I don’t know if all football supporters feel this way but for Newcastle United fans, it does often seem like the media think they can fool all of the people, all of the time.

An excellent result and superb performance as Rafa’s team beat Leicester 2-1 on Saturday afternoon, a win that was actually far more convincing than the scoreline shows.

Yet in the hours that have followed the final whistle, the fans’ celebrations have been intermittently interrupted by some laughable media reports.

Firstly, we have seen a rehash by a number of newspapers/websites of a days old story claiming that Rafa Benitez is set to take over at Real Sociedad this summer.

This is a Real Sociedad who have zero chance of competing in Spain with the meagre money from their domestic TV contracts, plus their crowds have been down to the fifteen thousand mark for La Liga matches this season.

Secondly, pretty amusing that the rehashed ‘Rafa for Real Sociedad’ rubbish is being published at the same time as lame claims that secret talks have been taking place between the Amanda Staveley bidding group and Mike Ashley representatives, for a Newcastle takeover.

Predictably, this kite flying story from The Mirror tells us nothing really and sounds exactly just like the daily articles we were subjected to by all the newspapers when the NUFC takeover story was at its heights.

It was hilarious even back then, when Mike Ashley went public through Sky Sports and said no takeover would be now happening during the season, adding that there had been no talks for a long long time.

This was despite the daily newspaper ‘updates’ at the time, having constantly claimed in those preceding weeks that this and that had happened, with Staveley saying/doing this, whilst Ashley/his people had done this etc etc.

With Newcastle’s improving results, it was The Telegraph who first broke cover, claiming before the win over Huddersfield last weekend, that Mike Ashley was prepared to restart negotiations with Amanda Staveley over a takeover, once Premier League safety had been achieved. The story added that two other prospective bidders had also made contact with NUFC but would also be waiting until safety was confirmed, before taking things any further.

Whether The Telegraph did have any info is anybody’s guess but the report did sound believable at least.

As for this latest from The Mirror today, it sounds a bit feeble/embarrassing if you ask me…

The Mirror:

‘Sunday Mirror Sport can reveal there have been constructive talks between Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s representatives and Staveley over the past few weeks.

Ashley ended all discussions with the group in January accusing them of a publicity stunt when they failed to come anywhere near his £350 million asking price.

But now with Premier League security looking more and more likely PCP are ready to increase their offer and move closer to Ashley’s valuation of the club he bought 11 years ago.

It’s understood that PCP’s confidence in securing a deal in the region of £300 million has led to them making plans to improve the club’s training ground.

All this is good news for manager Rafa Benitez who would have to think long and hard about his future in the summer if Ashley was still in charge.

Staveley’s group are committed to backing Benitez with a substantial transfer war chest if they wrest control of St. James’ Park and will immediately reward him with a new lengthy contract.’

Do you believe talks have been going on between Staveley and Ashley representatives since early March AND do you believe that The Mirror have inside information that this is so?

Claims of a ‘transfer war chest’ is always an essential to fit into this type of story.

As for ‘making plans to improve the club’s training ground’, you would expect any new owner to be looking at every aspect of the club that has been neglected.

It is some lengthy list and as well as the state of the art training ground promised by Mike Ashley years ago, you can add the underfunding of the first team squad, underfunding of the NUFC youth set-up, neglect of St James Park, as well as the obvious problems caused by a club owner repeatedly messing about and undermining his manager.

Reaching safety, even if not mathematically certain, was always going to see a deluge of unsubstantiated media tales surrounding the sale of Newcastle United, because of course the relegation talk/fears has to be replaced by something to fill pages/attract clicks.

I think most Newcastle fans will see these latest media reports regarding Ashley/Staveley and a takeover as believable as what was reported following the initial Staveley bid(s) and Ashley rejection last Autumn.

Telling people what they want to hear is all well and good but I think most Newcastle supporters think that when a sale of the club actually happens, it will come out of the blue and no doubt Mike Ashley will make sure Sky Sports have first go at it (as a condition of sale to Staveley or whoever), making sure he is portrayed in the best possible light.

Let’s hope that day comes soon and that Ashley is not going to be playing games once again, with a readiness to take a market price for the club, rather than setting a price that nobody is ever going to pay.

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  • Waxi

    The press are putting two and two together and getting five yet again. It will happen but we fans the press and any other person on this planet will not know until a deal has been signed sealed and delivered. That is why they sign the non disclosure agreement. Click bait yet again.

    • Leazes.

      I doubt anyone will make a bid until you hear the words ‘Rafa signs contract extension’….. It was six weeks ago that Ashley said there was no other bidders and Staveley certainly hadn’t the money …..or backers!

      • Waxi

        My point was the press giving it large with the farmyard yet again. I would love to think something might happen but if i was in MA’s shoes another free season of free world advertisement of tat direct might make me think why sell. Anything could happen of course but we won’t know about it until we get the Sky Sources rubbish on the telly.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      If Stavely’s lot are interested, they will move in the next month so it makes sense but she must have known the leaks last time made no difference in pushing Ashley to settle gitlr a cut price deal so I doubt she’s leaked anything to the press this time.

      Non-disclosure tends to relate to sensitive material disclosed in due diligence rather than details of an offer.

  • Fireman Sam

    Fat Ashley has no intention of selling up unless somebody is prepared to pay over the odds for us.

    The potential sale will be used as an excuse to sign nobody in the summer.

    Fat Ashley will pocket the TV money.

    And we a right back to square one.

    As long as Mike Ashley owns this football club, we are going nowhere forward.

    I wouldn’t even put it past him to cash in on Rafa, Lascelles and Shelvey.

    The fact we only have a couple of players worth selling says it all really. Without Rafa, we will drop faster than Sunderland.

    • TheTradge

      Ashley is a businessman first and foremost, and even he isn’t that stubborn to overlook the calamitous impact another relegation would have on his business, then he’d have no chance of making further profit. I doubt highly that there would be NO investment whatsoever this summer, but at the same time I’m not expecting Man City levels of spending, first thing we need to do is tie down Kenedy and Dubravka on permanent deals, and then make signing a top striker our number 1 priority, then another central midfielder, if we can do that I’ll be happy, because at the back we’re good, and there are plenty of options on the wing.

      • Leazes.

        Ashley is a businessman second-most….. first and foremost he’s a bastard…..watch and learn!

        • TheNutJob

          /😂😂😂

        • Fireman Sam

          Totally agree.

        • Wor Lass

          Well put, sir!

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Leazes’, you are just too thick to bother with.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            😂😂😂
            that, i very much doubt

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            OK, I bite every time but he is thick as pig poo

        • East Durham Mag

          That he is. An utter and complete one.

      • Fireman Sam

        Baring in mind the club made a profit last season.

        And, this season the club will have received at least another £60m in income from the TV deal.

        And considering we still have one of the lowest wage bills in the division.

        And have made a net profit on transfer dealings since Rafa came in.

        Don’t you think we should be starting next season with a couple of top quality forwards?

        Instead of Stoke, Palace and Leicesters rejects?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          The finances haven’t been published yet but I very much doubt there was a profit. I suspect a loss of around £15-20m.

          • Fireman Sam

            How could the club possibly make a loss with a 50% increase in income and a minimal increase in outgoings?

            Suppose it depends how much we get fined by HMRC and the FA

          • Wezza147

            Don’t listen to Bobbi, he is towing the line, employed by Ashley to spread disinformation about the finances of the club.
            Anyone and everyone can see where the money has gone and it isn’t on new players or wages. MASH holdings.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Yeah, nobody wants to listen to Bobbing and her so called login and understanding of reality. Please listen to the thick knuckle-draggers, they know what’s what?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Any proof on this or is it the word of an old soak down the pub?

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Last season the club was in the Championship. What ‘50% increase in income’ are you referring to? The club will likely report a loss on the bottom line… probably a pretty significant sized loss.

            Now this year revenues are up significantly but the timing of the most significant part of those revenues arrives in May which why the club has had to be on a shoe-string budget all year. MA said he would not provide the club any of his personal funds and he has not.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We were in the championship last year.

          • Ram Kishore

            I think he is talking about the finances of 2016 July to 2017 June.. The club hasn’t published it yet

        • HarryHype59

          The club will earn at least £109m in TV revenue this season. There are also a £6m payments due from Spurs for Sissoko

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            When do you want to payout on that bet? I’ll be at Everyone away and one more home game, let me know.

          • HarryHype59

            I thought we did a double or quits on the Hoss getting more than six goals! 😉

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I don’t recall that one but there is still time.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The club will get the TV money soon but the point is that it does not end up in Mike Ashley’s pocket!

            Also fireman Sam cites the “profit” Rafa made in the summer of 2006, that was the Sissoko money, it’s like Dianne Abbott’s spending plans, you can’t spend the same money twice!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      That’s not really how it works fella but nice try.

      • Rabid Dog

        I think that is exactly how it works. Please explain why you disagree

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Ashley wants sell up but it has to be at a reasonable price.
          If the new owners want Rafa to stay, it will be business as usual.
          Mike Ashley will not pocket the TV money, he’s not done so in 11 years and should there be a buyer the buyer buys the club and it’s assets, there is no pocketing of any money but for the consideration for the shareholding and repayment of his loan.
          If we went down, he may have cashed in on Rafa, Lascelles and all the other players buy we haven’t gone down and we press on, well acquire some new players.

          • Rabid Dog

            Acquire = loan. There will be no significant purchases. He pockets ALL the money. He pocketed the sale of the land, he’s pocketed all the revenue we could have got from a “proper” sponsor. He pocketed the revenue made from sales.

            You seem to separate Ashley’s personal money from the club somehow. Its one and the same.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He’s not ‘pocketed’ anything you utter fool

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He’s not pocketed anything though, has he?

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Endorsement from a fantasist.

  • Wor Lass

    Trying to prove there have been no talks by quoting what Fat Mike said is like trying to prove there`s a God by quoting from the Bible. His lips moved = lies!

    • TheNutJob

      believe nowt when it comes to the Son of Satan
      👹

    • Come&TakeIt1836

      “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

      “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they [who do not believe] are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

      • Rich Lawson

        Well it is Sunday,any comment from The Vicar on this one ?

      • East Durham Mag

        Ah Fairy tales.

      • Wor Lass

        Go forth and multiply!

  • Ba ba.

    It’s ridiculously boring…. 👍

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Take it you seem to know me with a previous comment the guru.

      • Ba ba.

        Guru travel….. Been on many a trip.

  • Wor Lass

    Mmmm – the mirror …..

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Not exactly the font of truth..

      • Wor Lass

        The perfect vehicle for fat Mike then, eh Bobbi?

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Just wish that woman would go away and leave us in peace. The last time she came on the scene causing trouble we went nine games without a win and we ended up in the bottom three. When Ashley told her to go away as she was a time waster we started winning again. Let her buy Sunderland if she can afford it.

    • Mayor Vaughn

      I hope she’s back on the scene and i hope she can get a deal done.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        She has no money to buy a football club just a time waster as Ashley said.

    • Mike

      safc up for a pound …..dam i got no change

    • Albert Stubbins

      I don’t think players are concerned with the possible takeover. They live in a bubble for the most part. I’d be amazed if they even had an incling of what was or is going on. It was simply a time of the season where we didn’t play well. Having lascelles missing for most of those games was the biggest factor for me.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        It was Lescelles who came out with the comment it did affect the players.

        • Albert Stubbins

          Lacelles missed 5 of those games through injury so how was he in a position to comment? he wasn’t even playing.

          • Ram Kishore

            Just because he wasn’t training doesn’t mean he didn’t sit in the tactical sessions right? Or in the gym or rehabilitation?..Just saying Monkseaton has a point for once lol

  • Mike

    i thought the takeover was conditional on Rafa staying? has this lass got any money? NO has she got a buyer NO the last ones pulled out. Is there a rich Arab/Russian waiting with a massive wedge? NO

    • Fireman Sam

      Is FAT Mike pocketing the TV money? YES

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        How? Not following your logic there.

      • Wezza147

        Sam, have you noticed every time anyone mentions ‘MA’ and ‘pocketing money’ the cretins come out of the woodwork to leap to his defence using shill tactics?
        The proof is there for us all to see.
        Loans, not spending money… but isn’t it the clubs money? Why would he not allow the clubs money to be spent? 100M TV money for this season has gone straight into MASH holdings.
        Let’s not forget Demba Ba was never replaced either!

        In my opinion I don’t think he will sell the club as he is making too much money out of it. Expect a long drawn out sale talk only to end in “Stavely wasn’t serious about paying 450M”, Rafa to walk and the fat man to stay put.

  • TheNutJob

    Jabba, jabba, jabba, oot, oot, oot. sling your hook Fatty, you`re not wanted at the Toon
    🐖🐖🐖

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Ashley will not sell the club….

    • Fireman Sam

      He’s making too much money out of NUFC to sell. Why would he!

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        He will only make money when he sells, go figure.

  • Fisherking

    Don’t want to here anymore take over talk all I want to see is Amanda or some rich Arab standing on the stairs at St James Park with the keys and that’s the 1st we know about it

  • Mxpx

    This is all designed to distract us from how much money the club has made and how little is spent on players

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      The figures are out this week so talk us through it.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        That`s your job Blobbi
        😂

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          I will do my summary, you can either accept this or maybe you will go with the lala land version of Lying Leazes / welching Jezza

        • Wezza147

          Does Bobbi like to use the cherry picked financial details released through Charnley as proof that Mike Ashley does not take money out of the club? I don’t think anyone here is fooled.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            No, I look at the audited accounts and comment accordingly.

          • Leazes.

            He doesn’t take money out of the club…. just the free advertising, the reward comes from the companies he owns giving him a dividend or extra shares for that advertising. He cant just take Sky’s money and shove it in his pocket, the Premier league would take a dim view of that

            United are losing money by this arrangement and Ashley is gaining from it financially and boosting the visibility of his brands and increasing their market value.

            We are losing money to him ….. but not directly. The money made from player sales paid for his jaunts into relegation.

            I think he’s getting between 3-5 million a year which is about the same as the Halls and Shepherds milked the club for.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You think he’s getting £3-5m a year?? I’d love to see your workings.

            On the basis of him not taking money out, you are right, “He doesn’t take money out of the club…. just the free advertising” (the advertising arrangement may well have changed)

            The problem is, as ever, your logic is wrong:

            The Advertising income for gone is about £2-3m, I would agree with that. The offset, however, is that he offers interest-free facilities which are running at some £144m so he’s forgoing around £6m in tying his money up at NUFC. If Sports Direct are saving the upper end of the estimation, £3m, he owns less than 55%of Sports Direct so his share of that benefit is around £1.65m which doesn’t get close to the loss of interest he’s suffered.

            Basically, NUFC get the best deal out of this arrangement.

    • Fireman Sam

      Totally agree

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Because you are simple?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    If and i say if there is a takeover,
    rest assured the Fat Lad will empty the till and do off like a Robber Baron of old

    • Fireman Sam

      He has been emptying it for a decade.

    • East Durham Mag

      I misread that and thought you said run off.. …. f all chance of that 😉

      • Andy Mac

        Waddle off then ?

  • NUFCLX

    If Fatman is still here every point we pick up until the end of the season will be another reason for him not to spend any money.
    I am convinced he will stay and I am convinced that Rafa’s transfer kitty will be some of the money he raises by selling players.

  • HarryHype59

    If this tedious takeover saga is to start again, can the Mag use a different
    picture of Stavely? I am sick of seeing that one.

  • thewildchimp

    It’s not about the news, it’s about the clicks. People click on controversial headlines to see if there are some actual news. Like me now.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I find it quite amusing that the take over story starts again the minute we are nigh on safe in the division lol
    it does seem like some lazy so called journalists putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5 as usual !
    Even if there was a modicum of truth to this story, Do we really want Staveley at this club ?
    She looks like a complete time waster and there has to be better people than her out there to buy the club.

  • FatParosite

    This is all Bishop hay making. Instead of blaming the trigger happy tabloids to print rubbish to sell copy or make clicks. ALL those resourceless hacks need to justify their meaningless jobs as the death throws of journalism march on. Take it from me the route of this source is definitively Bishop. He is employed to sound the horn to placate fans for lack of movement in the market as well as present a jam tomorrow scenario. The long and the short of it is Rafa has not & will not sign a contract without assurances. There has to be a decoy story in the news while the fans can see there is no movement by Ashley in anything.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      One thing that he’s not there for is to placate fans.

  • Down Under Mag

    Again???!?!?!

    To be honest, I don’t think the Staveley bid will be accepted, even if there is any truth to it. While i’m all for getting someone owning the club who actually care about the cub and not their own back pocket, how likely is that to ever be the case? Even as much as the Man City owners are shelling out, it is only to further elevate their own world image…the club is merely a tool for that. Any bid by Staveley is not going to be much different in spending than we are already seeing. Ashley’s main problem is his stubborness and arrogance, he has made some big mistakes and the club has suffered because of his unwillingness to take responsibility for his own lack of due dilligence and his own lack of judgement in who he has appointed in the past. But i’d be very careful of what you wish for with any potential ne wowners as it could literally be out of the frying pan – just look at the mess down the road after such hype when the owner took over and waved the cash around!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Pretty much spot on, you need to understand what motivates a buyer.

  • Andy Mac

    “You couldnt make it up” Yet still they try ?

    “Fatman ate my hamster and a months worth of hamster food too” is one I’d go with ?

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    As it happens, the banks have released a lot of security charges over the club assets dating back to 2009. Whilst this could mean nothing, it may also mean any obstacles to a smooth transfer of ownership have been removed.

    • Lord

      That’s interesting. Do you mean released as in the club doesn’t have to pay those charges any more, eg in the event of a mortgage being paid off?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        It is security that has been released. It’s not that clear on co. House (if I get time, I shall take a look at the entries in 2009) as to what the original security was but likely to be debentures over certain assets to secure borrowing. As you say, it’s rather like coming to the end of a mortgage when the bank releases its charge over the house.

        This may be insignificant, it may mean the finances are nice and clean should a new owner want to create security on the other hand, it may mean that Mike doesn’t want an overdraft anymore and that will stifle our transfer ambitions.

        • Lord

          I took a look (nice that the new Companies House website now gives all accounts for free easily).

          There were a whole bunch of securities set up in 2008/9 that basically seemed to secure any monies owed to Barclays against any club asset. There’s a document to secure against land, one document securing against trademarks and web domains, etc.

          Given that Ashley took on the loans and wiped out debt to Barclays, I guess this was simply for an overdraft facility to prevent cash flow worries.

          As you say, interesting to see these being wiped away. I can’t think of a reason why this would happen unless there’s some ’10 year rule’ going on or the ducks are lining up for a club sale.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Yep, I took a little look. The security that was set up in 2009 seems to replace earlier security from 1999 and 2006 and which (the 2006) appears to be Shepherd’s MGM casino deal where money was borrowed to buy the land / lease for the metro car parks and a joint venture company with MGM. Ashley’s company, St James’ Holding bought this in 2009 which paid off the borrowing and gave a £2m surplus for the club which seems to be a fudge to get around EFL FFP but it meant the bank needed different security in 2009 for the overdrafts.

            In short, we’ll not know for sure but it does clean up the finances so the club has ‘unencumbered’ assets which if nothing else, makes it a little more attractive to a prospective buyer.

  • KingKelly

    You should do a little research when discussing Real Sociedad’s attendance numbers next time you write something. They’ve closed off part of the stadium this season, as they’re rebuilding the whole thing.