Mike Ashley has asked Rafa Benitez to stay at Newcastle United.

In the aftermath of beating Chelsea on the final day of the season, the club have released a statement from the owner.

Mike Ashley saying: ‘Rafa, as always, has my full support…I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.’

Ashley stating that ‘Rafa, as always, has my full support.’

Well, the manager has made clear that this very definitely has not been the case throughout all of these past 26 months.

It is time for actions to speak louder than words and for Mike Ashley to convince Rafa Benitez to sign a new contract.

Otherwise, fans have every right to see this as just a PR gesture by the owner, to try and make it appear he is willing to do the right thing.

He talks of ‘full support’ and ‘every penny generated by the club is available’ but Mike Ashley has to start generating more money for starters, by Sports Direct starting to pay for their so far free advertising at the club AND backdate it for these past 11 years! In the club accounts a couple of years ago the owner said SD were going to start and pay for the advertising at NUFC but it never happened.

In addition, the NUFC owner has to back up his commitment years ago to build a state of the art training ground, plus back Rafa in the revamped Academy he wants to establish at the club.

On top of all this, Ashley needs to not only back Rafa in the transfer market but also give him total freedom, instead of playing games and blocking deals.

Ashley can also stop his private development of hotels, retail and student accommodation on land opposite the Gallowgate, which means realistically it would stop the stadium ever being extended, then do a proper public feasibility study as to whether St James Park can be increased in capacity.

Also, might be a radical idea but why didn’t Mike Ashley come and see Rafa Benitez face to face and thank him personally for saving his bacon this season AND then persuade him he is genuine, rather than a lame statement.

Official Mike Ashley Announcement via Newcastle United:

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has thanked Rafa Benítez, the players and the club’s supporters following the club’s tenth-place finish in the Premier League.

The Magpies secured a place in the top half with a 3-0 victory over Chelsea at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

The owner said:

“I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season.

“I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles. 

“On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory.

“Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.

“I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.

“Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivalled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Chelsea 0


Newcastle: Gayle 23, Perez 59, 63

Possession was Chelsea 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Chelsea 6 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Chelsea 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Chelsea 2 Newcastle 4

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Hayden 72), Shelvey, Diame (Haidara 87), Murphy, Perez, Gayle (Joselu 48)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Gamez, Merino

Crowd: 52,294 (3,000 Chelsea)

(Alan Shearer reacts after end of season 3-0 hammering of Chelsea – Read HERE)

(Sunday night’s Match of the Day Running order is HERE)

(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the victory HERE)

(Kenedy post emotional farewell message to Newcastle United – Read it HERE)

  • panther

    I consider Ashley derogatory to the club and dont believe a word he says, if I was Rafa id sign only season to season, make him keep his promises

  • Paul Patterson

    Right, prove it you court proven liar ..

    • Magman

      Well said

  • Wezza147

    He puts this out before they lie about Rafa’s head being turned?
    Then back Rafa. Again, over to you Mike.

  • Guest 2

    And pay the Club for the Gallowgate land which he is developing for his own profit.

    • Leazes.

      Well he has paid for it… £2.8 million, which would have generated a heck of a lot more than that for the club as a stadium build.

      • Guest 2

        Nah. The club owned the 125 year lease, acquired in 1997 and in turn leased it back to the Council. That expired in 2014.
        Ashley then bought the lease out for £800,000 not £2.8m and is developing it for himself.

  • Leazes.

    “Rafa, as always, has my full support”….. as always…hahaha!

    ”they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory”’ …..that means they’re good enough not to strengthen….

    Over to you Rafa….. there’s your cue! New clubs form a queue.

    • nufcslf

      Very good.

    • Toon Arnie

      Spot on Leazes – you’ve captured that perfectly. He really is a horrible, scheming individual. He’s clearly not going to sell but surely he can’t be stupid enough to lie to Rafa again ?

  • Billmag

    Well put some sponduliks down then you greedy get and fans may start and believe we are progressing.

  • Leazes.

    You would have thought he would turn up to see the team he supports play the team he doesn’t.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Naughty……….but true….

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    if the money follows Fatty’s mouth then fine. Otherwise SNAFU

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Does that mean he is staying then ?
    I think the whole debacle of the club is up for sale was nothing more than a stunt to get through the season without spending.
    Ashley is an opportunist and has wasted no time in trying to take credit for everything as usual.

    • nufcslf


    • magpiefifer

      A gambling opportunist at that!

  • nufcslf

    Give him some f**king money to work with then you thick fat c**t and then he might. Not holding my breath……..

  • Albert Stubbins

    He said that last season and we had a net spend of fifteen million and an admittance from Rafa that we’d missed all our pre season targets. Someone here is telling porkies and we all know it isnt Rafa. Over to you Fatso..

  • Peaco

    No doubt a heartfelt message from Keith Bishop, Ashley too busy somewhere else picking pennies out of poo – Rather than grinding the organ for his spin monkey, he ought to be expediting the sale of the club.

  • Peter

    As they say, ‘actions speak louder than words’….

  • Martin

    Waiting for GHOSTRIDER to fully endorse this message…

    • Big Hairy Man

      I’m beginning to think ghost rider IS Bishop.

      • Mirandinha9

        No it’s Llambias and I have that on good fact.

        • Big Hairy Man

          Whoever he is he’s right up Ashley’s substantial buttcrack. Not a pleasant place.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He luvs it up there….🤓😂🤓😂🤓😂🤓😂

          • Coach Clagnut

            You both visited? Got any photos?

          • Kneebotherm8

            Not me Pards……..but you’ve definitely been up there like……..😂😂😂

      • porciestreet

        That’s not too far fetched…!

    • Peter Graham

      I’ve blocked GR and MM. Probably the same person anyway. Don’t need their propaganda in my life.

      • Martin

        Blocked from commenting on themag completely?! If you have it completes a great day!

        • Coach Clagnut

          Blocked from showing comments when you sign in. They’re the lifeblood of this rag so no, only from your feed.

      • Leazes.

        I’ve blocked twenty odd I’ll publish the full list of the aliases in case anyone has missed one…. pretty easy to spot really.

        • Toon Arnie

          Could you do that ? I’ve got a few thoughts of my own and would love to see if i’ve got any right. Is Ghostrider really a Man United fan ? He’s obviously not one of us but there are no obvious giveaways to his true allegiance.

          • Jezza

            Ha ha just mention that 5-0 back in 96 and his reaction will tell you everything you need to know.

        • Rich Lawson

          Do it.

        • Cockneytrev

          Yeah do that,,, they are all a pain in the arrse

    • Steven05

      His season finished last week

  • Danimal

    Lying, insincere, mealy-mouthed chancer.

    • Coach Clagnut

      Substitute glutton for chancer and I won’t argue.

    • porciestreet

      I think you mistakenly put an h in cancer. …!

  • Tweed Mag

    ‘Portray me as a pantomime villain’. Well Mr Ashley, this is because you write the script, cast the villains and incompetents, charge for the tickets and keep the profits. Every show has it’s stars and we all know who they are. About time you left the stage Mr Ashley. (oh no he won’t/oh yes we hope he does).

    • Coach Clagnut

      ” Pantomime Villain”. There’s nothing mildly amusing about the 11 years he’s been here.

  • magpiefifer

    ‘Every penny generated by the club’ – not that one again!!!?
    Same old,same old – the man (proven liar) cannot be trusted,and if Rafa stays I will be amazed….and delighted,for us fans.

  • Geordiegiants

    Pantomime villain he is not! The devil in a sumo suit is what he is.

    • Big Hairy Man

      Pantomime villain….. oh yes he is!
      He’s behind you!

    • Kneebotherm8

      No sumo suit required…..

  • Shipcote Willy

    So predictable. Are there any fans who swallow this guff? Actions speak louder than words and everything Ashley has done is for his own benefit or that of his sports company. The only time he has backed his managers is when he feels his investment is threatened. He has run the club down and a lack of investment in the infracture and the team has left us years behind our rivals. Rafa has taken the pressure off him. He is a world class manager and most owners would be meeting him face to face and asking him what he wants to stay. I believe he has no intention of selling the club and would welcome Rafa walking as he could replace him with a cheaper more malleable manager. Ashley’s statement is just another battle in the PR war with his manager. Brinkmanship and I am sure Ashley loves it.

    • Billmag

      Wish I was betting he didn’t even make that statement, Bishop for me seems the obvious choice.

    • East Durham Mag

      Theres a few who post on here mate.

    • FatParosite

      Unfortunately there are people who still swallow this stuff. They are the same ones likely to renew their season tickets. Cretins.

  • Danimal

    “Continue!!!! to ensure that every penny etc etc” Rafa is still in profit on transfers, so is the pantomime villain somehow managing to run the club at a loss? Oh no he isn’t. He’s also not “behind you!!!” Rafa. If he is, I wouldn’t see it as a good thing.

    • Leazes.

      They’ve started acclimatising supporters to a close season of dithering and inactivity.

      • Andy Mac

        Twas ever thus !

    • molend

      Nice one. Mark you, he’s also a lot like Mr. Punch: ‘That’s the way to do it’.

    • Rob Brown

      You have to be behind someone if you’re going to stab them in the back.

  • Chuck D

    Actions Mike, actions!

    Doesn’t attend one game all season and up he pops with his empty words again on the last day!

    • Kneebotherm8

      Inaction is Mikes forte……..he does it so well…….

  • Mirandinha9

    No reference to his intention to sell. Rafa will only be given funds he can accumulate from sales.

  • porciestreet

    That chyte was not written by the fat ayatollah

    • nufcslf

      I wondered about that very same thing.

  • Coach Clagnut

    I find it more than interesting that Rafa wants Pigeyed Penfold out of the way. He’s failed his remit and Rafa knows he’s a self-serving incompetent.

    To sabotage deals so you can inflate your pay packet through penny-pinching has been Pigeyes plan ever since he was promoted beyond his level of competence.
    Nothing else explains the failure to secure targets Rafa wanted especially one on a free and the other a loan.
    He’s done with Fatty’s Smithers, he can go back to making the tea and sandwiches: Assuming porridge is not on the menu in the forseeable.

    • FatParosite

      Charnley has done exactly what his master wants. He is not incompetent as he will likely get a huge bonus. He has worked every order to the letter. Ashley’s plan is also working if you’re sighting Charnley as the problem.

      • Coach Clagnut

        Rafa had Willy Cabalero signed, sealed and delivered. He gave instructions to pigeyes to do the paperwork. Same with Abraham. He ended up in Wales claiming Bigg Market might be too tough for the little fellow: Hogwash. Rafa had that deal done but Pigeyes blew it.
        He’s no doubt dancing to Fatty’s tune but he is neck deep in self – interest when it comes to showing profit.
        Well seeing Rafa is reported to want him out of any future transfer negotiations because, simply put, he’s a saboteur and untrustworthy.

  • East Durham Mag

    Anyone else got a bit of Deja Vu? The annual smokescreen of lies and bullsh#t from Fatty and incredibly some planks will swallow it.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Action speaks louder than words………….yet again the actions of Ashley will,I fear,speak louder than his empty words…..

  • Waxi

    If you want to ensure Rafa stays MA then give him the funds. It”s that easy but we know it won’t happen while you hold the purse strings.

    • JEz_Brizzle

      Rafa, if you want to ensure you get the funds, put a figure in the contract, with a free reign over transfers clause.

  • redcarrob

    As I’m sure lots of people have said, we’ve just finished 10th and Rafa’s just generated the club £125 million! Ashely certainly hasn’t generated that amount. So, presumably, all that will go to Rafa?!? I’m not holding my breath. For the 11th season running. Perhaps we’ll buy Big Vern back to replicate our only summer signing after the year we came 5th…

    • JEz_Brizzle

      He didn’t mention TV money – money the club generated… in Ashley’s mind, two seperate things.

  • FatParosite

    Bishop Bunkum

  • pedrodelgardo

    Words are nothing in this scenario – nothing.

  • Murdy

    Why does he feel the need to ‘release a statement’? Don’t tell us – tell Rafa to his face ffs.

    • FatParosite

      PR stunt

  • Newcastle Junglist

    In Ashley’s statement all i read was ” I’m not prepared to invest any money into the club so once i’ve deducted the cost of running the club from the tv money there will be very little left over if anything for Rafa. little advertising revenue since my business gets it free. Merchandise revenue diverted into a holding account so he can’t touch that either. He can sell players and use some of that money but that’s his lot. Oh i do hope i can convince him to stay without spending any money again”

  • Desree

    Portrayed as a pantomine villian? That is a compliment Mike.

    Clearly no intention to back benitez tellingly Mike brings up ehat he thinks is an unfair description that it is a championship squad.

    He is right, Rafa is wrong. The team is screwed.

  • Alreet

    Yea. Pantomime. Uve ran the place like a back yard pound land for the last 11 years.

    This is real life mike. Stop the bull and get out.

  • FatParosite

    This is a PR war. I saw Bishop half asleep next to the hamster today. This statement would have already been emailed from his lappy before Bishop tucked into his lunch. The statement says nothing new but it was to counter the obvious good feeling Rafa was likely to generate today. The statement is crammed with double meanings again making it plain to me that Ashley will not sanction any major rise in funding. I am absolutely astonished Benitez fell for the “every penny” last summer. Jaw dropping naivety.

    This development does not bode well for Rafa’s contract negotiation. Benitez is unlikely to run his contract down for the final year, the media would constantly probe for answers. There would be persistent arguments on who to sign, transfer targets would be missed. Because control of those affairs would still be strangled by Ashley. Benitez only signed a contract till the end of the season with Chelsea which he said was terrible. The players didn’t know what was happening and Rafa said it was a hindrance. I can’t see Rafa going through that again. There will be offers from Leicester, Everton or even Arsenal.

    This Bishop engineered statement gives Ashley a get out while saving face. Expect more statements like it while the contract talks are on going (or so we’re told) I would also expect a Sky exclusive interview if things get really sticky.

    • Leazes.

      I think you’re right, it’s a mixture of ‘double speak’ and lies, with a warning thrown in, he’s trying to show he’s not the villain, but to who? Certainly not us, surely not the fans?

      Is there a United fan anywhere who would read that as a commitment to Benitez and the Club? No!

      It looks like a PR statement for compliant media digestion in anticipation of a fallout, and its consequences.

      • JEz_Brizzle

        Shearer on MOTD reflected it was the same message as last year… perhaps he just sent the wrong one.
        Of course, Rafa can have every penny the club generates… Fatty will just keep the TV money to keep him warm at night – after all true Toon Army lads don’t even need shirts

      • FatParosite

        I think you’d be surprised Leazes. It is built to placate on several fronts. Obviously the ignorant media will not dissect it so it is a good by-product of a PR shot over the bow of the Benitez camp. This statement is a sugaring of a pill for the ignorant masses that don’t realise they have the power to stop him.

    • Wezza147

      Spot on!

  • Jonas

    so it looks like he’s staying
    Mr I Want To Sell The Club that is
    apart from that, been a good day
    apart from him, we’d be a top club

    Rafa can’t stay and be lied to again like last summer and January, with the same exact BS line

    never heard him referred to as a pantomime villain, I wouldn’t go that for, I’d be more inclined to say he’s a irrefutable lying loathsome c**t who is single handedly holding this club back and abusing it.

  • Michael Pattison

    Ashley has lied to managers and the fans too many times. He simply can not be trusted. And this is hardly a breaking news story, it’s just Ashely saying a few words that actually mean nothing…

  • Toonrobbybobson

    CTRL + V. Keith Bishop.

    Typed words are cheap Mike. Weve seen it all before. In life actions speak louder than words and yours have done plenty talking in the past.

    Cannot think of another club that feels it has to do these statements like this. Embarrassing.

    The only reason hes stating he doesnt feel its a championship squad is so he doesnt have to invest.

    Horrible man.

  • JulioLaker

    Possession 58/48? Is that because Diame was such a beast he also defied mathematics?

  • TheFatController

    If you come up from the championship, and spend £10m net, then I’m sorry Mike, but that does make you a championship side.

    What part of that does he not get? You can’t say ‘we came from The championship and play the championship side but championship? Oh no, how on earth would you make that conclusion?’

    Pantomime villain? No. Owner without the right temperament to run a top football club? Looks increasingly damning yes..

    • Toon Arnie

      He knows this was an over performing Championship side with a couple of good loan deals thrown in but can hardly admit that or he’ll be admitting he failed again to back Rafa. It’s strange how during transfer windows or whenever Rafa needs an answer on something he’s always on holiday or unavailable to talk but he always seems to have time to put out waffle like this via his puppets in the media whenever it suits him. Other than Ghostrider I can’t believe that there’s anyone left out there naive enough to believe any of this rubbish now. Why can’t he just sell and let us at least have some hope again.

      • Mack Edwards

        Monkseaton “Mag”??? is still bigging him up. These people must be on the payrol to come out with the drivel they spout.

  • Fatwatch

    Cashley is staying put then, that’s the only usable information contained here.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The fact is that Ashley is right. When the last accounts were published we only had two million left in the bank it was all spent on players. Last season we spent £60m on players and loans the tenth highest spend just behind Arsenal. There should be scope to spend more on players this season but this time lets hope Rafa plays the players he buys or leave them on the bench or out the squad. Rafa must buy wisely .

    • Ba ba.

      Aye that rafa needs to watch what he’s doing. . Poor buys and a terrible season. Ffs 😬

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Great season but £33m pounds worth of buys either on the bench or not in the squad and the Mag complains that Ashley gives him no money. It’s not true.

        • David

          Lejeune was an amazing signing. Murphy still has massive room for improvement and the loan signing of Dubravka saved us in quite a number of games

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Agree think Lejeune was a great signing but we needed a centre forward not two wingers.

  • mactoon

    Here’s an idea. If you want him to stay why not sit down with him face to face, ask him what he needs and agree what he can have to make him stay instead of leaving the discussions in the hands of someone who doesn’t even seem able to make a decision without having it ratified by people above him.

  • Rob Brown

    Here we go again with free advertising garbage.
    Ashley put around 130 million into the club interest free 11 years ago. With another 30 million supposed to have gone in when we were down, for day-to-day running costs that we’re ignoring for this calculation.
    At a modest interest rate of 10% compounded over 11 years that works out at about 260 million pounds of unpaid interest in addition to the initial capital of 130 million.
    If the fans could actually get their heads around that they would see that this whole free advertising thing is just garbage.
    The club has survived where others have died, he has sponsorship all around the ground, he’s invested millions out of his own pocket, and you still b!tch about free advertising.
    There’s a line in Good Morning Vietnam that’s applicable here.

    • mactoon

      Here’s the thing though. The link between the interest free loans and the free advertising was made by Charnley during a fans forum a year or two ago. Prior to that it had never been stated that the two were linked, it was just a convenient statement to answer questions posed at the forum. In fact back in 2015 Sports Direct International acknowledged in the club accounts that no consideration had been paid and they were in the process of agreeing an arms length rate for the services. Still waiting for the outcome of that.

      Taken in isolation I find it astonishing that the club is allowing a potential sponsor to receive free advertising and I am not aware of any other club that does this regardless of whether their owners provide loans or not.

      • Rob Brown

        I’m sure there was no initial agreement as such.
        My point with this is that while we may all think that Ashley’s being a t055er he has ploughed serious cash into the club at zero interest to ensure we (his investment) don’t following the likes Leeds, Rangers, Portsmouth, Wimbledon, etc down the leagues.
        Regardless of when any statement was made by Charnley when the SD banners went up it only takes a half reasonable individual to weigh one up against the other and deduce “fair deal”.
        If we just despised the bloke a little less……

        • Toonrobbybobson

          NUFC is a different beast to all those. NUFC can afford debt like most clubs with a loyal fanbase in the Premier League, and can afford to be ran properly. The relegations were because of the regimes mismanagement and negligence. Thats what has added more debt to Ashley. He loves playing the bullied one. Oh poor me…

          End of the day words are cheap. Actions speak louder.

          • Jezza

            Don’t feed the troll, lads. Rob Brown is clearly Fleckman using yet another of his ever increasing list of multiple ID’s.

          • Rob Brown

            Wow @disqus_FoE5s3yqcG:disqus – it must be difficult coming to terms with the fact that more than one person may have a different opinion to you.
            I’ll be sure to tell Mrs Brown of our new found friendship!!

          • Jezza

            Another ID to add to the blocked list. You and your brother can come up with as many new trolling ID’s as you want but I will keep blocking therm.

          • Rob Brown

            Never heard anybody claim Ashley loves playing the bullied one before.
            This is the man of whom it was once said “He loves to park his tanks on their lawns”.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Whilst we are out of the woods now, we certainly weren’t a different beast to those clubs that have hit problems. It’s very dangerous to assume differently.

            As for more debt, some fans, albeit, less sophisticated fans say he’s greedy for not accepting £250m for the club. Adding more debt means he’ll want to be repaid at some point, if he throws £50m in he’s going to add £50m to the asking price (shares + debt repayment). If he struggles to get over £300m as it stands, will £350-£400m be easy.

        • mactoon

          My opinion isn’t based on any dislike of Ashley. Firstly it was reported he didn’t know the debt existed when he bought the club so had to cover it. Secondly I suspect there will be some sort of financial benefit available from loaning large amounts of money between related companies in this way and I suspect these are the reasons he did it, nothing to do with free SD advertising. The reason he doesn’t pay for this is simply because he doesn’t have to and is saving/making a fortune because of it.

        • Dave1992

          He hasn’t ‘ploughed serious cash’ in. See my comment above. He’s shifted cash around businesses he owns. Letting nufc go bust when he owns it 100% would be a bit silly wouldn’t it. After he puts 130m into nufc, guess what his net worth changes to? It doesn’t, it’s the same! I’m glad you’re getting 12% but I’m sure you didn’t have 130m to invest. If you did, you’d find the best you can do without serious risk is the 6-7% he would have been paying on the stadium bond. That’s why the bond paid that, it’s a market rate, for lenders and borrowers!

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Yes, Charnley made the comment, the point being for anyone sensible, the club is better off with the deal. Notwithstanding that, the background is more complex as Sports Direct are a plc, MA is a majority shareholder and the city are not keen on majority shareholder’s making personal advantage.

    • Dave1992

      If you want to do figures, don’t leave any out. The *only* reason Ashley put in 130m was to avoid his investment having to pay 6-7% interest on 130m (roughly, can’t remember exactly) That was the bonds that financed the stadium. There tends to be a big tax advantage to not paying interest rather than receiving interest. Let’s be clear about this – Ashley shifted 130m from one company he owned, into another, because it made financial sense. Not to give the club some sort of altruistic interest free loan. And free advertising was just a bonus thing to relate to the interest free loan.

      • Wezza147

        The only reason MA put anything in was when his cash cow was threatened take the championship seasons for instance. A few million here or there was worth it for him pocketing hundreds of millions of tv money.

        • Rob Brown

          Yep – as I said above – he’s a successful businessman. Successful businessmen don’t waste money where they don’t have to.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Can you explain what you mean by “pocketing hundreds of millions of tv money”. I’d hope any grown up would understand that a business does not have a pot with TV cash written on the side that is somehow squirrelled off as tax free owner income.

      • Rob Brown

        Yep – he’s a successful businessman. Successful businessmen don’t waste money where they don’t have to.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        The borrowing in 2007 was very expensive because Nufc were a bad risk. Also, we had few choices as lenders were not prepared to lend Nufc more money. It was unlikely that Nufc could have met it’s commitments without borrowing more money.

        Ashley took on that debt and provided more money for transfers and working capital. In doing so the club avoided having to pay interest rates of 7-9% but moreover, avoided sanction from the league for non payment of transfer fees.

        You are a bit confused on the tax issue.

        • Dave1992

          That’s why I said ‘tends’. Depends on plenty of things that I couldn’t be bothered to look up, like whether it’s interest or dividends. However, you are confused on debt – the bonds that we had issued were from before 2007, and were fixed rate, meaning it was irrelevant what borrowing costs were in 2007. By the way, they were under 8%, not 7-9, and hardly significantly higher than interest rates which had been around the 5% mark for years.

          Certainly bank overdrafts would have been expensive – you have to wonder whether he counts overdrafts in the unexpected debts he had to cover because of lack of due diligence. I don’t think so though, the main thing he missed was that the bonds became payable at very short notice when he bought (which by the way means he had *no choice* but to put that money in the club)

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The borrowing on the stadium was fixed bonds and there was other borrowing ranging from 7.5% to 11.7% with the loans on the car park and MGM shares being the highest. The weighted average interest rate on the borrowing in 2007 was 8.7%, there were charged up Vauxhall Corsa drivers paying less.

            The term of the loans were not really relevant, the overdraft was £10m, the unpaid transfer fees were the most pressing, £50m was owed, £37m was due almost on demand.

          • Dave1992

            If you mean the terms of the loan rather than term, it was massively relevant. By buying the club the club became liable to pay back the bonds at short notice. 90 days I think. There were 45m worth, and he didn’t know about it until after the purchase. If you mean term I’m not sure what point you are replying to.

            Look, we will never know how the club would have fared if he hadn’t taken over. I think they’d have been OK, you don’t. Happy to disagree on that. And on that basis and others I don’t think he’s the saviour some make him out to be. And I don’t like the insinuation that he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out 130m to save ‘our’ club. It was his club, legally and financially. Your ‘successful’ businessman didn’t even know how much and on what terms he was taking on debt.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The term for many of those bonds / loans was short as they were the first of the bonds maturing in 2007/8 usually rolled over but given the state of the finance and the pressure Barclays were putting on the club, its highly likey that a new lender was needed. I’ve no idea if there was a clause forcing repayment in the event of a change of ownership, it seems unlikely but nevertheless I’d have thought Ashley would want to have cleared what was very expensive debt from the bank that had been pushing the previous owners to the brink.

          • Dave1992

            There was a clause, and it was for bonds maturing in 2016

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The £45m? I’m surprised there was a clause forcing repayment but I can see why Ashley wanted these repaid, the rate on these loans was very high. Had Ashley wanted to, he could have easily renegotiated the lending given he was clearing much of the pressing debt.

            Can I ask how you KNOW there was a clause on these bonds.

    • Cockneytrev

      Modest 10% it’s never been cheaper to borrow money,,
      a properly structured loan would have been payed off years ago,, the premier league Is awash with money but it doesn’t seem to filter down to our playing staff,, we have the weakest squad we have had since the early 90s, our academy has stagnated even though land was sold off none of that money was used to improve facilities,,,our commercial revenue has never moved on, although every other premier club has, our revenue from shirt sales etc goes direct to sports direct, with club shops closing all over that city,
      From owing Barclays Bank £60+ mil
      We now owe £140+ mil,,,even though tv money has gone through the roof..
      AShley has run the club as his advertising tool, not as a sporting club.. yet he still wants all his money back,,,
      He has never had any intention of selling,,,

      • Rob Brown

        Cockneytrev – you have to remember that if Ashley had not loaned the money to NUFC it would be invested elsewhere, and while loans are cheap his investment of that money would have earned him much more, so the cost to Ashley is much higher.
        I’m getting 12% on mine so I’m pretty sure Ashley has his own personal investments earning much more.

        • Cockneytrev

          Exactly,,,,,,,,,, why invest in Newcastle if he isn’t making money off it? and a lot more than your 12%…….

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        How could a loan have been paid off years ago? How could the club finance transfer fees and repay loans?

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Spot on. If you compare the advertising income other similar clubs get, the club miss out on about £2m a year whilst the borrowing would be closer to £10m a year in interest.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”A pantomime villain” and no comment from Sid ? Come on,he will be getting top billing at the Empire next season if you don’t get your agent on it now.

  • 8prestondave

    “Championship side is derogatory.”That tells you everything you need to know for next season. Might as well say bye to Rafa now.

  • richardbraverman

    Mike Ashley should not be the owner of any professional sports club.
    He has zero ambition for success and trophies
    If he wanted profit he should have spent his money on property speculation

  • Rob Brown

    I’m interested to read the bit bit where Ashley ASKS Rafa to stay.

    I hope Cameron Diaz will turn up banging on my bedroom door, but I’ve never asked her.