Saturday finished Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0.

Rafa’s team going ahead after 80 minutes, rather than the 70 seconds it took three weeks earlier against Southampton.

Ayoze Perez getting the important goal and another assist for Kenedy.

The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.

Here goes…


Are we safe now?

It would appear that from this point onwards it would take an incredible run of results for Newcastle to be relegated.

Realistically, we would probably have to lose all seven of our remaining games to go down from this stage. Given the confidence that the players and fans have at the moment, it is highly unlikely we will see such a turn around in events.

Home Form

Once upon a time not so long ago you would turn up to St James Park, no matter the opposition, and expect Newcastle to get something out of the game. That confidence is slowly drifting back into the fan’s attitudes.

Rafa is slowly turning SJP into what it used to be, and what it should be, a difficult place for teams to come. Even in the games at SJP this season where we haven’t taken the points (Swansea, Burnley, Everton… even Spurs) we have done ok, aside from being unable to put the ball in the back of net.

What Rafa has perfected, which I always argue is the key at Newcastle, something which Robson and Keegan knew, is if you get the fans on your side, then you are already 50% of the way there.

There is a more positive feeling around the club

Results are obviously the biggest contributor to this. Anyone reading this who goes every week, must surely tell you that there is a far more positive vibe around SJP compared with that of a year ago, or even 6 months ago. Even after missing a hatful of chances in the first half on Saturday, the crowd continued to get behind the team and push them on.

Likewise, I don’t think there has been as good a connection between the fans and a group of players in a while.


Still not clinical up front

It still feels like we need five chances to score a goal. By half-time on Saturday we could have had the game wrapped up! Yet it took a tap in 10 minutes before time to finally get the goal.

Of course sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get the three points, but up top is the area of the starting eleven that requires the most attention this summer.

If we are to avoid being in another relegation battle again next season, then we must be more clinical in front of goal.

Mikel Merino

Dropped from the squad entirely on Saturday – quite shocking that he couldn’t even register a place on the bench. All of us should agree that his form has dipped massively since he came back from injury.

However, Merino strikes me as the type of player who needs to be playing regularly to get the most out of him. Yet with Shelvey and Diame playing so well in the middle of midfield, there is just no way in for him at the moment.

Expect a return in ‘takeover talk’

As we move closer to safety, brace yourself for the inevitable takeover talk from the local media. The chronicle has already started the usual, “now Newcastle look safe, will Amanda Staveley renew her interest in the club” – I get the impression that most fans are just not interested in the takeover talk.

If it happens, then fantastic, but the recycling of rumours between now and the end of the season is likely to get tedious.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0


Newcastle: Perez 80

Possession was Huddersfield 37% Newcastle 63%

Total shots were  Huddersfield 4 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Huddersfield 3 Newcastle 3

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 67), Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 79), Shelvey, Kenedy, Gayle (Slimani 75)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy

Crowd: 52,261 (3,000 Huddersfield)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 go HERE)

(Despite not one effort on target David Wagner says Huddersfield didn’t deserve to lose! Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez reaction to the win HERE)

(Paul Merson gets very animated after watching Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 – Read it HERE)

(Alan Shearer loving what he saw as Newcastle beat Huddersfield – Read it HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

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  • Leazes.

    So ‘Positives’ are one of your positives….? bonkers!

    How many wins at home all season is it now?….. that is the truth of the matter and how many points from top of the table clubs? Clue: if you take out the smash and grab against manure…. one point….

    The chronicle are filling pages like Mr, Jensen!

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      I’m honestly impressed how you pry yourself out of bed each morning with how dreary a picture you always seem to paint

    • TG

      Why would you ask how many points against the top clubs and in the same breath discard the 3 points off utd?? Bonkers

      • TheNutJob

        1 win in 16 games isn`t good enough & Jose always has a bad day as St James`.

      • Leazes.

        because you get three points from a single game David.

  • Paul Patterson

    Looks like we’re safe.
    #gettingoutofthechampionshipattgefirstattempt 😂🙋💩👏⚽🚕👇

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Spoke to Merino before the game and he was gutted not to be in the squad. Amanda will not buy the club and can not see anyone else buying us either.
    Thank goodness for Perez scoring the winner two players on the line plus the keeper a class goal which will keep us up. Some papers gave him eight out of ten today the Mag six but that is not surprising.

    • TheNutJob

      lucky kid, he usually gets 4

      • Paul Patterson

        He was average most of the game, but, as is the way, goals are what count. Well done to the lad.
        There were a few occasions Alan Shearer had a poor game but he pop in the winner..

        • TheNutJob

          he`s average every game, if we`d bought a number 10 he`d be on the bench. he`s not good enough at this level.

      • Kneebotherm8

        3.40 from me…..

    • Ba ba.

      We’re did you speak to him the hotspur

  • mactoon

    We are all but safe and this will spark the usual “new bid from Staveley ” and “new potential buyers emerge” news bulletins which will provide a distraction from the fact (IMO) that Ashley has succeeded in his goal of staying in the Premiership through Rafa’s skill at managing a Championship squad resulting in no funds being made available for transfers in the summer. Yet again Ashley has managed to scrape through without investment and I see nothing changing in the immediate future

    • Come&TakeIt1836

      Except we receive £100M+ and that does change things. Whether it changes outcomes we’ll see but it does reset the club into a new financial landscape they’ve not had since the last time major money was spent so the recent ‘before’ and soon-to-be ‘after’ are not really comparable.

      And not to be too argumentative but I don’t think the squad should be considered ‘Championship’. They aren’t world-beaters by anyone’s evaluation but they were the best team in the league last year suggesting they were clearly better than that league and currently have six teams that are unarguably ‘premier’ in status (were in the league last year) below them on the table. They may have some ‘Championship’ individuals but they are a ‘Premier’ team. Just my humble opinion.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Would Pardew have succeeded with this squad?……I personally think he’d have taken this club down with West brom………the present manager must take the lions share of the credit for this squads likely survival in this division….

        • Jezza

          I believe we’d be mathematically relegated by now with Pardew in charge. Tragically I also truly believe that we’re about to find out exactly how Pardew would do with this squad.

          • Kneebotherm8

            I think you’re spot on there with the first point……..hopefully your second point doesn’t happen…… but it ain’t beyond the realms of possibility with this owner…

        • Come&TakeIt1836

          Pardew is incapable. But his projected failure nor the old substandard achievements of the remaining players from SM or JC’s days aren’t the basis for the measure of the squad. Similarly, the fact that Rafa can squeeze nearly every ounce of potential out of them just goes to show and validate their true status…Premier. This takes absolutely nothing away from Rafa. In fact quite the opposite.

          Southampton and West Brom are Premier squads (at least in skills, I’m not sure in mental makeup) but are playing below their skill down to managers or mental weakness or injuries or whatever. They are still rated at their normal potential. It look like they will get to ply their Premier potential in a different league or on different teams.

      • mactoon

        It’s the same squad who struggled to win the championship and are now struggling to stay in the premiership. And the money coming into the club bears no correlation to the money Ashley will make available for summer transfers. He has achieved his goal.. staying in the premiership without spending money and he will continue to gamble on Rafa keeping the club in the premiership without investing the necessary money to get the players we need to achieve that

        • Jezza

          Excellent comment.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          He’s not going to put more of his own money in if that’s what you mean. Money will be made available from the income generated.

          • mactoon

            I know he won’t put any of his personal money in, I also don’t think he will make enough of the clubs money available to fund transfers while he is trying to sell it. January showed us that with relegation threatening he refused to buy any players and gambled on loan deals with an injured striker to score the goals to keep us up. Also the transfer window opens on 17 May and the club accounts are due in on end of June so I don’t expect any money to leave the club until the accounts are published in order to show a healthy profit to any potential buyers.

            I expect Rafa will have to sell players in order to get enough money to make the current loan deals permanent and nothing more.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            And if he wasn’t putting his own money in, what money were you thinking he had available for purchases in January?

            The club’s books that are being reported are for the prior year. The management team will have monthly (or more often) financial reports and projections they are looking at for the current year and the decisions are being made off of these.

          • mactoon

            you forget there were bids of up to £15 million made for Jorgensen as well as his wages and agents fees. There was also the money spent on the 3 loan deals with wages and the matter of 11 live televised matches for which we have earned over £1 million each. The money was available and could have been released in advance of payment as it was ‘on account’ but Ashley will neither make it available or buy players in staggered payments making it more affordable. As I’ve said I believe he won’t buy a player while he is trying to sell the club.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            We don’t know the timing of the payments offered for £15M and the deal was not agreed. It may have been £2M in January and £13M in the future… or not. But maybe the deal wasn’t agreed b/c the selling club wanted more cash up front and NUFC didn’t have it to give.

            My understanding is none of the TV money has actually been received. Even if ~£11M has, add to it the gates from the first half of the year (~£13M) and the few million generated at the end of the last window…it is likely most of that was needed for weekly wage bills and club operations. Loan deals were the only option for a game-changing level of player. The material change in the finances will be the pending tv money payout.

          • mactoon

            Rumour has it there was a TV money pay out already but the TV money would not be taken into account for paying wage bills etc. at the beginning of the year as they couldn’t base forecasted accounts on income you may or may not receive based on the fact you don’t know how many matches you will have televised. (Leeds did this years ago and based their accounts on qualifying for the Champions League or some such and it ruined them)

            My point is, in January he knew we had over £11 million coming and could have released this early for transfers but he didn’t. He could negotiate the purchase of a player in instalments, but he won’t and this affects how we are unable to buy players when other clubs can.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            I see your point. As of January we actually knew we had £120M+ coming within six months. My suggestion at the time was to take out a short term loan that could be repaid in May and buy what we needed to help ensure survival. If they could defer the purchases/cash flow by setting them up as loans, then this was a savvy option. We cannot own Kenedy or Slimani but we also were not going to get two of that level of player with the cash we had (including £11M if in the accounts). Since a loan could be done, it was the best option. It is unfortunate Slimani re-injured himself but he has already played more minutes in his one cameo than Sturridge so I think this is just the roulette wheel that can be a part of transfers.

            I think we will buy several players in the summer but I won’t be surprised if we also continue to manage the budget by maximizing incoming loans for another year. Even with the tv money, at the current prices of players the money isn’t really enough. We should have 1-3 significant upgrades on offense and then general squad depth improvement elsewhere. It may take another year to have the money to consider trying to sign a marquee name.

          • Jezza

            “what money were you thinking he had available for purchases in January?”

            £28.5 million transfer profit since Rafa took over and £40 million television money received by the club in January for a kick off.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            What do you think the bottom line of the operating budget looked like for the year the club was in the Championship through this year with only gate receipts to pay the wages and bills? Similar to how Sunderland sold their goalie to pay a few debts, I’m sure some of our transfer dollars incoming in the past 18 months were used for other necessary club expenses and there is still probably a loss on the bottom line.

            Where is it reported that £40M cash was given to the club in Jan? Everything I have seen said payouts occur in May.

          • Jezza

            Middlesborough got relegated last year and their net spend in the Championship was significantly higher than Newcastle’s in the Premiership. Middlesborough also kept all their best players when they went down unlike Newcastle who sold £90 million worth of playing talent. There can be no excuses for Newcastle’s long running ongoing chronic lack of investment in the transfer market. The club is more profitable than ever but our transfer spending is at an all time low.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            ‘The club is more profitable than ever’… remember this phrase when the club’s income statement is released in the next few days/weeks…

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            What about the transfer deficit from the previous manager?

            You note £68.5m of income over two years but it costs £70m in wages alone to run this club every year.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The thing is, we got far better players in as loans than we would perms. Kennedy wasn’t coming as a perm, neither was Slimani.

            As far as the accounts are concerned, that’s a red herring. No purchaser is going to do so based on year-end accounts. The year end accounts don’t need to be filed until 31 March 2019 and the accountants will not even start to put them together until October.

            Of the current loan deals, only the keeper has an option to buy. Kennedy may have quite enjoyed it here but why would Chelsea sell? They may do if they want Lascelles and try and put a condition on us selling Lascelles to them, they may even agree a season long loan for next year as a carrot to sell Lascelles or even a sweetener with Cahill thrown in. Silami has more chance of being completed IF he enjoys the next few months because Leicester do want to sell but if the Monaco deal comes alive again, i don’t fancy our chances.

            It also makes very little difference in terms of the finances if we are going to buy a player.

          • mactoon

            The loan deals are good and I rate Slimani but wouldn’t have gambled with the injury. I doubt Rafa wanted loan deals a he’s trying to build something here so wanted permanent signings. I fully expect him to delay signing any new contract in order to put Ashley in the position of having to buy players or risk losing the best manager we could attract for nothing. God forbid Rafa leaves and Ashley sees that Pardew is available…

        • Come&TakeIt1836

          ‘Struggled to win’… but they did win and against a field that included other potential Premier level squads.

          ‘Struggling to stay’… the bar for ‘Premier’ status isn’t the European places. It is 17th. And the will stay and we can say that at the beginning of April. It isn’t mathematically assured but on a probability curve, relegation is out past the 98-99th percentile. And so they are what they have achieved and it would appear they will have exceeded the minimum with quite some margin for error.

          ‘Money coming into the club bears no correlation to the money MA will make available for summer transfers’. Ok. You could be right as it is decision to be made. But based on what proof can you claim he is more likely not to spend? History suggests otherwise. The one year the club had the books right and cash to spend, it was spent. If he trusted SM ~£100M, surely he can trust Rafa with the pennies the club has generated this year.

  • kingfisher

    It’s quite obvious that if Ashley would not give Rafa the required funds to compete this season, which is one of the most important seasons for years, (considering that he may be able to sell if we are still in the Prem,) then there’s no way on Gods earth that he will suddenly have a light bulb moment and start putting proper finance in place next season and the season after that etc, God forbid he’s still here next season

    • mactoon

      It’s just astonishing that he doesn’t finance transfers given that even three decent players will make the team stronger and end up with a higher league position. The man is an idiot

      • kingfisher

        Well said mactoon. For a supposedly “astute hard nosed business man” he is, as you so eloquently put it “an idiot” ( to say the least)

      • Ba ba.

        Exactly he’s a moron

      • Jezza

        No he’s not an idiot, he’s a money grabbing capitalist businessman who has calculated that the financial rewards for a higher league finish are less than the costs of sufficiently strengthening the team to ensure that higher position. It all boils down to money with Fatso. All he cares about is how much money he can take from our club not what the team can achieve on the pitch.

        • Rich Lawson

          i can’t believe the 3rd negative is ”most fans are sick of takeover talk” Ffs does he not read this site ? I live for the day a takeover happens and we keep the best manager we have had in donkey’s years and give him the funds he needs to do the job he is clearly so capable of ?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        The club financed transfers in the Summer, we had a good window in January and although we were unlucky with the Slimani injury, he looked decent in his cameo on Saturday.

        • mactoon

          A good transfer window is not getting two loan deals one of which didn’t kick a ball for us until April. We were threatened with relegation and he refused to buy players on permanent deals.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            So who was available to buy in January? Slimani was but the asking price was £25m and he didn’t want to move to us permanently if we were at risk of relegation, the danish lad was £20m.

            If it was your money, what would you have done?

          • mactoon

            I would have taken the list of players Rafa wanted and worked with him to get at least two permanent signings including a striker by meeting the selling clubs valuation within reason. The transfer policy of Charnley is to offer less in every case which inevitably results in failure. The fact that Rafa had names for the positions he wanted means there were players out there in his opinion. Charnley got none of them (I doubt Rafa wanted loan deals)

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            If it was your money, you’d have done that? Sturridge was on Rafa’s list, he’s played 35 seconds of football and got injured, his wages are over £6m a year. Are you offering a 5 year deal and we get relegated? How can you afford £6 1/2 m a year? Let’s say the Dane came at £20m, he’s not scored in a poor Dutch league in 2 months, maybe he comes, he’s rubbish and we go down, the £20m has gone and he’s earning £4m a year? Those two players have just cost you the entire income for Huddersfield Town last season.

          • mactoon

            They would be your choices? I wouldn’t touch either of them with a bargepole. I would discuss this with Rafa and see if we could move onto the next target. I want players but I wouldn’t just throw money away, I did say within reason. I’ve always said I would see what Man U wanted for Rashford or Leicester wanted for Vardy now that would be interesting. Glenn Murray, Milivojevic and Arnautovic would be fair targets too.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You have to be realistic, why would Rashford have come in January or at any time. He’s in the Man Utd squad, the biggest football brand in the world, he’s not going to Newcastle United. Ask yourself, would you have thought it likely that Rashford would go to Southampton or Stoke.

            Vardy turned down £125k a week to pay for Arsenal, how much do you think it would take for us to get him and again, with the risk of being relegated? West Ham to sell us Arnautovic? It’s not likely is it? We weren’t prepared to sell our 4th choice striker, Mitrovic to Brighton so why would they sell Glenn Murray to us (he’s not better than Gayle BTW), a similar story for Milivojevic.

          • mactoon

            Maybe but worth a punt to see if Rashford was sick of being on the bench. The others are all players who have scored twice as many goals as Gayle.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Why would he? Arsenal, Chelsea, even City would take him, he would not entertain coming here.

            The other players mentioned all play for clubs who are in the relegation threatened group of teams, they will not sell their top scorer to a rival, we refused to sell Mitrovic to Brighton for that very reason.

            Of those available, we got the best player available even though we got stung by injury

          • mactoon

            The actual names aren’t important, I could give names and you would just knock them all back one by one. Even if I made a point you agreed with I doubt you would acknowledge it, seems you just want to argue.

            The point I am making is that there are players out there being sold for under £20 million who have all scored twice the goals our strikers have and there was nothing to stop the club going for them. I acknowledge January is a difficult transfer window but I stand by my statement that Rafa wanted players brought in early on permanent deals and due to the clubs inertia and inability or refusal to do this we were reduced to the level of loaning injured players on the last day of the window. I seriously doubt an injured player was top of his list. Another gamble by Ashley that Rafa can squeeze enough out of the players to keep us up without the required investment to take the club forward. Survive not compete is Ashley’s motto!

            One more point with regards to the type of players in Rashford and Vardys price range. I have no doubt if Sports Direct had been paying for the advertising they have received for nothing we would be in a better position financially to compete with other clubs for those type of players. But that’s another argument.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It might sound like it but I’m not just arguing for the sake of it, I mean you have to be realistic.

            Why would a player come to Newcastle United?

            Players who would come-

            A young player doing well at a Championship club will be keen, names aren’t important but say Ollie Watkins from Brentford it’s the step up they want.

            A foreign player at a championship side say Matej Vydra at Derby would jump at the chance it’s the step up they want.

            A player not getting a game with their club in the premier league.

            A player in a lesser foreign league looking for a stepping stone into the EPL.

            Why would the club not sell?

            The Championship example, Brentford and Derby will still fancy their chances of getting into the play-offs, any money they get for the player is negated by ruining their chances of promotion.

            The Premier league club may not want to sell to a rival.

            The foreign side may have their own ambitions to worry about.

            Finally, if someone is interested in a player in January, that interest is not going to go away by the Summer.

            There is not really an incentive to sell good players in January.

            My point here is we got better players in this window that would have been available as a permanent so surely that has been a success?

          • mactoon

            Dubravka and Kenedy look really good and once Slimani is up and running he will be good, I really do rate him and he looked a handful when he came on. But, If we don’t have the chance to make these players permanent they are just papering over the cracks which will re appear if they go back to their clubs. Kenedy has no purchase clause, Dubravka already saying he will wait to see where we are at the end of the season before he commits and Slimani who didn’t want to come permanently. That’s why I would prefer to buy players who want to play for the club. All the players I mentioned were available at one time or another and I think they are the type we should be going for at this stage to improve what we have, not wasting £12 million bids on the likes of Jurgensen who I don’t think is worth it.

            With regards to who would come to Newcastle, good points you raise and I don’t disagree with them but if Ashley ran it like a football club the potential would be massive and attractive to any player. We’ve gone from the entertainers where everyone wanted to play for us, to Ashley where players see this club as a stepping stone to better things and now a club where the owner just wants to go and is not running or investing in the club correctly.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Slimani didn’t want to come permanently in January because Monaco were after him AND of course we could have been relegated. He could be like Kenedy and start to enjoy it getting a regular game and the buzz of the crowd (a tax free Monaco may not offer the crowd).

            We’re in the hands of Chelsea with Kenedy.

            Dubravka is likely to stay but I’m not sure he’s so good. Keepers have great debuts as the opposition don’t always know who they are up against. Man United may have prepared for Darlow who loses concentration and stands up on one on one’s but didn’t know much about Dubravka, Dubravka has had the odd moment since.

            The players you mentioned were not available in January, that’s the point here.

            We said goodbye to being the entertainers in 1997 and it still took too much money to get anyone to play for us. When Ashley took over, we were struggling to stay up with a team of mercenaries. All players see most clubs as a stepping stone to better things.

            The owner wants out but he’s running it at arms length and self-contained until he sells, I’m not sure what you’d expect him to do. He’s invested in the club and it’s swallowed a lot of money, it may not have been invested correctly but if you expect him to put more in, it’s not happening.

          • mactoon

            Let’s hope the loan players do stay. With regards to the others I mentioned, as I say the names are unimportant I am just saying these TYPES of player are out there.

            I don’t expect him to put any more of his own money in, I expect him to run it correctly. Part of his problem is the way he does transfers. Most clubs stagger payments over 5 years (Spurs with Sissoko for example) Ashley will only pay a fee up front and this limits the amount he will release at one time. We splash out all the fees at once yet incoming payments from players sold trickle in over a 5 year period. The expenditure in one financial year just doesn’t balance against the income, it just doesn’t make sense to do this. Staggering payments across the club’s financial years allows more flexibility in transfers.

            My other main gripe is SD. No other club would allow a sponsor to have free advertising for 10 years, it’s nothing short of a disgrace. And I don’t believe ‘it’s in return for the interest free loan’ that connection didn’t surface until quite recently when someone from the club was questioned about it during the fans forum and he came up with that excuse. Withholding payment over this period has severely limited our commercial income stream and it is purely for Ashley’s benefit.

            And the clubs not self contained yet in terms of being self sufficient. He says he is only allowing Rafa to spend what the club has made (although even that isn’t true) but after 10 years we still owe well over £100 million to Ashley.

            We need our own discussion forum :)

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We paid up front because that could drive the price down. Before season 15/16 Whilst we were in the EPL, it was a huge adavantage both home and abroad, we had cash and other clubs did not. Try buying a 2nd hand car with cash vs the never never, cash is king.

            The Sports Direct advertising is something I can’t see why it’s an issue. Perimeter advertising income is around £2m less than comparable clubs such as Everton. We miss out on £2m whilst we are borrowing £144m, that means we’re paying 1.3% interest on our borrowing.

            The thing is, it’s not to Mike Ashley’s benefit. Had Sports Direct paid £2m for the advertising, mike Ashley is the 100% shareholder of NUFC so that £2m is 100% to Mike Ashley from a company that he owns 55% of. The reason that would be frowned upon is Sports Direct is a PLC and the city do not majority shareholders creaming money off so he’s happy with the trade off.

            As for self-sufficient. When Ashley took over, we lost £33m a year and the business was insolvent to the tune of £16m. Those losses had to be reversed and the business is now solvent to the tune of £31m.

          • mactoon

            no its not solvent. For the year ended 30 June 2016 we show an Operating Profit of £32.5 million but those accounts show an outstanding debt in the form of an interest free loan/debt to the value of £129 million payable to Mashley on demand.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Total assets exceed liabilities by £32m, the loan to Mike is not repayable on demand

          • mactoon

            Seriously! Check the accounts on companies house we owe £129 million and he can claim it back any time he wants to. The assets you state are for that financial year only. The debt I refer to is an ongoing liability.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            No, O the £129, £111m is due after more than one year, I.e. not on demand. Assets exceed liabilities by £31m

          • mactoon

            The accounts for one financial year show an operating profit of £32.5 million.. for that year.
            The club has a debt of £129 million outstanding to mashley. We are not in profit overall

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            No, you are reading it wrong. We made a £5m profit. The debt is not related to profit.

            Think of it this way, if your income exceeds your outgoings and your house is worth more than the mortgage outstanding, you are OK. That’s how the club is now.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            This is correct. Only £18M is payable on demand… or at least was at the last time numbers were made public that I saw.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The new figures will be published on Co House this week, the loan goes up and the profit will be a loss. Hopefully the loss will be less than £20m

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Yes. I have the loan at £144M. The loss amount depends on how much they could cut in player wages and player amortization through the transfers out that occurred. I think the loss number will be in the £15M range but it is just an educated guess. I’m also guessing the Cash amount is £0.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I think you may be right £15-20m but we lost £18m the last time we were down. Interestingly, there were a number of security charges satisfied and released this month which date back to 2009.

            This may mean nothing but could mean the bank is clearing obstacles to allow a change of ownership

          • mactoon

            Think of it this way. If your income exceeds your outgoings FOR THAT YEAR, you are in profit. But you have a house worth £192 million and you have not paid the mortgage, you owe the bank £192 million as that is a debt.

            So for any particular year the club can show an operating profit (which consists of money coming in against operating expenses) but the outstanding balance of monies owed via the club’s interest-free loan from owner MAshley was unchanged at £129m (it will be more now). Yes it is separate from any operating profit made in a particular year but it is still owed and must be repaid.

            Accounts cover one financial year and it can show a profit for that year but the loan is a constant debt until repaid.

            Only £18 m is payable on demand and the rest is repayable after one year.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The club made £32m in 2015, £5m in 2016 and most likely a loss in 2017. in 2016,

            In 2016:
            The club has assets of £238m, it owes Mike Ashley £129m and has other liabilities of £78m meaning it’s in a pretty healthy position. Wages were just 59% of turnover which in football terms is good.

            Just for comparison,
            In 2007:
            When Ashley took over we had just lost £33m were running with wages at 73% of turnover . We had assets of £144m and liabilities of £160m, all of the liabilities were to external creditors – not a good position.

          • mactoon

            can you break down your figures of £238m assets and £78m liabilities? I can’t see them in the accounts

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            refer to page 9 of the 2016 accounts:
            Fixed assets – £181m
            Stock – 22k
            Debtors (mainly unpaid transfers out) -£55m
            Cash £2m

            Loan payable on demand from MA – £18m
            Loan payable with 12 months notice £111M
            Trade creditors – £3m
            Internal group creditors £1m
            HMRC £9m (£6m payroll taxes and £3m deferred tax)
            Accruals (mainly unpaid transfers in)- £64m (£45m current, £19m deferred income)

          • mactoon

            Bear in mind the £238m assets aren’t all cash in hand.

            It includes a massive £115m intangible assets (ie the value of the playing squad) so this not cash in hand, it’s a value obtained if you sold all the squad. Not going to happen.

            It also contains £55m of money owed by clubs who have bought our players under contracts including staged payments of up to 5 years so only 1/5th can be accounted for in any one year.

            Ashley also loaned a further £33m in Dec after these accounts were published which increases the loan debt

            In the report on the club’s site “Net debt increased to £127.3m in June 2016, representing the reduction in the company’s cash position at the year end”.

            And all that’s before HMRC hit us with possible tax evasion fines.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’m not sure of the point you are making. No business is sitting there with all it’s assets in cash, the playing squad valued at £115m included 5 players that were later sold in the summer for around £75m so that’s a fairly conservative valuation (i.e. impairment or amortisation was over-stated)

            You are confusing cash flow with profit, if a (non cash accounting) business sells it’s product on credit, the sale is counted as the asset leaves the factory/warehouse/training ground even if payments are come in instalments. Football clubs see these payments as secure as the FA will divert media /TV money if the debtor club don’t pay.

            Again, you are sort of right, Ashley’s company lent £33m in December 2016 with the £18m being repaid so debt went up £15m in Dec 16. The debt to Mike / his company (St James Holdings I think) is £144m (£111m to Mike and £33m to StJH).

            You may be getting misled by the commentary to come to the wrong conclusion: “Net debt increased to £127.3m in June 2016, representing the reduction in the company’s cash position at the year end”. This means that if you look at the previous year, we were cash rich with £50m sat in the bank. In the Summer of 2015, we bought Wini, Mitro etc which meant we reduced this cash figure to just £2m by hte end of 2016 with playing assets increasing from £46m to £115m. in Summary, at the end of 2015, Mike thought he had better get a some key players in so we could push on and avoid relegation so in came Mitro, Wini, Thatvan etc and also take advantage of us being minted with cash and all the opposition having to wait for their TV money so cash was ploughed into players.

          • mactoon

            Just pointing out it’s easy to say because we have £238m assets we are in a good position, the accounts go a lot deeper than that and there’s a lot of intangible amounts. We’re not necessarily in a healthy position when “our adopted strategy has only been made possible by the cash injection from our owner and these accounts reflect a reduction in commercial income followed by relegation and further sizeable investment in our playing squad” (Lee Charnley) The next accounts will be a truer reflection of how healthy we are after the cost (and reduced income) from being relegated. Although to be honest it’s hard for anyone to come to a fair conclusion of the club’s current financial state based on accounts nearly two years old!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We can’t see the 2017 accounts yet, so all we can comment on is the 2016 position which is very good. The Charnley note there because there is a material difference to the business after the accounts date and that position will be covered by the owner. He will also have to note as a director that the position improve after June 2017 as we’ve been promoted.

            At June 2017 are we in a strong position? Not as good as June 2016 but (barring an unforeseen catastrophe) more than likely much better than June 2007.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            This was 2014-15. There was also £48.3M of cash on account. This was the year’s report prior to the money being spent during SM’s watch.

            For 2015-16, the player wages jumped up ~£10M, player amortization increased ~£8M, and the profit on player sales dropped over £13M all pointing to the increased investment. Despite all of the negative directions (in a financial sense…positive sense for the intended squad capabilities) by line item, the club still reported a £4.6M profit. There was only £1.7M in cash heading into the relegation year.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Rafa wanted Kenedy, a goalkeeper and Slimani was on his list. It’s January, players don’t want to sign permanently with a club that may go down, Chelsea weren’t selling Kennedy and although Leicester were happy to sell Slimani, he thought he was going to Monaco with a Champion league place, he was hardly going to sign for us with the risk of playing at Shrewsbury next term.

          • Jezza

            We haven’t had a single good transfer window since Ashley took over the club. While other clubs view transfer windows as an opportunity to strengthen the team, Ashley likes to use them to line his pockets.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            So, in January we got a keeper, a creative force in midfield and a striker valued at £27m. That striker who you promised would never play for NUFC and according to your imaginary world, cost us nothing. That striker played on Saturday, had a part in us scoring and it’s just been published that ilhe cost us a chunk in agents fees alone.

            Your credibility cannot be lower.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Ashley spent twelve million on Murphy who never gets a game and ten million on merino who can not even get in the squad. So if you were Ashley would you spend another forty seven million on players who do not play.

      • Paul Patterson

        So your answer to the situation is sign nobody?

        • Ba ba.

          😂 😂

        • Jezza

          He just wants to wind up Newcastle fans and provoke a reaction.

      • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

        good point

      • TheFatController

        Well, given the age of both players you mention, they were never expected to walk into first team regular status.

        Were we to sell either of them, you’d probably make a profit. Therefore they are exactly the type of player Ashley wants us signing.

        But nice try to spin them as negatives. Next…?

      • Mrkgw

        Have to agree that Murphy has been a waste of £12m this far. Whether he ever comes good is debatable and I can see him being sold in the summer, returning the cash to the big mans pocket.

        • Jezza

          Don’t feed the troll, marra. Back in the summer he was banging on about what a great signing Murphy was and what a brilliant achievement it was by Ashley to bring the lad to St James’s Park.

          • Wor Lass

            I disagree with most of what he says but his popint here is that Rafa has spent money on players he then doesn`t play. It`s a point he`s made before – along with Bobbi and Clarko, surprisingly (not). The point he/they are missing is that they are both young and other players are doing too well to be dropped. They have both shown good potential and their turn will come, in my opinion. They strengthen the squad and we won`t need to buy players in their positions next year. Merino not being in the squad suggests he`s carrying some sort of niggle and wasn`t going to be risked.

          • Jezza

            Murphy and Merino were both signed purely for their sell on potential. They were Ashley signings not Rafa signings. I think that after the recent January window there can be no doubt whatsoever that Rafa has got no involvement in the club’s transfer business.

            The troll is using these players’ lack of playing time as an excuse to bash Rafa. The troll bashes Rafa for exactly the same reason he defends and praises Ashley. Purely and simply because he knows it winds up Newcastle supporters.

          • Ba ba.

            All managers make mistakes not that I see merino and Murphy as that, they have time on there hands and will develop under rafa and the senior players… Merino has never looked right since his back injury plus the way diame and shev are playing its going to be hard to break into the team… Rafa explained his reasons on not including merino Saturday gone and the lad was fine with that…also Hayden made an appearance and did a good job winning some important headers and breaking up play.

      • Ba ba.

        Both young lads who have the potential to be great players. .. Look at diame hated now he’s turned it round he’s one of the first on the team sheet I look for… As for fatty I hope he dies. 👍

        • Cockneytrev

          Try to ignore him mate,, he’s either a troll or needs serious help,,,

          • Jezza

            He is both.

      • kingfisher

        I would spend enough to enable us to compete, and if that means a few mistakes along the way then fair enough as you can’t get it right all of the time,but you have to speculate to accumalate and if he can’t afford to do that then he should’nt be running our club.

        • Jezza

          Whether or not Ashley can afford to strengthen the team is irrelevant. There is more than enough money in the club’s operating profit to bring in the players we need to take us to the next level but Ashley prefers to pocket all of the profit rather than re-invest some of it in the team.

          • kingfisher

            Agree ! Some on here just spout statistics and numbers, but all you have to do is look at the fees we got for big Andy, Cabaye, etc, plus the Prem money and compare those figures with what we’ve actually spent on players. How any one can come close to backing Ashley is beyond me.

          • Jezza

            The two trolls who infest this forum under multiple ID’s back Ashley purely because they know it winds up Newcastle supporters.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Who are they Jezza? I will block them because I can’t cope with anyone having a different view to me as I’m so stupid I can’t debate or discuss topics on a (note the word) discussion forum.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Ignore Jezza, he’s a liar.

            You have to look at all the costs, yes we sold Andy Carroll but we added players along with wages etc.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            he’s not pocketed a penny yet, you keep repeating this lie.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            How much profit was there last year? We will find out in a few days but open the window, you need to throw your argument somewhere.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          At what point do you stop spending? He’s had 11 years and is £275m down.

    • Jezza

      Correct. Ashley has proven time and time again that he is perfectly happy to leave the profits untouched and gamble on the team avoiding relegation/getting promoted without reinforcements. Nothing will ever change on that score.

  • FairsCup69

    If Dubravka, Kenedy and Slimani had been permanent signings (circa £40m combined) I would have been more than happy. As it is, we’re left wondering what will become of them at the end of May.

    • Jezza

      I’ll tell you right now exactly what will become of those three players. They will end up being bought by far more ambitious clubs like Watford, Brighton and Burnley.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        How about a wager on that, I bet none of those three players move to those three clubs in the summer.


    Reading some comments it is like we have learned nothing over the last 11 years. A Leopard never changes it’s spots.
    If Fatman stays Rafa will get some of the money he raises on outgoing transfers. Our only hope for progress is if Rafa can sell players for big money and get some bargains in.
    Chelsea are supposed to be looking at our captain for 30 Mil, IMO Rafa would laugh at that bid but Fatman would probably take it.

    • Paul Patterson

      There’s no probably about it, he will probably barter it higher, but our captain will still end up going . .

  • pedrodelgardo

    You could make the case that a player of Merino’s class not getting in the squad tells you that the squad is in overall good shape, certainly injury wise. I make that 4-2 to the positives so I must be a happy clapper – get in!

  • Wor Monga

    …why look for negatives? there was no negatives…we won a vital game against a team that didn’t come up to entertain, but only to stifle, and stop us winning…however we scored a goal, and created enough to have scored a few more, but that’s not negative either because we kept another clean sheet, and picked up 3 vital points towards safety, whilst pushing one of the teams around us closer to the drop… 50,000+ people went home as happy as Larry, and the place was buzzing on Saturday night…great weekend…

    …and what do we see reading the Mag this morning…let’s pick out some negatives from the game, just to keep all those ‘fickle fans’ who wouldn’t be seen dead actually supporting the Toon, hoping to see disaster for us around every corner, happy!!!

  • Colin Brumwell

    On past history we are gearing up for another fight to get forty points next year,