The question of how quickly does time go by with Mike Ashley as Newcastle United’s owner, has two very polarised answers.

Most of the seasons have felt endless at the time but as I sit here now, I can’t believe that already we have endured 11 seasons under this disaster of an owner.

I checked back and found that another 11 year spell at Newcastle United was very different.

An 11 year stretch that ended only three years before Mike Ashley walked into St James Park.

From 1993 to 2004, we had a right adventure, what a time to be a Newcastle fan.

I can only sympathise with any younger Newcastle fans who have only experienced these 11 years under Mike Ashley.

Each season of the two 11 year periods is mapped out below but these are the highlights:

1993 to 2004

Seven European campaigns (plus the Intertoto ones) in 11 years.

Seven top six finishes in the Premier League, including five finishes in the top four, two of those as runners up.

Two FA Cup finals and four semi final appearances (including the two seasons we got to the final), plus a semi final appearance in UEFA Cup.

2007 to 2018

One top nine finish in the Premier League (though hopefully Rafa can add another this season).

Two relegations.

Two seasons in the second tier.

One European campaign (and afterwards Alan Pardew said ‘Thank God we aren’t in the Europa League next season!’

Not even a cup semi final appearance and never passed the fourth round of the FA Cup.

I make these comparisons not to depress everyone but to remind Newcastle fans that we can aspire to far better than what Mike Ashley has subjected us to.

There is no future with him remaining as owner. The only possible way going forward is Rafa Benitez staying AND new owners coming in.

It is only when Rafa Benitez has had enough of Mike Ashley, not if.


Kevin Keegan Manager, finished 3rd in the Premier League.


Kevin Keegan Manager, finished 6th in the Premier League. Competed in the UEFA Cup.


Kevin Keegan Manager, finished 2nd in the Premier League.


Kevin Keegan Manager and then Kenny Dalglish from January 1997, finished 2nd in the Premier League. Competed in the UEFA Cup.


Kenny Dalglish Manager, finished 13th in the Premier League. Competed in the Champions League. Got to FA Cup fnal.


Kenny Dalglish Manager and then Ruud Gullit took over in August 1998, finished 13th in the Premier League. Competed in the European Cup Winners Cup. Got to FA Cup final.


Ruud Gullit Manager and then Sir Bobby Robson took over in September 1999, finished 11th in the Premier League. Competed in the UEFA Cup. Trip to Wembley for FA Cup sem-final.


Sir Bobby Manager, finished 11th in the Premier League.


Sir Bobby Manager, finished fourth in the Premier League.


Sir Bobby Manager, finished third in the Premier League. Competed in the Champions League.


Sir Bobby Manager, finished fifth in the Premier League. Competed in Champions League (qualifiers) and UEFA Cup (got to semi-finals).



Sam Allardyce Manager and then Kevin Keegan from January 2008. Finished 11th in the Premier League.


Kevin Keegan Manager and then Chris Hughton from (start of) September, then Joe Kinnear from (end of) September, then Chris Hughton from February, then Alan Shearer from April. Finished 18th and relegated.


Chris Hughton Manager. Season in Championship, promoted as champions.


Chris Hughton Manager and then Alan Pardew from December 2010. Finished 12th in the Premier League.


Alan Pardew Manager. Finished fifth in the Premier League.


Alan Pardew Manager. Finished 16th in the Premier League. Competed in the Europa League.


Alan Pardew Manager. Finished 10th in the Premier League.


Alan Pardew Manager and then John Carver from January 2015. Finished 15th in the Premier League.


Steve McClaren Manager and then Rafa Benitez from March 2016. Finished 18th in the Premier League and relegated.


Rafa Benitez Manager. Season in Championship, promoted as champions.


Rafa Benitez Manager. Currently 10th in Premier League.

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  • Paul Patterson

    The biggest crime is that it has been club policy (as uttered by MD’s) to get knocked out of the cups early doors. That is criminal and shouldn’t be tolerated. ‘We demand a team that tries . . .’ etc.

    • ghostrider

      No it hasn’t been club policy.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Course it has, they booked at trip to Dubai 1 year that clashed with the 4th round of the Cup & they hadn`t even played the 3rd round tie

        • Paul Patterson

          It was also mentioned at a forum meeting (with stats) that relegation is too much of a risk so the Premier League is the priority. Then of course you have the fact that we’ve fielded weakened sides and been booted early doors every year. A bit of a give away.

    • Leazes.

      People who support other clubs shouldn’t be allowed to buy a football club!

      • Rich Lawson

        Good point,no they shouldn’t.Don’t have a history of support,why do you want it then ? Oh,as an advertising tool and to make money without showing your face there ? Love the people like Jack Walker,the Wigan bloke and especially the Barnsley guy who put their money back for love rather than commerce.

  • ghostrider

    We could argue the ins and outs of all of this pound for pound against all ownerships and we’ll find that all ownership era’s are and have been remarkably different as football moved on to deal with the devil.

  • Leicester Mag

    Supporters of Ashley are a toxic mix of WUMs whose motive is unfathomable and flat earthers who faced with the damming reality with bay well without him we’d have been Leeds.

    Saddest of all mediocrity has become the accepted norm. Welcome to football’s Orwellian nightmare.

    • Leazes.

      I use the block button its easy and it annoys them…

      • Wezza147

        Not to mention the way they act are certainly paid shills spreading disinformation in particular the finances of the club.
        Now why is this? Almost certainly you would think something financial is being covered up. Could it be the hundreds of millions Ashley has taken out of the club? We all know it.
        I just block them and they know I am right as well which infuriates them more!

  • Alreet

    Excellent piece that alot of ash leaning (sky) journos need to soak in.

    When we have a world beating gaffer we do very well. With money we can get top 5 or top 2.

    Baited breath to see if a sale happens. I really cannot see ash doing anything other than his norm of the past 11 years. Scrape by on what you have and make do with mid table at best.

    • Paul Patterson

      Some Journalists need to look and think, ‘If that were my club . .’

      • Alreet

        Thats the thing. They dont research anymore they just want to be bezzies with the top brass. Pathetic.

  • Leazes.

    ‘Eighth and no more than’….. that was Ashleys’s direct order to his Chairmen from 2008

    How do you then get decent players ?…. You promise them the stage to showcase their skills and move on to ambitious clubs.

    How do you stop fans walking out?…. You don’t you move the remaining fans around and create the worlds largest ‘family section’, seats at £3.50 a game for kids on level 7….. the fans who weren’t included in the Hall and Shepherd plans when they only built the stadium to 52k.

    You have essentially downsized the club, sold off its ability to compete and with nothing to aim for how do you then quell the dissatisfaction?…. You don’t you leave it to the imagination, with a compliant local press and a world class manager, they can let their imaginations take them to a dream scenario of a manager being given backing and funds.

    Do you give the manager funds?….. ‘No I give him £6m a year….Its the cheap option, put the club for sale [whisper] sort of disingenuously ‘the local press will buy that’.

    What about when they realise its a ploy……’I’ll have time to think of a new angle to play the fools’.

  • Cockneytrev

    The biggest crime is that so many clubs have overtaken us now,, at a time when the premier league has been awash with money we have stagnated commercially and on the pitch,,,, WHERE HAS THE MONEY GONE????? It’s not been spent on world class players,,,,
    And to all the Ashley tosspots who want to answer ,,FRACK OFF….

    • Wezza147

      Well said mate. Ive always wondered where all the money has gone but we all know where. It is the reason Ashley still has the club. He plainly uses it as a cash cow moneymaker and gets free sports direct advertising. How greedy does one have to be. As for the Ashley apologists/shills just block them mate, monkseaton magpies, fleckman, ghost rider etc.

  • Wezza147

    A truly disasterous ownership under Mike Ashley for everyone except his own bank account. Excitement and passion replaced with no hope and survival on a shoestring budget.
    The sooner he sells up the sooner we can movement forward.

  • Mirandinha9

    It’s not just the supporters of Cashley who are the problem, it’s also the 50,000 who turn up every week to accept the mediocrity put in front of them. We don’t have a decent Toon side, it’s plain average managed by a World Class Manager. The fans just simply tolerate things, without creating much fuss. A proportion of the older fans who witnessed the Keegan era wont readily accept current proceedings, but, overall too many do, putting money in Cashley’s pocket every week and such mediocrity willl last forever and the day. Meanwhile, Cashley loves every minute of it, laughing at every one of them who sets foot in SJP.

  • Nut

    It takes a very good manager/coach decent players and purchases.

    Under Keegan and Robson we had everything coming together.

    Unfortunately in these 11 years we haven’t had everything come together (apart from when we finished 5th) something has always been missing.

    It’s not a lack of spending, at various points the club has been backed under Pardew and under McClarren the team was backed and many of those purchased have gone on to prove themselves elsewhere inspite if being written off by fans, pundits and managers/club.

    So if it’s not the players we were buying if they are proving themselves elsewhere then what was it?

    It has to be the manager…. one thing in Ashley’s favour is he doesn’t tend to sack managers just look at how long he stuck it out with Oaf Pardew…. McClarren etc etc.

    However when we were relegated both times it coincided with serial changes to playing staff and management, both times this had a knock on effect to the psychological nature of the team, something McClarren couldn’t fix and Rafa eventually managed albeit a bit too late to save us from relegation.

    Just look at teams who invest multi millions, Manure, Chelsea, Man City, etc etc etc, when they change Manager they have a rehash of playing staff and it will either work or not, often then they finish off the mark.

    Until now under in these 11 years bar maybe Keegan we haven’t had a shot as our manager has been not good enough until now with Rafa.

    Now we need to see some investment even gradually in the team once more and some rebuilding, with luck and having the right building blocks in place maybe we can get somewhere we all want to be, challenging for some silverware.