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Mike Ashley – The Owner Who Doesn’t Know His Principles From His Principals

8 years ago

The latest Newcastle United Fans Forum was the now usual mixture of club-speak, not really answering the questions (in a politician kind of way), and naive (or couldn’t give a toss) brutal honesty exposing the disastrous running of the club.

One other thing also exists sadly now, which is that since Newcastle United banned [intlink id=”35570″ type=”post”]NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) [/intlink]after they produced their own report of the first meeting, there is no other ‘truth’ put out there.

There is no context given to most of the questions and answers – was there much discussion? When an answer (which might sound strange/untrue) to most of us was given, did the fans not then ask why/when/what?

Also, half the questions were given to the club in advance and in the minutes, the club provide the question and answer but not whether there was any further discussion.

Without a proper means to get the alternative/real story of the Fans Forum out to the media and the fans, we are left with as many unanswered questions as we have answers.

For example, Phil Patterson asked,

‘Were the reports linking Newcastle United with Oldham accurate?’

Answer “The board stated that reports linking Mike Ashley with the purchase of Oldham Athletic were not true.”

The truth is that the reports had NOT suggested Ashley was buying Oldham. What had been reported was a potential deal where Ashley was taking over the Oldham merchandising, with sponsorship (to be revealed after end of May when current deal allegedly runs out) etc and part of the deal supposedly would see Newcastle playing a friendly against Oldham and Newcastle maybe sending young players on loan….following these reports it was revealed last weekend that Newcastle WERE going to play a pre-season friendly at Oldham.

Another question was from fan Steve Cole;

‘How many season ticket holders have not renewed for next season?’

Answer “The board stated that approximately six per cent of season ticket holders had not renewed to date, similar to previous seasons.”

I can’t believe that there then wasn’t much discussion on this subject, the club claiming no more than normal hadn’t renewed. Again, is this some kind of (supposedly) clever use of words, or are they seriously claiming that 94% of fans who had season tickets last year have already committed to going next season???

I had to also laugh at the following which has a classic mistake at the end;

“The board outlined the financial distributions from the Premier League to clubs for the  2013/14 season. It was stated that clubs such as Liverpool receive far more PL revenue than Newcastle (£20.3m more for 2013/14, excluding Commercial and Matchday revenue which will also be higher). This disparity means it is impossible to compete with the traditional ‘top six’ financially – they have the resources to outspend us. In order to compete on the pitch, the club has to continue achieving value in terms of recruitment and stick to its principals.”

As always the truth is twisted, fans don’t expect Newcastle to have a turnover that equals Manchester United or Liverpool, all they want is the club to be run in the most ambitious way possible on and off the pitch.

Which when you talk about off the pitch, is basically saying make as much money as possible which you can then invest in the football side. Not for the owner to give free advertising to teh rest of his businesses at the expense of NUFC and not even bother having a proper board and management structure at the club that are worthy of the name.

Stick to their principals eh? Well maybe they aren’t lying because along with the cheap and nasty (malicious?) way Ashley is running Newcastle United into the ground, there is also a level of incompetence inside the club as well, not helped by the owner running it on a day to day basis with as few staff as possible.

To explain.

Meaning of Principal

‘The most important or senior person in an organisation or group’.  Or…

‘A sum of money lent or invested, on which interest is paid.’

Whereas meaning of Principle

‘A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.’

‘A fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour’ – I wouldn’t mind seeing that one day at St.James’ Park.


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