, the insinuation is that the club aren’t going to spend money this window, or won’t spend nearly enough to make us competitive this coming season. A lot of this speculation is based on nothing other than press reports, transfer rumours and fans own past reservations.”

    It is not based on rumours. It is based on the proven factual precedent of 10 years and 20 transfer windows of continuous chronic under investment and huge profits in the transfer market ever since Ashley took over the club.

    If us older fans hadn’t had what you call a “toxic attitude” back in the late 80’s and early 90’s we would never have ridded our club of the dreaded Seymour-McKeag regime and instead of the glory years of Keegan, Shearer and Ferdinand, NUFC would have spent the 1990’s languishing in the third division or worse.

  • toon atheist

    Good article, the problem is a handful of grim so called supporters dominate the fans forums giving a distorted view of Newcastle fans. They seem to possess supernatural powers to know what people are thinking and can seem to be able to travel through time, confidently predicting disaster at every turn!!! They need to bore off and leave the club to decent supporters

  • S.G.M.

    Wow! positivity and common sense on here at last, a piece worth reading, how did you sneak this one past the scrutineers? I wonder what the likes of Loosers Ender and Muppet Moose will make of a piece directly aimed at them?

  • Waxi

    I posted a response on a board last week to say chill signings would be made this week and the reply was i am naive to think it or say it. Give the club a chance the window is open for two months others will arrive and don’t believe all you read in the press as 99% of it is [email protected] For gods sake until the club go back on it’s word of not backing the manager chill things will happen and quit with the doom and gloom we have just been promoted and things are going well. If it were not for ashley we might not have had a club so it’s about time some started thanking the fella instead of constantly put him the club and fans down. Look on the bright side for a change we still have a world class manager in a transfer window that still has eight weeks till it shuts and anything could happen.

  • Leazes Ender

    Positivity for its own sake is tantamount to self delusion, the biggest perpetrator of this type of reporting is the Chronicle which wets its pants given the slightest encouragement by the club.

    This is about the stupidest article I’ve ever seen attacking anyone for questioning the motivation, commitment or direction of our club. Unfortunately this is a club surrounded by conservatives who will salute any flag you run up a pole. Online bloggers such as Doctor Ed Harrison, and Lee Ryder, Brian Standen, to name a few were 110% behind every poor decision made by this drunken sick regime, and after ten years of this nonsense are still unable to figure out why!

    Absolutely pathetic attempts to quell disquiet wont go away because while Ashley and Charnley are there busy doing nothing working the whole day through, they are never more than one second away from the next calamity which is built into the clubs foundations by the slobs.

    By the way Paul just because Charnley is slow with bringing in players and always has been….it isn’t a guarantee that anything approaching a Rafalution will happen any time in the near future…. the latest recruit says the sales pitch to United players coming in is going to be ‘aim for survival’…. some change in outlook there then?

    If you haven’t sussed out Ashley by now then you never will….. at least Ryder has the excuse of being a Liverpool fan going through the motions of a journalist and appealing to hope not truth….

    ….others have no excuse!

    Call yourself a fan, you’re a disgrace man!

    • rickyd

      People are sick of hearing it mate. Does it not get tiring being so negative all the time?

      • Porciestreet

        There’s two sides to a coin mate. It gets really tiring to hear allthis posativity when theres not a damned thing to be so posative about.
        It cuts both ways.

    • Toon

      Ha ha Lee Ryder!

    • Leazes Ender

      I’m glad you have this forum as an avenue to alleviate the clear darkness and negativity that has regrettably become a central aspect of your thoughts and manner.

      Maybe, just maybe this vent allows your family and friends to escape your dark streak…. god forbid your nihilism gets the best of you and hurt somebody one day.

      Please, continue posting. For the greater good

      • Leazes Ender

        Bit threatening there chum.

  • Lord

    A fair piece but it overlooks the other side of the transfer window which is selling off players to make room for new ones. We don’t seem to have been selling or loaning out some obvious candidates. It’s not just the players that under performed for us last season, we have a whole raft of players we don’t want coming back from loan eating up the salary budget.

    Given MA has made it very clear Rafa has funds available from player sales, we need to sell or loan out to at least alleviate salary payments.

    I might be proven wrong by the stat-men on the forum but I have a feeling that by this time last year we were already jettisoning players.

    • Leazes Ender

      Even by Charnleys turn of pace this is a slow lap.

  • Steve Pearce

    That sour faced miserable Portugese manager of Manure is moaning about lack of signings. That’s because no one wants to join a club he runs – so its just as well we have Rafa, I agree that we are the hardest to please and temperamental fans in the country but we should perhaps be more positive now that Rafa has the control he needs. But its early days in the transfer market and we should look on the bright side – at least we don’t support Scumderland…..

    • Leazes Ender

      Happiness isn’t ‘lack of misery’

  • Pelican

    Why don’t you state what you really mean. You want everybody to conveniently forget that Ashley is taking revenues away from the club – essentially taking it out of the pockets of the fans who pay for tickets/merchandise.

    The fans are being cheated, maybe you do not hold the club in such a high regard, perhaps your happiness is more important than the future of the club. I wonder, if somebody was cheating you or a family member, would you be so forgiving and blasé.

    There isn’t a single fan that doesn’t want the club to do well. Why would anybody want to forget about an owner who has hamstrung the club from ever reaching its potential.

    Serious question, do you have shares in Sports Direct?

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Except of course, not of that is true

      • Pelican

        “not [sic] of that is true.” You ‘demonstrate’ an excellent point.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          I’ll take that as you realise I’m right. Well done for bring magnanimous.

          • Pelican

            “Well done for bring magnanimous.” You really need to work on your coherency.

            What exactly are you right about?

            I made the point that Ashley is taking advertising revenue from the club, which means that the club isn’t running efficiently as it could be.

            As for your point:

            “As far as Sd getting free advertising is concerned, the most likely reason is the city, investors do not like majority shareholders using their power to siphon money into their own pot.”

            If you cannot see where that falls down, I am afraid I cannot debate with you, as you have a stubborn and illogical functioning brain.

            Why would the City (I am assuming London City/City of London) be one bit concerned if Ashley pays for advertising, when this is the norm. If anything at all appears suspect, it is the unique process of Ashley giving **NUFC’s** (potential) advertising revenue to another business unassociated with Newcastle Football Club.

            You are putting far too much emphasis on this interest free loan, but seem to forget that Ashley does this because he can afford it, and it is within his own interests, more than out of concern for the football club.

            Carry on with the Advocatus Dei. Next time though, choose your battles wiser.

            (*Wonders how much a sockpuppet gets paid these days*)

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Surely you understand this? If you own 40% of the shares in say M&S and the remaining 60% is owned by someone else who happens to own a TV company and that person keeps electing a board that signs up for advertising with that TV company without a discernible benefit? You’d start to question the point of owning those shares. That is why the city does not like powerful shareholders lining their own pockets.

            I am not putting too much an emphasis on the interest-free loan, if this money was lent by an outside creditor, the viability of NUFC going forward would be somewhat different.

            I’n not choosing my battles at all, you started off with your daft claims. It’s simple maths, the club are better off with the current arrangements. Sure the owner can convert the debt to equity but why would he? We’re not under FFP pressure, it’s a bit stupid of the Swiss Ramble to ask this without considering the obvious answers.

          • Pelican

            “you started off with your daft claims”. Which daft claims?

            Interesting how you earlier, wrongly claimed I was making up valuations for advertising etc, then you went ahead and did exactly that.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            “Ashley is taking revenues away from the club – essentially taking it out of the pockets of the fans”

            Surely you can see this is far too simplistic a viewpoint. The club are better off trading a bit of advertising for interest free borrowing.

    • Toon

      Its not about that, everyone knows the Ashley downside and the past, its the CONSTANT going on about it and every decision made by the club being slaughtered by the same people saying the same thing over and over and over again.
      Most fans are looking forward to next season and are optimistic with Rafa there and Carr gone the club will make progression but The Mag and its “super fans” are determined to finish that with their constant negatives, everything is bad, we haven’t spent 100 million yet etc etc, very immature.
      Unfortunately there are fans of this club who are desperate for NUFC to fail while Ashley is the owner, the same as it was when Pardew was manager, these fans (and The Mag) celebrate defeats and negativity, what’s more important to them are boycotts and “told you so”.

      • Pelican

        “Unfortunately there are fans of this club who are desperate for NUFC to fail why Ashley is the owner”

        *Correction* “There are fans that are desperate for” Ashley to stop making a mockery of a club they care for.

        Tell me, at which point is it okay for Ashley to take revenue away from the club? Let’s just come to terms with it, right?

        Why don’t you feel the need to defend the club from a pariah?

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          When it actually happens, it may be good time to raise it as an issue. In the meantime, making up imaginary valuations for perimeter advertising and getting upset about it is not doing any good.

          • Pelican

            “making up imaginary valuations for perimeter advertising and getting upset about it is not doing any good”. Excuse me, when and where did I make up imaginary “perimeter advertising valuations”?

            You do realise straw-man arguments are a logical fallacy?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            OK, put some meat on the bone about your claim “at which point is is okay for Ashley to take revenue away from the club?”

            Wha revenue is being taken away?

          • Pelican

            You were the one that claimed I was making up imaginary valuations, the burden of proof resides with you.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I assumed you were talking about Sports Driect perimeter board advertising and how this is ‘taking away revenue’. I agree, the club are forsaking some income to do this but the amount we miss out on is tiny if it’s a trade off for interest charges on the borrowing.

          • Leazes Ender

            What debt…. the club is valued at £400m with no debt attached?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            By who? I’d say that’s at the lower end of a valuation on the basis of other club sales. 49% of Everton cost £200m, Everton may be performing better than us on the field right now but they still need to build a new stadium and it had at the time of acquisition £80m, so Everton’s value debt-free was £480m. £400m debt free means the shareholding can be acquired for £270m, that’s cheap.

          • Pelican

            I will give you time to come up with the numbers. I imagine working out how the club is more efficient using an “interest free loan” against the deductible advertising revenue will take some number jigging.

            Don’t forget to show the variables – such as starting point debt, and following up levels of debt attributable to Ashley alone because of his mistakes.

            And perhaps as a summary, you could state whether Ashley was right or wrong, after Ashley said in his own words, that he had been a failure at NUFC.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Oh,Ok. The loan is £129m, this covered all the debt at the end of the 2007 accounts plus working capital to cover the losses that the club were running at the time £30m a year.

            Until the 2016 accounts, no further debt has been incurred net.

            He has a 60% (rounded up) shareholder of SD has benefited from the advertising (rough value £2m a year) but Sd have had to pay more tax on the basis a £2m higher profit. so 60% of £2m less ave corp tax rate over period 26% of £2m is £520k = £888,000 a year

            He as a 100% shareholder of NUFC has lost £2m but gained tax £520k so he forgoes £1.48m

            He lends £129m, the interest rate of the loans taken at 2007 was 7.8%, he personally forgoes £10,062,000 a year.

          • Pelican

            From the Swiss Ramble (2016):

            “In the past, the club has argued that Ashley’s free
            advertising is worth less than the savings made from removing the requirement
            to pay bank interest, which may well be true, but it’s not an overly compelling
            argument, particularly if you work on the principle that an owner should have
            the football club’s best interests at heart.

            It is also striking that none of the debt has been converted
            into equity, as is the case with many other football club owners, e.g. Ellis
            Short has capitalised over £100 million of loans at Sunderland, while Randy
            Lerner has cancelled repayment of £180 million of loans at Aston Villa.

            Newcastle’s gross debt of £129 million was actually the 4th highest
            in the Premier League, though considerably below Manchester United, who still
            have £444 million of borrowings even after all the Glazers’ various
            re-financings, and Arsenal, whose £232 million debt effectively comprises the
            “mortgage” on the Emirates stadium. QPR’s debt of £194 million was higher, but
            their owners have now converted £180 million into equity.

            Last month Ashley said, “To get a football club to be the
            best it can be, you have to get the sun, the moons and the stars to align
            perfectly”, but that seems to be a fairly obvious attempt to wriggle out of his
            responsibilities. He failed to invest in the club when it would have made a
            real difference and when he belatedly sanctioned player purchases, the people
            that he appointed to execute this decision made a hash of it.”

            You have to question the logic of giving free advertising to SD, in which Ashley only gains approximately 60% of the revenue, whereas attributing the advertising revenue to Newcastle, means Ashley gains 100% of that revenue into a ‘business’ he owns. My guess is that Ashley is using ‘NUFC’s’ revenue that is handed freely to SD – to give him leverage over SD shareholders.

            I ask again, why does no other football club follow this model? Is it because even by business standards, it is immoral.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The Swiss ramble is just a blogger, I suspect a student as he makes some daft / irrelevant points.

            The most likely reason for MA as the now 54% shareholder in SD to not charge for advertising via a business he owns a full 100% shareholding is the city of London. There is nothing the City dislikes more than a listed business pushing funds to a majority shareholder.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The Swiss Ramble is just a blog, it’s not some oracle.

            His comment on converting to equity is naive. There is no need for Ashley to convert to shares, he owns 100% of the shares in any case and should he sell, by keeping the debt, it allows the new owner to be more flexible and tax efficient. The reason why Chelsea, Cardiff and Qpr have converted was to fudge FFP.

            As far as Sd getting free advertising is concerned, the most likely reason is the city, investors do not like majority shareholders using their power to siphon money into their own pot. Even though the advertising will benefit SD, it’s very difficult to measure the benefit so far safer to keep it all cost-free and it’s clear NUFC get teh better of the deal.

            I’m not sure you asked the first time about other football clubs following our model, however, all owners have a different approach and different investment priorities.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Impressive.

          • Leazes Ender

            Hall and Shepherd stole about £5m per season is this guy better because he steals less?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            He’s not taken anything according to official documents

          • Leazes Ender

            Haha

          • Porciestreet

            Official documentation can be made to say absolutely anything a well paid accountant wishes to add to the minutes. Wake up man, he’s been draining the clubs life blood since the day he arrived,..

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Oh really? how do they do that then? You seem to know a lot about it.

            So you reckon NUFC can dispose of an land asset without accounting for it and not notifying the land registry?
            Talk me through it.

          • Geordiegiants

            “Can dispose of a land asset” not “an land asset”

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Well done, ‘a’ land asset in this example rather than ‘an’ which would have been right for ‘asset’.

            Now, any news on the proof of MA skimming £5m? Your gues [sic] sounds like you are making it up.

            Think about it, why would he skim £5m off when he can take £5m a year, tax free for 26 years? In doing so, he’d also satisfy the moronic folk that he’s reducing debt.

            If your skimming idea is right (it’s not, our deal is much cheaper than doing it ourselves), the money goes to SD not MA, so he has just thrown away 47 pc of that money, it’s then subject to tax and he only gets a slice back in dividend. If your theory is true, MA has the least efficient money making scheme ever but give him his dues, he’d be paying other people and the tax man more. Does that sound like a mistake MA would make?

          • Geordiegiants

            Have we not had this round about conversation a million time? We have no solid proof as the books are shrouded in secrecy. What deal are we getting from the jumble sale for our kit etc?
            What are we getting from USC and Cruz for advertising, the jumble sale is supposed to be paying for advertising now, is it? What price are we signing players for? What price are we selling players for? It’s all / mostly undisclosed. You have as much of an idea as the next man, the only thing I and most other fans know for definite is, we are not getting our maximum revenue in, and the interest free loan is a smoke screen for it all.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            We have been here before, the books are not shredded, they are published at companies house for the public to read at their leisure. You’d avoid the daft conclusions if you read them. You can also read Sports Directs accounts, it’s free.

          • Geordiegiants

            Yeah but nothing is referenced with what every thing is. So if you are so knowledgable, and it’s easy to decipher. How much do we get from a replica shirt sale?

          • Geordiegiants

            I would gues he skims more than £5m a season. We will never know as everything he does is covered in secrecy. I would bet my last £1 we are on a very similar deal to what Rangers were on for our merchandise. Also he advertise’s his companies Cruz, USC, Firetrap etc. He will probably have some sort of holding in Puma. His grubby little fat cancerous fingers are in lots and lots of pies.

        • Toon

          I do defend the club, don’t go to games anymore and won’t while I dislike the owner of the club. It doesn’t mean that nobody is allowed to support the club or be positive, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I have the superior support and everybody is wrong because they dared to enjoy a game or be optimistic
          The problem is with the arrogance of fans who think they are the only ones who care so everybody else who dares to support the club aren’t fans, unlike the super fans who troll websites and criticse everything about the club. I bow down to your superior knowledge and support of the club, let me guess, you bleed black white and your childs name is Keegan?
          If you think there aren’t fans who are desperate for the club to fail you are a bit niave and don’t read the srticles and comments on here very often.

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    The reality with signing players is that we’re not at the top table here, we really never were but for a 3 year period in the mid 90’s. The players we buy will be players that either a) want to move to the EPL and haven’t been picked up by the top 6-7 (these may happen in July) and b) played for a side who have just spent a small fortune on a player in that position and the player is knocked down the pecking order (these transfers happen in August)

    • Whickhamrobbie

      spot on we are not a top draw club anymore even with Rafa .
      We have always had to pay over the odds for players just because its not London or the north west .
      When the big clubs move then the ripple effect should mean we can pick up a few decent players unwanted by the champions league clubs.
      Getting a bargain like a Mahrez or Kante is a long shot we tried with Thauvan but sometimes it doesn,t work and you get hammered for it on the other hand you sometimes end up with a Sissoko or a Janmaat .
      Trust Rafa get behind whoever he picks ( yes even Dummett if he plays )and lets give it a go .

      • Leazes Ender

        Ashley took us down several drawers, lets see where he positions the squad by its value come August, I’m guessing tenth.

      • Geordiegiants

        Dummett will be our first choice left back, have no doubts.

        • Mike Adam

          Then we will be in a relegation battle.

    • Porciestreet

      It’s OK to say that, but perspectively, where has all the pretige come from that has so boosted The Swansey’s and the Bournmouth’s of this league. Even Everton have lain dormant for decades now and look at the fortunes they are finding…..Why cant we……? Toxic Nikey Mikey is the answer and untill he’s gone, we will be also-rans and the fodder for the Big 6/8 clubs that keep winning everything.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Everton are just about to sell the league’s top scorer for something silly. They are dealing now before they are held to ransom. Everton are a similar sized club to us.

        Who do we want who Swansey [sic] have bought? Bournemouth? did we want Aké?

        • Geordiegiants

          I thought that Bristol kid went to Swansea.

  • TheNutJob

    The Pie man is the sole reason for the toxic atmosphere, end of story

    • Porciestreet

      Amen to that “Nuts”.

  • Wor Monga

    Spot on Paul…a really good article which puts the transfer situation into its proper perspective…yes, in an ideal world it would be ideal to have some brilliant new signings at the club as soon as the window opens, but the only way that could ever happen is if the club was able to offer regular CL and top wages that can be backed up by massive amounts of TV money…we can’t do that, and so we have to get in line and compete with a lot of other PL clubs while the selling clubs, and players agents look for the best they can get…

    …Rafa knows the class of player he wants, and he has no doubt the players he needs will join, but it’s never that simple…

    …There’s no panic to have any new players in the side for the early friendlies either as long as some are ready and available to play a part in the last 3 especially to show them to us at SJP against Hellas…their integration into the formation will be done on the training field not by throwing them on against Bradford etc…

    …I’d agree with you about the toxic atmosphere on here, but it’s not evident in the real support base…it’s just some poisonous trolls who inhabit this site, but
    haven’t supported the club for years, and are therefore hoping to see it fail… if only to prove they were right all along!!!

    • TheNutJob

      idiot

      • Wor Monga

        Coming from you that’s a compliment…conkaheed!!!

        • Leazes Ender

          He’s wrong you arent an idiot you’re a fool.

          • Porciestreet

            Am I missing a sublte difference here……?

  • Leazes Ender

    Ashley has been a problem for ten years with the slowness and lateness of transfers leaving no time for preparations, he doesn’t like paying top wages for training sessions does he…. you don’t need to when the height of ambition is tenth.

  • Leazes Ender

    How much money did the club received from Mike Ashley Holdings for the Gallowgate land anyone know…. was it a pound?

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      It will be available in the public realm, find it

      • Leazes Ender

        You find it, you’re an accountant certified.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Chartered actually, you asked, you find it.

          • Leazes Ender

            You know it was just taken don’t you?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            When, it will be accounted for if you are right. I can’t see it to be true as there will be tax problems if it’s ‘gifted’

          • Leazes Ender

            Like that fifty grand in fattys pocket or the quarter of a million he blew in Aspers…. yeah right.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Fifty grand? I don’t recall that.

            He’s a very rich chap with a decent personal wealth, he’s allowed to go to the Bookies and casino as much as yo and I

          • Geordiegiants

            What’s the point we know he has asset stripped AGAIN.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            You’d rather base your argument on hearsay from the equivalent of Aldridge Prior?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I’m not aware that he’d asset stripped before.

            But let’s say the chap down the pub who’s told Leazes that the lease was sold for no discernible amount of money, a token £1 perhaps. Leazes’ mate, down the pub says it’s god’s honest truth because his cousin works in the ticket office and heard it from the horses mouth, definitely….just before spotting someone on the fruit machine and had to go and tell that fella that he knows a way for it to always pay out.

            If the club no longer own the lease, the clubs assets have reduced. If the club was worth £500m and the lease was worth £10m, then Ashley’s asset has reduced by £10m. That lease was bringing in a small income as a car park, that is it, it’s of little use to NUFC. It’s not going to be fundamental to a new owner to buy NUFC, the football club with the jewel in the crown being a 70 place car park sub leased to a car park company.

          • Geordiegiants

            Your first sentence says everything!
            What a complete and utter ……………. (put anything you like there)

    • Geordiegiants

      Yeah I know how much the club got, and so should Mr Know it all………………………FUK ALL!

  • NUFCLX

    Good article. The last paragraph should be highlighted, get behind Rafa and the lads.
    In the last 53 years I have never gone to games because I supported the owners. If that had been the case I would have saved a fortune as I would have knocked it on the head during the Westwood days. IMO we have never had a decent owner (possibly with the exception of the first couple of years of the Halls).
    In my time I have never been happy with the amount/ quality of the close season signings but I have always been there first game of the new season to support the team. The owners are irrelevant, it is the Toon and the team we go to support, that is why we are called great supporters by the converted and idiots by the unconverted.

    • Leazes Ender

      I think you have calibrated the exact degree of difference between an idiot and a fool.

      • NUFCLX

        Reading your comments on this site i conclude you are an idiot and a fool.
        One more time – in your opinion what would need to happen for u to post a positive comment on this site. I suspect the answer may be the Macums winning the premier league and the Toon ending up in the conference.

        • Leazes Ender

          I remain objective in my assessment not bowled over by hype or tripe.

  • Stephen

    A match day in the Toon is unbeatable.
    We stuck with this owner so why complain.
    What happened in the past is gone.
    I’m looking forward to the new season.

    • Leazes Ender

      I’ll finish it for you

      A match day in the Toon is unbeatable.
      We stuck with this owner so why complain.
      What happened in the past is gone.
      I’m looking forward to the new season.
      ….I wish I had a brain

      • Stephen

        You’ve got me confused!
        With someone that give a f k about your opinion

        • Leazes Ender

          You took that well

      • Porciestreet

        Why is it that our stonewall fans are seen as delusional and dumb instead of fanatical and loyal to everything Black and White .Answer…..Because they are blind to everything except their Saturday at the match.

      • Albert Stubbins

        give the lad a chance fffs- you have a point about Ashley but everyone should have the chance to feel good about the club and the season. It could be a lot worse- we could be a pompey or a Leeds or a Blackburn. Im buzzing we;ve got a team to support with by and large the best fans in the land- there’s plenty to be positive about. ffs I was at Ossies last game- 5-2 away at Oxford- now things were really f***** bleak then I can tell you- this is utopia compared to how I felt that day!!!

  • Hetton Mag

    The current court case makes this article look dumb. Ashley is being shown to be the vile, obscene, arrogant bully we suspected. Apparently he took phone calls about nufc transfers during heavy drinking nailing the idea that he lets his underlings get on with things without interference. It might also be why our transfer dealings have been so chaotic, unstructured and bizarre. Last summer was an exception but he spent nothing making a profit. Last year he was desperate to get to the premiership loot. January reverted to type and no signings. So far the jury is out on this window. Sure ignore all the press hype about players, so often non stories and agent kite flying, endlessly repeated on blogs such as this but how many fans don’t have the nagging doubt that Ashley will again drop the club in the clarts. I always dream of us being successful but with Ashley l expect a nightmare.

    • Damon Horner

      Ashley is Ashley, horrible and vile man.

      I don’t think it’s fair though that the managers and players (current and new) should be the collateral damage in the fans war with Ashley, surely they are unrelated?

      • Geordiegiants

        We should get Jabba out at any cost!

    • Porciestreet

      The B*****d couldn’t lie straight in bed. He’s crooked to his bones.

      • Geordiegiants

        He is the scum of the earth, I would help a Mackem before I would help him.

  • Damon Horner

    Obviously the club would be a better place without Ashley but the reality is he owns the club, we just have to tolerate that. The best we can be at the moment is to be steered by a top class manager working with staff and players alike he has wanted in to the club, as long as we’re not woefully under ambitious or a horrible decision gets made Ashley should start to become more irrelevant.

    • Leazes Ender

      Ashley isn’t irrelevant, he’s a cancer…. you can’t ignore it.

      • Damon Horner

        So many people live their lives now having been through cancer and survived, they don’t fret about it coming back all day every day.

        Same with Ashley, widely known he loves money, if the club makes money he’s happy, right?

        The club can make a lot of money and still be challenging for honours. He can sit back and count the cash he craves and leave the football to Rafa and the fans. He can easily become irrelevant.

        • Porciestreet

          Not f****n soon enough for me pal.

          • Damon Horner

            Just see what happens. We just have to try and forget him unless he does something stupid again.

            All about Rafa and the lads for me.

          • Geordiegiants

            I share your out look I really do, I just can’t ever forget about Jabba, he will definetly f’ck is over again sooner or later.

          • Damon Horner

            Nobody can ever promise that he won’t but he doesn’t have a sick sense of humour that means he’d love the club to fail. He just wants to make money and if Rafa delivers he gets his wish and won’t want to change. Rafa’s success is key for the club right now.

          • Geordiegiants

            I know what your saying, I really do and I wish I could go along with it, but I can’t. Oh and by the way, he is a sick c’nt, just have a look at his past.

        • Geordiegiants

          Yeah but our cancer hasn’t gone has he?

          • Damon Horner

            No and he won’t go easily. Just need to make the best of it and hope we find that place where he feels not to interfere. We can’t be paranoid though at every waking moment.

          • Geordiegiants

            A nice notion, and I would love to agree, but it will never happen. He can’t help himself, he is a full on control freak.

  • Albert Stubbins

    I think some fans need to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves is all the negativity worth it? I can understand why some people can be like this to an extent because the club has been terribly run for years and Ashley is a T*** to some degree but it doesnt do the club any good- if it brought about change I would have even more empathy but it hasnt and it won’t. I remember a few hundred in the corner singing for Jack Charlton to leave many years ago- so he did- he went and took his fake northumbrian tea with him- but those days are long gone- unfortunately we’ve all got a choice- either get behind the team or don’t. Ashley wont go until its right fo him so we have to get on with it. I see both sides point of view but to move forward as a club we need to all stick behind the team and place our trust in Rafas judgement. If fatty renages on this one I will probably wind up with Jezza and Leazes Ender (I empathize with their views) but I’m not giving up on this dream until it’s dead in the water.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Exactly, there are things that were wrong with Ashley’s time but some negativity is plain stupid. We’ve signed a decent centre half this week and there are people determined that he fails. We appoint a classic scout to replace Carr (who had more of a director of football role) and people are willing him to fail, we’ve just signed a decent Arsenal youngster who no doubt will be labelled a reject on here. I mention Carr who was described as part of a cancer by a contributor on here, well, one of the players Carr recommended we sign has just transferred for £46m so, as well as being a vile comment, it’s ignorant as well.

    • Leazes Ender

      It would have been so easy to sit on my hand and say nothing but that is what whole generations did at this club, they say I’m never going back and the club doesn’t mind because it cons the next generation and the next.

      The club is a mechanism of failure, its in built into the relationship with the local media, they feed each other and that was the bit that Ashley didn’t understand when he started banning them.

      United will never succeed in the Premiership because it can’t compete for European places without being allowed access to its own resources, and despite fleckmans idiotic defence of the indefensible…Ashley simply has no interest in the club.

      It would have been so easy for him to invest into squad building say the £20m a year he promised in 2007 but he fell out with fans and said sod-em all I’m using it as a billboard and I’m off down the pub.

      There is no chance at all of Rafa doing anything here because he’s being taken for a ride in my opinion and he’ll maybe do it for one season at most because you cant produce results with an uncompetitive attitude that pervades the hierarchy. He’ll get a nice pay off.

      We are all being taken for a ride, but it isnt a magical mystery tour.

  • Down Under Mag

    I totally understand some of the anger that is directed toward the owner, after a number of ill-advised decisions regarding the running of the club costing us two relegations he deserves the stick. What I have never understood is why fans are so eager to jump on players backs at the slightest sign of them not being the best player in the league and boo them when they misplace one pass…as if that is supposed to make them feel comfortable wanting the ball again or willing to put themselves in the thick of it or sliding in for that last gasp tackle. At least praise players equally when they do something good.

    • Leazes Ender

      Just watch Colback