Mike Ashley is keeping very busy.

Not in terms of trying to persuade Rafa Benitez to stay of course, instead he has his PR minions furiously preparing the ground for when/if the manager leaves.

Whether Rafa will walk or not is obviously the 64 dollar question, which is no doubt also close to the transfer pot Benitez has been offered…

Jonjo Shelvey going to Russia, will he or won’t he, was what kept the media rampant after the actual Premier League season had ended.

Of course he was never going to be selected, not necessarily because he didn’t deserve to be included but Southgate had made his intentions clear when not picking the Newcastle midfielder, or Lascelles, in any of his previous squads, including a 27 man one in March. However, this was never going to stop the media going overboard to get the clicks and fill the pages.

Likewise, Rafa Benitez is/was never going to go to West Ham.

All kinds of reasons why that would never happen but you only need to accept two things.

Firstly, if he left Newcastle he could/would go to a far better club that them.

Secondly, Rafa might have to operate under a total joke of an owner at Newcastle but he loves the fans and there is total mutual respect. To then go to a club where the supporters have acted as they have in the past season, no way he would lay himself open to that.

This is not to say Rafa Benitez definitely won’t leave St James Park this summer but if he does, it won’t be to join Sullivan, Gold and that set of fans.

It looks obvious that both Mike Ashley’s people AND Rafa’s, have been using the West Ham circus to push their own agendas, feeding the media messages from ‘sources’.

However, on the Ashley side of things, his PR people (his main PR goon pictured above, two to the left of Ashley) are up their usual tricks.

I have increasingly seen headlines which claim to tell us what ‘Rafa is demanding’ to take the West Ham job.

These are all pushing the idea that the Newcastle boss is only interested in getting more and more money, for both himself and to spend on players.

I have seen claims he is ‘demanding’ at least £8m per year for himself and at least £100m to spend on players this summer.

It was interesting to read a very good recent piece by George Caulkin who covers Newcastle United for The Times, he said that it was more about the freedom to operate as he sees fit that Rafa Benitez was most bothered about, not the actual exact budget figure. The ability to spend the budget just on one player if he wanted to, and to recruit any player he wants, without having to go through Lee Charnley who then goes to Mike Ashley to have final yes or no.

Also interesting that Caulkin said that he knew Rafa’s representatives had ‘laughed off’ the idea that Mike Ashley was prepared to allow the manager an £80m budget this summer, with the actual figure set to be far far lower.

Mike Ashley is always happy for Newcastle United to stumble along from week to week and season to season, with no long-term plan/strategy whatsoever, apart from hoping to survive each season in the Premier League. However, when it comes to his own profile and how Newcastle United will reflect on him, he is ALWAYS planning ahead.

We saw the obviously pre-planned statement that was released straight after the victory over Chelsea, once again offering ‘every penny’.

However, the West Ham coverage is also showing he is very much active with his PR people.

I have no doubt it is they who are pushing the stories about Rafa’s supposed demands at West Ham.

The long-term planning coming into operation because if/when Rafa Benitez does walk away from Newcastle United, we will then see these headlines repeated, with Mike Ashley’s PR people trying to get Newcastle fans to believe that these kind of unreasonable figures, £8m+ a year in wages and £100m+ summer transfer budget, were why Ashley could never have kept the manager happy.

You always hope common sense will win the day but 11 years of Mike Ashley gives us little hope, ‘winning’ a battle of wills with the likes of Kevin Keegan and Rafa Benitez appears to be what it is all about with the club’ owner, rather than trying to run Newcastle United in a decent and ambitious way.

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  • Paul Patterson

    I’m sure Rafa isn’t after money for himself. I’m sure he’s happy with his current salary. It’s purely down to trust and which players he will be allowed to bring in. That takes money, transfer money. We have accrued £120m+ for this season and even if that is in staggered payments, it’s not unreasonable to expect £80m to be spent. £30m of that could easily come from player sales. Rafa won’t go to West Ham, that’s Pellegrini’s funeral.
    I won’t be holding my breath with this owner supporting his manager though, history doesn’t show it . .

  • Leazes.

    The most worrying thing is that all talk of a takeover has disappeared and the Ashley team are prepared to drive Benitez out…. its a consolidation of the ongoing hostility and mis-governance towards the club by the owner.

    Without a large scale walk out that was so successful at Sunderland and Arsenal this regime is here for another decade I’m afraid, and it will be run in exactly the same manner as a soulless empty shell of a club.

    …… with all flags flying and proclaiming ‘we’ll support you evermore’ from the compliant designer….. where there is Unity there is Always Victory…. yes there’s Unity between Ashley, Charnley The Chronicle and Stupidity….

    ….You have seen the past…. and also the future!

    Ashley Lout.

  • ghostrider

    I pray that Ashley bins Rafa.
    A manager that’s trying to make himself some kind of god.
    Let some other club have his garbage football.

    • Murdy

      Deluded Mackem.

      • ghostrider


    • Thor

      I hope you drown ya bin dipper

      • ghostrider

        Once again, goodbye.

    • Oldgit

      Shows where your loyalty lies, what a numpty with no intelligence at all. Mackem through and through.

      • Jezza

        He’s actually a Manchester supporter and S****s D****t employee who has been trolling this site under multiple ID’s for years. Just block him. Don’t give the pathetic little saddo the reaction he craves.

        • Leazes.

          Yes he is I remember him going on about George Best when he was on the Chronicle site, I don’t think he’s an SD employee though as he implies that he’s got a bit of money.

          • Jezza

            One of those two brothers is definitely a S****s D****t employee because it was on his media social profile my friend found, a profile which has since been taken down after they were outed on this site as the Manchester based trolls that they are. Yes they like to imply they’ve got money because they are Tory boys and like to see themselves as upwardly mobile and a class above Newcastle supporters. It’s all part of their trolling mentality.

      • ghostrider

        My loyalty lies with Newcastle United football CLUB.
        It does not lie with one person, whether that’s a footballer, manager or owner.

        • Big Hairy Man

          I think your loyalty lies with the owner. You’re so far up Ashley’s extra large hoop that only the soles of your boots are showing.

    • Philippines

      Don’t hold back, let it all out.

      • ghostrider


    • Stephen Irwin


      • ghostrider

        a stupid person.

        • Stephen Irwin


          • ghostrider

            used to give an affirmative response.

    • Big Hairy Man

      🛎 end

    • East Durham Mag

      You are an @rsehole.

      • ghostrider

        Thanks, I appreciate that.

        • East Durham Mag

          Anytime. 😁

          • Milo79


    • TheFatController

      Ever heard the one about the angry people who can’t express their anger, so it manifests as making others angry and being morally superior that ‘hey, look they’re all so angry. I’m never angry…’

      And that is the psychology of trolling. Find people who bite, then congratulate yourself that you’d never be that angry online . Have a gold star.

      • ghostrider

        A you trolling me?

        • TheFatController

          No, I can express my anger assertively – I say what I see, explain what I think and how I feel and state what I want,they can take or leave that,but it’s done with respect.

          But I’m not angry at you, it’s more pity. But I hope to advise decent people on here that any angry reaction gives you the self righteous payoff you need.

          As proof, it explains your endless wind up posts. You’re addicted to it. Count them up.

          • ghostrider

            If people get angry it’s their problem, not mine.
            The fact you feel the need to have a pop at me as some kind of spokesperson for those who are capable of type, on here, is your perceived take on what issues you deem are worthy or taking on against me.

            You say it’s all done with respect. I beg to differ.
            What I say to people is said with respect.
            I don’t call people names to hammer home a point.

            By all means write as much as you feel you need to in favour of others…and yourself….but remember one thing; I decide on what I say and I decide on what I believe…not you or others or you acting for others, whether you’re asked to or you’re doing it as some kind of feeling of public duty due to a perceived sense of higher authority aided by mass adherence on any issue.

            You do realise that you all have the ability to block me….right?
            I suggest that you do it and you can get on with whatever you want to say without interruption from me.
            Ask your friends to do the same if they are angry.

            Fair enough?

            Now if I’m trolling, isn’t that the best way to stop it?
            Or are you just irritated that I won’t conform to mass opinion?

          • TheFatController

            I’m not irritated. I expected a ‘calm’ reply from you where you exeoct me to be irritated.

            How can I be irritated when you did exactly what I expected?

            The more calmly you write things, followed by asking me if I’m irritated, the more you prove my assertion that you like to make people angry to congratulate yourself as the ‘calm one’

            Of course you want me to block you, you are not happy that I am the one on here calmly exposing your addiction that plays out on here. You also don’t like that I am neither angry nor irritated by you, but am in control of your attempts. Must make you question your trolling abilities ?

          • FatParosite

            I’m still glad I’ve blocked the Bishop troll. But it’s nice to see him/her/it in relief from your comments. I can only imagine his/her/it’s squirming in psychological agony. It brings a smile to watch the rings being run logically around him/her/it.

          • TheFatController

            I think if everybody just replied to him with ‘I get it, you say inflammatory stuff, sit back and watch people get irate, then get the addiction payoff of feeling smug that
            1. He doesn’t get angry yet they do
            2. He can make people angry just sat at his pc ‘

            He’d soon get bored as the payoff would be gone.

            Trolls are like snipers. It’s all great when they’re hidden, but when exposed without cover they feel very very uncomfortable – it’s all about control.

            He hates me now. Why? Because I control him with my replies, he’s lost control.

            See it as being like that guy Dennis Hopper played from the film Speed – getting high or furious with Keanu being controlled or controlling him …

          • Wezza147

            I’m glad ive blocked him/it but I’m not sure if he is a sad Man Utd troll or given my first guess that he/it is a PR Bishop online troll spreading disinformation and being pro Ashley. Trolls like that exist all over the internet.
            Whatever the truth is, one thing is for sure – him/it is not an NUFC fan.

          • ghostrider

            You don’t have to block me, I just gave you the option seeing as you seem rattled for some reason.
            As for me being disrespectful to Rafa, I could argue a million times worse with people to Ashley and Charnley…including yourself.


          • TheFatController

            If you say I’m rattled I will be, but I’m not.

            That’s why you don’t block me, because you want to wind me up. For that to happen you need the following in place:-

            – me to care for your opinion
            – me to not get why you antagonise and then claim I’m irritated by you

            I know exactly what you want form people on here, hence you don’t get it from me. When you attack Rafa, to me it’s like a five year old saying ‘I hate you’, it’s not mature enough to register with me as something valid. It’s someone thinking they can control people with shame, unaware some have seen it all before and often.

            You’re nothing new, nothing special, nothing clever.

            Go on, tell me I sound irritated. Because you’re going to.

          • ghostrider

            I’m seriously not trying to be funny but you sound irritated to all hell.
            I’ve just answered your last posts where you say you’ve calmed down.
            Make up your mind.

          • TheFatController

            No matter how hard you try, I won’t get irritated. No exclamation marks, petty put downs, short stroppy answers – none of the signs of irritation.

            Here I am calmly telling you, you post with massive frequency, writing inflammatory comments to make people react.

            You then act calm, shaming their anger (irritation, whatever you choose to call it – you can have it any way you want, it’s the same emotion).

            Now, I suggest you shame their anger because as a child you weren’t allowed to express anger without being shamed – no doubt by your parents.

            Your subconscious now finds outlets to express anger. So you end up here, making people angry and then enjoying their comments that express irritation at you.

            I don’t express irritation. I meet worse than you (there are some) daily, why would you think you were special and able to irritate me when I experience people using your ‘make them angry then judge them for that anger’ mechanic?

            You’re now going to reply that I sound irritated. I want you to say that. Because you’re obsessed with other people’s anger and irritation, so obsessed you provoke it in people. Not everybody is motivated by that payoff in life. In that respect I guess that does make you special.

          • ghostrider

            Weirdly I’m not obsessed with other people’s anger. In fact it never entered my head until you started using lengthy posts about how I’m obsessed with other people’s anger.
            It sort of tells me a little bit about you and how you work.

            However, no need to go into any of that.
            Anyway, where were we?

            I’m not sure if you have some waiting audience and that’s whay you’re doing this…or are you simply doing this from a personal point of view without sort of playing the old digs then turning to those behind you and smirking whilst they laugh with you.
            Maybe that’s what you picture…I don’t know.
            Maybe you’re reading into comments made against me and realising how much people dislike me in their comments by using choice words…and maybe that spurs you on to believe you have the audience.

            Whatever it is, you carry on but don’t go to a level that you cannot sustain, because remember one thing. I’m not here to antagonise. I’m here to put my opinions across whether people like them or not.

            If you choose to take me on like this and then you cry foul latter on, just remember that you chose to do this.

          • TheFatController

            You say you’re not obsessed with other people’s anger.

            Ok you mention level. I am simply using you as an experiment and was waiting for the last piece of the jigsaw, for which I needed you to display two things

            1. Complete denial that your purpose for being on here was not to antagonise. You also claim you just express opinion. You do accurately point out that people dislike you, and that doesn’t bother you at all. That’s a sociopathic trait. You’re only here to put your opinions across, after all, absolutely no other reason for the disproportionately huge amount of posts every day and night.

            2. You would remain calm, assume a superiority over me:-
            “It tells me a lot about you and the way you work”
            “Don’t go to a level you can’t sustain”
            Have you heard yourself? What you see as thick skin and superiority is just a lack of empathy which again is a sign is a sociopath

            I was well aware, you’d display impaired empathy, you always do, I just wanted to see how far you could take it without any awareness of it.

            You’ve taken it a long way.

            Finally, you’ve written plenty of words in reply, I’m sure you think they leave me stumped. They don’t, simply because at no point have you made any knowledgable defence against any of my suggestions for your antisocial behaviour on here – yes you’ve attacked me and ignored facts to play the innocent, but you’ve not come back with one thing to say ‘here’s evidence that I’m normal and not anti social and unempathetic.

            So, you’ll now reply by staying calm, suggesting your high frequency bickering with all on here is normal behaviour, and smugly claiming I clearly have a problem and sound angry – and ‘hey, I just don’t know why you’re so weird taking perfectly healthy me on like this on here…’

          • ghostrider

            Do you think it’s me that has a problem….or you?
            Because I’m seeing the things you accuse me of….in you.
            Carry on though, it’s interesting to see your attempts to psychoanalyse me.

          • TheFatController

            I love your style. You reply without emotion. It’s like watching any Star Trek series where they always have one calm character lacking emotion – Spock, SevenofNine, Data – who act as the counterbalance to the emotion of the humans.

            ‘You might like to not like me, but I shall continue to post. By all means block me, not having emotions I won’t be affected. I l leave you humans to your emotions, whilst I merely post my opinion without emotion as emotions are weakness …’

            Of course, it’s all just passive aggression from an angry man typing furiously on his PC whilst his mum makes his tea …

          • jack

            You’ll never be a supporter as long as you’ve got a hole in your ass

    • Rabid Dog

      Explain how Rafa is trying to make himself some kind of god please ?

      • ghostrider

        It’s teh fans that are doing it and giving him a godlike complex.

        • Rabid Dog

          No. You don’t get to do that. You said HE is trying to make himself some kind of god. Which is it? Rafa? Or the fans?

          • ghostrider

            The fans allow him to try and play god. That’s what I’m saying.
            He knows he’s got the backing no matter what and it’s allowing him to dictate his terms.
            A moaning minnie.

          • TheFatController

            Whoop! There’s the antagonistic disrespect of Rafa from the man that never uses disrespect on here. Never name calls.

            Go on, accuse me of being irritated by you. Whilst you stay calm.

            Yep, here we go….

          • ghostrider

            I want Rafa out. I’m not fussed on him.
            I dislike his football and I dislike what he does to players that should have been in the team.
            But I don’t hate/dislike Rafa as a person.

            If I’m disrespecting him by saying he seems to have a god like complex then it is what it is.
            But don’t be a hypocrite.

          • TheFatController

            I’m not a hypocrite. Just because you say something doesn’t make it true.

            You called him a moaning Minnie. That’s disrespectful. Try ‘in my opinion he moans about the lack of funding and being lied to too much for my liking.’

            That’s be respectfula fun yjur opinion. A very solitary opinion among fans, but one you are entitled to.

            Plus, it’ll wind up some people which is its main aim, is it not, Mr ‘King of Calm Whilst enjoying others lose their calm’ ?

          • ghostrider

            I’m not here to wind anyone up.
            If people get themselves wound up then that’s their issue…not mine.
            My opinion is a solitary opinion because I am making it as a solitary person.

            It appears that you, among some others are the one’s trying to be antagonistic and/or trolling.
            If not then surely you should not be dealing with me if you genuinely think I’m the one doing it.
            Think about it.

          • TheFatController

            I’ve thought about it, and I’m not trolling you – as evidence, I don’t want you to get angry at me (the goal of trolling) whilst I stay calm (another goal of trolling).

            I want you to see that you’re motives for saying inflammatory nonsense are not healthy.

            You asked me to think about it. I did. My opinion is unaltered.

            Now, maybe claim you are innocent and the victim of trolling. Because I can guarantee you that when a troll isn’t doing the controlling, he’s being exposed as a wind up troll, he will (can you believe this) turn the criticism of him on the critic. Who knew ?

            So yes, I fully expected you to play victim and call us trolls. For all psychology is vast, some things are very cause and effect and thus predictable – one of the major guarantees is someone used to manipulating people by shaming with put downs will immediately shame by playing ‘victim’ when the first tactic is exposed and thus fails…

          • ghostrider

            Oh, ok. Well at least we’ve sorted this out…I think.
            Let’s see if I have this right..
            I’m a troll but you’re not, but I’m making out you are a troll because you are making out I’m a troll and all I’m doing is playing a victim of trolling in order to have control over trolling myself.

            Am I getting somewhere here? lol
            The thing is, I’m not claiming I’m innocent of anything because I’m not guilty of anything other than giving my opinion and that opinion being generally shot down by people hurling worded abuse.

            I either block them or I answer depending on the worth of the reply to my post.
            You get some lengthy replies from me because you put a lot of effort into having a pop and trying your best to psychoanalyse me and then somehow turn a table on me as if there’s something to actually turn, which I find amusing.

            By all means carry on with what your goal is and I’ll answer to you however I see fit to what you give out.
            A tit for tat I suppose…but it’s all good.

            Try not to complain about hot feet when you keep walking on hot coals though…because you know you can step off at any time.

          • Rabid Dog

            No. You definitely said HE is trying to make HIMSELF some kind of god.

            Typical troll

          • ghostrider

            Chill out.

          • Rabid Dog

            Oh bless you…. You get called out and then give the trollolololol “chill out” response. As said you went total retarrd

          • ghostrider

            I was waiting for this response.
            You see I’ve noticed that anyone who goes against the grain becomes a troll but if that person uses the word troll against those who consistently call troll on anything and everything that doesn’t suit…get offended.

    • Toon Arnie

      Predictable tiresome rubbish – you need to change the record now. The shock value has long gone.

    • Cockneytrev


  • BruBru

    If Rafa walks I’ll be joining him. Time for everyone to stand up to cashly and get our club back. Enough is enough he will run our club into the ground.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    A complete load of rubbish and more tales of woe from George at the times and his southern mates. Ashley has put out no stories about Rafa joining West Ham or any other club. Rafa has said he has only spoken to one club so how can he have demands for the West Ham club. George from the Times is a very dangerous Journalist who like all his predecessors at the Times through the decades love Newcastle to do badly and Southern clubs to do well. Ask Alan Oliver or John Gibson what the Times stands for.

    • Guest 2

      Of course, little old unbiased you knows the truth. Do you? You can’t even tie your laces unsupervised!

      Ashley hoop licker.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The Pig will take the £6m compen install another patsy & normal service will resume

    • HarryHype59

      A patsy on about £4m less.

      • Jezza

        Correct. Pardew will do the job for a fraction of Rafa’s salary. He’ll never complain about the lack of transfer funds either. Job done for Ashley.

        • HarryHype59

          He also has “unfinished” business! 😂

  • HarryHype59

    Ashley has the same attitude to money as the Jimmy Conway character played by Robert Dinero in the film Goodfellas. He has landed a massive haul of cash via the TV deal but simply won’t surrender his control over how that money is spent.

    Whilst Rafa won’t end up in the back of a refrigerated lorry, it is painfully obvious Ashley is contributing to force Rafa out by refusing to relinquish control of the TV money.

    The man is a control freak who is obsessed with short term budgets and has no long term strategic vision for developing this club.

    I expect Rafa to leave and another Ashley stooge e.g. Moyes, to be his replacement.

    • Leazes.

      He’s manufacturing a crisis, like he manufactured a debt…. it would have been less bother manufacturing drive and ambition and cheaper too.

      • wheyayeman

        Exactly – do wish the ghost of Christmas past present and future would visit the fat git!

        • Peaky

          Aye….with a Kalashnikov….

  • Philippines

    “looks obvious” or “is obvious”? Another ‘article’ made up from nothing. As I – like the rest of the fans – can have little input, I will adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. BTW, Sir Bobby was on 500k pounds according to his autobiography.

  • Oldgit

    We should all calm down and let things settle down, Rafa will be our manager next year. We do our business in private unlike West Ham, one manager has already removed himself from their vacant managers job because he didn’t like the media circus created by gold.
    One final word for Mr Keys f***k off. What a prat, leaves his wife for a younger woman tells you everything. tells more lies than Ashley.

    • Guest 2

      If you wish to remain calm at the prospect of another transfer window managed by Charnley, Barnes and Ashley, then good luck to you.

      • Oldgit

        Surely that’s a different topic, I have no faith in Ashley releasing funds. All I’m saying is that Rafa will stay for at least one more year.

        • Guest 2

          Same topic really, as it will surely have a part to play in whether Rafa stays or not.

  • Guest 2

    The best article I have seen in the current round of propaganda – is that Rafa would have a claim at Tribunal for unfair dismissal, based on the same grounds as KK’s.

    A decade on and we are in the same position. That sums up Ashley ownership.

    • Paul Patterson

      A court proven liar.

  • TheFatController

    If you look at what makes someone successful, you can get clues as to how they operate.

    Ashley has built his empire on negotiating with low paid workers, businesses in the hands of administrators etc – he holds all the aces.

    When he doesn’t hold any aces – footballers’ loyalty bonuses, manager’s demands, Panels of MPs- he lies and squirms til he’s found out and then just hopes it’ll go away. Bizarrely, the MPs don’t do anything further and football fans, managers and players keep turning up to work with him, or be his customers.

    And that’s fine. But when he has a culture of lying and squirming if he doesn’t have total control over those he negotiates with, why are we expecting a resolution now that Rafa will accept? He’s not on zero hours or a self-serving politician.

    Expect a parting if the ways. It’d take Ashley changing everything he’s about for Rafa to sign anything else for him.

    • Paul Patterson

      Couldn’t have put it better. Rafa has the option to walk, eventually he’ll take it.

      • TheFatController

        The big factor now is I expect Rafa, like many of us, is now aware that there’ll never be a takeover and thus Ashley is looking for the usual mid table finishes, hoping for 3 weaker clubs etc

  • Darren Moat

    im Worried to death , mike Ashley and his minions just never ever seem to learn, he is an astute business man so why does he do things at Newcastle he would never dream of doing at sports direct.

    • TheFatController

      See my entry below – Sports direct can be run without too many concessions to anyone as most he deals with have no power or options elsewhere.

      Unlike Rafa.

    • Guest 2

      Sorry mate, but he’s running the club just like he does his other ones. The only reason he isn’t worse with SD is because they are a PLC with shareholders he is answerable to.

      • Darren Moat

        Your probably right mate, it’s just so infuriating as a toon fan when we should be planning for Next season we will probably have a full week of will he or won’t he go.

        • Guest 2

          We’ll still be having this conversation in the week running up to the new season beginning.
          Ashley has proven over 11 years, and multiple transfer windows with Rafa, that common sense and football business savvy are not in his locker.
          Delay, don’t spend, don’t sign anyone who is actually wanted, then issue a transparently pathetic excuse for it…again.

      • Billmag

        Exactly like the £15m he wanted to give his brother but the shareholders voted against it.

  • Stephen

    Mike Ashley has made a lot of mistakes running our club, but he’s not stupid.
    If Rafa goes the saleable value drops, if their is another relegation the income drops.
    If the club agree a business plan to reinvest the income from TV, League Points and player sales I’m sure Rafa will stay, he has on more than one occasion talked about potential.
    Let’s hope Rafa’s the man to realise the potential

    • Leazes.

      I don’t think there was ever a buyer, Ashley is using the club to promote his brands and hasn’t been seen here for a year, the club is on ‘tick-over’ idling speed and the game is to keep fans guessing and compliant Journalists and pundits confused and ‘onside’.

    • Paul Patterson

      “Mike Ashley has made a lot of mistakes running our club, but he’s not stupid.”
      A glaring contradiction there. He’s stupid because he keeps making mistakes and not seeing them or learning from them.

    • Guest 2

      Stupid he most certainly is. ‘Beggars belief you could argue otherwise.

      The bloke has appointed a stream of complete idiots at this club, to run it and to ‘manage’ it. The club has no Board, no Finance Director and has two non employee stooges involved (Barnes & Bishop), yet he continues to claim he has no say in how things operate.

      The man is a control freak who will never give authority to someone like Rafa. Never.

      • Leazes.

        It’s also got no Director of football and No direction…. Ashley has never struck me as bright or intelligent, those aren’t prerequisites for business so long as you use other people’s brains….but he doesn’t.

        The stupidity is fans and Journalists who expect something different each year.

        • Peaky

          Just watched on YouTube his grilling from the MPs’…..the arrogance and utter contempt is beyond believe…..he really does think he’s untouchable.

          • TheFatController

            Well, he no doubt asked ‘can this lot send me down ?’ And heard no, and as a billionaire just didn’t give a monkey’s.

            Would any of us? We’d just tough it out and head to the pub after …

          • Leazes.

            If you want to bring Ashley down get the accountant….. oh hang on that’s the Untouchables isn’t it.

        • Paul Patterson

          He’s just lucky, VERY, VERY lucky, no more no less.

          • Rich Lawson

            But not at roulette apparently.

        • Guest 2

          There’s few sports journalists worth their salt. They majority just copy and paste the same nonsense which has 99% absence of facts or sources behind the stories.
          As for supporters, I’m pretty sure a large majority would turn up if Ashley fielded a team of Border Collies.

  • Peaky

    Has the sale/takeover been brushed under the same carpet as Beardsley ???

    • Rich Lawson

      Buried in the same ”Garden”

  • jack

    Ashley actually wants Rafa to leave , he’s realised his mistake at employing him and creating a monster he can’t control , he’s been undermining Rafa from the start because Rafa has something he will never have , that’s the adoration and trust of the fans .His pr machine has been at work for a long time now and it will get worse as he tries to dicredit Rafa and if Rafa leaves you’ll see all the told you sos coming from the Ashley camp .I think there is a possibility Rafa will leave soon because how much can someone take

    • Wezza147

      This is spot on and exactly what I’ve been been saying. They will put the heat all on Rafa so their goal is if he leaves that a we will turn on Rafa and keep the heat off Ashley. What sick people that run our club!

      • jack

        Your right , but it’s been going on for ages but more subtle .It’s more out in the open now , I think Ashley realise right at the beginning of hiring Rafa that he’d made a mistake , because Rafa wasn’t like all the rest of his yes men , pardew , carver , etc .And because the fans are a hundred percent behind Rafa he doesn’t like it because he can’t control it .

        • Wezza147

          Spot on! Others have touched upon that here. Ashley really is a control freak and hates it thathe can’t control Rafa.

    • Moff

      I don’t think Ashley would want Rafa to leave the club for 2 reasons. Firstly it would reduce revenue long term and we all know what ££££££ mean to Ashley. Secondly the impact of losing players and fans if Rafa did make an exit. If Rafa departs to another PL team no doubt he would be interested in taking players like Lascelles, Shelvey or even Diame with him. Player contracts mean nothing today and if the price is right Fatty will sell. He will bring in someone like Harry Redknapp to “duck and dive” around the loan market who he can dictate at will. Rafa is a proud man, the love of the fans will not stop a man with dignity and honour doing the right thing. It’s just a shame Ashley is not in the same mould.

      • jack

        It won’t make any difference to finance either , Ashley would be quite happy to sell Lascelles or any player for huge profit , he milks the club every year , and excuse after excuse why we can only spend the bare minimum , look at the latest accounts , 90 million pound loss it beggars belief , obviously manipulated figures like always .He would be made up if Rafa went , he only likes people he can control

      • Guest 2

        £6 million if he walks, or contract is bought out. You don’t think Ashley would be slavvering at that and another puppet in place who won’t challenge him ?

  • Mrkgw


  • Wezza147

    Very good article that hit the nail on the head!
    The question remains though is how much money is Rafa going to get to buy that elusive top striker? Every penny generated? With the 125M tv money that will already have been dissapeared (a reason for late companies house accounts) I very much doubt that he will get much of anything. Loans lies and more lies is on the cards.

  • FatParosite

    I have been a fan of nearly 50 years of Newcastle United. In that time I have not ever seen an owner/chairman so crass so venal so cynical as Ashley. As others on here have pointed out Ashley could have taken the route to make us more ambitious and it would have been easier than this mud dragging zombie existence. However Ashley chose to belittle us when we did not like his methods of using our love against us and forging a lowest common denominator club. Year after year he will feed us the same Soylent Green in terms of jam tomorrow and so many will lap it up. My tolerance is so low of this man and his plan for NUFC I can’t even bring myself to steal steams off Murdock to watch the palliative care Ashley is serving up. I’m not even sure I want to watch if Rafa stays.

    • TheFatController

      Great point. One day I hope they make Soylent Green, with Charlton Heston screaming ‘Soylent Green is Ashley !’

      There’s certainly enough of him to feed a fair few …

      • FatParosite

        They would have to dig up the wrinkly old Naaazi to do it…. (I had to spell that wrong because it must be on a hit list)

    • Shipcote Willy

      Your mud dragging zombie existence sums it up nicely. Has there ever been a more cynical owner loathed by the masses

      • Albert Stubbins

        Chairman mao?

  • Carol smith

    i would like to know why Ashley won’t speak to Rafa face to face and say yes you can have the money you want or no you can’t then Rafa will know we’re he stands, I am worried though

    • Viru leckworth

      It’s simple. Ashley does not like face to face confrontation. That is why he gets Charnley and co to act as buffers, and it’s the reason he swans of to the states during the transfer window.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    He’s always up to something to cover his own backside is Ashley so I wouldn’t argue with any of the above.
    Ashley has the power to make this go anyway he likes but will not do what is right by the club.
    So he is moving to extricate himself from the situation involving Rafa and trying to put the onus on him.
    His statement about him being “The Pantomime Villain”, Is deliberately put out there so that will stick in peoples minds.

    I would like to think that the Newcastle public have now got wise to his tactics as we have seen it countless times over the years.
    The situations where flyers were left in pubs in Newcastle to say Steven Taylor was hated at the club and the Andy Carroll debacle are just two of his pathetic campaigns that we have seen over his time here.

    • Guest 2

      He would make the perfect Widow Twanky though, wouldn’t he ;-)

      One thing is for sure, if £350 million (and a £70 million profit at least) won’t convince him to sell, then there must be a lot more than free SD advertising keeping him here.

      • Toon Arnie

        I could actually see Charnley as the ‘Widow Panicky’ running around in heavy make up and a wig waving his arms in the air when Ashley disappears on holiday again during the last few weeks of the transfer window and forgets to pack his phone charger. You’ve got to laugh. ‘We tried to get the deal over the line’ – ‘oh no you didn’t ’ !!

      • Fireman Sam

        I agree, the advertising he has had must be worth upwards of £100m to him since he bought us. Club shop must have netted him £30m over this time.

        But there is definitely another fiddle or two which is why the accounts are locked up in Fort Knox.

  • nevfur

    Rafa can spend every penny the club has generated says Mike, then oops a few days later the overdue accounts come out saying we have lost 100 squillion pounds in the championship and only got through because of good old Mike. Wonder how much we have to spend?

  • Magman

    Let HMRC check the books then we will see if the FCB is telling the truth

    • Leazes.

      You can’t check what isn’t there…..merchandising and advertising have been hived off, the club shop is a S**** D****t outlet…..

      …..and of course the money lost through incompetent management resulting in relegation paints a pretty picture but doesn’t appear in the accounts as a shortfall….. but it will effect the proportion of the wage bill which will be presented as a rise despite selling players…..

      …. watch for the spin by the chronicle when the accounts that comes out!

      …..Just watch how its presented by Ryder and Waugh!

      • Fireman Sam

        Waughs article is overall balanced but only to give weight to the argument that the club lost a huge amount of money. Total rubbish, just managing expectations.

      • Guest 2

        Buried in earlier accounts – reckon we only made £280,000 profit or so from merchandising and the same to SD. Yeah, right.

        Accounts still not showing on Companies House website.

  • FatParosite

    Surprise £90m loss..??.. Those books are so over cooked they make my mam’s sprouts at Christmas seem like they’re fresh out the ground… by comparison.

  • Bob

    In his statement, Ashley simply said that he “hoped” Benitez would stay. Not that he wants him to stay or that he would do everything to make him stay. Charnley has no authority in Benitez talks so that will delay things and just waste time.

  • grantham mag

    Accounts are out, 90 million pound loss = bye, bye Rafa = RELEGATION and another season of tripe and onions for the fat flucker

  • Fireman Sam

    Spot on article.

    Closer scrutiny of the clubs finances is required to expose what is actually going on.

    Never a mention of the sports direct advertising that NUFCactually pays for!

  • Shipcote Willy

    Spot on article and many fans can see his plan. Been saying for weeks Ashley’s dream is Rafa walking, compensation, appoint Pardew/ McWally mark 2 then bring in a couple of loan signings. The PR release is at the ready Rafa’s unrealistic expectations, can’t compete with City blah blah. The club continues to be dumbed down, no investment in the infracture stadium or squad accompanied by smoke and mirrors creative accounting. We go further back each season. Can’t compete with Cardiff will be heard soon.

    • Guest 2

      Can’t compete with City, yet want us to believe from these fantasy accounts that we spent 6 times more on wages than Huddersfield?

  • Guest 2

    Those accounts look dodgy as F. No wonder they were 6 weeks late – they were busy cooking away.

    How can Rafa have made over £30 million transfer profit, saved £800k a month off wages, yet they reckon wages/salaries went up by £37.5 million? The only player actually signed after the summer was Atsu, in May ’17!

    As for the claims of Ashley being an astute businessman, buying for cash but selling on the drip does this football club no good whatsoever. It deprives the manager of necessary funds. It does his MASH accounts good but not the club. “a substantial proportion of the player sales are on deferred terms and will be received over the next 3-4 years, with the result that in the year ending 30 June 2017 there will be a net cash outlay with respect to these transfers”.

    Once again the club suffers from his ineptitude which resulted in another relegation. No doubt they will now turn around and say, “sorry Rafa, the cupboard is bare.”