The Peoples Front of The Black Garter gather for their latest meeting to plot against Mike Ashley:

‘He’s bled us white! He’s taken everything we had, not just from us, from our fathers and from our fathers’ fathers.’

‘And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers.’

‘Yes.’

‘And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers’ fathers.’

‘All right, Stan. Don’t labour the point. And what has Mike Ashley ever given us in return?’

‘Rafa Benitez’

‘Oh yeah, yeah he gave us him. Yeah. That’s true.’

‘And solvency!’

‘Oh yes… solvency, Reg, you remember what the club used to be like.’

‘All right, I’ll grant you that Rafa Benitez and solvency are two things that Mike Ashley has done…’

‘And the interest free loans’

‘Well yes obviously the loans… the loans go without saying. But apart from Rafa Benitez, solvency and the loans…’

‘Wage control…’

‘Profitability… 10 year season ticket price freeze… gorgeous programmes…’

‘Yes… all right, fair enough…’

‘And the huge family enclosure…’

‘Oh yes! True!’

‘Yeah. That’s something we really missed before Ashley arrived.’

‘Singing section…’

‘And  tickets are generally quite cheap’

Yes, he certainly knows how to keep prices low… let’s face it, he’s the only ones who does in the Premier League.’

‘All right… all right… but apart from Rafa Benitez and solvency and interest free loans and wage control and profitability and a 10 year season ticket price freeze and gorgeous programmes and a huge family enclosure and a singing section and cheap tickets… what has Mike Ashley done for us?’

‘5th place!’

‘What!? 5th!  shut up!’

You can follow the author on Twitter @bigchrisholt

(ED In case anybody (especially younger fans) is wondering at the inspiration for Chris’ piece above, check out the classic ‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’ out-take from Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ below)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Doug Dacre

    Very good Chris, and well done on bringing some humour back to the Mag..

  • Steve Pearce

    Chris – I assure you that there is absolutely nothing whatsoever to laugh about concerning the fat stinking bag of pus that is our owner. You might have been laughing to yourself when you wrote this but you are in the minority of one who finds anything remotely funny about the Ashley years, i’m desperately searching for a more apt Monty Python quote that is more fitting – maybe some readers can offer some suggestions….

    • Alex

      “Always look on the bright side of life”, maybe?

      • Steve Pearce

        For Mike Ashley – “You sit there on your loathsome spotty behind picking blackheads”

      • Guest 2

        “He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy! Now, go away!”

    • Guest 2

      Read his other pieces for some perspective. This is called sarcasm.

    • Kneebotherm8

      How’s about the dead parrot sketch. Our club “is no more”, “has ceased to be”, “bereft of life, it rests in peace”, and “this is an ex-parrot”

      • Steve Pearce

        “I’m sorry – I’m going to have to shoot you”

        “Right ho sir”

        BANG!

        “What a sensible waste of human life”

  • Taz

    Interest free loan!!!!!
    Does the fat mo fo pay for his advertising of cheep tatty crud direct painted all over our stadium? That’s worth a few Bob isn’t it ? Who pockets that? Coz its not spent on players.

  • Leazes Ender

    Has he done anything for the club on the football side Chris?

    Benitez doesn’t count because thats a bit like hiring Emerson Fittipaldi to chauffeur you around in a Fiat Panda.

    The measure of success of a football club is quantified in terms of football not accountancy.

    If you amalgamate mortgage repayments (every club did it.) and pay it off to save interest it isn’t a debt to yourself……its a clean purchase…..

    … Ashley was in contact with the club for at least six months BEFORE the takeover, which means he knew the finances and used a fabricated soundbite in order to downsize the club….. the result….

    Ten years of misery…..

    What has Ashley done for you….. it should be what has Ashley done ”TO’ you…..

    Fade out…. oh what happened to you whatever happened to me….

    • Jimblag23

      Exactly right.
      There have been 3 decent footballing seasons with Ashley and 2 of them were only because we were in the second tier after he’d relegated us.

      • Tony Mann

        We can drop to Northern Premier – Be brilliant, winning 5-0 every week, get promoted, then lose every week and get relegated. At least one season in two we’ll have something worth cheering. My non-footy fan mrs has threatened me with divorce over any NUFC tantrums (she does it every year) – but her threats have become increasingly frequent.

    • Rich Lawson

      Top show,can watch it endlessly,met them both,Bob is a lovely man,Terry less so.

  • cmrowley

    I applaud your effort, and at first glance it’s not a bad comparison but as with anything in relation to Ashley, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny!

    Had he come along dragged the club up from nowhere and provided all these things which hadn’t been seen before then fine, no complaints, and in all likely hood you probably wouldn’t find anyone complaining.
    But he didn’t, all he’s done is provided the same or less as we’ve had previously, but with his entirely for profit mentality.

    I’m not suggesting that an owner should look to lose money or not attempt to make a profit but a football club should not only be about profit. It is inherently more than a money making enterprise, or at least should be.

    That is why the Black Garter Popular Peoples Front gather and moan (splitters)

    • Leazes Ender

      That’s where Brian Standen drinks when he wants to impress out of towners….. a little dig there perhaps.

      • Brian Standen

        yawn!

        • Leazes Ender

          Its Chris having a go at you not me! Who do you think ‘Stan’ is?

          • Brian Standen

            Thank you for pointing that out, but have to be honest the Garter is one of the better bars in town

  • Clarko

    Well said. Finally someone willing to see past their Ashley bashing blinkers.

    • Danimal

      Clarko. Officially designated an irony-free zone.

      • Clarko

        Idiot.

      • Tony Mann

        Clarko at his sanctimonious, pompous best.

    • Guest 2

      LOL. Have you read any of Chris’ other pieces? Clearly not. Go do so and let him destroy your little Ashley accounting love fest.

      • Clarko

        Moron.

        • Guest 2

          Aww bless. In a competition of mental capacity you would lose to a single cell amoeba.

          • Clarko

            Idiot says what?

          • Geordiegiants

            Have a read of Paul Celement speak about Newcastle, look at Clarkos posting, you will laugh your head off.

          • Kneebotherm8

            I just have ,it’s absolutely fkn hilarious,thanks for that one GG.
            That’s the best laugh I’ve had in a long,long time. It’s a must read for anybody wanting ta have a bellybuster laughing fit. Stadium tour…………..wheeeeeey give over man…..😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          • Kneebotherm8

            Is that Shola?

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        I take Chris at face-value. I put him right on a lot of issues and I think he’s finally taking his Ashley-out blinkers off.

        well done Chris for learning!

        • Tony Mann

          You put him right !!! you pompous ……person. your arrogance astounds me.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            He’s learnt from me, I’ve imparted knowledge, he’s changed his position accordingly.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I think you mean you’ll get my coat

          • Tony Mann

            Err…….No I don’t.

        • Geordiegiants

          Go on Fleckas you know what’s right and wrong.

          • Tony Mann

            GG – Don’t encourage him – I can only take so many priggish comments after a Friday evening sesh.

          • Geordiegiants

            Sorry m8.

          • Tony Mann

            I read the Paul clement article – you owe me for a PC monitor and a can of Stella Artois. I was drinking when I read it and laughed so much… you can guess the rest. Clarko can’t be serious, can he ?

          • Geordiegiants

            F knows!!!! What card eh?

    • Geordiegiants

      Have you never heard of tongue in cheek? silly boy!

    • Taz

      Hi Clarko I watch the posts you put up and sometimes think you get OTT responses ..(possibly sometimes harsh). but I have to say,t to be fair are you,….. Penold in disguise, on crack or Ashleys lost son…. the bloke is a [email protected] Wake up smell the fact that your couch is on fire as ya pipe has been dropped on the 2nd cushion. Get out now save ya crack and smell the coffee.stop being silly with Ashley 3hire the bloke is a banker with a capital W and any body thinks otherwise should wear red and white

  • Lord

    Mike Ashley: He’s a very naughty boy.

    • East Durham Mag

      It would need some cross for that blob of lard… cue the clappers..
      Always look on the bright …..

      • Tony Mann

        ……Side of death….. Just before you draw your terminal breath.

        • East Durham Mag

          Such a popular man.

    • Taz

      I like your terminology…bottom line he is. A….. c u next tuesday

  • MadToonFan&VitalAshleyDroveOut

    One thing Mr Ashley has going for himself is he’s a proven succe

    • magpiefifer

      Success at what!?
      Oh yes, he’s a billionaire – somehow!
      Certainly not a success at gambling – with NUFC,2 relegations and counting.

      • MadToonFan&VitalAshleyDroveOut

        Sadly, I actually believe he won’t give a t©ss now!
        3.3 billion possible ‘SD’ customers he has on the other side of screens now, coupled with being paid ridiculously handsomely for such a thing, & of which he uses the Toon as an advertising vehicle, to this uber super sized audience, simply a win win win situation, tho as long as the Toon remains around the top levels, which I think he has now learned?
        Mr Ashley has a natural bent for knowing when to take over failing, verging on bankruptcy, businesses. He has done incredibly well out if this, yet he was already well loaded before this. For someone who’s family have owned & been involved in businesses for decades; I recognise these successes (at the plight of others), the same someone still registered with ACCA, I clearly see where he’s coming from and to the extent NUFC is of such value to Ashley’s and his businesses.

    • Tony Mann

      What’s a proven succe?

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Ashleyiti ite domum

    • Andy Mac

      My latin is not good but then again it wasnt that good at school either but Fatmani ite Domum seems more appropriate ?

      • Tony Mann

        Ok clever fu… person – What does it mean? Never got past amo, amas, amat.

        • Leazes Ender

          Fatty go home.

          • Tony Mann

            Ok – amabo, amabis, amabit, amabimus, amabitus, amabunt. last one could refer to MA with a slight change to lettering.

          • Taz

            That’s rather nice from you .,.. how about fk off ya fat CW.,, just s thought

    • Taz

      Am a bit miffed. … is this a site for propper blokes? Wot tha do ya on aboot

  • MadToonFan&VitalAshleyDroveOut

    Oops, me & my sausage fingers! To continue: he’s a proven successful businessman & his business model seems to work, lol, whether it’s suitable for a football club is totally another matter, but a decade latet, well, at least we haven’t followed the likes of Leeds etc.

    • Leazes Ender

      Or Real Madrid or Manure…. their fans are such fools for not putting an accountant in charge of squad building.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      This is a strawman argument. “We’ve done incredibly badly over the last 10 years but you should all still be thankful that we haven’t completely imploded like Leeds or Portsmouth”. Just because we haven’t been screwed as badly as others doesn’t mean we aren’t still getting screwed!

      • Taz

        Keep being a strawman and go stand in a field and try not to tell us what we should think… we geordies divant ya kna

      • MadToonFan&VitalAshleyDroveOut

        And I completely agree 😀

  • Stu Hardy

    Does anyone know what’s happened with the timers at SJP?

    • Leazes Ender

      Yes

      • Stu Hardy

        Well?

        • Leazes Ender

          They put them back

          • Stu Hardy

            cheers

    • Leazes Ender

      ….

  • Peter C

    Mike Ashley, ……… has only done anything for Mike Cashley! Over his tenure as owner, I would like to know what the cash flow of incomings and outgoings has been. Would bet he has made far money then he has spent. And the club stills owes him 120 million, there or there abouts.

    • Taz

      The bloke is a c u next tuesday

  • Andy Mac

    In ten years we have managed a 5th place once yet we’ve had two relegations. There is nobody in the world – with a brain – who can claim Fatman has been anything other than an unmitigated disaster for NUFC.

    Yep the Robber Baron had [email protected] the club of all funds and Fatman helped by buying it but if he hadnt there would have been plenty of others prepared to pick over the bones of a financially drained carcass. If Hall hadnt been such a cnt we might be in a totally different place now ?

    • East Durham Mag

      There’s a few without brains then Andy.

    • Taz

      Andy u r right,,,, I am now pickled, so bare with me . we might be different now, bankruptcy or awesome… who knows but the fact is the fcw is an ars3 the toon has some of the best support in the world for a team that has done nowt (for a long time,don’t you miss the Keegan years) but the point is he has contempt for us all. We unfortunately can’t help it it, is a disease we have, like leopard and his spots and that [email protected] knows it. We could be so awesome its unbelievable… we live in hope,,,,, one day eh?

    • MadToonFan&VitalAshleyDroveOut

      Yet some on here object to reading anything that doesn’t sing the lard @rses praises, how super he is for Newcastle, hence why they are deemed happy clappers.
      We’ve been utterly tripe under him, but no they can’t & will never see it, they just keep praising his lordship and ever sodding action he does, and I bet they’re not disappointed we still haven’t replaced our left back, and actually believe that Ashley has no cash, even tho Mash Holdings, who have a healthy ledger, face recouping close to a billion from a couple hundred million investmented, but that’s nothing whatsoever to do with the Toon!?!
      Dear gowd, it makes you just wanna spew out vomit 🙈🙉🙊

  • Antenociticus

    Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam & spam

    • Taz

      I like spam….don’t be mad I’ve had 12 pints and still not been sick…. am I a power drinker:) is it the spam????

  • TheFatController

    Caulkin at the Times in his piece had it right, saying Ashley spends covering his mistakes (which I’d say were choosing managers based on being ‘lucky to be in the job’ and not necessarily right for the job, buying players with sell on value in mind and not that are right for the club and then selling them at a loss – both of which combine to lead to the two relegations)

    Wages and debt – turnover has rocketed to £120-150m for all well run PL clubs, so everyone is balancing their books, not just us. We’re in the top 20 rich list of European clubs, and that’s a result of tv money and fan base, not this hierarchy’s business plan…

    • HarryHype59

      Agreed, we are solvent because of the TV cash, not because of Ashley’s master plan!

      • TheFatController

        Yes, I see a book coming ‘How one man made Newcatle solvent in the football boom years…’

        And as for the ‘controlling wages’ masterstoke, it’s seemingly easier to control them when you don’t buy expensive players.

  • Gallowgate Dave

    Oh Dear Chris I’ll try to give you an analogy you can understand. Say I bring a lot of money into my household (call me the fans) and I entrust my wife with the upkeep of the bills (the club) and she sells all of our furniture (best players) to pay those bills which are needlessly higher because of late payments (2 relegations) and she takes out more and more interest free loans to cover the payments (our “debt” to Ashley) do you think my wife is a financial genius or financial burden?

    • Gallowgate Dave

      It appears from the comments and your previous articles this is satire! Thank God for that, I thought you’d been to B&Q with Clarko and Fleckman for a few rolls of rubber wallpaper!

      • Taz

        I like reading your opinions but you can’t get better than having an extra rant on your rant :)

        • Gallowgate Dave

          Aye the article was a red rag to a bull then I realised I’d been played like a divvy by the author! Haha.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      It’s more akin to your uncle fred who previously ran your household with a high interest only mortgage due to be paid imminently with no means to do it, he’s spent beyond his means on out of date faddy trinkets on HP, all of which are due for payment. The utilities are on bad deals and all the additional little earners he arranged through his brother, your uncle Bruce, he even makes losses on those. Uncle Fred says it’s ok, he’s going to get another loan and build an extension and get this, make it an air BnB with a super casino.

      Along comes a family friend Mike, he gets rid of the faddy little trinkets, arranges an interest free loan to pay off everyone you owe money to, does a deal with the utilities so that the household has some spare money every year. He tells uncle Bruce that his deal was rubbish and arranges a side deal that brings in money. He says the casino was a pipe dream and sells the bit of land off at a profit for the household.

      Whilst we have no faddy trinkets in the household, we are not living beyond our means and if this keeps up, well prosper.

      • HarryHype59

        The family friend has simply transferred your debt to himself, whilst you have signed over all future income to him!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Well, in a way , you are right, to avoid the household being re-possessed, he’s allowed us all to live but essentially owns the place and although happy to let us live happily every after without paying interest or the loan, when he sells the place, he should make a profit.

          The question is, will the new owner be happy to put in a few luxuries like a spare centre forward and left back but run the household well, will he keep a tight ship or will he actually by the house, remortgage it to the hilt, buy whatever we like for a couple of years, take a hefty wage and leave it in a state like uncle Fred? That’ s the risk.

          • TheFatController

            I like that you’ve had to use the threat of an even worse owner to defend our current owner.

            Analogy ? Like telling the wife when you stay in the pub – ‘your next fella may turn out to be an axe murderer, so think on…’

            Psychologists call it ‘catastrophising’…

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            To be honest, I hope the next owner or part owners are us, the fans, where all fans put some money in and take responsibility. The problem is that fans want the world and they want it paid for by someone else.

          • fatboysneverendingstory

            I’ve owned NUFC shares. Sports Direct / Mike Ashley took them off my hands at a loss to myself. In return I was assured there would be a £20 mill yearly investment. With respect most fans of any club can afford to support it not own it. For what it’s worth I’d be willing to put in 10 times the £500 I payed for my shares what feels like a lifetime ago and be happy for the club to survive on what it makes. Unlike Mr. “but we’re only Newcastle” Ashley I think NUFC is a fantastic assett with massive brand potential in the right hands. In my view Ashley’s mistakes have cost us dearly. He too often employs people he trusts rather than those who are best qualified. That’s been his biggest failing since buying NUFC. He payed off Hall’s debt only to create more. Relegation is expensive. Anymore could be terminal.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            This is a better and +ve debate.

            Just to be clear, Mike Ashley didn’t lose you money, Shepherd and Hall did, Ashley was mad / duped to pay anything for your shares.

            He replaced the previous debt with his own because you can’t magic debt away unless you make profit and nufc were a long way from profit in 2007.

            The problem with the old shareholding structure is the power was in the hands of hall & Shep, the City washed its hands with Nufc as the club was not run like a plc.

            Any new fan ownership model needs a real accountability and fans need to understand what that means.

            I too think nufc have more potential than MA is realising. He certainly had to go through a process of reigning in the spending and his strategy if development via scouting is not going to achieve all it could.

            I will also put in a sum of money if it’s in “the right hands”. The right hands for me is a commercially ambitions strategy that gets success both financially and on the pitch.

            I actually believe a fans consortium could share the burden with Ashley.

          • fatboysneverendingstory

            The house has a hole in the roof. It should be ok. Thing is the household have a £100 mill winning lotto ticket with their name on it but they can’t cash it in for another 9 months. Does the household take a small advance (say 30%) on their windfall to try and fix the roof now or wait 9 months and hope that hurricane mackem (sorry couldn’t resist) remains 12 miles down the road. Does that count as living within their means ?.

  • HarryHype59

    Apart from two relegations, appointing numerous duff managers, imposing a flawed transfer blueprint which has lost the club millions, appointing an incompetent as Chairman, using the club as a free advertising board for tat direct, squandering over half a billion in TV revenue and having us in the top five debt list in English football, he has done really well!

    Says no one but a deluded minority!

  • GToon

    Taken any hope that we could one day be successful away from us. That’s what he has done and he has created a club that punches well below the weight of its support, unlike every other club in the EPL and most other leagues for that matter.