Like a young a urchin in some Dickensian novel, our faces are pressed up hard against the glass of the posh cake shop, we are watching on, green with envy as other football clubs gorge themselves.

You see, those clubs operate normally. They have credibility. They bring in players. No mess. No fuss. They have boards of directors who know the rudiments of football business. They recognise they have to pay market rates.

They know that team strengthening in each and every transfer window is of paramount importance. They have money. Money to spend. They’re not left wondering where all the bloody money is at their clubs. Most have owners who invest to ensure survival and don’t penny pinch and try to stay up on the cheap – a plan which usually fails.

By contrast, we have Lee Charnley, the former club secretary. The lowest paid MD in the Premier League, isn’t he? The other board member? Bob Moncur. A legendary player, for whom I have the utmost respect, but what is he bringing to the party in terms of a dynamic approach needed to operate a football club like Newcastle United? The answer looks like very little.

We have an approach whereby the manager hands in a list of targets for January at the very beginning of the month and nothing gets done until a week before deadline. Do they do any planning?

And then we have the embarrassment of these low offers for players, which are well below the clubs’ valuations, in this instance the Dane, Jorgensen. This trend goes back over numerous transfer windows. The bids are derisory. There is a feeling among many NUFC fans that this mob are trying to fall short on player transactions on purpose in order to avoid spending.

It’s all being held together by Rafa at the moment. The whole ship is steadied by the Spaniard, but how far will his own goodwill extend? Three windows running he has basically been shafted.

Do they not realise new signings settle the fans down? They bring progress. They boost the morale of the entire football club, including the players. Instead we’re an outfit that bumps along the bottom, surrounded by deals that never happen. The glacial pace that the club moves at in the transfer market defies belief, reason and logic.

The irony being that our owner ran Staveley and PCP out of town over their alleged low offer to buy the club, and yet he does the very same thing just days later, when chasing the goal scorer we oh so desperately need to remain in the top flight.

Make no mistake about it, I can see fan protests re-emerging. If they don’t get their act together before deadline day that Burnley game will be interesting to say the least, even more so if we were to lose it – having not added a target man. For want of a better expression, there could be hell on.

The Mike Ashley regime specialise in new lows and this feels like another one. It may have been worse but it’s still way off what we all want the club to be.

When the team, and Rafa, paraded that second tier title last May before a jubilant St James Park everyone was filled with joy. As I made my way home afterwards my mind immediately turned to the one thing that would/could ruin this new era: Mike Ashley and his minions.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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  • joe mac

    a few on here would disagree with you regarding arbuckle i,m afraid!

    • Jezza

      By “a few” I assume you mean those two socially disfunctional brothers from Manchester who troll this site under the ID’s Oooh bobbi fleckman, ghostbuster. Clarko and Monkseaton Magpies, work in a S***s D****t shop and have got season tickets at Old Trafford.

      • Peaky Magpie

        Is that true Jezza ? Creepy……..serial killers must start somewhere !

        • Jezza

          I’ve got visions of the two of them living like the infamous Collyer brothers in New York in the 1940’s.

          • Peaky Magpie

            Just read up on them and know exactly where you’re coming from 🤣🤣

      • joe mac

        thats them!..ha ha!

      • Mark Potter

        Don’t you have anything to say other than attacking other posters? Nothing to say about the game tomorrow, who should play what tactics etc? Nothing to say about the Jorgansen transfer? Or whether young Woodman should go on loan, and leave us with only two keepers? What’s happened to Aarons? Shelvey to West Ham?

        Nah. I can think of a really witty joke that Clarko etc work for SD. Hilarious. So original. So well thought out. What would we do without you Jizza?

        • Jezza

          Looks like the “Collyer brothers” from Manchester have registered yet another posting ID. Poor effort, bobbi/Clarko/ghostbuster/Monkseaton.

          • Mark Potter

            Thanks, Jizzy. Goes to prove my point. You have as much wit as a brick.

          • Jezza

            Enough wit to expose you two for the trolls you are.

          • Mark Potter

            Oh, Jizzy. I can’t take it any more. It’s like that Monty Python sketch about the joke that the British Army used in WW2 to kill German soldiers, who died of laughing.

          • Albert Stubbins

            You started it!

          • Mark Potter

            Sure. Historians will record that I started a war with Jizzy, by invading his safe space on the Mag. His space to abuse any other posters who don’t agree with his views and don’t fawn at his rapier like wit, on a par with Oscar Wilde. Or Ozzy?

          • TheFatController

            I like someone who abuses a poster for abusing other posters.

            There’s an irony there somewhere…

          • Albert Stubbins

            No i mean by invading Poland. I thought you were maybe on about Fawlty towers sketch!! Ha ha

          • Albert Stubbins

            So clarko is really a manc b*****d then? I always suspected he was an impostor. Also yes far too blinking clever to be one of us!!! Ha ha

          • Albert Stubbins

            So clarko is really a manc b******* then? I always suspected that he was an impostor. Also he’s far to blinking clever to be considered to be one of us. Ha ha

          • HarryHype59

            He isn’t clever. His stats lack any type of context and are meaningless data!

        • TheFatController

          I like someone attacking a poster for attacking posters.

          There’s an irony there somewhere …

      • Albert Stubbins

        Sounds like the Gallagher’s!!lol lol

    • TheFatController

      Who are you vouching for?

      He runs the club to a basic subsistence level to sell it. Nothing else needs adding, any set of fans would want that type of owner out.

      That he can’t sell it is a sad indictment of both him and the lack of value he has contrived for the club.

      If he had been a remotely capable owner, it would sell for £400m in days. Whose fault is it that he’s had one cash bid of £250m?

      When it comes to football, the man’s a loser.

      • Martin Rooney

        No one ever wants to buy nufc, I wonder why?

        • TheFatController

          Costs too much to make the club competitive given how much the owner asks before they’ve even considered how much they need to invest?

      • Mark Potter

        He didn’t, he had three bids. including one worth a total of £350m. Only problem is Staveley wanted to pay only £150m upfront. Then pay £50m per year for the next four years. It’s obvious that her “investors” would not be paying that, they would use half the money from the TV deals to pay it. Leaving the club unable to compete for players.

        • Jezza

          The club are currently “unable to compete for players” under Fatso.

          • ghostrider

            They are. The issue is in getting your fingers burned.

          • Mark Potter

            Following relegation, and the loss of £millions from TV deals. Perhaps as much as £60m. Sunderland rock bottom of the Prem all season still earned about that amount more than us last year.

            We were certainly able to compete under McLaren. And we will be able to next year, if we survive. As Rafa himself pointed out again this week.

          • TheFatController

            I presume your scenario is based upon us staying up…?

        • TheFatController

          I thought they staggered the deal because Ashley said he would allow the deal to be staggered?

          Or does that revelation of facts ruin your factless theory ?

  • Peaky Magpie

    Good article 👍

  • kingfisher

    Good article David. I know it’s been said before, and I know it’s not that easy, but the only way to get change is to stop going to S.J.P.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”Got to pick a pocket or few then”

  • robbersdog

    Good article. Basically, being a Newcastle fan during the Mike Ashley era is like eating a giant sh*t sandwich that comes with a side-order of sh*t.

    • Jezza

      What’s the difference between Ashley and a sh*t sandwich?

      The bread.

      • Mark Potter

        You should get a job writing for Xmas crackers. You’d be minted in no time. How do you think of such original material, Jizzy? You crack me up.

        • kingfisher

          Yes Mark, Wor Marra Jez is good crack. Personally I find The Viz is a good source of wit and wisdom. I’m particularly fond of Biffa Bacon and Sid The Sexist which I find are great points of reference.

      • Rich Lawson

        That’s gone stale as well.

  • Leicester Mag

    He doesn’t give a flying F. He long ago realised there was no point in trying to compete, it would cost money. Run on a shoestring with the same broken model a toxic mix of greed and hubris. There is sadly only one option left, boycott. Will it happen? In all probability no but neither is this clown ever heading for a Damacian moment.

    • Mark Potter

      What’s a “Damacian moment”? Google doesn’t recognise the term. I suspect you are trying to reference some sort of, possibly drug induced, psychotic episode by Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, where he thought he saw and spoke to a sky wizard.

      Hopefully, these days most people get treatment for their mental illnesses, rather than getting proclaimed as saints and helping to invent a new religion. I doubt Ashley will start preaching sky wizardry any time soon.

      • Leicester Mag

        Well done with that insight you might do alright in your GSCEs

        • Mark Potter

          Hoping for an A for religious studies. Plus, I can truly bamboozle the Chemistry examiners by randomly referring to a “Damacian moment”. That should be good for a few extra marks.

          • Leicester Mag

            Unlikely as a Fellow of the Royal Society a PhD and a visiting Prof I’d give you nothing for that.

          • Mark Potter

            Harsh. Not in the spirit of GCSE marking these days, prof.

      • Rich Lawson

        He’s a ”Sky”wizard already

      • thewildchimp

        Well, if the “logical” “advancement” from amoeba is Mike Ashley: I’ll stick with my “sky wizardry”, thank You very much…

    • kingfisher

      Fully agree Leicester,except on the hubris and Damacian points,basically because I don’t know what they mean.Suppose I should have stuck in at school 😁👍

    • Peaky Magpie

      Boycott ???? Bit old for a centre forward and wasn’t he a cricketer ? 😁

      • kingfisher

        Youv’e got me stumped there Peaky.Load of bales if you ask me( start the car)😲😲

        • Peaky Magpie

          HOWZAT like Kingfisher 😂😂😂

  • GToon

    Charnleys diary for the next few days will consist of a combination of rushing home early to watch The Chase, trying to sell as many players as possible and a trip to a private hospital for a “full colonic”. If he’s got time to buy any players in that time frame I’d be amazed. Oh and I forgot – leaving a light on at SJP offices on Wednesday when everybody has already gone home just for a laugh.

    • kingfisher

      There will be many fans willing to give him a good “colonic”, however as I suspect the end of the queue will be around the Leeds area,I’ll give it a miss 😁

    • TheFatController

      I look forward to ‘5 things you might have missed’ from Ryder at the Colonicle…

      • Peaky Magpie

        “5 Out Of Contract Players We Could Sign”…..11-05pm Wednesday 31st Jan 2018…..Chronic…

    • Dillon Tovak

      Mike Ashley is quite like The Beast. Fat and hates to dish out money.
      Except the beast has likability and a personality.

  • JonMag

    there will be a private plane on standby in case late bids come in for Mitro or Gayle on the 31st ,neither will start tomorrow that leaves Kart Hoss to lead the line backed up by Newcastle`s answer to Hazard. Slomo.

    • Peaky Magpie

      😂😂 Kart Hoss….like it.

      • JonMag

        a perfect fit for the guy peaky

    • kingfisher

      Never mind a private plane JonMag. If we don’t sign anyone, it’ll be a taxi for Penfold on the 31st, and I suspect there will be a lot of volunteer drivers 🚗🚗🚗

      • TheNutJob

        Penfold only acts on fattys orders

  • TheNutJob

    been shopping lads, spent more than Mike today, nee transfer news then.
    😂😂😂

    • kingfisher

      Divvent be spending your hard earned nutty. The Salad Dodger may ask us to hoy a few pennies in the transfer mitty

      • TheNutJob

        i wouldn`t put it past him

    • Peaky Magpie

      Window shopping is spending more than Humpty Dumpty !

  • TheNutJob

    just read a snippet from Dutch sports writers, they like the Dane but all 3 doubt he would make the grade in the prem

  • Peaky Magpie

    Court case just finished down here where SD Shirebrook have been employing people who have been trafficked from Poland.Forced to work at Fatty’s warehouse then hand over 90% of wages to their traffickers…..

    • kingfisher

      90% of their wages ?. That should be about £1.50 then, as His Great Rotundness has them all on zero hour contracts and most probably pays less that the minimum wage if he can get away with it, tight fur king bar steward !

      • Peaky Magpie

        They were sent to SD via an agency and therefore SD have condemned it however it just shows cost cutting is rife throughout all of Fatty’s businesses by using agencies that obviously don’t do correct background checks on references,ID,passports etc….

        • thewildchimp

          I’ve said it a few days ago: you don’t go from 10k loan (worth around 40k after calculating modern inflation) to 3 billions in assets over the course of 35 years – by playing fair.
          Ashley got his hands dirty, the only question is: how much?

          • Peaky Magpie

            The truth will out Wildchimp and I hope everything comes crashing down around him sooner rather than later….he’ll probably get a sniff and do a moonlight flit he’s such a slippery t**t.

          • thewildchimp

            Well, from what I’ve seen so far, usually the next generation loses everything. Even if nothing happens to Mike, his kids are prolly gonna waste it all when they inherit his empire. Cause it’s not like they have much to learn about honesty and hard work from him…

            Basically, it will all be for nowt, and our club is just a collateral damage in the process…

        • HarryHype59

          Is he using UK agencies or those set up in Poland?

          • Peaky Magpie

            According to The Telegraph it’s a Yorkshire based outsourcing company called Transline who also operate overseas.The full story can be found by googling Sports Direct people trafficking.

          • HarryHype59

            Interesting, that is one reason why I voted Brexit.

      • HarryHype59

        The UK tax payer then picks up the tab via tax credits and housing benefits!

      • Peaky Magpie

        That should have been all but £90 of their wages not 90% Kingfisher my mistake.I keep trying to avoid advancing years by not wearing reading glasses 🤣

    • KRS1

      Was it the Ashleyovski brothers?

    • HarryHype59

      I am surprised this hasn’t made the msm yet.

  • JonMag

    the ronnie`s reporting Newcastle have been given a deadline of Monday to sign Denmark`s Harry Kane, or forget about it, that gives Penfold Tuesday & Wednesday to put in more false bids

  • Lhc

    18 month ago we could of had Charlie Austin (natural goal scorer) for 12/15million then 6 months later in January could of had him for 5million then Southampton nicked in. Now where offering supposedly 15 million for a striker who not long ago was playing in the danish league and has banged a few in over Holland, totally backward nufc!

    • TheNutJob

      don`t forget Bas Dost £9m

      • Lhc

        We missed the boat on lots of decent strikers when the market wasn’t extortionate to top it all off! Would of liked to have seen Defoe here before he went owa there, he would of chose us over them lot. I think spending 15 million plus on this Jorgensen is a big risk potentially money down the drain.

        • thewildchimp

          If we had Defoe we’d survive two years ago. But then again: McClaren would be still here…

    • Mxpx

      Players we let slip away for financial reasons include Wilfred bony loic remy aubamayang Toby alderwirald (or however you spell it) alexandre lacazette bas dost and Raphael guirrero if you stuck those into our team wed be laughing well we probably only want two of the strikers

    • HarryHype59

      The scouting and recruitment policy at this club has been fundamentally flawed for years under Ashley!

  • TheNutJob

    bet fatty`s at the game tomorrow to give Penfold his best wishes & his bung
    😂😂
    he wanted to play badfinger in the next Bond movie but they wouldn`t let him kill Jimbo
    😠😠

  • Repa vee

    Hi from finland. Can i quit being a nufc fan. I darn (f***) hate it in ashleys era. Seems nobody understads difficulties with ashley. Everyone has forgotten what newcastle was. Im not so blessed that i could get to sjp, but nowdays i feel like im the lucky one. The only positive in nufc is rafa and i hope u dont forget that. What my point is, support rafa, not ashley. Only think we can get our voice heard is a strike. Dont go to games, let your voice be heard with silence. Peace out and lets see how bad it is tomorrow.

    • Repa vee

      Ps: im drunk and its my first post ever.congrats to me.

      • GToon

        Top man! I’ve been to Norway years ago. You lot like a drink don’t you!

        • grantham mag

          He’s from Finland.

          • thewildchimp

            They drink even more.

          • Repa vee

            Life has no meaning without newcastle and alcohol. And i can say, nowdays they belong together even more.

          • Repa vee

            I have been with a norwegian girl. Beatiful gal and nice. Too sober for my taste

          • GToon

            Hahahaha. Well, they’re all sort of joined together. I’ve been to Finland and Norway so who’s counting!

  • Albert Stubbins

    Why hasn’t Rafa walked? I can’t work this one out. Yes he’s loyal to us and he’s cried wolf a dozen times now over money needed for transfers and it never comes. He’s been basically stabbed in the back now three times during three transfer windows? Is Rafa in demand? Maybe not. how far will his self respect allow him to belittled in this fashion. Would Eddie Howe even put up with this shyte? I can think of only one man who would allow himself to be s*** on for this length of time and that was pardew and even he got fed up with it all in the end. What’s really going on here?

  • GToon

    Act two, SJP office.
    Ashley to Rafa : “Look, I said you could look at £20m players. I didn’t say you could buy one”.
    Charnley (hiding under a desk): “Yeah, you tell him Mike”.
    Exit Rafa, stage left.

  • MadMag83

    I’d gladly take relegation to league two if it means fatty sells up at a massive loss! That would teach the greedy slob to expect decent money for a club he had invested nothing in the last few years.

    We’re going down with a whimper. The takeover won’t happen, Rafa will walk, and Fashley will flog anybody who’s half decent to fund the wage bill so he doesn’t have to spend a penny.