We Now See The Benefits Of Mike Ashley Five Year Plan
This coverage of the Mike Ashley five year plan was published in The Evening Chronicle, almost 5 years ago, on 10th February 2009:
MIKE ASHLEY is making plans which he hopes will allow Newcastle United to “challenge for everything” within five years.
The Toon tycoon is sifting his way through a financial programme that will clear debts left behind by the previous regime and allow Newcastle to compete in the transfer market with the rest of the Premier League and European big guns.
Managing director Derek Llambias told the Chronicle: “In five years’ time I would hope we would be challenging for everything.
“We hope to be like an Aston Villa.
“But you need to have solid grounding under your feet.
“You need that – it should have been built years ago.
“We inherited so much.
“We’re knocking down walls and rebuilding.”
Llambias said: “We are trying to get away from dating so that we don’t have huge amounts of money going out.
“We are trying to pay up front.
“People like Coloccini, Xisco and Gutierrez, which is just getting sorted out now – we own those players.
“It’s like buying a car on HP but then it gets written off, but you still have to pay it.
“That’s how the business was being run, they ran it on credit.”
However, Llambias has vowed that United will spend again in the summer and with several players set to be out of contract in the summer, the MD believes the wage bill will be freed up to allow Newcastle to sign players who fit into the new structure.
He added: “Mike isn’t afraid to spend money out of his own pocket.
“Last year we lost £34m, this year we’ll lose £20m, and next year it will be around £7m.
“But it still doesn’t mean that Mike won’t invest when he has to invest.
“We aren’t a selling club, we’re a buying club.
“We are out there in the market.”
Ok, Let’s have a look at this!
First of all, using Aston Villa as a wannabe target was not exactly setting the sights that high. Ashley now has the financial solid grounding he wanted, but he has done that with little or no further investment over the last few years. I’m not going to go over the figures again, everyone knows that we have made profits in sales, Premiership money, TV money and sponsorship deals, with very little in comparison going out on players.
Ashley and Llambias decided to own players outright rather than buy on credit. This is great in theory, because teams will want to sell to a club who puts up the cash. What if that player turns out to be not good enough though? Marveaux, Obertan, Gosling etc. for example. We own them, but no one wants them even at bargain basement prices!
They have put huge faith in buying cheap and young and relying on youth development to bring players through that are good enough to challenge for honours. Only Krul, who has turned out to be superb, and Ameobi have really come good here.
Stalin’s first Five Year Plan was to increase/expand production and improve the heavy industry to be able to compete with the best in the world. He achieved that to a huge extent, but the quality and usefulness of production was not there. He also used slaves and executed anyone who stood in his way. He didn’t care less about the people and an estimated 7 million died due to starvation.
Ashley is not a mass murderer, but he couldn’t care less about the people of Newcastle. He very quickly turned into a dictator that no one is allowed to criticise (press, Pardew, players – remember Nolan and Barton) and even Llambias had enough at the end of the day. We have been starved of success and he’s milking us for all he can get now. His plan has obviously gone out of the window. “We aren’t a selling club….” yeah, right! We have the money accrued to invest, but not only is Ashley not putting his hand into his pockets, like the rich benefactor he set out to show he would be, but is keeping all profits for himself.
The vain hope is that he will listen to the fans, spend money on top replacements for those players gone, give Pardew more control and admit that the appointment of Kinnear was wrong. I’m also putting myself forward as the new President of America!
We know that none of these things will happen. We aren’t asking to compete against Barcelona, despite being able to do so not that long ago, we simply want some semblance of pride brought back to OUR club, some investment to build on what we have, bring the fans back who have become disillusioned and fed up over the last few years, build on the fan base as the biggest asset we have at this club rather than alienating fans and using the money generated to add to the growth of the club.
I think Ashley’s time here is done and he will never look to do any of these things, but hopefully someone will come in eventually and utilise everything that this club and the fans who support it, both vocally and financially, have to offer. In the hope that we become a force to be reckoned with and not the laughing stock that we have become!
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