Mike Ashley is now back from holiday.

Many journalists reporting that this means things could now start to happen in the transfer window for Newcastle.

The even more optimistic (and even less credible) ones are claiming that his return to the UK will also then lead to a takeover of the club now moving forward.

Leaving the takeover to one side, it is signings that are essential in the coming days.

Newcastle are already 12 days into the January window, with Rafa guessing correctly back in December just what a struggle it was going to be yet again to get the Fat Controller to agree to any signings. The United boss saying last month that he ideally wanted all of his January signings in by 15 January (Monday!), or 20 January (next Saturday…) at the very very latest.

I am simply embarrassed for those journalists/newspapers who are happy to put up a story saying that Mike Ashley being out of the UK was some kind of a barrier to Newcastle going ahead and buying, or even loaning, any players in January.

Mike Ashley never meets up with Rafa Benitez, he doesn’t even come to any matches at St James Park, the last one being on the first day of the season when Tottenham visited.

So what difference is there between Ashley being on the end of a mobile phone wherever he was on holiday, compared to when he is sitting in the Orange Tree, or whichever pub it is in London, spewing into the fireplace?

Only two things will now give Rafa Benitez any chance of being backed to bring in good quality players, even on loan. Neither of those things are good.

Firstly, I think it would take Newcastle to lose to both Swansea and Manchester City and drop into the relegation zone (the only remaining (Premier League) game of the transfer window then being against Burnley on the night that the window closes).

Secondly, at least one serious injury to happen to a key player, which would rule him out for a minimum of most of the rest of the season.

History tells us that the only time Mike Ashley has allowed major spending to take place in January, is when relegation has threatened.

In January 2013 Newcastle signed the five French players, then in January 2016 you had the likes of Shelvey, Townsend, Saivet and Doumbia arriving.

It worked the first time as instant impact from both Sissoko and Gouffran helped keep Newcastle up – but in 2015/16 it wasn’t enough and the team still went done.

Newcastle picked up seven points from nine in the three relegation clashes over the festive period. If that had been only one point and Newcastle were now a little bit cut adrift on 16 points with West Brom and Swansea, then I think Rafa would have been allowed to sign at least one player by now.

However, Mike Ashley is happy to gamble. I think Newcastle deserved to beat both Stoke and West Ham but in each of those games it could easily have gone the other way – for example if the Hammers had scored their penalty and if Stoke had scored whilst Newcastle were wasting chance after chance, even in the final minutes Darlow made two stunning saves that prevented what would have been an undeserved home win.

These are the very small margins we are dealing with and Ashley is happy to gamble.

Thee reality is that Newcastle are still only two points above the drop, the 13th place a bit of a false sense of reassurance, although I bet Ashley convinces himself things look far more positive than they are in reality.

Newcastle have a very tough run in to the season but I can guarantee you, if Newcastle beat Swansea tomorrow and move on to 25 points from 23 games played, Rafa Benitez will definitely not be signing anybody he really wants.

If he did somehow end up speaking to him, Mike Ashley would simply tell Rafa Benitez to shut up, as Ashley’s minions told the manager to do back in the summer when he was complaining that Ashley wasn’t keeping his transfer promises.

With the table so tight, Newcastle could even end up in 10th position after the weekend if beating Swansea and the other results go our way.

The owner would only be seeing that NUFC were in the top half of the table and conveniently ignoring it is Manchester City up next and not every long ago the season looked to be falling apart, with only one point from nine games.

Good clubs invest in the squad when they are on the up or even just a little bit of momentum, to Mike Ashley he just sees it as money down the drain and why spend anything when he might just dodge relegation without it this time.

Life at Newcastle United is a constant gamble but there aren’t many thrills involved.

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  • Phil

    We won’t be spending regardless. End of story

    • Peaky Magpie

      Simple as that Phil,simple as that 👍

  • Leazes

    Let’s hope some journalists use the opportunity of this afternoons press conference to ask some pertinent questions…..

    Oh hang on I’ve just looked at the Chronicle headline…. it’s going to be on the lines of….’are we any nearer getting these loan signings in’ that’s the lightweight Kennedy with all his baggage….

    Ryder has set the bar….. unfortunately for United fans his level would frustrate the world champion limbo dancer.

    When is the Rafalution going to start?

    • anyobrien

      100%..they have no bollox and for a local rag a complete embarrassment.

    • hetonmag

      When he his given a level playing field, and as far as the local press is concerned the only word for that lot at the Chron is pathetic.

  • hetonmag

    Seeing that photo above has just put me off my dinner.

    • Virsino

      … a dinner at 12.10pm, lucky you. ;-)

      • hetonmag

        Ha ha😁😁

  • Rich Lawson

    Looking at the current table even 9th doesn’t put you 2 bad results away from a relegation struggle !

    • Leicester Mag

      Ashley the supreme optimist when the result that his hands remain in his pockets

      • Paul Patterson

        Well, his knowledge of football IS limited. A bit like a non football fan just glancing at the table and thinking everything is hunky dory . .

        • X,WHY,Y MAN.

          Someone I know spoke to Sam Allardyce at Freddie Shepherds funeral and Ashley came up in the conversation.
          Big Sam said in all his time in football Mike Ashley was the most utterly clueless person he had ever worked with !

  • Leicester Mag

    When I read this the only 2 things I could guarantee we’d start spending was:

    1 Old Nick had his snowmobile ❄️ out and/or

    2 Ashley had a wafer thin mint too many and booked an entry interview with said Old Nick

  • Leazes

    In 2015 Ashley sold the Strawberry Place development site to himself for £1,072,052
    Via holding company PROJECT J NEWCO NUMBER 40. LIMITED

    A pathetic one million quid has cost the club umpteen millions, and its future competitiveness, and status, the board of directors(sic) at the time of sale are negligent in their(his) responsibilities.

    For a figure of one million pound Ashley was willing to do this.

    • Cockneytrev

      What’s fleckmans response to this?

      • Cockneytrev

        Oh I’ve got it,,
        “We were in dyer straights before his holiness took governorship of the club,, and thank god he did before we sank into the depths of the championship”

        • Leazes

          Bear with me…. The club’s hero Bob Moncur on 15th June 2015 …..

          Newcastle United’s new board member Bob Moncur insists he will make his voice heard … But he bristles at the notion of him being a ‘yes man’ – and points out he has also been critical of the club’s policy on the Cups, directly to Lee Charnley in the past. He has also raised his eyebrows at a few of the PR decisions in the Ashley era.

          ….THANKS BOB

          You sold the clubs future!

          • Paul Patterson

            I wonder if the land is part of negotiations . .

          • Leazes

            The club board sold it to Ashley…. so no.

          • Cockneytrev

            It’s an absolute disgrace,,,
            Moncur, should hang his head in absolute shame, he’s in his 70s and has sold his lagacy at the club for 30 pieces of silver,,
            Like Ashley it can’t be taken with him,,,,
            Just read about Abramovich and his plans for Chelsea,,,,, he’s been a proper chairman, we’ve never hadn’t one,,,I’d love to say im not envious,,,

          • Leazes

            I haven’t what he doing trying to play catch up with Arsenal and Spuds and Wet Spam.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Even if Fulwell’ hadn’t embellished the truth, why would Bob hold his head in shame?

            In 2010, the club sold a car park. A car park that a casino was going to be built on subject to a casino license being granted. That license never materialised so, what use was the car park to the club?

          • Cockneytrev

            He joined a board of a club he professes to love and never once spoke out about Ashley running the club into the dirt, instead he has took the money and licked Ashley’s hoop,, just like yourself, “you hoop licker,,👅”

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            But you are basing this opinion on an outright lie from Fulwell. I can forgive this as you were taken in by Sofa / fulwell’ demonstrable lie. Once the reality is explained, how can you have the same opinion?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            What board decision did you object to? The sacking of John Carver? Appointment of McClaren? Sacking of McClaren? Appointment of Rafa? Purchase of Wynaldum, Mitro? Thauvin? JJS?

            During Bob’s time here, we’ve improved the board decisions imho.

          • Cockneytrev

            It’s nothing to do with any post on here, I don’t care about them, it’s the mans demeanour, Ive met him on several occasions in corporate boxes and he is so condescending, he looks at the normal fan as if he knows nothing (exactly like you) and expects us to swallow Ashley’s lies, he talks over you and listens to nothing anyone has to say (again like you) I have several friends who do buisiness with Ashley at his factory and at his home and to a man they say he cannot be trusted, who surrounds himself in hoop lickers, like Moncur (like yourself) who never question him.
            so I reiterate Moncur should hang his head in shame.
            You Ashley hoop licker,,👅

          • Paul Patterson

            Could it not be bought back?

          • Leazes

            … you mean like a randsome?


          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Fulwell’ is lying about dates but the question is why would the club buy back a car park that a casino was going to be built on where the license for the casino no longer exists?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            How? It’s a small car park where a casino may have been built if the Labour govt didn’t u turn on it’s policy. Of what use was it to Nufc?

            It was being subbed out to a car park company for less money than the club were paying in interest.

            Tell me, how?

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Read the reality above, Fulwell’ is a dreamer.

      • Leazes

        Bob Moncur was a board Member on the 15th June 2015.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          You are incredibly thick, look at the books (clue, not 2015 as you claim, look at 2010).

          Now, report back with your findings.

          You people, just so annoying.

      • HarryHype59

        He probably thinks it’s a great deal as he is on the Ashley pay role!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Read the reality facts above. Leazes tends to lie

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Fleckman was the one who told fulwell’ this information as Fulwell’ used to lie and claim Ashley was given the land gratis. Naughty Fulwell is also lying about the date, this happened in January 2010 .

        The club acquired the freehold and lease (known as project 39 & 40) in 2006 for £800k under Shepherd. As ever with Shepherd, to pay for it, nufc took another loan but never paid a single repayment on the loan. Ashley repaid the loan (as the interest rate was higher than your average Charver was paying on his Vauxhall Corsa), he also repaid a loan from MGM. The company set up for Shepherds casino folly.

        At the end of 2009, it was clear Nufc were never going to use the car park as a development and the Casino idea was a white elephant as the Labour govt U turned on their promise of creating super casinos.

        At the end of 2009, Ashley had to lend the club money to pay for a VAT case it lost under Shepherd having been investigated by HMRC in 2005. Whilst pumping money in, Ashley’s company also bought the MGM shares and the lease & freehold for project 39 and 40 providing the club a profit if just under £3m, very generous for commercial land and a white elephant project that was bought in a financial boom (Gordon Browns famous bubble) and then sold in a depression (yep, Gordon Brown again). This was almost certainly done to help NUFC meet the league’s Ffp rules and reduce the losses in the books.

  • HarryHype59

    Fatty has picked up a lump sum of the TV cash this month, he simply won’t spend it!

    The Fat one has a fetish on us surviving in the top flight, even though he has spent very little!

    He gets off trying to create the illusion that he can cheat the system.

    How on earth people on this forum can defend him, is beyond logic.

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Penfold pulled the plug on lad from ‘Young Boys’ so he could receive his bonus for saving money!

    • Paul Smith

      Well he’s out of a job if the takeover happens. Take us down and maybe the takeover doesn’t happen…

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Did he? I’ve not read about that, it is it just a lie?