As the saying goes: fool me once – shame on you, fool me twice – shame on me, so just how many times has Mike Ashley attempted to fool the supporters of Newcastle United, or as he sees us – mug punters?

(To feature like Notts Toon, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)

Well there was the Keegan tribunal where his administration was proven to have lied, there was the Andy Carroll ‘not for sale at any price’, there was the ‘club for sale at £100m’ (unless someone actually offers it), the Cabaye sale (anyone who believes that was Joe Kinnear’s fault needs a good shake) and countless other atrocities.

Timing is key in business and Ashley has time and again demonstrated, that he is a man who knows the value of impeccable timing. He has bought and sold stakes in various major companies and the way he has aggressively pursued competitors when smelling blood in the water, all points to a man who times his actions well. Which brings us neatly back to the public interview.

After weeks of protests, boycotts, the media turning against him, former players and managers having their say and an organised campaign against him, maybe he had a little wobble. After seeing the share price of Sp**ts Direct drop significantly after the documentary about his business interests thrust him firmly into the public eye, plus his people being unceremoniously ousted from Rangers, just maybe he is feeling a little more vulnerable.

So he reacts, in a typical Mike Ashley way, with a bullish statement of intent. Heavy on emphasising his power, light on details and abdicating all future responsibility for decisions actually affecting the football club onto others. The statement meant absolutely nothing, let us be clear on that, it said precisely nothing.

Season ticket sales have dropped, the relegation predicament of the club and the organised protests were finally showing him that enough of the fans could unite to damage him, harm his business and ultimately do what Ashley hates above all other things, prove him wrong.

That the statement seems to have fooled some people is worrying, that once again we read people stating ‘let’s see if he makes good on his word’ is frustrating to say the least. How many times in the last 8 years has the summer been purported to be ‘the most important in the club’s history’, or ‘the true mark of the owner’s ambition’? Have we ever seen evidence of this ambition? Has he ever done what is required? Has he ever actively pushed the club forward when required? Eight years of evidence will tell you not.

Sunday’s statement was just the latest part of a PR exercise put together by Keith Bishop to placate just enough of the fans for Mike to stop giving a sh*t again, to quell the protests back down to the level of a minority of what he hopes can be portrayed as rabble rousers, to give the media and general public a banner under which they can say ‘well Ashley did come across well’. No he didn’t, he came across like a nervous schoolboy being caught out by the headmaster.

Newcastle United supporters need to understand one thing and one thing only.

Nothing at all will change whilst that man owns this football club, we might do enough business this summer to survive slightly more comfortably next season than this, but is that really progress?

Is that the lengths of ambition he has for the club?

I think the answer to those questions is obvious, and if you saw anything in the interview yesterday that proves otherwise, I would be interested to hear about it.

 



  • Marklp

    Nobody is being fooled, the facts are he isn’t going any where and he has come out for the first time ever and said its his fault and he will turn things around.  He has a summer to prove his word, if not the protesters will have another 45,000 people in there ranks. 
    By constantly bleating on Notts Toon you are achieve nothing, there is no football to boycott or protest to be at.  You may as well keep your powder dry until the start of the season and if he has lied you can sit in your ivory castle looking all smug.

  • NottsToon

    Except it isn’t the first time is it? I suggest reading the previous relegation statement before making that comment again.
    Obviously you have been fooled if you want to give him a chance to “prove his word”. What word is this by the way? What exactly did he say that gives people any hope or think that he has anything to prove?
    He promised nothing other than staying, everything else was vague and evasive. So forgive me if I laugh when I read people bleating on about him proving what he says, or holding him to a promise. Comprehension clearly not your strong point.

  • LeazesEnder

    My feelings exactly Notts…. 

    I couldn’t believe the Poll that the Chronicle was running, or why it was running it….. the results showed the willingness for a large proportion of fans to say they believed the ludicrous statement that Ashley was going to have a go at the right end of the table.

    For a start it sounded like a threat… ‘I’m going nowhere until I win something’…. and as Lord Alan Sir Sugar pointed out…. ‘he’s going nowhere then’…  

    Well others can see it for what it is…. what about those who voted in the Chronicles Poll…. they cant all be halfwits or Sunderland fans….

    I think the financial ‘debt’ that was constructed and was propagated has absolutely set in an awful lot of peoples minds, so much so that, wearing a hair shirt became comfortable…. the power of saying that the asset of the stadium build is a debt rather than an asset… to be added into the sale price was unanimously deemed a burden ….for the fans to carry…. not the owner!

    Even the Mag is saying it IS a Debt…. but without saying what it was…. an asset.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    LeazesEnder Wholeheartedly agree with this article and of course Leazes oft repeated explanation of the ‘phantom’ debt.
    As for comments about ‘bleating on’ it really just goes to prove the point made in the article. You really can fool some of the people all of the time!

  • ArtyH

    JMHO if you look at the quality of the players on the books, its not good enough, thankfully most will leave. But what will we be left with? Hopefully Sissoko Krul and Janmaat, the rest IMHO need replacing. This fact alone is very worrying as its a Pi$$ poor starting point for next season and the new coach to get to grips with. Not only that the amount of investment is staggering even for a EPL club, this is down to lack of investment over the years, its come back to bit him in the backside, as everyone knew it would! So from this angle I cannot see how Ashleys statement can be accurate, maybe a ” terminological in-exactitude “, he has previous for such. I would LOVE to believe the statement he made on T.V and believe he would invest in the club, but I think its a bridge to far now. Worse still he will keep Charnley and he will appoint some cheap has been coach no better than we have had.

  • prestondave

    Marklp  “if not the protesters will have another 45,000 people in there ranks.”. No they wont and you know why because you are one of the believers. Its people like you that are blind/ignorant /wishful/hopeful that fatty will change his ways. He has not said anything of any substance and if he was being honest he would have sacked Charver by now but he wont because either him and/or Brolly Wally will be there. So still no ambition then.?

  • HansKrankl

    What everyone seem to have missed is that sentence I will continue to invest into the club. errmmm what investment so in other words no change in policy for investment based on that

  • Sickandtiredstill

    ArtyH What did he say exactly? He’s allegedly taking no part in the decision making (yeah, right!) and leaving that up to Charnley. Penfold has no one else other than Carr and Carver to support him and that bunch just about got us relegated.
    Is this what people really have a belief in working out? Coz that’s what the fat man told everyone.

  • prestondave

    HansKrankl it wasnt missed at all mate. It has been picked up on many times in other stories.

  • Milo79

    Keith Bishop has attempted a kind of Wizard of Oz moment by setting up the Ashley interview – away falls the curtain and before us stands a regular guy. Unassuming, sofly-spoken and a little awkward on camera. Not the all-powerful Ashley but one of us. Well it’s rubbish and nobody should allow their strings to be pulled by this obvious stunt. This is the guy, remember, who ‘parks his tanks on the lawn’ when he sets out to wrest control of your business. Alarmingly, I know a lot of people have been, if not taken in, then at least softened up by the attempt to humanise Mike Ashley. He told us nothing, promised nothing new, and that’s precisely what we should expect.

  • HansKrankl

    prestondave HansKrankl never seen it mentioned once on Sky or so but thank you for pointing it out to me. But then I dont have much oportunity to follow it properly. Anyways the article above seems to hit the nail on the head and sadly many will be fooled by it.

  • prestondave

    HansKrankl prestondave no worries mate. It has been mentioned on other posts on The Mag but you do need time to read through it all. And again you are right many people will be fooled by it but its what they then do when the penny drops and they know Fatty has just bent them over again.

  • Wallsendstu

    A couple of points made over the last few days leave me with serious doubts. The first was during the fat mans interview where as has been mentioned the managerial decision will be left to Penfold. (By the way Craigs interview was very gentle to say the least). The second as has been reported that Carver is still being considered by Penfold. That was followed by they will take into consideration the position he was left in. He was left in a position in the league where if he had shown any sort of quality or ability we would not have had to witness what we did. We are being linked with numerous players as per the norm but the true intent will be shown by the appointment of the next manager/coach. This brings me to the last concern, we were told that a decision would be made quickly (before Carver went on holiday today) now we are told that Penfold will take his time and not rush into it. Is that not what we were told in January and look how that turned out. We have seen the old cliches being dragged out, ‘ put his money where his mouth is’ the proof of the pudding’ etc. However until the fat man does no one should trust him and before people jump on my back, we can only go on what has gone before, which is why so many people dont believe a word.

  • wor monga

    This Ashley Out saga is getting to be like a TV soap opera…with
    the same characters trotting out financial facts, and the same old same old
    debt statements that they’ve bandied on about non-stop for donkeys years, and
    still will many more to come…I suppose it makes them tick…and gives them the
    chance to argue online all day whilst patting each other on the back, and slagging
    the others off.

    What they can’t convince the vast majority is simply how they intend force Ashley
    out…especially now that he’s held his hand up, and told the world he is not going anywhere,
    even after the terrible season he caused and with relegation staring us in the
    face…and with that the likelihood  of a
    very uneasy financial future for the club ahead…

    The truth is the boat they were desperately hoping to catch had already
    sailed…because everybody just went home relieved, and still prepared to keep faith,
    after seeing the team prepared to fight for their lives…and let others face the
    drop…

    So if Ashley doesn’t want to go…with a few bedsheets, red cards, etc…what’ s next?…

  • CMRowley

    This is exactly my point.  Nothing was said, this is symptomatic of everything that comes out of the club, lots of words that say nothing.  I keep reading from commentators it’s a good thing that he admitted his mistakes, that the club has admitted it’s made mistakes.

    What mistakes have they admitted to?  Nothing.  A general statement of nothing.

    Ashley didn’t even admit to any mistakes in his little two man pantomime.  He said the responsibility for our position stopped at his door.  That is not admitting a mistake, it’s confirming that he is in ultimate control.

    I would love to hear what these people think there mistakes are, I guarantee you they are different to mistakes everyone else knows they have made.

  • NottsToon

    Your argument is absurd beyond reason. We don’t know how we’re going to cure cancer either, should we all stop donating to charity and tell the doctors and scientists to pack away their microscopes until there’s a definitive plan?

  • Marklp

    prestondave At no stage did I say I believe him.  What I am saying is that the season has finished all that everybody can do is wait and see.  There is not one thing anybody can do at this moment, so just sit back and see what he actually does.

  • wor monga

    NottsToon …..No…just tell me how you intend to force Ashley out…when all I can see is
    a total failure to influence the vast majority so far, and he has already told
    the world he doesn’t intend to go…

    (If you want answers to questions of a medical nature then why not
    search out a more appropriate web site!!)

  • NottsToon

    It appears that the protests and negative publicity are doing the trick so far, especially as he has felt the need to get chatt. So more of that then.
    You keep handing your cash over though pal, and feel free to take another 6 week holiday from The Mag next time fatty shits on your dreams.

  • wor monga

    NottsToon     There you go patting yourself on the back again…

    …but it’s common knowledge, there’s been nothing except negative and  bad publicity concerning
    the club for quite a few years now…(in fact I can’t think of any good publicity
    since we finished 5th)

    …but, it still hasn’t swayed the vast majority to join you and your
    protest movement…so why not inform me how you intend to force Ashley out, when
    he appears determined not to go…

    …and all I see (at SJP and) on here… is the same
    few bloggers applauding their ‘magnificent’ achievements to force him out so
    far!!!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    wor monga NottsToon Maybe you should be asking yourself and fellow supporters that question?
    No matter what this parasite does, you just keep going along. I’d rather applaud the efforts of people trying to force or influence a change, than those that do absolutely nothing while expecting things to get better.

  • NottsToon

    You ridiculous man, continuing to pay to be insulted whilst attempting to deride those who actually put in a voice and effort for change.
    Enjoy your next internet holiday when the owner does yet another fantastic job of showing you up as the sycophantic plumb that you are.

  • wor monga

    NottsToon     Aye… you can’t answer a reasonable question…and so you get stuck in with the abuse…that’s probably why the vast majority of the Toon supporters aren’t
    listening to what you’re spouting, snotts

  • NottsToon

    It was answered two posts back you nugget. Not my fault that you won’t accept any answer which isn’t printed in braille on Mike Ashley’s bell end is it?

  • grahame49

    In my time as a Newcastle fan I’ve seen clubs like Luton Oxford Coventry Middlesbrough etc win cups when Newcastle were allegedly the larger club as a fan its hard to say but we’ve never been run as a club that puts fans first

  • wor monga

    NottsToon     Ah that was your answer, snotts…that the negative publicity had forced
    Ashley to make a televised statement…telling the football world he admitted the
    mistakes, but that he wasn’t leaving whatever the price even if the club was
    relegated…

    …or was it that bit where you dribbled some sh*te about me not bothering
    to comment on your negative outpourings over the last few weeks?

  • Mal44

    I agree. The fact that the decision is being left to Charnley fills me with horror and we are keeping Carver and Stone whatever, who will have no credibility with the players. It doesn’t look good.

  • prestondave

    wor monga NottsToon One thing Id like to say Wor Monga. If it is proved by lack of action after Ashleys speech,where will you stand.? Say we keep clueless Carver in charge and we get 3-4 players who are an unknown entity or dont have Premiership experience. Will that change your way of thinking or will you wait until we go say 10 games without picking a point up.? At what point will you say this is scandalous and give up or will you carry on going regardless of results or League we are in.?

  • NottsToon

    To paraphrase your master, the goblin king of tat direct, to be categorically clear as the protests and negative publicity have clearly provoked a reaction it would be foolish to change this course to all but the interminably dim, of which you are one.

  • Marklp

    That can also be turned on its head, if Ashley invests heavily gets a decent manager will that stop the negativity or is it more about Ashley than NUFC.
    I supported the boycot and feel it has had an impact but all I care about is NUFC and if Ashley splashes the cash, I’ll be a happy man.

  • wor monga

    Sickandtiredstill  Over the last few weeks on this site I read quite a few comments…from
    some of those you are asking me to applaud…who saw the club being relegated as
    the way to get Ashley out…

    … Yet on Sunday I saw almost 50,000 totally behind the
    players who were doing their utmost to avoid that happening…even after the
    worst 3-4 mths of football we’ve had in a long time!!

    …keep the faith, and support the Toon…

  • wor monga

    NottsToon     …Telling the world he is here to stay until the club wins something…that’s
    the reaction you were hoping for then, is it snotts ?

  • prestondave

    Marklp its all conjecture at the minute. History has proved he is a liar. And lets face it, FCB is an astute businessman. Do you really think it has taken all this time to admit its his fault.? He did his little cameo appearance because if it went against us against West Ham he said something to limit the abuse and damage. There is absolutely no stand out promise in anything he said apart from he intends to stay. The rest is down to interpretation. My feeling is he will carry on as normal or do the bare minimum to keep his cash cow afloat. In the meantime you will see numerous stories about all these great players we are going to TRY and get over the line and the candidates for the Managers job. And this storyline will drag on and on until the deadline for your season ticket renewal is up. You then have a choice to make. Renew or boycott.?My question is : At what point do you admit/realise that he has mugged you off and its normal service resumed and what would you be prepared to do about it if anything.?My thoughts are based on FCBs actual words and the fact that Charver hasnt been sacked yet nor Penfold.

  • wor monga

    prestondave    Ashley has the chance to change things now, and if he doesn’t then he’s
    more stupid than I’d give him credit for…seeing as he has told the world of his
    intentions…not just some local interested group of fans, through Charnley.

    …but whatever the outcome… he owns the club, lock, stock and barrel…and
    it’s a goldmine…so whether any protest could force him out is highly unlikely
    IMO!!

  • NottsToon

    wor monga NottsToon And you believed him? More fool you (surprisingly). 

    So where will you stand if (when) this false dawn that mugs like you seem to think the benevolent owner has promised turns out to be more of the same? Where is your tipping point? How much sh1t pie will you eat before admitting you don’t like the taste?

  • prestondave

    wor monga prestondave Youre right he does have the chance to change things and I for one hope he does but not just a little bit to keep us up. We need big changes. Again, I will say there was nothing he said apart from his intention to stay that gives me any real hope until it actually happens. My question to you is as per my previous comment. Fragmented campaigns only get some news coverage but as we have seen as the situation gets worse then more people take notice. If nothing changes then you, me and all disenchanted fans can make a difference. Dont think it wont because it scared him enough to say something.

  • NottsToon

    wor monga prestondave He didn’t tell the world anything other than a bullish statement about remaining in charge you pleb.

    Aside from that, please tell me what you extracted from Ashleys statement that has given you any hope for change whatsoever? 

    I eagerly await your answer.

  • The Adelphi

    Not moving on until we’ve won something or qualified for The Champions League. That could be a 15 year plan for all we know. Nice of you to inform us of that little detail Mike. Good work

  • Sickandtiredstill

    wor monga prestondave He’s going to change things by – leaving everything exactly the same?

    Come on, man. Charnley is as clueless as Ashley is. What more evidence do you need after another barely avoided relegation?

  • dav_art

    NottsToon  Can you stop the abuse please?  Calling someone names just because he/she doesn’t agree with undermines your argument.

  • dav_art

    He said what he’s going to do.  I think he meant it though I remain sceptical.

    Let see what he does this summer and beyond.  If he delivers and we are successful – great.  If not, well he deserves everything he gets.

  • LeeIrving

    I have not been in over two years not give him a penny of my money. This will continue untill he either leaves or there is a complete turn around in club policy on t4ansfers cuo and appointing qualified people in the jobs. I am quiet sure the majority of boycotters/protester would feel the same if we tried in cups and were challanging the top 8 with a coach who can change tactics during a game motivate players and play them in the correct position. people are allowed to change opinions if not we end up with the same goverment over and over the problem nufc fans have is ashley has sucessfully divided the fans base. Why we got the largest family end with very cheap tickets ect its classic divide and conquer.

  • LeeIrving

    So has the other bloke. Or is it a rule only to be followed by protesters???

  • NottsToon

    dav_art NottsToon Sorry petal.

  • Toon Magpie

    I am happy we have survived, I will be renewing my season ticket for next year after a few games boycotting I am getting back to being a member of the crowd for the beginning of the new season. It is a new start, a new beginning. New hope.

  • Toon Magpie

    And where are Luton, Oxford, Coventry and Middlesboro now?

  • Toon Magpie

    We should stop donating to charity, it is more corrupt than Mike Ashley, do you realise only 0.001% of charity like comic relief go to the causes they are supposed to go to.
    Recently an old biddy killed herself because of charities knocking at her door begging and begging letters, she couldn’t say no to them and was given them thousands of her money. They are a disgrace with their flash cars and big homes because they are champagne socialites.

  • Toon Magpie

    I’ll be there next season again. I boycotted, Ashley has spoken things are changing. The boycotts work but as with all strikes time to go back to work

  • Toon Magpie

    It is changing when did you hear Ashley talk and on TV and Colo when did he do an interview. Ashley has addressed the issue time for him to put money down and win something He will never leave without winning and by then we would be happy for him to stay because we want to win something we want Champion league we want success. As with any strike it is time to go back to work and that is what I will do next season . I boycotted last few home games enough is enough it did the trick things are changing we now give him time to implement them

  • Toon Magpie

    I have down tools for a few weeks next season it is back to work cheering the lads on for the new season . The boycott had a massive effect on Ashley and he spoke. Time to deliver.
    I’ll be there next season to cheer the lads on. Howay the lads. Let’s see something to look forward to instead of looking back in the rear view mirror all the time. Time to look forward.

  • Toon Magpie

    Happy to stay up.

  • foggy

    Toon Magpie  Look forward and you’ll see the likes of Southamton, Stoke and Leicester all disappearing into the distance. If you don’t use your rear view mirror you won’t see the likes of Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich coming up in the fast lane to overtake the dead duck that is the toon under Charnley and Ashley.

  • Ollie Burtons Grandad

    It’s quite simple mate, we are not competing with the likes of Swansea/Southampton because our Fat Owner will not invest.
    Unfortunately the gullible idiots who renew/ buy Season tickets on the back of Fatmans interview merely exacerbate the situation.
    Anyone who trusts the Fatman needs to see a Doctor.
    Just a thought mate but do you send money off to Nigerian Princes for a share of the fictional $100M bank account?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Toon Magpie Look, everyone is free to do as they wish, of course. As I wrote in another reply, I seriously wonder what people like yourself actually believe from his statement (that’s not an insult, just a question).
    You say he addressed the issues? He clearly stated he has no involvement in football decisions did he not? 
    Are you seriously going to believe that 5 loan players went to Rangers in January purely by chance and on the decision of Lee Charnley? 
    Rangers, who had Llambias (and Leach) appointed to their Board – by Ashley.
    Llambias, who started his Rangers involvement before he actually left his position here at NUFC as MD.
    How can you ignore those glaringly obvious FACTS and then say you believe what he said in that interview? He lied, again, live on TV, and yet you give him the benefit of the doubt ?
    Sorry, I truly just don’t get it.

  • SGM

    NottsToon I think your the cancer. Why do you continue to deride and abuse other supporters?, if you don’t like whats going on at our club, why not just withdraw your support and find some other form of entertainment?.

  • Conman

    Toon Magpie  blind.

    after such a pathetic and embarrassing season, the sheep still walk to the abattoir willingly.

    nothing has changed.  Lets see what the fcb actually does.  To be honest. we should have started and had a new manager in by now.  Slow off the blocks again.

  • Conman

    The Adelphi  unless e invests a couple of hundred million it is more than a five year plan , minimum.

  • NottsToon

    He said nothing at all.

  • NottsToon

    What did he say to give hope exactly?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    dav_art He already more than deserves to get a lot more than the majority of supporters could be bothered to hand out to him. 8 years of this and 35% or more decide to grant him the benefit of the doubt because of a 3 min interview laced with complete falsehoods (if not blatant lies).
    Beggars belief actually, how gullible some people must be.

  • prestondave

    Toon Magpie And if he doesnt.??????

  • NottsToon

    So your point is that if I don’t like the systematic asset stripping and destruction of the heritage of Newcastle United, and I take issue with people who call themselves supporters whilst financially contributing to the man responsible for these issues, then I should take up knitting?
    You’re a fool, you are repeatedly shown the truth but you have gone so far down the path of ignorance that you can’t find your way back.
    If those like you found another form of entertainment and walked away Ashley would be gone in a month. You’re his favourite tame Geordies and you refuse to see it.

  • SGM

    NottsToon  Asset stripping? What exactly?
    Destruction of heritage? What exactly?
    I don’t think Knitting will satisfy your hunger to continually deride other supporters simply because they have a different opinion to you. Find yourself another club, then maybe you can stop taking the pills.
    NUFC has been run poorly for as long as I remember and it will continue to be that way long after you and I are long gone.
    As for being a “Ignorant fool” sticks and stones mate.

  • NottsToon

    SGM NottsToon And there in lies the problem, you are totally oblivious (or choose to be) to what is happening no matter how often you are told and shown. It isn’t even like they are subtle about it.

    You’re a fool, and one day you will realise it. Until then just keep paying the bloke who is destroying the club like a good little sheep.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    SGM NottsToon What heritage – you are joking, right?

    Have some of you got so accustomed to Ashley that you forget what this Club has been capable of?

    Before Ashley – from our PL arrival, we have 2 FA Cup Finals 2 SF’s & 3 QF’s; European competition for 11 out of 14 seasons; top 10 finish 8 out of 14 seasons.

    Under Ashley in 8 seasons we have been – relegated once; narrowly avoided it twice; made a top 10 finish twice; one League Cup & 1 UEFA QF.

    Give yersel a shake. We may have been ran poorly, but that didn’t stop us competing or being ambitious – until MJW Ashley arrived. 

    This is what you want to continue to support?

  • SGM

    NottsToon SGM No answer then!

  • SGM

    Sickandtiredstill SGM NottsToon Up until the Fairs Cup we had won (and this is of the top of my head) 4 league titles and 6 FA Cups. Since “69” Nowt Who do you blame for that?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    SGM Sickandtiredstill NottsToon Well you could hoy in there two Texaco Cups (74.75) and an Anglo-Italian (73) if you want to be picky.

    Point being, before Ashley arrived we at least competed, which is all most of us want and expect. Isn’t it?

    I don’t blame anyone for not ‘winning’. I certainly blame Ashley for putting an end to us at least being capable of having a go, never mind purposefully deciding not to compete for anything. 

    The record stands for itself and is proof of that.