The club’s statement of accounts is fast becoming an annual circus of amusement for tortured NUFC fans. Black humour of course.

Ashley has created such a joyless, almost boring football club, that events like this make for a canny read, even though the results show that since we returned from relegation in 2010 he has no interest in building a successful team, just a successful profit.

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First of all I have to play devil’s advocate. I actually doff my cap to Mike Ashley. While I detest the bloke, and completely disagree with his running of Newcastle Utd, he has managed to create a club that is making a substantial profit. If you’re a hard headed business analyst then you would have to say that it’s mission accomplished. We’re out of the red and into the black.

As a football fan, I don’t share that view. It’s clear to me that so much more money could be targeted at strengthening that Newcastle team while still breaking even. This is a club that has bought one central defender in the last five years, if you discount the fact Lascelles was loaned back to Forest. Shocking.

Now we are told there is an £18m profit. On that basis I’d expect to see at least £30m spent in the summer, and that has to be a minimum spend. What we all know is likely to happen is that we’ll sell players as well as buy them, and the overall capital outlay will include wages in the total figure. Mr Ashley will not pump in anything else.

Charnley asserted that we have a ‘very supportive owner’. Weasel words if I ever saw them. These statements should come with a lengthy amount of small print at the bottom of the page. I also note they have stopped using Financial Fair Play (FFP) as something to hide the penny pinching behind, given they now comfortably meet those UEFA regulations.

The mystery figure of operating costs rising by upwards of £25m has already been discussed at length elsewhere, but the killer line for me came in Charnley’s statement. He said the club was able to ‘move forward and net spend’ on the playing squad.

Once again, the devil’s in the detail. Two little words: ‘net’ and ‘spend’. That means we can expect more of the same old rubbish.

Best players being sold, standing still in transfer windows, long summer sagas where players almost sign but then don’t, players arriving for buttons who aren’t good enough, and no recruitment of a credible head coach.

There we have it. The statement of accounts. A statement of complete and utter mediocrity. If there’s a buyer out there then pick up the phone. That club can be a monster when it’s done right. We’re a long way off that right now.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton



  • Raymond Hall

    Never in the field of professional football was so much hope taken from so many fans by so few

  • stepaylor

    30 million net spend is the absolute minimum needed and would again likely mean the club made a profit the following financial year.

  • newcastle7

    Mike Ashley took over a club over a hundred million in debt and has got us out of a mess.
    Last Summer he spent nearly thirty million on players who have hardly kicked a ball this season.
    So give credit to Mike he is doing a good job.

  • DownUnderMag

    newcastle7 thank you Mr Charnley, nice of you to drop by on these humble forums and put the fans straight.  Whatever would we have done without Ashley and his millions invested…oh year probably still be competing and spending and wouldn’t have a £125 “loan” hanging over the club instead of the debt….make no mistakes about it, the debt is still there, it is still owed back to Ashley.  All he has done is used it as an excuse for penny pinching, failing to spend and giving himself free advertising for his own company…all the while the debt never moves despite turning a huge profit…oh but we’ll dream up some increase in operating costs to make it sound a little better for the owner.

  • nufcslf

    Fanks Mike.

  • nufcslf

    newcastle7 Enjoying the football being played are you. Used to think folk from the North East had a good grasp of the game of football, but clowns like you have ruined my appetite for football in general and at a dead loss why this is acceptable to you the sheep. Clueless the lot of you, just glad Cashley robs you blind and I am not thick enough to give the fat prick one single penny of my hard earned money. I will be watching the derby on the telly and hoping that morons like you will have to question what went so wrong after yet another loss for Sports Direct United. Enjoy your day out all the same like…

  • Oliver Lam

    Mediocrity for the club, £££ for Mike Ashley.

  • Chemical Dave

    We owe the fat slug £129m, baffling how articles like this appear to overlook that. For make no mistake, should the gravy train start to slow down, that is the figure that will send this club into Rangers style melt down.

  • Chemical Dave

    Sounds lime a cracking job that simon, debt still there and £30m wasted on rubbish. Just let us know where the top 100 fan rundownis….fraud fan.

  • LeazesEnder

    Chemical Dave ‘WE’ don’t owe HIM a penny!   There is NO debt…. it is a BILL for the STADIUM REDEVELOPMENT which he PAID OFF.  He OWNS the club outright and when it is sold, the monies should be amalgamated.

    The reason the word ‘DEBT’ was used was a deliberate misunderstanding of the way the Halls were financing their Pension Scheme…. Cameron-Hall Investments (Gibraltar) Ltd were the debtors…. thats the HALLS….

    …This ambiguity was a product of CHRIS MORT’s definition of the purchase to the local press, namely Luke Edwards and Lee Ryder, who passed on the false definition to the London press Corps… and suddenly to make this story work we had  a fiction of a club who had ‘Overspent’…

    …it had done nothing of the sort…. the finances were so good it allowed the Halls and Shepherds to extract over £15 million per season….

    …. Ashley used this confusion to make the fans wear a hair shirt with bloody W***A written on it…

    The local press will not hold themselves to account for this, and they will not dirty the memory of the men who pulled United out the forty years sleep.

    …and the gravy train had been running for successive regimes!

  • newcastle7

    Chemical Dave In reality we are in a very strong financial position and before player trading we should make £40m profit next season which should be invested in the playing squad to mount a challenge for Europe.In contrast our friends down the road have lost a staggering seventy million over the last three seasons so give Mike credit for getting the finances back in order.By the way the club has a list of where every season ticket sits in a league table.This was used to allocate the Sunderland tickets.Off to Dunston v Morpeth today before the big one on Sunday and Anfield a week on Monday so if that constitutes a fraud fan so be it.

  • Chemical Dave

    Not disputing what you’re saying at all mate but the bottom line is he’s saying we owe him £129m and that’s the figure that could well destroy the club. As for the gravy train… gravy is a bit richer these days!

  • Mister Tee

    “Mike Ashley took over a club over a hundred million in debt and has got us out of a mess.”
    Ashley took over the club (including the debt) and oversaw a relegation due, in part, to HIS OWN ACTIONS. He then had to spend more money on us to make sure he could still have a chance of making money out of us, something we still ‘owe’ him to this day, despite the fact he gets massive amounts of free advertising.
    “Last Summer he spent nearly thirty million on players who have hardly kicked a ball this season.”
    I don’t know where to start with this one.
    “He” didnt spend a penny did he? The £30million the club spent on players was made up from sales the previous year surely? Look at the last 2 seasons transfer history, according to transferleague.co.uk we have spent £39m and brought in £39m, so Mike Ashley has not spent anything.
    You close your statement by saying Ashley is doing a good job but say the players we bought haven’t kicked a ball this season?
    Great job that isn’t it then?
    Why not spend £30m on players who do play?
    Why not spend £30m on players who are suited to this league?
    Why not spend £30m on players who are good enough for this league?
    Why not spend a fraction of the £30million on a better manager than the one we had?
    That would be a better job, wouldnt it?

  • scotty63

    Mister Tee Don’t let the troll suck you in

  • GToon

    Look at Southampton. Sold half of their team. Bought a new one. Made £33m profit and cleaned us up home and away. Really good team with a really good manager. Even Palace made over £20m and are now above us in the league. So Ashley isnt even good at his profit making route. What a waste of potential because if he cant make us more successful than teams like those with the fan base and potential we have then what can he do ?!!!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    DownUnderMag newcastle7 Worse – SD isn’t even HIS company! It’s a PLC, so in fact he is giving away free advertising and our retail operation in order to profit other shareholders, not just himself.
    Simon hasn’t the brain cells to even manage to contemplate that inescapable fact.
    LeazesEnder is spot on in how he explains ‘the debt’. This Club has been and is being milked and everyone simply bought into the Ashley propaganda he put out there to justify it all.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    scotty63 Mister Tee He isn’t smart enough to be a troll, mate. Simon is nowt but a retarded simpleton who believes the sun shines out of Ashely’s [email protected]

  • v0ices

    Chemical Dave it can’t destroy the club he can’t say he owes himself money and foreclose on his own asset.

  • Chemical Dave

    Hope you’re right voices, can’t help but expect a sting in the tail.

  • LeazesEnder

    GToon Theres still £28.5 million to be accounted for which sounds like pure profit.

  • Andgeo

    Where has the unaccounted £28.5m gone? Nothing else should be discussed until we have an answer to this question. That being said, all of the merchandising revenue now goes directly to fat mike and we don’t complain about that, and the free advertising must be worth £20m to £40m and we are doing nowt about that either. So whilst I agree with all the anti fatty opinions, we are pathetic an are simply taking it up the backend of fatty with merely a whimper. He is literally raping us, and asking us to thank him for it. One way or another he needs to be gotten rid of, and soon. We may not have the capital to take him on but there are other ways.

  • GToon

    LeazesEnder GToon Aye but we wont be seeing any of that will will. Pure profit – > pure greed more like.

  • GallowgateGaz

    Does this Leazes Park Ender even go to

  • GallowgateGaz

    Does this Leazes Park Ender guy actually want to “doff” his cap to Ashley, “the great businessman”. This is a man who could have invested in the team in the summer after we finished 5th, thus possibly giving us a chance of breaking into the champions league the season after. If that had happened, our profit figures would probably look a hell of a lot larger than the current published ones. Crap business decision to sit back and hope for the best without investing. Wonder how the profit figures will look in a few years ,when, after more summers of no investment we are stuck in the middle of the championship, or worse. The fact we we’ve been relegated already under Ashley, proves he actually has no clue!