Tuesday afternoon brought the revelation that the latest Premier League TV money deal wouldn’t be huge, it would actually be huge with a cherry on the top.

The UK rights portion of the English clubs’ TV money will go up by 70% compared to the current deal, this will come into effect with the 2016/17 season for a three year time span.

Over £5.1billion will be banked by the Premier League over the 36 months but when it comes to Newcastle United, who will actually profit from the deal?

Well if the 0verseas deals show a similar 70% increase then you are talking Newcastle United banking around £130m in 2016/17 if producing a similar performance as last season (2013/14), this would represent over £52m more than the £77.4m Mike Ashley/NUFC cashed in on for last season.

Only two weeks ago the club reference the upcoming announcement of the TV deal as a reason for freezing season tickets.

28 January 2015 Newcastle released the following –

‘Newcastle United have announced a freeze on the price of all season tickets for next season.

The Magpies have taken the lead in ticket pricing over recent years, with initiatives including hugely popular long-term season ticket price-freeze deals.

The decision to freeze all other prices has been taken in line with the Club’s policy to make football affordable, reward loyalty, and also takes into consideration that by the start of next season Premier League clubs will be aware of the value of the new television rights deal negotiated by the Premier League with broadcasters, to commence in 2016/17.

To ensure season ticket holders gain maximum value and to further reward their loyalty, for next season single tickets for the higher category games will be subject to a price increase’.

tv moneyThe question surely must be, with all of these tens of millions extra coming in each season (on top of the extra tens of millions this current deal has generated), why then would you put any ticket prices up? The answer of course is because Mike Ashley can and due to the fact that game such as Sunderland and Manchester United sell out at St James Park.

Demand exceeds supply for those premium games, unlike most other home matches these days, so there is money to be had, regardless of the fact that all of that extra TV cash is flooding in.

I am amazed that there is still any Newcastle fan who swallows the club’s/Ashley’s line above, talking of a club policy ‘to make football affordable’. Mike Ashley will charge as much as he believes he can do to maximise revenue. Against Stoke the cheapest tickets were £20 for adults and £5 for kids, against Manchester United in March the cheapest (outside the family enclosure) are £42 for adults and £21 for kids.

Those prices would be charged every week if there were enough people willing to pay Mike Ashley for the privilege. Simple fact is though that any hopes/expectations have been drained from the Newcastle fanbase, the football on offer is generally poor along with the results, while Ashley has the third biggest ground in the Premier League to try and fill. He has to try and set the right price for every match, or else he won’t have the essential bodies as the backdrop to the adverts for Sports Direct and his other brands that overwhelm St James Park.

I especially like the part of Mike Ashley’s justification in charging more to fans who buy tickets game by game, saying that it is to ‘reward the loyalty’ of season ticket holders’ and ensure they get ‘maximum value’. You would have to be a pretty sad person to take pleasure in your fellow fans having to give Mike Ashley more money, just because they don’t have a season ticket and possibly can’t afford one. Yes, take their eyes out poor suckers, get their £35 membership off them and let’s see how much higher I can make those cheapest £42 tickets for them to watch us play Sunderland and the other United.

Published on The Mag 10 February 2015 –

‘The deal announced today is for three years starting with the 2016/17 season, in total the Premier League will bank £5.13billion and remember the overseas deals are still to be announced. The new deal represents a massive increase of around 70% on the current UK rights deals which pays £3billion over three years.

The previous one before that was £1.77billion, an astonishing rise in such a short space of time.

If the overseas deals show a similar 70% increase, the £77.4m that Mike Ashley banked last season from Newcastle United’s Premier League broadcasting, for a similar performance you would be looking at a figure of around £130m in 2016/17.’

Mike Ashley has made some stupid decisions at Newcastle United but he isn’t stupid. He has made many cunning moves, just as he’s done in the rest of his business empire.

Maybe the most cunning at St James Park, especially because it convinced a lot of fans that they were the big winners out of it, was the ‘season ticket price freeze’. The guarantee that your season ticket would stay the same price for ten years and of course the majority of season ticket holders signed up for it.

The really cunning part of course is that Mike Ashley designed it to hook and hold supporters, changing their decision from a simple season to season one as to whether they’d renew or not. The clever bit is that you have to decide in January whether you want to stop going the following season. No publicity at all is given by the club to this renewal deadline and of course at that time most fans still want to believe that better times could be just around the corner and giving up your ‘price freeze’ season ticket at that point could be a risk. If you change your mind after cancelling, if things pick up on the pitch, having to pay X amount more if you changed your mind in the summer and bought one again, and so on.

Effectively, Mike Ashley has taken the wind out of the sails of the renewal period and subsequently the chances of unrest and any campaign not to renew etc unless at least a realistic portion of the extra  TV money is released  for investment in the squad.

The saddest part is that Mike Ashley could be making a generous profit AND everybody watching better football via investment in the team, plus also bringing prices down certainly when this new TV money deal hits in 2016.

tv moneyThe possibilities are endless and no wonder Everton, Spurs, Manchester City, West Ham, Swansea and others are looking have expanded capacities. The riches flowing into Premier League clubs will make it all but impossible for but a handful of  the European elite to compete financially with them. This is a time for English clubs to invest in their fanbase and drive customer/fan loyalty. Not put the prices up for the matches that they can and tell fans they are doing them a favour by freezing season ticket prices when morally (and there’s an argument it would also make long-term financial sense in terms of making sure of fan loyalty)  they should be coming down.

The club recently admitted that they could expand the Gallowgate end for no more than £30m and get the capacity up to around 60,000. If 50,000 watch the current rubbish/mediocrity, just what could be the limit with a little bit of ambition and success? Especially in a world where English clubs would very likely dominate global football.

Newcastle United/Mike Ashley have dismissed the idea as not cost-effective but if these new-found riches aren’t going to go on ambitious team building, why not do some long-term good with a small part of the extra TV money which could help secure NUFC’s future health?

Apart from blind loyalty, the relationship between fans and Newcastle United is almost non-existent in the present day.

With just a little bit of care and attention, along with X amount of the EXTRA TV money being used for the good of the club and the supporters, Newcastle United could be a great club.

That is the most frustrating thing of all, one word from Mike Ashley and we could all have really exciting times to look forward to. I won’t hold my breath.



  • Stevie Aces Renforth

    Mike Ashley and Rangers

  • dude 1

    the fat man will profit that who

  • SimonM68

    On Talksport this morning they used Everton as an example and said that when this new deal comes into play, their gate reciepts would amount to around 3% of club revenue. That is frightening and it takes away our one biggest ‘advantage’ in that we have 3rd best home gates in the country. That will be irrelevant. Ashley will charge what he can when he can (and so will all the other chairmen) irrespective of TV income.  I can remember when ‘computers’ were going to mean we all worked a 3 day week….. 
    That announcement yesterday means we will never be free of Ashley. The FA Cup will be taken even less seriously than it is now (if that were possible) and combining those two factors, we will of course never win anything whatsoever.  It is a very, very depressing time indeed.

  • GToon

    In addition to the above we’d probably pay twice as much and fill the ground twice over if we had a team challenging and winning things like all of the other clubs do. But that would require investment and why should he if spending basically nothing each year gets him £130m. One day it wont though. We might need to get relegated but one day we will be rid of him.

  • No Brainer

    God almighty who could ever justify making a profit out of the fans of nufc without investing in the team. Imagine bombarding them with adverts when come to view everything toon related imagine making a profit for the business from activities of memoribillia and nufc endorsed stuff without putting money into the team.
    Who could ever ever justify that eh?

  • Stephen Walton

    Ashley of course

  • prestondave

    SimonM68 – every cloud has a silver lining. If everyone else bails out of the FA cup apart from us and a couple of other teams we might WIN it. Silverware in my lifetime. Yippee…but then again.

  • Maximus Moose

    Itll all go into Fat mikes back Poke

  • SimonM68

    prestondave SimonM68 It’s a question of degree isn’t it – the team who rests 6 instead  of 11 might win it.  Horrible,demeaning ‘end’ to a fantastic football tradition, but as I’ve said before on here Dave, maybe it’s a generational thing and the kids these days aren’t as bothered about the cup??…

  • Polarboy

    Will Ashley be selling up anytime soon? Will he f**k if he can help it, the only hope is his continued involvement with Rangers will see he having to choose one or the other eventually.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Imagine 10 million a match and your team resembles a SD jumble sale of cast off cut price football bargains.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Chirs C Sorry mate. despite some views otherwise, many many share your sentiments.

  • No Brainer

    It isn’t that now so why would it in future

  • Jarra MIck

    The only way tubby is leaving is in a square shaped coffin. Come on surely the bloke has to have some sort of fatal coronary episode in the next few years. We can only hope.

  • LeazesEnder

    Chirs C Don’t go quietly….I didn’t!

  • Brownale69

    A sniff of success and you wont get in the ground. Keegan days  I had a list of folk wanting to go to a game if i was on hol etc…now i couldnt give me ticket away.

  • No Brainer

    Its football man your not burrying a child.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Tactful and as appropriate as ever. What a disgraceful human being you can be.

  • No Brainer

    It us football man nothing else as for tact we are talking about sport man its to be enjoyed and left on the pitch there is no need for nastiness.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    From a lengthy report titled “Innovation in sports retail: Leveraging brands”

    Substitute ‘brands’ for football clubs and ‘store footfall’ for paying supporters and the strategy and intention of Ashley is pretty clear and simple. Players become nothing more – sourced cheap and sold on if profitable or used as ‘fillers’ for the rest of the ‘store’

    “Sports Direct’s core retail strategy utilizes the power of popular sports brands, including Nike and Adidas, by discounting such products, to attract consumers and drive footfall into stores.
    Store footfall presents the opportunity to sell merchandise from the group’s portfolio of owned brands which carry higher profit margins. Many of these brands have been purchased from administrators of failed businesses and stretched over a wider range of merchandise to fully capitalize on the brand equity”

  • No Brainer

    Well I have bought and dold vompanies made some more successful. Some havehad to shut as either or both customers just don’t the service or the sstaff are just poor.
    As for the likes of Slazenger kangol et al these british brands had been squeezed by not being given shelf space by the likes of whelan at jjb and jd sports along with allsports all who have been proven to have given back handers and entered in to deals with suppliers to ensure the other brands did not get shelf space.
    So these brands were dead or so marginalised they were likely be dead and very bust before long had spd not taken them over.
    Is that good practice for a business to buy valuable business and gice tgem a chance to shine again. Where they didn’t get the chance before

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Oh please.
    SD sold Slazenger Golf to JJB. JJB was run at the time by Chris Ronnie, a mate of Ashley’s who was subsequently fired without compensation for dodgy dealings. Ashley was also embroiled in a shady 1.5 mil  ‘loan’ to JJB Chairman Sir D Jones.

    SD own brands. They didn’t save businesses. USC being a prime current example of his workings – staff screwed, go into administration then are bought back by Republic, another SD arm. Tax payer can foot the bill for the redundancies as the Billionaire refuses to.

  • No Brainer

    By shady what exactly do you mean and who was being shady haven’t the shady people being shady been hailed for their actions and did that include Ashley.
    As for slazenger golf thats just a rights sale that enabled jjb to make market and sale of golf equipment under the slazenger name and nothing else.
    As for companies going bust and being bought by a ‘sister’ company I’m not sure whether its wrong or not. If I startotwo companies and runnone for the soul benefit of the other at the expense of customers and or staff thats immorral. However if I own one company and by another which is hoing belly up and take on its liabilities like the expensive leases in places like the metrocentre, and it doesn’t work out and stores hace to close but I see I can merge a few into my existing business then the staff who have built up the first company should not be compromised by the inept previous owner of the other company a one tom hunter who completely lost touch with reality

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer he buys and sells people, just like brands. JJB was an example, just as is Sandy Eastman and Charles Green at Rangers

    Staff shouldn’t be compromised?

    Sadly that doesn’t apply at SD where 90% of them are on zero hour contracts and get no holiday or sick pay, let alone knowing if they have working hours on any given day.

    Republic – he closed 20 stores as some Landlords wouldn’t reduce the rent following his purchase. Funnily enough he argued that upward moving rents aren’t to be expected (see below)

    Interestingly enough on SD properties also he has stink attached to him  being paid 86.6 mil for premises owned in his name -“this is despite valuers CBRE finding they were worth £54m on a vacant possession basis and Sports Direct’s independent director valuing them at £75m to £80m”
    PIRC also questioned Sports Direct’s assertion that the rent on the properties could rise by 50pc at their upcoming rent review.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer P.S. You mean this Tom Hunter? Aye, can just see Fatty being talked of like that one day. Hahahahaha!

    Scotland’s former first minister, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_McConnell, who works for African focused http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Clinton_Foundation#Clinton_Hunter_Development_Initiative_.28CHDI.29, has said of Hunter:“His philanthropic work and the creative way that he has thrown himself into that has been one of the most significant drivers for change in Scotland in the last decade. The work his foundation does is all about being a catalyst for change, not a substitute and not a general giveaway but a genuine approach to change the way things are done.”
    In October 2013, Hunter was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. Described by some as the “Nobel Prize for philanthropy”, the medal recognises those who use their private wealth for public good and is awarded biannually to global figures leading the way in this field. He dedicated the award to his father, who he describes as his “hero and inspiration

  • No Brainer

    Holisay pay is payable to thise working zero hour contracts and is based on the hours worked.
    the very nature of pirc gauls me as its a representative body of sharks and sheisters who pray on companies forcing them into actions that benefit them and not the staff or customers. In fact they regularly barrack boards into freeing up as much of the tangiabke asset back to new shareholders leaving companies without foundation. Nuff said on them pr&cks.
    If you wish to argue about whether historic long term rent agreements are appropriate priced with the current retail element taje a wander round newcastke city or the metrocentre your answer is staring at you bexause shop fronts are not. I know nothing of the spd rental agreements but if they are based on the increasingly popular model of profitability of a store then if as the shops increase their profit by fifty percent then maybe its entirely justifiable that ghe rent does akso

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer
    Sports Direct will be forced to advertise the limited employment terms under its zero-hours contracts following legal action brought by a former employee.
    Under a settlement agreed before a tribunal due to be heard next month, the retailer will have to make clear in job adverts, contracts and staff rooms that it does not guarantee work, sick pay or holiday pay under the controversial terms under which nearly 90% of its staff are employed.
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/27/sports-direct-zero-hours-contract-terms

  • No Brainer

    This is the same tom hunter who has completely taken his eye off the ball with regards to the businesses he has put under the west coast capital company which has sern its assests deminish so quickly thousands have been left without work.
    its highly commendable to give so much of your wealth to the truly needy in the world but its criminal to act so inept that your colleagues who helped deliver that wealth are left without direction because your hob nobing it with fancy politicos who are looking to feather their own nest.
    And fon’t get me started on mcConnell he’s a proper inept plonker

  • No Brainer

    And so they should it should gang its head in shame if it hadn’t been doing so

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer No If’s about it. Seems you are as reluctant to accept that as you are any other criticism pointed at Ashley.

  • No Brainer

    No absolutely UF A COMPANY THINKS ITS PRACTICES ARE THE RIGHT WAY TO RUN ITS BUSINESS IT SHOULD BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT HOW IT DOES THAT CLANDESTINE BEHAVIOUR OF ANY KIND IS UTTERLY DEPLORABLE
    as I said anyone who hides what they are doing as they think they in the wrong should be held in contempt.
    don’t be embarrassed that on some items I yotally agree with you like I have said what those arguing against the clubs owners need is clear waters not the liars making stuff up and shouting and sceaming like kids

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer I’m not embarrassed at all. Perhaps its you who really should be though.

    Just last week you were calling me a liar and guilty of spreading untruths.

  • No Brainer

    Too thick skinned sweety. I was fully justified.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer There you go again.
    You’re just a self-opinionated [email protected]@k really. Talk much and produce no facts whatsoever.

  • No Brainer

    No, it is a fact that I am very thick skinned its a life time of dealing with shouters with an aporoach of patient rationality.
    Theres an ironic timeliness that the truth of your last statement Is not lost on me I don’t produce the facts its my job to justify them, as I sit here and decide whether a very contentious story has enough facts in it to be a header in one of our national papers tmrw.
    I must ask what did you think of nufc yesterday jolly good game don’t you think?

  • Greg Maxwell

    Silly question!

  • toonloyal

    as far as im aware buying a season ticket has always worked out cheaper than “paying on the gate”

  • toonloyal

    Brownale69  same here.