Kevin Keegan returned to Newcastle United as manager in February 1992.

Eight years after inspiring Newcastle to return to the Premier League as a player, the NUFC legend returned to try and save them from falling into the third tier for the first time in their then 100 year history.

What a centenary present that would have been! Only at Newcastle.

Kevin Keegan had three months to turn things around, with what had looked an impossible position before he arrived.

Club owner/majority shareholder John Hall had promised the new manager backing but after only 38 days in the job, KK walked out, declaring ‘It’s not like it said in the brochure.’

The sticking point had come when Kevin Keegan wanted to buy experienced defender Brian Kilcline to instil some backbone in the relegation threatened team.

John Hall refused, leading to Keegan going public to say the promised transfer backing hadn’t been forthcoming.

John Hall wasn’t stupid, he knew that without the inspirational Kevin Keegan, the club were sunk.

The £250,000 was paid for Kilcline, Keegan came back to St James Park, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Brian Kilcline only ended up playing 32 games for Newcastle but it was arguably the best £250,000 that the club has ever spent.

From that point on, John Hall backed Kevin Keegan, and the manager delivered each time the better players were delivered. However, it was only in the very late stages of his time at NUFC, when you saw the epic signing of Alan Shearer, before that the backing had still been realistic, rather than along the lines of what Jack Walker had done at Blackburn, which was unsustainable unless you had a fan owner prepared to keep pumping money in, knowing there would be no chance of getting it back.

Even the world record £15m paid for Alan Shearer was worth every penny, despite Newcastle not being competitive for much of Shearer’s time at the club, who could argue that it wasn’t a brilliant signing, that also worked in a financial sense.

Newcastle bought the greatest goalscorer the Premier League has so far seen, how much would you pay today for the player who would beat that?

Kevin Keegan knew his own worth and he also knew the value of good players, he couldn’t produce miracles for ever more, without being supported with better class players.

Moving on 26 years since that pivotal Kevin Keegan moment with John Hall, we now have Rafa Benitez.

The difference to KK is that Rafa has now already had three transfer windows where he has made clear that ‘promises’ have not been kept.

Just like Keegan before him, Rafa Benitez knows his own worth, as well as what is needed to help this club climb back up the slippery pole that under Mike Ashley, they have managed to regularly slip down so easily on a regular basis.

The Spaniard has come to a club that under Mike Ashley has had no long-term planning, ever, just going season by season and see where you are in a year’s time, often leading to a relegation fight, which hasn’t always been ‘successful’.

The very first Rafa Benitez/Mike Ashley transfer window they appeared to be working on the same page, Rafa getting some £50m to build a team for the Championship as a whole team of ‘Premier League’ players left, whilst a £40m profit on moves in and out surely kept the owner very happy. Especially when both of them watched as the plan came together and promotion as champions was achieved.

However. the cracks had already started to show, Rafa clearly led to believe he would be backed in January 2017, to bring in further players to ensure promotion and to help ensure Newcastle try and compete in the Premier League if/when they got there, which was looking very likely by that point.

Forced to shop for bargains such as Joselu and Manquillo as the likes of Huddersfield and Brighton had far far higher net spends, Rafa was clearly gutted, but just got on with the job.

January 2018 and the same old, Mike Ashley blocked Rafa from buying any players, with only loan deals allowed, whilst Brighton & Huddersfield and pretty much every other relegation threatened club bought at least one or two players.

Rafa Benitez is doing his best to present a relaxed persona as we head towards yet another transfer window, though behind the smiling exterior, he has yet again made his message clear on Friday.

He won’t be hanging around long-term at Newcastle to be made a fool out of by Mike Ashley, that Newcastle is a club that can progress with the right backing, and that this is something he and the Newcastle fans deserve to see happen.

Rafa hasn’t mentioned a ‘brochure’ just yet but he has regularly told us of broken ‘promises’, which is clearly a rotten way to run a football club and one that is always destined for eventual disaster, especially if you drive out a manager such as Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez – Friday 4 May 2018:

“Sometimes people think that [bargaining hard with an owner like Mike Ashley to get the backing you want/need] is negative…but I think it is a positive because it means you care.

“I am not thinking about myself…if you want to go to another level, you need more quality.

“When you have experience you try to do your best for your team, for your club, for your fans.

“I don’t really enjoy this negotiating and I would be happier just thinking about my team, my players, tactics, analysing opposition teams and improving players – but in modern football, especially in the Premier League, the budget is crucial.

 “When I say I have ambition and I want to win something, it is because the fans also have this ambition to win something.

“I did not come to Newcastle after so many games, so many titles, just to say, ‘OK, we will see what happens.’

“I want to compete, to try to win, everyone has the same feeling.

“We have the potential to do that and so I fight to do the right things…what you need is more quality in the squad.”



  • Leazes.

    I don’t remember Ashley producing a brochure….. I do remember Charnley or was it Llambias saying the goal of the club was to get the ‘best value pound for pound’, which doesn’t sound remotely football-centric……

    It is the mission statement from someone who gave away free advertising and the clubs future development land.

    • Guest 2

      Llambo also said the aim was to emulate Arsenal. That got downgraded to emulating Aston Villa!
      Like the two 5 year plans. Amounted to diddly squat other than relegations and 11 years of parasitical ownership.

      • ghostrider

        The first plan was to be stable.
        Achieved.
        The second plan was to try and compete. It backfired due to bad managerial appointments and players refusing to play.

        Now we have a manager on world class wages who is such a hit and miss, it’s hard to know which way we’re going under him.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      What land Leazes, tell the truth now.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Rafa Benitez is a World Class manager who`s driven by winning things,
    it`s in his DNA like all great managers.
    He`s stood for Fatso`s nonsense because he think`s he can achieve taking this club to a new level and he can with the right backing, sadly that won`t happen under the Parasite.
    Most likely we`ll revert to another Patsy as coach & normal service will resume.
    Only the fans can drive him out & they haven`t got the balls to do it

    • phildene

      I hate to say this but a certain Pardew is free again if Rafa walks……. oh dear!

      • Jezza

        You’re only saying what we’re all thinking.

    • ghostrider

      Rafa is an employee. He doesn’t give the orders upstairs, he gives them to those he’s been charged with managing.
      He needs to learn to understand his role rather than thinking he’s some kind of god who can demand, or else.

      If he doesn’t like what’s on offer then he can leave….but he seems to be staying…so what’s that down to in his third season?

      Could it be his 5/6 million a year contract or could it be that he’s getting funds but not exactly spending them in the right areas and had to rely on loans to work for him to get him out of the mire, one of which was such a damp squib as to be almost devastating.

      I certainly do not want to see a seasons worth of football like I’ve endured this season with small snippets of decent football thrown into the mix.
      If that’s his aim next season I hope he does walk.

      I was warming to him but he needs to shut up and put up and start producing a squad capable of playing decent football with results to match next season.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        It’s noticeable that when he talks via Caulkin the team performance falls away

        • ghostrider

          He’s not doing the players any favours, is he.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Effectively, he’s saying his players aren’t good enough. That’s not motivational. It’s OK to try an get a good deal but not in public.

          • ghostrider

            Yep, I agree.
            What’s more annoying is the players he deems not good enough will be those that he’s literally nullified in their natural position in terms of being effective.

  • mactoon

    The problem with Charnley handling the ‘negotiations’ is that he has no power to change the steer he has been given by Ashley. Ashley says ‘we can give him X, Y and Z’ and Charnley then relays this to Rafa but has no authority to go beyond what he has been told to offer. That’s not my idea of negotiation and if he has to go back to Ashley for agreement every time Rafa asks for something not on the script it’s just pointless and will only lead to Rafa just walking away in frustration.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      You also have Justin Barnes lurking in the background

      • mactoon

        Yup, extra layers of decision makers proving Ashley doesn’t trust Charnley to make decisions. One board member who can’t even make a decision. What a mess

  • Rich Lawson

    What disapoints me about the negotiations is that it is ”representatives” doing it.I’d like to see Ashley and Rafa’ in the same room to thrash out an agreement that is then put in writing.

    • Alex

      One-on-one, Ashley is an incompetent, ignorant and inarticulate oaf. That’s why you rarely hear anything from him, and he surrounds himself with his ‘support people’ like Bishop, Barnes, Llambias, Mort and even Charnley.

      If fact, I’ve always believed that Ashley would, indeed, have promised Rafa various things last summer, because Ashley couldn’t cope with being on the spot. Once the meeting was over, he’d inform his cabal what was said and they’d reply, “You promised what??? Don’t worry, we’ll un-promise it.”

      • Weyhhadaway

        I think you are wrong, Ashley is no oaf. He is very smart to have built a business and become a billionaire.

        The problem is he has no affinity to anything but money. He saw us a quick little earner when he bought us, thinking he could flip us to the Arabs for profit.

        That failed and he was stuck with us, so he applied the business principles that made him rich. Supply the absolute lowest cost and quality product for the most money you can get. While employing the fewest amount of people possible aka Charnley, the only director who is basically a shop manager in this scenario.

        Corporate makes all of the calls using said shop manager as a buffer/scapegoat to keep the minions at bay.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          I think you make a goodISH point.

          Yes, I think he thought it would be fun, easier and could sell us on. I also think he could leave a bit of a hero. He wanted to deliver KK he wanted us to be up there.

          He also thought football is ran badly. Football business is illogical. Freddy Shepherd said in an FT interview that he leaves his business brain behind when he fund a football club (don’t we know it). Ashley tried to apply logical business sense to running the club, football is emotive, not logical.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      It works both ways, Rafa has a mouthpiece in Caulkin doing his PR.

  • Tweed Mag

    We have a top class manager who knows how to build a squad and win things. We have an owner who sees things through a balance sheet and is advised by toadies. They are miles apart and the only way we can succeed is for Ashley to provide proper funds. If not, his balance sheet will soon be in the red. He likes a gamble, so why not back his manager instead of hoping for the best on an impossible budget.

    • ghostrider

      He likes a calculated gamble.
      Rafa is a calculated gamble and hasn’t done anywhere near enough to convince me he’s got what it takes to do anything better with this club than previous managers.

      5/6 million a year places more of an expectation on his shoulders as opposed to many other managers on a portion of that.

  • jack

    I think Rafa will be gone within the next three weeks , I don’t know what the Ashley lackys will do then , but I know what the true fans should do

    • ghostrider

      What will the so called true fans do?
      True fans support the club not one person within it.
      Rafa gets away with far too much because he knows the fans will forgive him any errors and put it down to all manner of things other than anything he does wrong.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      I bet you £10 he’s nufc manager on 31 May 2018.

  • Weyhhadaway

    History repeats itself all too often at this club. Keegan brought us the beginning of success but left because the club didn’t deliver on promises made regarding shares and bonuses when the club was floated.

    Rafa has done the same thing in a more understated way in a vastly different market in terms of players available. He too will eventually walk when another window drifts by and his patience runs out.

    The one thing that might make him hang around is a potential new owner telling him to hang in there. Whether that person exists and if a sale can be agreed is the question.

    • mactoon

      Problem is he’s even putting a spanner in the works on any sale by potentially pricing the club out of the market. We’ve yet to hear what he currently wants for the club now we are safe

      • Weyhhadaway

        Aye. Like I said, if and a big if a sale can even be agreed. Pretty sad.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        What would you say is a fair price? It owes him £275m but contributors last week were suggesting the club should have a stadium of 80,000 or more, there is definitely a business case for it proven that we sold out Vs West Bromwich. Other contributors say we could sell another £25m in advertising every year and the debt could have been paid off ages ago. He also pockets 100 million of TV money, Jezza said that so what is a business worth that can generate all that?

        • mactoon

          Hard to say but he paid £275 million so he wants that back and he wants a sizeable profit (£400 million total?) but I weigh that against the 10 years free advertising he has already profited from (and didn’t he buy the land behind the ground from the club on the cheap?) so I would go around £350 million.

          With regards to extending the capacity, he won’t because he won’t see any profit from the financial outlay if he sells it anytime soon. Anyway, as far as I’m aware, sale of the land at Strawberry place prevents expansion of the ground and the East Stand can’t be increased due to listed buildings behind it. Can it even be done?

          Advertising and sponsorship has been compromised by the loss of revenue from Sports Direct advertising (even though they said they were going to pay for it back in the 2015 accounts) and I doubt he would pay off the loans as I suspect they are used for some sort of financial advantage for Mash Holdings.

          I’ve seen many claims that Ashley is ‘pocketing’ money coming in to the club but I’m yet to see proof of it. I can’t say it isn’t happening and I know accounts can say anything the accountant wants them to but having read them I can’t see any evidence of it.

          But the club has potential. Tangible assets in the form of the fan base, a successful Manager, the value of the playing staff, gayle, Mitro, Merino and Lascelles in particular. The commercial side of things could prove lucrative if handled correctly with opportunities available from the club shop profit being brought back to the club, advertising, naming rights, using the ground for concerts and events, England games (if Wembley is sold) and I expect he will use these and the guaranteed 3 years TV money as reasons to ask for a higher price.

          Unfortunately, following due diligence, Amanda Staveley initially offered £350 million (the current figure ‘on the table’ is £250 million). I would expect her to know her stuff so I can’t see anyone offering anywhere near £400 million.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            First up, I think £350 will be about right and he’ll accept that sort of figure.

            Strawberry pl is a misinformation issue. The land was sold at a profit and the MGM shares were sold as a way to give the club money not the other way round.

            Of course he’s not pocketed money, why would he? He can take £129m tax free.

            The advertising by is worth £2-3m a year, that’s all.

            Of course you are right, he’s not going to expand the stadium whilst he’s selling the club, it makes little sense anyway.

  • ghostrider

    Keegan left when the club went PLC and he couldn’t have carte blanche, so he walked away….the first of many at just about every club after that.

    Keegan also worked as manager in a time where Newcastle gatecrashed the elite clubs, as few as there were at the time.

    Things are massively different this time around and it isn’t a case of those early Keegan times where carte blanche is the order of the day.

    Rafa’s had a decent wedge for the position we were in at the start and to present day.
    He’s on 5/6 million a year and is paid that money to actually do more than the average Joe with players, bought or nurtured.

    He has no real right to moan about funds at this time. He’s had plenty money to solidify.

    If he doesn’t get a bit more in the summer then he has a right to moan…but the summer hasn’t arrived and there’s games to fully concentrate on, so absolutely no need to rock any boat at this stage.

    After the last game he can start haggling.

    • mactoon

      He has the right to moan because he didn’t get the permanent transfers he wanted in January. Because of this he is ‘staking his claim’ that he wants guaranteed funds in the summer to build on what he has now. He isn’t moaning about funds to be made available in the summer. If he didn’t rock the boat now about the amount of transfer funds he wants made available in the summer he would get nothing.

      • ghostrider

        He does have a right to moan if he’s not getting a fair deal. I think he’s getting a fair deal from the club.
        What he’s not getting is targets that leave us haggling over heightened transfer fees for players that are no better than what we already have.

        No wonder he doesn’t get some targets.
        He’s signed some dross but that seems to be forgotten.

        • mactoon

          I think if he got the players he wanted it wouldn’t be an issue. I place the blame directly on the restrictive transfer policy imposed by Ashley and carried out by Charnley. I would like to see his list of top targets compared to the players Charnley managed to get over the line, I bet it would be massively different. Remember the quote “I am getting the players I can, not the players I want”. I doubt an injured Slimani on loan was not what he expected.

          • ghostrider

            It depends on the players he wanted given that we were a promoted team from the championship.
            Nobody seems to know what his real targets were so it’s all speculation on what quality and price his targets were.

          • Fireman Sam

            Again, you completely miss the point. Rafa would have sounded out the players with their agents first, then passed a list to charnley to get it done.

            It seems that Rafa isn’t even being given a budget to work with.

            Or what the club are delivering is well short of what was promised.

            EXACTLY THE SAME AS WHAT THEY DID TO KEEGAN AND PROVEN IN COURT

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You write in a very similar style to Michael Moose and Leazes’. You also keep your posts wierdly hidden as those two profiles do. Are you by any chance the same person?

          • ghostrider

            It looks like R

          • Jezza

            Don’t feed the troll, lads. Don’t give him the reaction he craves. Just block him.

        • Fireman Sam

          Of course he isn’t, the fat man hasn’t given him a penny to spend

          • ghostrider

            Ashley has given him plenty but he’s wasted too much of it on players he refused to play and bad buys which could have been better spent buying in what was really required.

          • Lhc

            Murphy joselu Manquillo 20 million ish down the drain which could have got a decent striker And still stayed up minus those 3

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        He got better players on loan than he would have permanently.

    • Fireman Sam

      Lunatic

      • ghostrider

        I wouldn’t call him a lunatic but I would call him a dummy spitter and a selfish git.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Yep, the last time we had a slump it was whilst Rafa was speaking via his mouthpiece Caulkin how the players are no good.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Top article. Big similarities between hall and fatso.both greedy men with huge egos. One key difference though. Hall worried about his legacy and in addition to this he was a just a wealthy man. He knew the importance of Keegan and wouldn’t gamble on losing him for a quarter of a million. Ashley will gamble and the brinksmanship he will play with Rafa he’d have never have got away with with king kev. Hall would never have gambler with the whole future of the club the way Ashley would and will ultimately do. Both greedy but hall appreciated the unique roll Keegan played in uniting the club. Ashley lacks this foresight and because of this fatal flaw we will all suffer!!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Hall was part of a consortium to buy NUFC, he personally lent the club £100,000 to buy Killer, he charged interest and the money was taken back.

      Ashley has lent the club £144m and charges no interest at all. He hopes to get it back when the club is sold

      • jack

        How has he saved our club , at least the halls showed a lot more ambition , two relegations , a few near misses , mediocre managers and football , money spirited away to his different companies , which has got to illegal and will eventually be found out .Selling land foe his own personal gain , a loan which remains the same in eleven years , the trouble with is your so far up Ashely’s ass you can’t see the light of day .This regime is killing us , and everything they trundle out you wax lyrical about it .Open your eyes

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          The Halls, well, hall Jr and Shep took the club to the brink of bankruptcy.

          Someone had to save the club, someone with money. Ashley was the only player that we know of, the question for him remains, why did he pay money for the shares.

          The rest is piffle.

          • jack

            You really are an idiot aren’t you , the only piffle comes out if your mouth , your just Ashley’s lacky

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I wasn’t aware that I was an idiot but thanks for letting me know.

            I have some time for Hall Sr but Dougie and Freddy ran the club into a disastrous position. That needed to be reversed and although a rich super-benfactor would have been favourable, Ashley came and sorted things out.

            Going back to your post, land was not sold for his own personal gain, the land was a white elephant once the casino plan was stopped by government. The sale was at over-value I.e the club made more money than the land was worth on the open market, from a club point of view, what’s not to like?

            I’m not sure what money was spirited away? I’m pretty au fait with the club finances and have not come accross that, can you explain?

            He can legally take £144m from the club, tax free, why would he do something illegal?

            The loan has not gone down, you say this as a bad thing. For him to reduce his loan, the club gives him some of the £144M back, that’s fine but the club would then have £144m less to buy players and pay wages.

          • jack

            I was right the first time , idiot

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Any chance of an answer to my points or are you just doing childish insults today?

          • jack

            Your wrong in all your points , firstly land is not a white elephant , it’s a great location and potentially highly profitable , which was purchased by Ashley for himself ,not the club .we’ve had the benefits of premiership money in nine years not counting two relegations , to which we cleared the high earners and half decent players , we’ve had parachute payments , and in the eleven years of his tenure we’ve had a net spend of 4.49 million per season , we’ve the lowest wage bill , and nothing has been spent on infrastructure , so you tell me where has all the money gone , certainly not on players .People like you are just lackies to a corrupt regime , and I’ve no doubt someone will do a detailed audit in the future and the all will come out in the wash , I watched your comments on here for a good while , yours and monseatons and your both just part of the Ashley pr machine , and never a supporter as long as you’ve got a hole in your ass

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The club bought the land in 2006 for the casino along with a joint venture with MGm. The land and the shares cost a total of just under £3.5 m, this was bought with a loan at 9% interest. From 2006-9 the land was sublet to a car Park company, the income did not pay the interest on the borrowing.

            In 2009 Nufc sold the land for 6m, a profit of just over £3m. This £6m helped the club operate within the FL FFP rulesin its promotion year. The only other asset it had to create that money was Kevin Nolan.

            From 2006 -2009 the country was in a crash, commercial property values plummeted. For the club to realise money from that land was a very good deal for the club. It was a deal purposely over-value to get money into the club to meet FFP rules.

            For the most part, Since 2009 the land has continued to operate as a car park. It’s not particularly valuable, the new building work is residential rather than commercial as nobody needs commercial property as they once did.

            The club was losing £33m a year when Ashley took over, it was insolvent tothe tune of £16m. Wages have been cut, income pushed up, non core income outsourced to remove risk. The club now make a profit (2016 figs) and has a solvent balance sheet of £30 odd million. That is where the money has gone.

            As for me not being a supporter, I am not as good as Monkseaton in that I don’t go to many games. The last was Everton away and I may still get to Tottenham on Wednesday but I may have seen my last game for the season. I’m not an ever present but I’m better than most.

          • jack

            The land is not worthless , it depends what development happens there .You can make facts and figures put out by the regime look any way they want it to look , basically they’ve ran the club on a shoestring for eleven years , and you seem to be happy with that , like Ashley your devoid of any ambition , but if your happy with that then your just one of there clones .I’ve been supporting Newcastle since my first match in 1957 ,I’ve seen all the bad owners we’ve had and demonstrated against them on many occasions over the years , because it was deserved .Forget about Mckeag , Westwood , Douglas hall etc , this regime has got .to be one of the worst .But your happy with that , another one of Maggie’s children where a bowl of rice and fish heads will suffice , show a bit of backbone man

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The land was not worthless but it was only of serious value with casino planning permission. As a car park, it’s worth the value of a car park, as student flats, it’s just the value of flats.

            I don’t get your beef tbph, the club got a great deal in selling that car park on, it was losing the club money.

            I’d love us to be up there in the top 4 but reality is, it’s almost impossible to compete without a heap of cash or the brand of Liverpool or Man yoo. We don’t have that money or the brand. We almost went bust trying to create that brand.

            I’d prefer a different owner, Ashley is not that interested now but to change you need an new owner. Personally, I’d like to see 150,000 fans put 3,000 quid in each and then we’d have nobody to blame but ourselves. Yes, I may be one of Maggie’s children but I don’t see that as negative in that Maggie taught us to put up or shut up, take responsibility and have a go ourselves. Ashley may be many things but he’s at least put his money in, more than anyone in the history of the club.

          • jack

            Any development ie student flats and money gained from them will go into Ashley’s holding companies .And there is no reason why Newcastle shouldn’t have been fighting for top six in the 11 years he’s been here ,actually there is one reason , Ashley .And like him if your happy just to survive In premiere and balancing the books each year then your totally without ambition .This club has ran on the cheap since he bought it and your happy with that , cheap transfer deals or loans instead of proper investment .No even any investment in infrastructure .when are you gonna see that Ashley is poison to this club , when you gonna realise actually how much money has came into club under his tenure , and not been reinvested .

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You are talking some 9 years after he bought the land / lease. NUFC had the benefit of the money he paid for the land. He clearly didn’t have much of a plan as it remained a car park for yonks. Had Nufc developed the land, it would have needed to finance the 2009 promotion push in different way. Nufc would also have had to find the money to develop the land so fans would have to accept fewer players whlist the development dears financial fruit (if any) – Developing land and car parks are not the club’s main business.

            Nufc were not fighting for top 6 when he took over, we had an over-paid aging squad, we were 13th in the division, we were rubbish, we were in a financial mess we were losing over £2m a month. The bank had said enough was enough so someone had to finance all this.

            OK, we haven’t seen the blue chip trophy signings but that wasn’t working anyway, it was getting us deeper in the mire.

            Money has come in but it’s balanced the books, it’s not sexy but it has to be done.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Also, it’s not facts and figures from the regime, it’s the figures in the public record.

          • jack

            You can make facts and figures seem anything you want them to be .it’s obvious that your gonna continue to toe the party line and believe that Ashley is the best thing that ever happened to Newcastle ,but it’s time you took your blinkers off instead of blindly following the Ashley pr machine

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Not really, I hope we get new owners who will take a chance or two but we’ve seen what, say, Shepherds model did, we have to be careful.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I happily criticise Ashley but not for actions that are positive for the club, the sale of the land and mgm shares was positive.

          • jack

            Compare Ashley’s eleven years tenure with the first eleven years of hall and shepherd dynasty , league positions , European qualification etc , sometimes it’s not just about balancing the books and that’s something you can’t grasp .There are minimum of fifty two thousand fans who deserve better , but to quite honest with you it’s no use like you sitting on the fence all the time praising his good work , when the majority of fans are disgusted at his tenure .Obviously the bowl of rice rule applies again , but I don’t want to eat fish heads and rice the rest of my life . that’s where you and Ashley are totally devoid of ambition

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’ll not argue that Ashley’s time was somehow more fun, of course not. The problem was a lot of the success was not affordable and the stakes got higher. When we were up against the old money of Man U & Arsenal, new money of Blackburn and benefiting from the slump of Liverpool it was possible to risk a few quid. In doing so we mobilised the new TV audience and match goers.

            Now the game has changed, OK, we could have a few more thousand on the gate but to buy in the most promising striker from the Championship costs a lot more than £1.75m (750k was a load of contingencies that Cole blew out of the water). The competition is still Arenal, Man U, Liverpool but the new money is Chelsea and Man City with billions to spend not just a few million as well as the well run clubs like Spurs.

            As we lost momentum after Bobby was sacked, we just haemorrhaged money as the only thing Shepherd used as a strategy was to borrow money to pay over-the top-wages.

            t’s ok to have ambition but for the owner, he is not going to throw more money into the pot. He’s having trouble getting what he’s already spent back.

          • jack

            Two million back then is worth over thirty million today , Ashley’s record is abysmal and insulting actually , no infrastructure upgrade , once in the top six , two relegations, a net spend of just under five million in eleven years , and still although you may dispute it , 144 million in debt , we haven’t moved since the day he bought us , we had debt then and we’ve debt now , and the land situation is a con , the money will only go into one of his holding companies .You can’t defend anything that Ashley has done from day one , and if we all on the same page maybe something would be done about it .And he has no intention of selling us , when you buy something you buy it as seen , he knew there was debt and I don’t believe for one moment that he didn’t .So that becomes his debt , to lend himself money so he can lend the club is ridiculous . And I’m not too sure if it’s legal entirely .

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The problem is, we had this coming. we were sliding down the league, haemorrhaging money, an ageing squad and had lost our appeal outside the North East.

            The debt has not got any better but we’ve turned it around financially. We’re stable, the biggest creditor owns the club and the club can generate enough profit to return that money in 4 years which is not bad.

            The land situation is not a con. Without the casino option, it would never have been bought, it gave the club it’s money back and a healthy profit beyond reasonable expectation. The money did not go into a holding company, it went to NUFC, it helped us get promoted and stay within FFP rules.

            I think he has every intention of selling the club, he just wants what he believes is a fair price. I suspect that will be around £350m including the repayment of his loan.

            As for legality, I’m not sure if you have been in business but when you create a legal company, it is a separate legal entity and the owners are the shareholders. If the company needs to borrow, it can either go to the bank or any other willing lender. In this case, the shareholder was a willing lender so he lends the separate entity that money. Before, the banks lent the money and that’s fine until they got worried about getting it back.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Yes, £2m is now a lot more, football inflation seems much higher than the RPI. That’s my point, it was easier then but it still was not sustainable as we saw in the period 2003+

  • MadMag83

    Keegan returned to Newcastle in 1992, eight years after inspiring Newcastle to the Premier League as a player, the Premier League was around in the mid eighties? 😮

    • Jezza

      Ha ha yes the Sky Sports generation haven’t got a club about football before the 1990’s have they.