You certainly have to hand it to Mike Ashley.

Whatever happens, he keeps getting away with it.

Who knows what is going to happen with the Newcastle United takeover? Who knows whether there is even a Newcastle United takeover even being discussed?

Forgive my cynicism but we do only have the word of Mike Ashley as any real ‘proof’ that he is really willing to sell the club.

The rest of it, the media reporting, is all reliant on them being told stuff…predominantly by Mike Ashley’s people.

Yes I do believe that the chances are Amanda Staveley has made an offer but I certainly wouldn’t put it past Mike Ashley to be stringing us along with his public statements of now wanting to sell.

You only have to look at the 2008/09 relegation season and when it all kicked off after Keegan was forced out, he pretty much minimised the protests against him when he said he’d listened to the fans, they could stop protesting, and he was going to sell the club as soon as possible. That was almost 10 years ago.

The PR stunts and marketing tricks never stop.

Just look at this farcical 125 years celebration at the weekend.

The club making a big song and dance about this being the 125 year birthday and then we can all celebrate by watching a severe lack of quality team get taken apart and outplayed by a Leicester side, Newcastle weaker in every single position than the visitors due to Ashley’s refusal to allow Rafa Benitez any kind of realistic summer transfer budget.

I must admit even I was taken in a little bit by the 125 year thing because of course we all love a bit of nostalgia, looking back to when we had decent players and a good team, and owners who we didn’t absolutely hate…

Bottom line though, what actually is there to celebrate with 125? A 100 yes but what is 125, why is it any more important than 115 when Mike Ashley had been at the club six months, or 120 when he had us fighting yet another relegation season (2012/13) after failing to invest on the back of finishing fifth the previous campaign?

Purely and simply, the 125 thing was simply a marketing idea dreamt up between Newcastle United and Puma as a gimmick to sell more merchandise, produce a new temporary crest with 125 on that instantly then dates any NUFC merchandise, which fans already have.

Name me one other football club that you have seen putting on special celebrations for their 125th birthday?

The club’s 125th birthday falling on an actual match day on Saturday, made it so special that Mike Ashley didn’t bother turning up himself. Nor did his top men currently controlling NUFC on his behalf, the media reporting that neither Justin Barnes or Keith Bishop were at the Leicester match either.

A bit like a poor fish who doesn’t realise there is something wrong until the hook is well and truly stuck through his mouth, as Newcastle fans we swallow the bait once again, with Mike Ashley and his cronies laughing at us.

The absolute nerve of Ashley to invite us to celebrate the club’s history, at a time when he is once again doing everything he can to ruin the present and future.

Undermining Rafa Benitez and clearly trying to drive him out of the club, in my opinion. Starving the manager of transfer funds to try and stabilise in the Premier League once again, meaning all momentum from promotion is wasted.

As for the way he has undermined Newcastle’s history in his 10 years, it is gobsmacking that he can still try and sell us the historical marketing line.

He had St James Park renamed in favour of his trampy shop, with not a penny going into the club coffers.

A disgusting shirt sponsor like Wonga welcomed into our club and sullying the image further.

Club legends Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan also undermined, then once they left and answered back, Mike Ashley did his best to blacken their names.

Things weren’t perfect before he arrived but we must have done something pretty bad in a past life to get what karma delivered in the shape of Mike Ashley.

Maybe somebody can start off a range of alternative NUFC merchandise celebrating the first 115 years of Newcastle United, airbrushing out this decade of manipulation and tyranny.

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The only thing Mandy will have got last week was a free Ruby Murray & some Victoria`s Secret Gift vouchers off the Pig.

    • Leazes Ender

      He bought up Agent Provocateur label for £27m…. it funny how such an oaf with so little personality, looks and morbid obesity is still strangely attractive to women….

      • Coble’s Return

        The prefix “Billionaire” possibly goes some way to explaining this.

      • Rich Lawson

        ”Well Debbie Mcgee,what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels ” ?

        • grantham mag

          According to Pauls wife, it was the money.

  • Coble’s Return

    Well Mike – we are two points from the drop zone and showing no sign of turning things around. So what’s it to be? Are you going to sink us once again and leave us floundering in the lower leagues? Or are you finally going to realise that £250,000,000 is probably as good as it is ever going to get?

  • Paul Patterson

    Agreed. I don’t think there has been a sporting team in history that had been deliberately set up to fail in the way Newcastle United has been over the last 10 years.

  • Saul Williams

    Ashley is taking the p**s out of us.He ain’t going anywhere,and that’s it.As soon as the window is shut he will take the toon off the market.His plan will have worked,he will realise that he can’t come back to games,he doesn’t have to.He owns it screw everyone else.What did we do to deserve this fat fu*k

    • Viru leckworth

      What can he gain out of our being relegated? Surely he wouldn’t want to hold on to the club through another relegation.

  • Just a statistical quirk here. 125 years in existence and with our last domestic trophy being the FA Cup on 7th May 1955, that was just over 62.5 years ago. 62.5 years is exactly half of how long the club has been going.

    • Leazes Ender

      To the day!

  • Soldier

    Cashley knows what`s wrong but he doesn`t lose any sleep over it, that`s the nature of the guy

  • Leazes Ender

    As much as I’d like to agree with all of the sentiments expressed by Dean I find the Mags stance backing a tax avoiding sponsor BetVictor nullifies any moral high ground the Mag might take, assuming Mark Jensen has a moral stance that is.

    Ashley is a Liar… he was sold the football club by two prankster liars in John and Douglas, he was sold the idea of sending up the fans by Hall Junior. They had the desire to wind-up fans and exploit them, The Halls were season ticket holders at Roker Park….. yes they were, it is true…. and that is what appealed to Ashley.

    Malevolent, omnipotentcy….

    If you saw Luke Edwards on the local news he said ‘don’t bank on Ashley doing anything for the good of the club or fans’…. Luke had him sussed from day one.

    Dont expect a takeover and especially don’t expect Staveley as this appears superficial nonsense… the idea that someone who is quibbling over a mere fifty million is somehow going to be a savior is rubbish…. judge Ashley by his actions and inactions….. and Staveley by the friends she keeps….

    Did anyone notice the freudian slip by the headliner on Look North…. when Benitez came on screen the caption read ‘Rafa Benitex’….

    ….’Ex’ is probably going to be appropriate.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      That covers all the bases

    • Coble’s Return

      Really good points here which beg the question – what price stability and success?

      Ashley is morally repugnant. His abuse of the club (including its supporters, its former players and managers) is disgusting. Even worse than this though is his contempt for his staff at SD. The minimum wage is exactly that – the very least that the government deems it possible for an individual to be able to live on – and yet Ashley blatantly rates the value of the bottom line above the welfare and wellbeing of his staff. This disgusts me. I hope that even if Ashley had piled hundreds of millions of pounds into the club and landed us with a trophy or two over the past ten years, I would still be disgusted and want him out.

      I am not familiar with Amanda Staveley’s friends, nor the objectionable characteristics which concern you. What is acceptable though? I share your unease regarding tax avoiding sponsors or owners, but would maybe temper my views if Bill Gates or the Facebook fella, whose name escapes me, were to pitch in with a bid for the club.

      Morally, I agree with most of what you say. Practically, I am struggling to think of anyone who would buy the club and also satisfy our collective conscious.

      • Coble’s Return

        meant conscience.

      • Leazes Ender

        Yes the meanies have taken over.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        The minimum wage was always a stupid idea unless it was set below the level that employees would willingly work for. Sports Direct ‘s guilt is also a bit of a long shot, based on the fact staff were sometimes delayed for security checks and the fact Sports Direct laid on a bus to get staff to work.

        I’ve long argued that if fans don’t like their owners, then we should collectively get together and offer to buy the shares ourselves. Most fans would not do that as they would never put their money where there mouth is. Fans are like socialists, they want lots of money spent as long as it’s someone else’s money.

        • paul mclaughlan

          What utter nonsense. Wages have stagnated over a decade now caused by greedy capitalist bankers. You suggesting fans “put their money where there (sic) mouth is” is ridiculous especially when most are skint.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Their, sorry!

            I mainly go to away games, the lads at away games are not skint. Most blow a chunk of cash on booze, nose powder and travel. At home games, I don’t get the impression of poverty as the pubs are rammed.

            A £4,000 investment may seem high but most have that in equity within their home or sat in the drive. It’s forfeiting 2 weeks of foreign holiday for an investment that can pay dividends.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Going out for a blowout does mot equate to being well off.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            No, but affording £200 every other week suggests they could easily afford to make payment s on a £4,000 loan.

          • paul mclaughlan

            And stay in? Especially after a week at work. It’s most people’s release. And I don’t know why you think socialists expect free money. Remember it’s socialism that’s protected workers rights in this country. Capitalists would still be forcing children up chimneys if they had their way. Majority of people want a job that pays a fair wage and for employers to treat them with respect. That’s socialism mate.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            As someone very clever once said, Socialism works until you run out of other people’s money. It’s an excuse for the lazy.

            As for supporters staying in, it’s up to them but if you think nobody can afford to borrow £4,000 each to invest in their football club but they spend £1,000 a month up their nose and against the wall, I suggest there needs to be a balance.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Yup get those kids back up the chimneys… fool!

            I didn’t say nobody could afford to invest £4000 in NUFC. I just made the point that most people live from hand to mouth each month. This capitalist utopia you speak of doesn’t exist apart from a few high earners with a large disposable income. Most people have loans for cars, houses, credit cards etc etc… rather than folly loans to invest in a football club.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I’m suggesting that rather than spend £200 a week to express their dislike of nufc’s owner, they could just spend £100 of that money each month on buying a share of the club so they can express self hate.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            20 years of embracing capitalism has done more for China than 50 years of Socialism (see also Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic……)

          • paul mclaughlan

            Countries with terrible human rights. Worst example of all time. Epic fail. Plus they were communist counties. Double fail!

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The human rights of people in those countries have not deteriorated because they have embraced capitalism, quite the opposite.

            The brand of socialism you appear to subscribe to is the rejection of capitalism, free markets and the notion of a liberal democracy etc. In pretty much every case I can think of, this has only endured (albeit, ultimately failed) in states that have become communist. If you are arguing that Socialism is not communism, that’s true but Socialism does not hang about too long in a liberal democracy.

            Countries with the highest level of human rights are all liberal democracies that embrace the free market (before you quote a Scandinavian Utopia, they are not Socialist states)

          • paul mclaughlan

            ask the gay population in Russia about human rights mate. Decent employment, decent wages and equality is what I believe in. You reckon I’m pretty much a communist. In that case you’re a fascist.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Which has improved since the communist era but not enough. The treatment of homosexuality in Russia has little to do with capitalism, almost certainly, in more mature capitalist economies, the exploitation of the pink pound, dollar or euro has shown how individual freedoms and markets deliver quicker than socialist planned economies.

            They don’t teach you that in 6th form.

          • paul mclaughlan

            And I suppose capitalism wasn’t to blame for the financial crash over a decade ago? A crash that devastated millions of lives. And the perpetrators were never (apart from Iceland) brought to justice.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Well, there was a problem with the market in that it was imperfect otherwise it would not have happened. However, it was also aided and abetted through government that was happy to dine out on the income the banking industry provided.

            As for devastating lives, I’m not so sure it had a devastating effect on millions of lives. My old neighbour lost his job but to be honest, he bounced back. We had pension funds suffer but tbph, everyone needs to work longer anyway, the idea that we work for 35 years and freewheel for 50 is never going to wash.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Great! Let’s all rejoice at having to work longer after the banking sector screwed us over and destroyed pension funds. Also rejoice those greedy fools getting away with it without repercussions. And rejoice at your neighbour who got another job. And rejoice as wages have stagnated over the last decade. Yes siree we have plenty to be thankful for.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Wages stagnate if you don’t work harder or moreover become better at what you do. If you don’t, you don’t deserve more money.

            Do, you have to work longer, if you have not noticed, we live longer. If we are in education for our first 22 years and we insist on living til 90, someone will have to put a lot more into that pension pot, banking crisis or no.

            In capitalist Britain, if you work hard, take responsibility, you get on. If you whine and expect the world to owe you a living, you are going to be disappointed and rightly so.

          • paul mclaughlan

            What utter drivel you speak. People are now taking on the roles of two and three peoples work these days for no more pay. I talk to people everyday and this is the norm. You think this is a good thing? You live in cloud cuckoo land.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Do you have any straws left to clutch at?

        • Coble’s Return

          Eh? The minimum wage was implemented to protect workers from pr!cks like Ashley who exploited them on 2 or 3 pounds an hour. SD lays on transport, as do many other minimum wage employers, because otherwise nobody could afford to travel in and work for them.

          The idea of fans taking on the ownership of PL clubs is a delusional pipe-dream. It has worked at clubs like Wrexham, where the asking price was low as they were a smaller set up who had also been shafted by a greedy owner who had gone as far as stripping ownership of the ground from the club. At Ashley’s £400m asking price though, every fan attending the next sell out at SJP would have to rock up with a bag containing £8,000 – and then promise to turn up with another couple of grand in January to fund transfers.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            On the SD / min wage front, you are wrong. SD paid stat min wage but it was found that security checks would add time that employees were ‘at work’ but not paid hiring the security checks hence they would effectively be below the minimum rate.

            Min wage is not good for the economy as it prices people out of work.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Fan ownership is possible at Nufc. Yes, we’d have to cough up on average 4,000 based on an enthusiastic fan base of 100,000. Obviously, some fans can invest more than others but given the current income & costs, it could generate £40-£60m a year. Given most Mag contributors believe we miss stadium advertising revenue of £20m a year, that means profit would be as high as £80m on a £400m investment thats 20%, you can’t get that at the Abbey National.

  • Kev-82

    Name 1 other? I remember Arsenal celebrating a few years ago and they also had special crest.

    • Leazes Ender

      Liverpool 125 years 1917/18 season…. lets see what the BBC does to commemorate them.

      • Peaky Magpie

        6 part documentary probably.

        • Coble’s Return

          Ha ha – with Nivea bringing out an anniversary armpit spray.

          • Peaky Magpie

            😂😂😂 Very good 👍

          • Leazes Ender

            What were Nivea thinking…. that sponsoring Liverpool is going to make fans of United buy their product?

          • Coble’s Return

            The marketing team at Dove must have thought all their Christmases had arrived at once.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          5 part, they will airbrush out Heysel

          • Peaky Magpie

            Even 4 maybe now I’m thinking about it,airbrush out The Souness Years As Manager.

  • Leazes Ender

    Dean asks ‘what have we done in a past life… for this to be Karma’….. Malcolm Dix and John Gibson and the Chronicle gave us …..

    …..the Hall Family!

  • briankilclinesfordfiesta

    “net transfer spend of £11.5m”

    “delivering a transfer profit of £40m”

    “52,000 week in week out”

    “We have a world class manager”

    Nobody wants to see the club do well more than me but there is a set of buzz phrases that only helps to forward the narrative that everything MA does is bad and everything RB does is good. For example, it’s Charnley and Ashley who get the money for players – Townsend, Wijnaldum etc. Sissoko? Come on. If I was him I would be wondering why people weren’t say “blow me Mike, you’ve really played a blinder there.”

    Some of the signings made under Benitez have been shocking – and everyone should take the blame. Scouts, owner, manager, agents. Remember Ricarlison cost less than Murphy and if RB put Mitro in we wouldn’t be having the Joselu debate. Plus, if MA had a better handle on the club then we wouldn’t be in this mess. Benitez is too stubborn. He averages about a point per game in the PL with Newcastle. World class maybe, but not here.

    Basically everyone is to blame. Except the fans, obviously not us.

    • Mike

      fans are to blame 52k every home game do a SAFC and drop to 20k

  • Stephen

    I just can’t work it out.
    If Mr. Ashley despises the club and the fans so much ok
    But what about his investment?
    Who would purchase a club that has been penny pinched and underfunded player wise.
    If there were a third relegation and financial penalty from HMRC what could he hope to get for the club then?
    Answer Next to Nowt

    • Martin Rooney

      So don’t believe the bull people write about him.

  • Taz

    Ive said it before and I’ll say it again, Ashley Is just a fat lying [email protected]

  • wowski13

    In reference to your question about other clubs celebrating 125 years Liverpool are also celebrating their 125th anniversary and have released a kit that is a homage to their historic kits, just like us.

  • Mike


  • Mike

    52k reasons to hang on …make ££££££££££££££££££

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    To celebrate one hundred and twenty five years was a great idea and it was an excellent occasion and very moving with all the flags not that it would mean anything
    to people on this site as most are anti Newcastle with the exception of Clarko and Oooh Bobbi Fleckman. It was a great spectacle as thanks very much Mike Ashley just a shame we did not get the result we deserved.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      those two are pro Mike Ashley, which is decidely NOT pro-Newcastle.

    • HarryHype59

      Correction not anti Newcastle, but anti Ashley!

      Clarko , Fleckman and your self remind me of the Dead Parrot Monty Python sketch.

      “This club isn’t dead under Ashley, just sleeping”

  • Martin Rooney

    Behave ya crackerjack, the super star manager,(appointed by Ashley no less on the 9th highest wage of any club manager in the world) had a team better than he had on pitch sat next him on the bench. Dummets better than manquillo lascelles better than lejuene, shelvey better than Hayden mitro better than Joseph.

  • GToon

    What’s gets me is there isn’t actually anything to celebrate. I’ve supported them for nearly fifty years and apart from a couple of years under Keegan and SBR the rest has been very forgettable.

  • Vladimir Biggski

    Good article

  • Chris Teasdale

    Liverpool are celebrating their 125 years this year