Mike Ashley is hopefully in the final stages of his time owning Newcastle United.

A disastrous decade of low/no ambition has seen two relegations and a number of near misses.

Newcastle reaching safety only on the very final day of the 2014/15 season when winning at home to West Ham, whilst the 2012/13 campaign saw Newcastle finally safe when beating QPR in their last away match of that season.

A football finance expert has now declared that it is ‘amazing’  that there weren’t more relegations in the Mike Ashley era, considering the lack of investment in the squad.

Kevin Maguire lectures in football finance at Liverpool University and also has his own Price Of Football website.

Maguire has revealed that between 2008 and 2015 there was an average net (players bought less players sold) spend of only £700,000 per season.

This happening at a time when the Premier League TV cash was rising dramatically.

It always felt/feels like Mike Ashley is living from season to season and these figures (see below) back up that perception.

Yet again he has gambled this season, refusing Rafa Benitez a penny to spend in January 2016, then a net spend of only £11.5m this summer (Brighton and Huddersfield both had net spends of over £40m), despite the club reporting that Rafa had earned Newcastle United a £40m profit on transfers in summer 2016.

mike ashley

Kieran Maguire;

“Between 2008 and 2015 Mike Ashley spent a net £700k  (on average) a season on players.

“It’s amazing that Newcastle United survived as long as they did in the Premier League.”



  • TheNutJob

    survival was all down to the skills of Pards & Geordie John
    😀😀

    • Kneebotherm8

      Yeah Geordie John………a true Legend……………in his own lunchtime.

  • Leazes Ender

    Its far easier to understand if you simply look at the yearly value of your squad and see where the owner positions the club, during Ashleys tenure it has been mid table tenth except this year when it was shockingly placed at fifteenth.

    Whenever Ashley has made a big sale on a player such as Carroll or any of the French (near contract end) players they weren’t replaced to the same value. The club has been run by an accountant to make money unfortunately the accountant new b*gger all about the needs of the football club and hid under a stone whilst the club plummeted like a stone….

    No vision, no plan, no european football. Charnley, Carr, and Moncur did their masters bidding….. or should that be selling?

    Good riddance to this rotten regime which the Chronicle played footsie with.

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    This is why my heart sinks a mile when you get the odd Ashley fanboy on Total Sport praising the Corpulent One for the ‘financial stability’ brought to the club.

    • Leazes Ender

      A Strange definition of stability…. you would think journalists would understand the meaning of words its their stock-in-trade, but apparently not unless they are deliberately peddling fake news or fake ‘facts’.

  • Saul Williams

    Ashley is like a cancer,remove the cancer we can flourish,if not the cancer will spread and we will die.

  • lukegte

    So he still hasn’t spent the Carroll money! Sickens me how people spout all that tosh abut how much Ashley has invested. He has profited every year from NUFC. The TV rights money has seemingly disappeared every year. Was that what he used for agent payments? He forced the club to give him free advertising, worth hundreds of millions over ten years. And then there’s all the sales his sweat shop made due to said advertising… He has made his money back at least twice. NUFC owes this man nothing.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Seriously, has a look at reality

      • lukegte

        That’s it? That’s the best response you can make to my post? Try to entice me in to questioning my own view? Without offering any evidence on the contrary to my claims no less.

        A much better rebuttal would be to inform me of how I’m wrong. Using facts or, at best, reasonable, coherent conclusions based on evidence. Everything in my post is based on evidence, understanding of the money that is/could be/should be available to the club and points made in this article and is, to an outsider, a perfectly rational conclusion to arrive at based on evidence (ie. the money NUFC has spent over the 10 years MA has been in charge, the money NUFC has or has not received over the 10 years Ashley has been in charge, the understanding that advertising is a means to boost sales…)

        Prove me wrong. I don’t think you’re capable. I think you’re a shill. But I’d still be interested if you can offer any enlightenment.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Ok, let’s pretend. You have a business, it’s loses £30 odd million a year, wages are out of control, costs were huge, money was hemeoraging. You then address the issues, the ease bill is reduced, costs are under control and profits are made. You make a couple of mistakes but personally finance them so the business can recover. Have you done a good job?

          • lukegte

            Your view is very naive and stinks of denial. You clearly want to believe Ashley is in some way owed gratitude from the fans. And you grasp at any whiff of evidence, however shallow, supporting your claim. Anything that suits your narrative.

            First off, before buying the club, Ashley knew about any debt it had which was due largely to the stadium expansion. But he hasn’t bought the club then paid the debts off as a good will gesture, as naive people like yourself seem to believe. You can see from his actions now, he wanted a profit. His way of addressing the issues as you put it, was to transfer the debt from Barclays bank to his own company, MASH holdings. It’s not a gift. It’s a loan. As in, he wants it back. He wasn’t doing a good job. He was using his own company’s vast resources to make the club as inexpensive to run for himself as possible so as to increase its profitability to him. Therein lies his reasons for every choice he has made since.

            From the above article;

            Football finance expert Kevin Maguire: “Between 2008 and 2015 Mike Ashley spent a net £700k (on average) a season on players.”

            £700,000. That’s seven hundred thousand pounds. In modern footballing terms, that’s a pittance. Especially for one the size of NUFC. There’s no way that is a club breaking even. Where is all the money the club has made competing in the Premier League (mostly) and through player sales? And why is it that now, the club is actually in MORE debt than when he took over? Indeed, his valuation of the club seems to take this fact in to account. The club owes MASH well clear of £100,000,000. And he’ll get that back when he sells the club. Oh, why thanks Mike, you’re such an altruist.

            You’ve become a (in this case misled) pseudo-accountant, where what matters to you is the club is on a “sound financial footing”, despite Ashley’s blatant theft of club resources. Most fans want their club to spend within its means, to break even. But NUFC’s progression has been stunted by an owner who steals revenue streams so he can promote his own business. Furthermore, he lies to his staff, he lies to the fans, he mocks them on television interviews, lies about threats to his family from the fans, he makes abhorrent managerial/directorial appointments, his first commercial deal of note was with essentially a legal loan-shark, he has brought about a HMRC investigation in to tax fraud, and all the while he has lied about his ambitions with the club and used his mates in the media to spout s**t about how he came in like white knight and “cleared the debts”.

            He’s been lying to us and holding the club back for 10 years. He’s made a mockery of us. Had the club been managed by someone who isn’t a selfish pig, it could have actually paid off the original debt by now (thanks to some fortunate player sales and increasing TV revenue), instead of being in more debt than ever (to MASH holdings exclusively.) And you choose to bury your head in the sand. For shame.

          • lukegte

            Your view is very naive and stinks of denial. You clearly want to believe Ashley is in some way owed gratitude from the fans. And you grasp at any whiff of evidence, however shallow, supporting your claim. Anything that suits your narrative.
            First off, before buying the club, Ashley knew about any debt it had which was due largely to the stadium expansion. But he hasn’t bought the club then paid the debts off as a good will gesture, as naive people like yourself seem to believe. You can see from his actions now, he wanted a profit. His way of addressing the issues as you put it, was to transfer the debt from Barclays bank to his own company, MASH holdings. It’s not a gift. It’s a loan. As in, he wants it back. He wasn’t doing a good job. He was using his own company’s vast resources to make the club as inexpensive to run for himself as possible so as to increase its profitability to him. Therein lies his reasons for every choice he has made since.
            From the above article;
            Football finance expert Kevin Maguire: “Between 2008 and 2015 Mike Ashley spent a net £700k (on average) a season on players.”
            £700,000. That’s seven hundred thousand pounds. In modern footballing terms, that’s a pittance. Especially for one the size of NUFC. There’s no way that is a club breaking even. Where is all the money the club has made competing in the Premier League (mostly) and through player sales? And why is it that now, the club is actually in MORE debt than when he took over? Indeed, his valuation of the club seems to take this fact in to account. The club owes MASH well clear of £100,000,000. And he’ll get that back when he sells the club. Oh, why thanks Mike, you’re such an altruist.
            You’ve become a (in this case misled) pseudo-accountant, where what matters to you is the club is on a “sound financial footing”, despite Ashley’s blatant theft of club resources. Most fans want their club to spend within its means, to break even. But NUFC’s progression has been stunted by an owner who steals revenue streams so he can promote his own business. Furthermore, he lies to his staff, he lies to the fans, he mocks them on television interviews, lies about threats to his family from the fans, he makes abhorrent managerial/directorial appointments, his first commercial deal of note was with essentially a legal loan-shark, he has brought about a HMRC investigation in to tax fraud, and all the while he has lied about his ambitions with the club and used his mates in the media to spout s**t about how he came in like white knight and “cleared the debts”.
            He’s been lying to us and holding the club back for 10 years. He’s made a mockery of us. Had the club been managed by someone who isn’t a selfish pig, it could have actually paid off the original debt by now (thanks to some fortunate player sales and increasing TV revenue), instead of being in more debt than ever (to MASH holdings exclusively.) And you choose to bury your head in the sand. For shame.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The money has by and large gone on wages and operating costs. At one stage wages were up to 85% of income and we were paying £7m in interest on loans.
    Ashley has not taken a penny out the club in wages or dividends so any money generated has gone on players wages and running costs or is still in the bank.
    Ashley has put at least £264m into the club and has said he is not putting any more in which is fir enough.

    • TheFatController

      You make a fantastic argument for Ashley taking £300m. So thanks.

      PCP are saying they’ll pick up that debt that is costing ‘Mike’ £7m a year in lost interest. Why burden himself a minute longer – it’s clearly losing him money …?

      So, tell Mike £264m in, take the £300m and go. ‘you’ve had your ‘fun’ that you wanted when you bought our club a decade ago, come out ‘up’. No one is victimising you with their £300m straight up cash offer. Don’t be greedy. ‘

      It’s not the dark that ever destroys people’s spirit. It’s the thought there’ll never be light.

      Take the money. Now.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Agree that anything over £300m is not justified and the free advertising compensated him for his loss of interest on his loan.
        The time for him to depart is next week as he has admitted he can take the club no further and the new owners will inherit a healthy club with a host of good young players. Three or four new additions in January will create a very good team.

        • TheFatController

          The only card he can play now is one of ‘Amanda, if I stall you’ll not be in by xmas and that’ll be bad for squad improvement. I’ll let you in sooner rather than later if you give me a great cash offer …’

          So he will play that card, naturally.

    • Coble’s Return

      That is like viewing life through a hole in the fence. The figure of £264m, if correct, completely ignores the huge sum that Ashley saved in advertising costs. The £7m per year in interest could have been covered and the Revenue / Wages ratio improved, had SD been paying a commercial rate.
      The fact that he supposedly put the club back on an even financial keel is completely incidental. He has run the place on a shoestring. Let’s be absolutely clear here, were it not for two good men in Chris Hughton and Rafa Benitez digging the club out of the Championship, we would be bankrupt. If Ashley does not sell, I am convinced that a third relegation and bankruptcy is inevitable.

    • HarryHype59

      You mean the TV money put £264m in to club! Ashley has received at least £400 during his ownership, in TV money generated by the club not him!

      He wasted significant sums appointing people who signed utter dross!

  • TheFatController

    The goal now must be to put pressure on the Ashley regime with any information to highlight the harsh realities of his ownership, and to ramp up predictions of our intolerance of any failure to sell the club.

    We need to help PCP purchase the club for as little as possible, as every amount saved can be spent on better things than lining MA’s pockets obviously.

    Sell now Mike. You’ll get £300m. Don’t sell? Rafa walks, we protest, the players lose heart – third relegation. Your ‘cash cow’ now worth £100m.

    Think on Mike….

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Yes, that will work well. Show the future owners just how difficult it can be to own NUFC. Besides, the bedsheet waving worked so well in the past.

      • TheFatController

        I think you underestimate potential owners.

        Take Staveley, she’s dealing with Ashley, he’s in her life right now.

        Do you think she’d see our hatred of him, and motivation to be rid, as the signs of disturbed idiots, or as proud people who, like her, won’t be messed about by a selfish, ill-mannered, greedy, disrespectful businessman who bought the club and took it backwards in football’s boom period ?

        She’ll think Ashley made it difficult for himself, and she will be smart and learn from his mistakes.

        She’ll deal in facts, not feelings. Unlike you, it seems…

        • Coble’s Return

          Staveley will form her opinions based on a whole host of factors, but she will not risk her reputation or a shed load of money on a bad investment. You are right in that the hard financial facts will dictate the details of this deal, but one thing is clear when it comes to her view of the fans – her presence at the game against Liverpool and the sight of the banners across the Gallowgate will tell her all she need to know. We’ll keep our side of the deal.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Wow, pot, what colour is the kettle? Out bed-sheet wavers are idiots who couldn’t count past 10, they don’t deal in facts. You’ve proved yourself by just spouting some emotional language.

          • TheFatController

            I didn’t spout any emotional language.

            The facts are we’ve achieved nothing of note under Ashley.

            How do you know the bed sheet wavers don’t deal in facts ? Ashley’s achieved nothing compared to previous owners who had us in CL and FA Cup finals so that’s a fact.

            You couldn’t know whether they deal in facts or if they can count past 10. Typical online idiot making claims he can’t possibly substantiate to back his sad little agenda (of hating people who don’t like Ashley’s running if the club).

            Acting like you’re some omniscient god. Fantastic !

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Oh come on, the previous owners cashed cheques they couldn’t honour and raped the club. It may well be time for change but you can’t make it up as you go along.

          • TheFatController

            Ok, here’s the thing. I said we should keep up the pressure on Ashley by maintaining the evidence such as that shown in this article so that supporters would keep front of mind that Ashley is no good for the club.

            You then made an assumption, based on no evidence but biased no doubt by your anger at bedsheet wavers and song-singers that I was advocating bedsheet waving and song singing.

            I didn’t. Your assumption was wrong. By all means show me where I advocated pressure on Ashley to be bedsheets and songs?

            So please stop attacking my posts with rants about bedsheets and songs as I have no idea why you brought them up. It’s annoying when people such as yourself just make up incorrect conclusions up to suit your agenda. Take it elsewhere I’m not interested in your self medicating your anger at anti Ashley songs by ‘imagining’ I’m singing them at matches and persecuting me for it. I don’t so move on.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          I think she may see some of us as wanting the world and have it paid for with someone else’s money.

      • TheFatController

        Also, perhaps the potential owners will look at the different ways we treat Rafa, keegan, shearer, John hall, Chris hughton, sir bobby etc?

        Then, rather than as you are doing, using a sample size of one (i.e. How do they treat Mike Ashley) instead use that bigger sample which would, as all bigger samples do, prove a more reliable indicator…

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Hmmm, only one of those fellas was a previous owner, He and his family not only took a handsome wage but tens of millions in dividends which technically bankrupted the business.

          • TheFatController

            You miss my point. You think new owners will view dislike of Ashley dimly, I suggest they don’t like him either so there’s one thing we share in common already.

            If they were to look at the general attitude of Newcastle supporters, they’d see we are loyal and fair, and give people a chance til they are either
            A) useless
            B) disrespectful
            C) both A and B

            So you are convinced protesting Ashley would make new owners think we are unfair, I simply provided evidence (that they are likely to be aware of), that we are fair and Ashley has been a poor owner, based on customer satisfaction and the business’ success on the field.

            How Hall behaved has nothing to do with the argument of how we behave towards owners, managers, team. Not sure why you mentioned it therefore?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            For a start, they will be negotiating as well as being hosted by Mike Ashley, your assumptions of dislike are going to be far of the mark. They’ve done their financial due diligence and are still in the game, they will respect Mike Ashley, if for nothing else, turning around a crippled business.

            I’m more concerned about the impression new owners will get. They turn up and hear fans sing that Mike Ashley is a Fat Cockney W….., they ask what and why? It’s explained, Mike’s not as popular as he was and he hails from a town some 260 miles away. The new owners must look at themselves and wonder what reception they will get being from South East Asia.

          • TheFatController

            you say they will like him, and then say they will respect him if nothing else (as in, even if they don’t like him)

            So which is it?

            You say They must like him as shown by the fact that they are ‘entertained’ by him and are negotiating with him. Since when does negotiating mean you like someone? What planet are you on ?

            and will you stop making the mistake that Mike Ashley’s treatment will be transferred immediately to the new owners. You want to believe the fans are mentally ill for singing against Ashley, in denial that they are not mentally ill, just attacking him because he keeps making mistakes, insulting and distrusting the club and it’s personnel/legends.

            Stop loving Mike so much you think he doesn’t deserve hatred towards him, and denying this hatred is fair by assuming the fans would hate every owner / they only hate lying, disrespectful, tiresome owners.

            So if the new owners are honest, respectful and decent, they’ll know they saint be sung about in the negative.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I’ve no view as to whether they like him, I’m pointing out that he’s hosting them and he can turn on the charm and if that’s not appreciated they will appreciate his ability to turn the club around from the mess that it was in.

          • TheFatController

            And on your last sentence, Are you are insinuating everyone that doesn’t like Ashley is only doing so because they are racist? That’s the most pathetic illogical argument I’ve heard in a long time.

            “Don’t be hurt by the chants, Mr Ashley, you’ve done nothing wrong, they’re just all racists …if you were a Geordie there’d be no problem”

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It’s a silly chant and will be taken as anti-outsider

      • HarryHype59

        To quote you

        “Without the TV money the club is worthless”

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Slight misquote, but every epl club is in that boat

          • HarryHype59

            Some more than others!

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Yes, you are right but we’re in a better position than most as we have a relatively low wage bill now.

          • HarryHype59

            Which is why the club will be in yet another relegation battle!

  • Paul Patterson

    The thing is Ashley got lucky. Lucky that someone bought Demba Ba and Cisse and they banged in a goal every game for most of the season. Lucky that we bounced back after TWO self inflicted relegations brought on by lack of investment. Lucky that two decent people took to the fans and club and then he shafted the pair of them. A common habit that he hasn’t shaken off in over ten years.
    A truly despicable man.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      He got lucky or he appointed Graham Carr?

  • HarryHype59

    I have always argued that Ashley’s biggest flaw was that he treat the club like an SD budget sports shop! The obsession with short term cost cutting made it difficult for the team to succeed! Success on the field was secondary to reducing costs! Developing the team and the brand were never considered!

    In the 2009 relegation we were positioned 16th in terms of wages! Little wonder the gamble eventually failed leading to relegation and losing the club £70m in TV revenue

    Compare and contrast the EPl finishes of this club 1994-2007 to the Ashley era proves this.

    If he had a scrap of moral integrity, he would accept the PCP offer and never darken our doors again!