Middlesbrough owner and former boss of Steve McClaren, Steve Gibson, has taken the NUFC Head Coach appointment as the opportunity to lecture Newcastle supporters on the subject of Mike Ashley.

Gibson says that Ashley ‘has done a lot of good things for Newcastle and people forget that’, then adding ‘people forget where Newcastle might be without him’.

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Like countless other people who have patronised Newcastle fans down the week, months and years of Ashley’s reign, Gibson should keep his nose out of our business and concentrate on running his own second rate football club.

It is fair comment for Steve Gibson to give his opinion on what he thinks Boro former manager Steve McClaren might do for Newcastle, but that’s what he should stick to, rather than lecturing teh NUFC fanbase about how grateful they should be to Mike Ashley.

Speaking to the Northern Echo, Steve Gibson had this to say:

“I am delighted to see Steve McClaren back in the Premier League and I think he will do a great job for Newcastle – he is the perfect fit.

“He has an eye for a player and is a terrific coach and a great man manager, he’s exactly what Newcastle United need.”

Mike Ashley:

“I have always got on well with Mike Ashley, he’s done a lot of good things for Newcastle and people forget that. He has not got everything right but he has got a lot of things right. People forget where Newcastle might be without him.

“Steve is great for Newcastle and I wish him well.”

Yes indeed who knows where Newcastle United might be without Mike Ashley?

We could be another Portsmouth, Leeds, Rangers etc etc…

However, we could be another (bigger version of and with much more potential) Swansea, Southampton  – clubs who are outperforming Newcastle United both in the transfer market and on the pitch.

The fact remains that last season Newcastle were one of the ten best supported clubs in Europe and 19th in the latest list of Deloitte’s highest turnovers in World football

This despite Mike Ashley refusing to allow the club to pursue the best commercial deals for the club and instead take the benefit of free promotion for the rest of his retail empire.

Banking the TV riches instead of investing in the squad is something else we should all be grateful for, including buying no players for 18 months at one point. Not forgetting the relegation of 2009 and the near misses of 2013 and 2015.

Nobody will be more pleased than me if Mike Ashley starts to run Newcastle United in a decent and ambitious way, starting in this summer’s transfer market.

Until there are any physical signs of this new approach though, I’ll be not posting my ‘Thank You’ letter to the Newcastle United owner just yet.


  • Bearsize

    We could have been man city too… Swings and roundabouts

  • mrkgw

    Mike Ashley did himself a lot of favours by finally, communicating with us at the end of the season. If only he had done so earlier then we may have understood his longer term plan.

  • Bianchi Boy

    “However, we could be another (bigger version of and with much more potential) Swansea, Southampton  – clubs who are outperforming Newcastle United both in the transfer market and on the pitch”

    A massive, elephantine strawman exhibiting a fantastical, pie-in-the-sky mentality.

    Southampton were in administration when the current owners rescued it. That meant their financial situation was so dire that they were just about to be liquidated. Imagine that. Imagine that NUFC were in League One, just about to go bust after two successive relegations.

    What Southampton have done is miraculous, but started from a completely different point than when Ashley bought NUFC. To try and compare them is ludicrous.

  • kuromori

    To be fair to the local press, what else are they going to write about, since none of them are NUFC preferred media partners? All they’re left with is a barrel to scrape.

  • Demented_Man

    I wish journalists were a little tougher with interviewees coming out with this hackneyed nonsense about Ashley ‘saving’ Newcastle from the fate of Portsmouth.  Sadly, they seem to accept the myth of Ashley’s financial acumen themselves as if it were a self-evident truth.

  • Consett Mag

    Middlesbrough get good rates for strips from Sports Direct. No wonder Gibson likes Ashley.

  • v0ices

    Bianchi Boy you are of course correct much better to compare us to clubs of similar income level like spurs ypu ashley loving muppet.

  • Bianchi Boy

    v0ices Bianchi Boy “Ashley loving muppet”?

    Deary me old boy. Your insults need some work, as does your typing. Mind you, so does your knowledge of basic finance. 

    Income is not debt. Income is not a balance sheet. Income is not liabilities, nor is it expenditures and coupon repayments. 

    I am minded to reflect on good old Theo Paphitis’ advice: Income is vanity – profit is sanity.

  • v0ices

    Bianchi Boy i cannot think of a bigger insult than to associate yourself with ashley which you do of your own choice.U0001f609

  • DavidDrape

    same old same old: directors and owners sticking together. it makes me sick. does Gibbo live nufc 24/7? and does he know the real facts about what we have had to put up with? NO, so don’t comment MR Gibson until you know all the facts. My respect for you has slightly diminished slightly. do me a favour just concentrate doing a great job of the Boro

  • wor monga

    That’s a turn up…Steve Gibson has always been held up on
    here as an owner who supported his managers…now he’s a pariah cos he gives an
    opinion that goes against the flow…that’s the problem with the Mag it’s far too
    one sided…

    …The only thing is where do they go if McClaren (and the
    club) is successful and the club is turned around…Mark Jenson’s worst

  • ilovemymonkey

    Bianchi Boy Yes…We started from a much stronger financial position than them…Which sadly makes it all the worse.

  • Bianchi Boy

    ilovemymonkey Bianchi Boy

    No Sir, we did not. We started from a position of £130m debt with above market rate coupon values, a balance sheet in horrendous deficit, a wage bill of crippling proportions, a playing squad of over-paid, underachieving “name” players with little noticeable playing ability. I could go on.

    You keep mistaking high nominal (or potential) income for a decent financial position. Irrespective of income, our debt pile threatened to burden us for years. Our expenses were above revenues and our debt/interest staggering.

    Administration can have the perverse upside of removing the worst financial burdens of a company. Players are sold, wage bills are cleared, operational staff are removed, debts are re-packaged or wiped.

    If you don’t understand just how bad it could have been for NUFC, you have no place making up utter garbage like “Newcastle were not in financial trouble”.

  • Bianchi Boy

    v0ices Bianchi Boy Dear boy, your logic is akin to a dog chasing its tail.

  • PeterRobson

    Bearsize Worse than that…… we could have been born Mackems (runs screaming from the keyboard) Aaaaaaaaargh

  • v0ices

    Bianchi Boy you mean the 70 million loan that would have been repaid by now, yes indeed ashley is a genius he took that grew it to 130 million and has strangled the clubs revenue streams with club shops and advertising being used to subsidise sports direct your financial knowledge in truly wonderous.

  • ilovemymonkey

    Bianchi Boy Well…It appears that the original comment has been deleted. However, in response to your comment:

    “If you don’t understand just how bad it could have been for NUFC, you have no place making up utter garbage like “Newcastle were not in financial trouble”.”

    I do understand how much trouble newcaslte could’ve been in and I didn’t once state Newcastle were not in financial trouble, however, Mike Ashley did himself no favours when not invensting in the team prior to the relegation year and, has seemed quite happy to sit back and only spend when relegation was a possibility. Southampton however were in administration…Therefore, in my eyes, they were in a worse position than us financially.

    I absolutely agree that financially, Mike Ashley has steadied the ship. But please step down from your high horse and take a fresh look at the jeopardy he has put us in by signing either no-one, or cheap foreign imports which, this season in particular have only just kept us up.

  • ilovemymonkey

    v0ices Bianchi Boy Funny…I was going to mention the 70m loan in my response below…Thanks for doing it for me :p

  • ilovemymonkey

    v0ices Bianchi Boy And let’s not forget it grew to 150m post relegation year…

  • nufcmag777

    wor monga You are nothing but a creepy little tool and probably know it.We should be challenging at the top of the league and having a good go at the cups but don’t due to 1 thing and 1 thing only-Your master won’t allow us.If by any chance that after 8 years Ashley has really decided we have suffered enough and is prepared to have a go then it’s about time we deserve it.If McClaren gets the players we need then i think he will do a good job.Most of You my sick little toerag ran down your mothers leg.

  • DavidDrape

    wor monga its the whole picture, everything he has touched ashley has ruined. also the lack of investment across the whole club and the lack of community involvement with the fans and community. its a shoestring club. i will say it again wor monga in case it did not register with you. ”this is a shoestring club” we are going nowhere under ashley. i gather it still hasn’t registered with you after 8 years! Gibbo is entitled to say what he wants and when he wants but what when he says something so stupid as the above then we have a right to be annoyed..there are 2 sayings: 1 sit and say nowt and get on with it or 2 speak up because you care. those that generally speak up have more to lose

  • IntravenusMP

    ilovemymonkey Bianchi Boy NUFC were technically bankrupt when Ashley took over. He did invest in the team prior to the relegation year, he bought in Jonas, Collocini and Nolan with a team that included the highest paid player in the country as well as a good few others who were very highly paid (Viduka, Duff, Barton etc). 

    Ashley backed the football men before we were relegated, it quickly learnt from that.

  • IntravenusMP

    v0ices Bianchi Boy Would have been repaid by now???????? What with? We were making losses and had a whopping great overdraft. We had a n eye-watering wage bill and needed to be bank-rolled to the end of those big salary contracts.

  • IntravenusMP

    Bianchi Boy ilovemymonkey Exactly, it seems impossible to get it into people’s heads that when we a have a horrible debt that, (let’s say for argument, the bank may have been unlikely to be that comfortable with and) needed to be reduced along with losses that were structural, how does anyone we should have addressed this.

  • IntravenusMP

    v0ices Bianchi Boy Look fella, you can align us with an income generating business like spurs but our overheads were higher and we were making losses. Add to that, we had the highest paid player in the country whom nobody was prepared to take off our hands, we had overpaid players like Butt on long contracts.

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP v0ices Bianchi Boy we were running at a small operating profit that stop inventing figures.

  • IntravenusMP

    v0ices IntravenusMP Bianchi Boy Don’t be daft, we lost £32m in 2007, even worse than the £12m we lost the year before. If nobody is prepared to finance the loss, it’s pop time

  • ilovemymonkey

    Hmm…. Yeah, he also sold James miller, faye, rozenhal and shay given in the same season for pretty much the same cost as those he brought in. That argument doesn’t wash with me because, frankly, it’s been the same every year

  • ilovemymonkey

    Final thing… Leicester had a loss of 20m last season and a debt of 103m…would you call then technically bankrupt? Because they’re worse off than we were when Ashley took over…. Discus…

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP ilovemymonkey Bianchi Boy they were not technically bankrupt. what is technically bankrupt other than a phrase you have invented. in reply to our discussion about 2007 finances we are talking about totally different things i am talking about the operation of a normal football club which has money going in and out on transfers, you talk about the ashley model which has money going out but incomming dissapears.

  • foggy

    DavidDrape  You are correct DaveD, most of these owners / directors are of the same ilk.

    Karen Brady has more balls then Gibson will ever have. Keep your nose out Gibbo you don’t know what your talking about. We’ve had eight years of having the piss taken out of us by Ashley and his minions, shame you didn’t mention that.
    Gibbo have you ever treat the Boro’s fans they way Ashley treats us ?

  • IntravenusMP

    I’ve not looked at their accounts so don’t know what the assets were, it sounds like they may have been. They can continue trading if the owners were prepared to continue financing the losses and increasing the debt / equity. At NUFC the then directors were not putting money in and seemingly no intention to do so, in which case the bank had to be willing to lend more money which, (I suggest) was unlikely.

  • IntravenusMP

    Technically bankrupt is to say, the liabilities of the business exceed the assets. It’s not always a problem, many tech companies who are finance by ‘say’ venture capitalists are in such a position, investors invest in the belief that the product or service will take off in the future and keep in ploughing money in when required. NUFC however were a mature business that had borrowed lots of money to invest and achieve champions league football but invested badly and its assets were very expensive to run, out of date and performed badly. There was no queue of investors to keep financing the losses and (let’s say it’s my opinion only) the bank were not prepared to keep financing the situation any longer. In that case, the club were technically bankrupt and without securing external finance, the directors were close to trading illegally. Given that two hedge funds had blown out ffs, they were running out of options.

  • desree

    Steve Gibson is a good chairman and really seems to love Boro. He has stuck by his managers and I can see why he would get on with Ashley.
    I do think some of the hatred towards Ashley is a bit over the top. I also think that there are some delusional comments on here about how we should be competing. take out 1993 -1997 and 2001 -2004 and this club competed for nowt in my lifetime. Two FA cup finals and 2 nd place finishes in 45 years is not a big club.
    McC is the best we are gonna get as is Ashley. I think a different approach is required by the fan base and ownership because neither can function without the other.

  • Demented_Man

    wor monga And your worst delusion.


    more nufc negativity 
    will it ever end ..doesnt matter who owns the club or how many great players or how many great games we win or what position we are in the tables ..the wingers will wine  and groan and never be happy they are genetically  depressed methinks ..no concept of  being content …
    and seem hell bent on depressing everyone else ..who stands up as a fan 
    best if you write your stuff on another clubs notice board …
    be  happy

  • Consett Mag

    Wayne – I think we’re unhappy as a result of actions or non-actions by the owner.
    To lable people as genetically depressed is insulting.


    no no no  only some people are so unhappy as to make reading about nufc in the  various 
    blogs and such {news now} the mag etc depressing to read and

    when another owner from a nearby club makes the point ..ears should prick up ..
    and i am not the only one to complain of this attitude among some supporters  no manager is perfect no owner is perfect …we all have our downside …but if you read all the statements ..quite a few people
    abhor the constant moans and groans from a select few of repeat offenders …its little wonder that the owner has restricted access to news [that is legitimate factual news ] .
    the rest is just made up to to create disharmony by a few odd balls who think its funny …
    depressing speculation and a show of no faith even as things are picking up 
    tells a story…it takes a bit of bottle to stand up againt the nay sayers and doom and gloom merchants 
    in short my glass is half full ,i like to see a game and enjoy it amongst a crowd who enjoy it 
    i have seen great games we lost great games we drew .
    i have listened to idiots shouting abuse at the players but never so many as to spoil the game
    on ballance more people support the club
    than run it down  if i ever lost my faith or found it wanting i would change to another club or watch something else BUT i doubt that day will come
    thick and thin im in
    dont care if its a russian arms dealing owner arab oil mogul or some other oriental fruitcake 
    i want to watch the team play and enjoy it not spend my time watching the owner ..thats got to be really boring  any way enough of this
    sleep well we play in america a few games then back to GB  and fun starts again
    got a good new player and a few more to come ..looks like a good season ahead …dont you think