Everybody has an opinion on Newcastle United and Mark Lawrenson is no different.

He has been giving his views on Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club.

It is always the same, you never seem to get anybody in the media who will turn around and say ‘Sorry, I haven’t really got a clue about Newcastle United, I’m not a fan and I’m not really interested in them unless somebody is paying me to talk about them..’.

The trouble is as well, that everybody does though think they have a decent idea of what is or isn’t happening at St James Park, not just on the pitch but with all the issues behind the scenes.

It sums up what a circus our club has become under Mike Ashley that he has become so well known for his ownership of the club (as if by design…?), for all the wrong reasons.

Is there any other club where more neutrals could name the owner(s)?

Mark Lawrenson starts by saying: ‘I think you have to remember that Mike Ashley is just a businessman. He is not a Newcastle fan.’

He says it as though Ashley is any different to the owners of all but a very small number of other Premier League clubs.

As though Newcastle fans have greater, unrealistic, expectations of the club’s owner than fans of other clubs have of theirs.

Mark Lawrenson also says: ‘You know, he bought the club, he spent money on the club. Obviously the fans think he should spend even more but hey, it’s his money.’

Well all owners of Premier League clubs have ‘spent money on the club’.

For Mike Ashley, the same as almost all of them, it was just buying another business to try and make money from.

The vast majority of money Ashley has as loans owed by the club to him, was money that was basically part of the price he paid to buy the club, the mortgage on the stadium redevelopment that he inherited and money that was still owed for players that had been bought under the previous owners and sponsorship cash that had been taken up front.

The smaller additional loans that Ashley now has the club owing to him relates to money that has had to be put in due to his mismanagement and lack of investment in the squad, which led to two relegations in only eight seasons of Premier League football, along with the current risk of a third relegation in nine PL seasons.

Mark Lawrenson says that Mike Ashley ‘Wants to sell’ Newcastle United.

Ashley may have said he wants to do that but if he will never accept a realistic/market price for Newcastle United then you must doubt the sincerity of those claims.

Mark Lawrenson interview by FootballTips.com.

Mark Lawrenson asked what he thinks of the situation at Newcastle under Mike Ashley?

“I think you have to remember that Mike Ashley is just a businessman.

“He is not a Newcastle fan.

“I think Mike Ashley is a Tottenham fan in all honesty and even then, I’m not quite sure if he is a Tottenham fan.

“I think he probably just likes Tottenham but I don’t think he’s one that would go every week.

“He wants to sell the business, I don’t think he needs to sell the business.

“I know he’s a very very good businessman and I would just suggest that the so-called takeover wasn’t offering him as much money as he thought it was worth and the problem with that is that he’s got to get it absolutely right.

“Obviously we know they got relegated, they spent a year in the Championship and it’s horrible in that league.

“You know my team’s Preston and I know what the game is like and I know what the teams are like and it’s a really difficult league to get out of and he doesn’t want to have to go through that again.

“If you think about it, take 25, 30% of what you think the club’s worth because they’re playing in the Championship.

“But he’ll just stick to his guns, he’s not really that interested.

“You know, he bought the club, he spent money on the club.

“Obviously the fans think he should spend even more but hey, it’s his money and he makes those decisions and that’s the thing, if one man owns your football club, like him or loathe him, he makes all the decisions.”

  • JRM Toon

    Always been wildly biased of anything Newcastle since his ill fated defensive coach days

    • Dillon Tovak

      You’d think he’d have a soft spot for us because of that, he made money for nothing.

      • Rich Lawson

        You would,but he comes across as a bit huffy when he is disagreed with.

  • Rich Lawson

    More dross from Lawrenson,did we not have enough of him this week with his Gerrard dvd post ? Surely it has also been pointed out on here many times that Ashley supports Chelsea ? You clearly don’t like NUFC,and I’m pretty sure nobody on here has much time for your whining either.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Aye Rich,double dose this week,hopefully they’ve taken him back now…

  • TheFatController

    ‘I would just suggest the so-called takeover wasn’t offering him as much as he wanted…’

    So that’s why the takeover didn’t happen!

    • Jonas

      “so called take-over” but not “so called up for sale”

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    I like the line the fans want Ashley to spend more money. We can only spend what is in the Clubs bank account only more if we agree an overdraft with the bank which would create another mess like he inherited. What some people do not realise our club is a bit like your household income you have so much coming in so that is what you can spend.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      How much has he hidden away then, in Mike`s bank.
      wonder if HMRC will ever find the missing money ?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Honestly believe that we are innocent on that one as we were the club making the payments not receiving them so would be madness not to declare them as it saves tax. Some might argue that Ashley should have put another £100m in to boast transfers by sponsorship but he took the line that he had put enough in.

        • Chuck D

          The investigation by HMRC was around the club setting up sham contracts to avoid income tax and NI. All indications are that they are guilty and when this is confirmed are you still planning on praising him?

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            A load of rubbish the club have done nothing wrong there are many players have done tax avoidance from all clubs but Newcastle United’s accounts are whiter than white so stop the false rumours.

          • Mark Potter

            First of all, everyone involved is innocent, until proven guilty by a court of law. Secondly, Ashley wasn’t investigated by HMRC – he doesn’t run the club, or get involved with the details of contracts, agents fees etc. The club employs people to do it. Thirdly, the investigation is about players and their agents not paying taxes. There is no suggestion that the club didn’t pay their taxes. The suspicion of HMRC, that they have yet to even substantiate into any criminal charges, never mind prove in court, is that the club conspired to help the players avoid taxes. And they have to first prove that players we bought, like Sissoko, did in fact not pay their taxes in the UK, and did it by means of a conspiracy involving their agents, and that the club were an active part of that, knowing what was going on.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            All indications are that we are guilty? Where are these indications?

            It seems to me quite complex and very difficult to attibute Guilt. The most likely guilt is with the end player ( or at least kiabiltyl)

            I’m interested as to how you make such a statement.

      • Leazes.

        Well he swiped £2.5 million which was in the account of the land holdings for strawberry Place and theoretically the club should have benefitted from that but didn’t.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Leazes the Liar.

          The land was not £2.5m, he also paid the club the money for that land, the money was used to repay the mortgage on that land and add a bit to the coffers.

          It’s in the accounts, look it up and please stop lying, some people believe you.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Accounts, are an idiot, if the accounts were right HMRC wouldnt be crawling all over the club

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            HMRC are interested in the way we paid agents and how the agents then dispersed money. It’s a football wide problem rather like the VAT issue Shepherd had.

            I’m not sure what yo are getting at. Accounts are an idiot?

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Pathetic again

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I know, Leazes makes things up, it’s pathetic.

            Nothing was “swiped”, the club sold the leases for the car park next to the Metro station along with the shareholding if MGM.

            The club had acquired the freehold and lease (known as project 39 & 40) in 2006 for £500k under Shepherd. Ashley’s company also bought the MGM shares and the lease & freehold for project 39 and 40 providing the club just under £3m in 2010 providing a profit to the club. This was likely to have been an attempt to avoid Championship FFP penalty.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            My comment was not directed at Leazes you nuggett

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It should be, Leazes’ comment was a pathetic lie, mine was demonstrably true.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Leazes’ what was swiped? SJ holdings paid for the lease giving a healthy profit on a lease that was 3 years older that when it was acquired.

          SJHoldings also paid for the MGM shares, a premium over the value, again giving the club a profit.

          When the club acquired the lease and shareholding with MGM, it borrowed the money and made no repayments. at James Holdings paid the Club by paying off the loan and providing a profit.

          You keep making these statements and they are clearly made up. Nothing you say has an ounce of credibility.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        What are you on about, nothing is hidden away.

    • TheFatController

      Conveniently ignoring the FACT that his negative minimum momentum style of ownership resulting in two relegations costing the club £60m in lost revenues is the reason we have no money inthe bank.

      Only reoly if using facts to disprove this fact that you have ignored in your above theory ….

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        So if there is no money in the bank how can we spend money where do you get money from when you have spent all your wages. Money does not grow on trees.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Aston Villa, Sunderland Leeds and many other clubs get relegated it happens. Before Ashley came we spent seven seasons in Division one most near the bottom. What I have said is that where is the money to buy more players.
        These are the facts and no one on this site has come up with a buyer or money for new players they just winge

    • Kev Newcastle England


  • Leazes.

    Did anybody think that the owner would position his club in a relegation dogfight before the season began? Two bleak windows.

    Why the mystery about our Chelsea supporting owner…. he said that he’s not buying players, and its loan deals until the club is sold….

    ….But what if he has no intention of selling and this is a ruse to string along fans and manager indefinitely? He’s done it for ten years!

    His intention from day one was to run the club as an advertisement for his shop and brands, and that’s what he has done… that’s all he’s done!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`s not a Spurs fan.

    • Leazes.

      Chelsea… same sort of thing!

  • Jonas

    Arrogance and ignorance = Mark Lawrenson

  • Dave Pattinson

    Ashley not a Mags fan and only bought our club to make money!!! Yer what? And here’s me thinking that he loves us and wants us to be happy. Thats ruined my week-end.

    • Dingus

      This made me chuckle

  • Peaky Magpie

    Regardless of who he supports he’s a fuc*ing fat bas*ard…

    • Peter C

      Couldn’t agree more

  • Tweed Mag

    About time Lawrenson sold up and left punditry for good. Dire waffle.

  • thewildchimp

    He saw ManU and other big clubs and thought to himself: “Hey, I’ll make a hefty lump of money if I own a club! Where’s a good one… Oh, Newcastle United! Perfect!” Little did he know – you ought to invest heavily in order to earn as the big boys, no matter the fan base. Now he has resigned himself to use the club as a free marketing platform and to get some pocket money from the TV deals and that’s that.