The Newcastle United Accounts made headlines on Friday.

You are always working more or less a year behind, so these were the accounts for the 2016/17 Championship promotion season, not the Premier League one just ended.

This time though, Mike Ashley really took it to the limit and beyond, the accounts filed some seven weeks after the deadline at Companies House. This means a fine but just peanuts to Ashley.

Very difficult not to think that the timing of their release isn’t coincidental, coming as it does just as the summer transfer window opens and in the middle of a stand-off with Rafa Benitez on a new contract and pleas/demands from the manager for backing in the transfer market.

Many/most in the media just went for the lazy option of reproducing what the club had put out (see below), rather than looking properly at what had happened.

So Newcastle ‘losing £90m’ in 2016/17 became the much repeated headline.

This totally ignored the fact that more than two thirds of this was actually a paper loss, with some £65m of amortisation and ‘onorous contract provisions’ (NUFC choosing to put future wages of unwanted players in that season’s accounts as well as the wages NUFC were paying in 2016/17),  this meant an accountacy loss of £90m but these are just financial instruments, not cash that could buy players.

In actual fact, when it came to actual cash, at the start of the 2016/17 season Newcastle had £1.7m in the bank and ended it with minus £8.3m, so £10m worse off in that respect.

Mike Ashley did put some of his money into the club to cover losses in the Championship season but that figure is £15m. So when it comes to actual cash going in and out in the Championship season, it was actually £25m more going out than in (showing £10m worse off at the bank at the end of that 2016/17 season, plus the £15m Ashley put in).

Not ideal but not quite the disaster people are being led to believe.

In actual fact, Mike Ashley could very easily have made it so Newcastle United actually had MORE actual cash coming in than going out, even in a Championship season.

By doing one of two things he would have ensured this happened, if he had done both…Newcastle would have had a very healthy bank account by the end of that 2016/17 Championship season.

This simply comes down to the way Mike Ashley chooses to buy and sell players.

For whatever reason(s), the owner always pays the full transfer fee up front but when selling, he is happy (or insists?) on the fee being paid over the course of years in instalments. The club have never given any explanation as to why Ashley wants to do this.

So in the 2016/17 season, Newcastle confirmed they had sold players for a total price of £40m more, putting a special note (see below) in the 2015/16 accounts.

Players worth an estimated £50m were bought, whilst players worth an estimated £90m were sold.

However, in that special note, it also explained that the majority of that £90m wouldn’t come in until after the 2016/17 season, when future instalments would be due.

Indeed, they said that in 2016/17 there would be actually a ‘net cash outlay’, so if all £50m worth of players bought were paid for up front, it means you are looking at a minimum of at leats half the fees for players sold not arriving until those future seasons – but in reality probably far more. For instance, it was widely reported that the Moussa Sissoko £30m fee would be paid by Spurs over the course of five seasons at £6m a time.

So coming back to the 2016/17 accounts, if Mike Ashley had insisted on buying clubs paying all the money up front, then Newcastle would have banked £90m from sales rather than the probable £20m – £30m, putting the club easily in credit at the bank, when compared to the £25m deficit on cash they did end up with. Plus of course the owner wouldn’t have had to put in that £15m.

Likewise, if Ashley had insisted Newcastle paid for their £50m worth of buys over the course of the next ‘3-4 years’, then the same would have applied. Shelling out maybe £10m/£15m on players in 2016/17, with most of the cash to be paid later. That would also have put NUFC in credit at the bank when it comes to cash, with once again Mike Ashley not having to put in the £15m.

Even if NUFC get advantageous terms (lower buying prices/higher selling prices) by doing it the Ashley way, there is so much leeway on the amounts that Newcastle would have been better off in terms of cash whatever the buying/selling figures.

So the bottom line is, Newcastle might have ended up £25m worse off in terms of cash in and out in 2016/17, but the transfers in and out in that season, mean there would be some £60m-£70m to come into the club in future seasons.

So moving forward, I would argue that when you include this (2017/18) season’s Premier League level money and the guarantee of similar in 2018/19, as well as the transfer cash surplus generated in 2016/17, Newcastle United are actually in a very good position cash-wise, rather than the doom and gloom the club and media put forward on Friday.

11 April 2017:

Extract from Newcastle United accounts for period up to 30 June 2016:

‘Subsequent to the balance sheet date the club has generated a net surplus of around £40m in respect of changes to the playing squad, 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.’

Official Announcement by club of Newcastle United Accounts 2016/17 – Friday 20 May 2018:

The results reported below reflect very clearly the financial consequences of relegation and the approach we adopted to help secure a return to the Premier League.

(These are the 2016/17 headline figures with in brackets the equivalent ones for 2015/16, then the change between the two seasons)


£85.7m (£125.8m) £40.1m worse off

Operating (loss)/profit

£90.9m loss (£0.9m profit) £91.8m worse off

Loss/profit after tax

£41.3m loss (£4.6m profit) £45.9m worse off

Wages to turnover ratio

130.9% (59.4%) 71.5%


£144.0m (£129.0m) £15.0m worse off

Cash at year end

-£8.3m (£1.7m) £10.0m worse off

Average home league attendances

51,108 (49,754) 1,354 better off

Wages & salaries

£112.2m (£74.7m) £37.5m higher

Playing squad costs are the most significant cost in any football club. There is probably no better evidence of the financial impact of our approach than the wage cost we are reporting for last season.

Whilst the headline figure of £112.2m includes promotion bonuses and onerous contract provisions totalling just over £30m, the underlying annual wage cost remains the highest ever seen in the EFL and is comparable with many Premier League teams for the 2016/17 season.

It is far in excess of Brighton (£40.4m) and Huddersfield (£21.7m), who were promoted alongside us.

Managing director, Lee Charnley, said: “After an at times challenging season in the Championship, everyone connected with the club was delighted when, with two league games remaining, we secured automatic promotion.

“Even taking into consideration the fantastic levels of support during our Championship season, such is the huge disparity in central broadcasting and commercial revenues between the Premier League and EFL, we are reporting a drop in annual income of almost one third.

“An immediate return to the Premier League was vital to restore the financial stability and future prospects of the club.

“With the support and backing of the owner we took what was, in essence, a financial gamble on securing immediate promotion.

“Statistics show how difficult this has been to achieve in recent times, with only five of the 18 teams relegated over the previous six seasons having come straight back up (one via automatic promotion and four via the play-offs). We were the only relegated club to achieve an immediate return to the Premier League.

“We were therefore under no illusion as to the scale of the challenge we were facing.

“Retention of the manager and key members of his coaching team, together with a significant spend to reshape the squad for Championship football, gave us what we felt was the best possible chance of success.

“There were some high profile departures including Moussa Sissoko, Gini Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Florian Thauvin.

“In addition to Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Matz Sels, who joined us in June 2016, a further nine players followed in the financial year 2016/17 – Christian Atsu, Ciaran Clark, Mohamed Diamé, Jesús Gámez, Isaac Hayden, Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar, Daryl Murphy and DeAndre Yedlin.

“Whilst sizeable transfer fees were earned for the players who left, the cash profile of these deals resulted in the fees being receivable over periods of up to four years.

“Our ability to withstand the financial impact of relegation, and adopt the approach that we did, was therefore only made possible by the continued financial support of our owner, who injected a further £15m interest-free loan into the club in 2017.

“Gaining promotion was the first priority and retaining our Premier League status was the second, both of which were achieved through considerable hard work, at all levels of the club, across every department, and thanks in no small measure to the magnificent support of our fans.”

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  • Leicester Mag

    Whatever Ashley is he’s no fool. This is a calculated act. Slight of an accountants hand nothing more or a deliberate message to Rafa ? We’ll never know. What we do know is that no amount of figures hide the catalogue of errors/ deliberate acts season after season that has taken us irrevocably backwards. No accountancy degree is needed to see the failure on the pitch. Given this and that he’s no fool then the reality is a deliberate policy to not compete to do enough with the minimum outlay all the time with a free advertisement to the world of his warehouse version of a jumble sale. Dream all we want this is the unchanging reality. Another reality is the sale – there’s no more a club sale as there’s a sale all year round on Lonsdale kecks. Welcome to the Prisoner where fans can’t escape the 6 foot footy and remember it’s only £4.99 at Sports Direct

    • Guest 2

      About time we got a solid answer as to how only £500k profit is made from merchandising – split between us and SD (apart from blatant lies and false accounting that is).
      That works out as a profit of only £10 quid a head for the St James Park attendance, never mind the estimated 6 million worldwide support base!
      Criminal, man.

      • Lofty

        So if six million of us can find £60 each we could buy the [email protected] out! Get looking down the back of the couch!

        • FatParosite

          Won’t happen,.you can’t even get 50,000 to exercise their right just for 1 or 2 weeks.

          • Lofty

            Probably not! You can hope though!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Can`t wait for the Great Obese one to be on Sky pleading poverty but Rafa won`t fall for the Fat Snides lies again

    • Leicester Mag

      Sadly 50K will or won’t care; some might protest inside St James pie and pint in hand

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        True, the sad fact is he knows it

  • Clarko

    ‘For whatever reason(s), the owner always pays the full transfer fee up front but when selling, he is happy (or insists?) on the fee being paid over the course of years in instalments. The club have never given any explanation as to why Ashley wants to do this.’

    Ask Sunderland why you shouldn’t pay transfer fees over the course of years.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      great system isn`t, relegated twice total cost around a couple of hundred million
      Pure Genius

    • Leicester Mag

      How sad that our benchmark for ‘success’ is we are less sackless than the rabble down the road.

      • Clarko

        You can’t read, go away, learn to read and them come back and review my comment, it has nothing to do with comparing Newcastle to Sunderland.

      • Ram Kishore

        Clarko has a point ..
        Because paying for players in installment is costlier

        • Coach Clagnut

          Nah,,,he’s never got a point my Bangalore friend

          • Ram Kishore

            I’m from Chennai(aka Madras)

          • Coach Clagnut

            My apologies.

          • Ram Kishore

            It’s chill..

    • Lofty

      Can I ask if the big clubs pay these outrageous fees up front Clarko? I can’t see it myself so they must pay transfer fees on deferred terms also? As far as I’m aware we seem to be unique in our approach to paying transfer fees. If you can explain how we will be able to compete re bloated fees other than to start paying in installments then I’d appreciate your insight.

      • Clarko

        Maybe you should research how the ‘big clubs’ spend their money yourself. Asking the questions you’re asking you don’t seem to be very ‘aware’. What I will say it that it is much safer to pay fees in instalments if you’re a top six club as you (practically) have a guaranteed income, ever other club, not so much.

        You ask how we can compete by paying fees upfront? Didn’t we just finish 10th? You know that paying fees upfront usually reduces the overall cost of the transfer right?

        • Lofty

          I didn’t ask to be abused Clarko, I was asking for your own insight into the situation. Take your attitude and shove it mate.

          • Clarko

            😂 😂 😂

          • Clarko

            It’s hard to tell who is genuine or not. Is this answer better:

            It is much safer to pay fees in instalments if you’re a top six club as you (practically) have a guaranteed income, ever other club, not so much.

            You ask how we can compete by paying fees upfront? Didn’t we just finish 10th? We are fine.

          • Lofty

            Much better thank you…

        • Come&TakeIt1836

          You can be very rational in your analysis but very irrational in your delivery. Please take a deep breath if for no other reason so your analysis isn’t ignored.

          • Coach Clagnut

            and hold that breath for about 3 days.

  • Paul Patterson

    My head hurts..

  • Coach Clagnut

    This reported 90 million loss is almost identical to the 90 million loss he suffered betting on the share price of Debenhams with that well known philanthropic organisation Goldman Sachs.
    I wonder if they are related.

    • Fireman Sam

      I think you are close to it there.

      • Leazes.

        No… now that is a conspiracy theory!

        • Coach Clagnut

          Not too much of a stretch if you think about it. All income goes into and goes out of MASH. This year he adopts a system of accounting not, to my knowledge, ever used before in connection to N.U.F.C. income.

          Might be a co-incidence, we’ll never truly know, but it all sounds way to convenient to me. Lose on a bet, gain on the roundabout.
          Of course, I’m not discounting the fat rapscallions previous in matters fiscal but, he does have form.

          • Mark Potter

            What new system of accounting? And where do you see that all income goes through MASH?

          • Coach Clagnut

            N.U.F.C. is a MASH holding as is all Fatty’s private companies. As for the accounting, it appears he’s lumping all potential liabilities as a fait accompli, whether we sell any of them or not.

  • Wezza147

    If anyone is interested they can take a look at a site called SPOTRAC (google it) search for Newcastle and they have our payroll for 2016-17 set at 52M base, 47M annual. May not be totally accurate as the lesser players are not on there but they wouldnt add too much. For the actual bill to be true you would have to have the likes of Lazaar, Gayle, Diame on 100k a week. When have we ever paid top wages. Not a chance. Pure lies by this rotten stinking regime. Trolls, don’t even bother replying.

    • Fireman Sam

      Completely agree

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Grant Thornton who do the accounts would not put a figure which was not accurate
      or they could be struck off.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Love the line “Trolls, don’t even bother replying” you don’t want to learn anything that may show you to be wrong?

        If I were you I’d be very very interested if I’d made mistakes to avoid repeating them elsewhere.

        A little look at other club’s figures and their filed accounts show these SPOTRAC chaps’ figures are wide of the mark. Even if you accept the figures as valid, these figures have not included employer tax (ni) so you need to add 14% and pension costs are ommited.

        I think you need to accept the audited figures rather than an American blogger.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Excellent point indeed. Employer N.I currently runs at 13.8% and all employers must put in a minimum of 2% into the pension scheme. At a club like Newcastle this probably equates to £15m. Add the bonus for going up of £10m, subsidising players like Jack Collback and you begin to see where the figure comes from. According to the Mag Grant Thornton made it up like they always do.

    • Wezza147

      Trolls – you’re blocked.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Such an ignorant halfwit.

  • Clarko

    This article is incredibly silly, you can’t demand the £30m for Sissoko to be paid upfront when you’re Newcastle in the Championship, you can either sell him for £12m or sell him for £30m over the 5 years, it’s a case of picking which one is more suitable. Like I said in a previous post, paying transfer fees over a set amount of years is extremely dangerous even if you’re in the PL let alone the Championship, spreading the cost of transfers is exactly why Sunderland are in League 1, they didn’t have any money to spend in the Championship because they were stuck paying for past transfers they had made in previous years. Silly article.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Not as silly as the Fat Pigs accounts

    • Leicester Mag

      I assume it’s silly for fans to want a team that competes. For an honest attempt to do so rather than a deliberate policy not to.

      • Clarko

        Again, go away, learn how to read and then come back.

    • Vodkamagpie

      Stoke might have a problem, probably still paying installments on shaquri , berahino, imbula, wimmer

      • Mark Potter

        Some of those are saleable assets.

    • Kneebotherm8

      You don’t sell Sissoko for a knockdown £12 million when there were at the very least 2 teams interested in him……..Everton as well as Spurs…….who has the upper hand,the seller or the buyers?

      • Clarko

        The buyers, we were in the Championship, we had to sell.

        • Kneebotherm8

          The division we were in was irrespective,Benitez,at the time,made it clear he didn’t have to sell…….no way we needed to sell for a £12 million up front fee to anybody

          • Clarko

            That’s not entirely true, it’s not a black and white situation, Benitez wanted to keep Sissoko, here is a quote from that summer where he was directly asked about Sissoko:

            “My idea is to keep the squad as strong as possible. I think we have to analyse every single case. Moussa Sissoko, he knows, because I was talking with his agent and he knows that he is an important player for us. So I will try to keep him with us for sure. These comments in the press, it is important to realise that they will not change things. So we said what we said before, we want to keep the squad as strong as possible and do our best for the team.”

            Here is a quote from Sissoko:

            “It is flattering that a coach like [Benitez], a great coach, wants to keep me. But I think that he is aware. I have reached a level where playing in the Championship would be difficult for me. I want to leave. I would like to continue my career in England, in a club that plays Champions League football.”

          • Mark Potter

            Sometimes the managers act as salespeople. Course they are going to talk up the value of a player. No-one is going to say that we are desperately trying to sell a player who doesn’t fit into the squad mentality Rafa was building, and to help balance the books for the money we paid out to buy Ritchie, Gayle, Clarke etc.

          • Clarko

            I don’t think they do and that wasn’t a sales pitch, Benitez wanted him to stay, Sissoko wanted to leave and we needed the money.

          • Mark Potter

            He did have to sell – no-one wanted Sissoko at the club any more, and no doubt Sissoko himself didn’t want to be here any more. The issue was not our bargaining power as a Championship club, but that it was done on the final day of the transfer window. The buying club can pay a small amount of cash that they have in hand, and pay off the rest at some future point.

            This is not odd – most people buy houses and cars that way, spreading the cost over several years. And it seems to be the norm in football transfers. If Spurs sold Bale amd Modric on those terms with the income spread over several years, then they are going to be buying all of their players that way. The idea that Spurs could have had £30 million sitting in their current account ready to spend, and all Charnley had to do was ask them to pay the full amount is crazy.

            You can say it doesn’t make sense for car dealers to allow their customers to buy cars over 3-5 years, when they would be much better off if they made the customers pay the full amount up front. But then many of those customers couldn’t afford it, and would go elsewhere. The car dealer charges you for the privilege of spreading payments, add up the cost of the monthly payments and compare to the full price advertised on the car to buy it outright, and you pay much more with installments.

    • Billmag

      Is it not incredibly silly not to get the transfer money up front so that the manager has every penny the club generates to buy decent player’s,if he doesn’t want to do that why won’t he loan the club money and get it back in instalments,

      • Clarko

        You’re twisting the scenario, I said the article was silly, the article was silly to suggest that all Mike Ashley had to do was to get the transfer money upfront, that’s not not possible in the Championship, you can either sell at a lower price or sell at a higher price spread over a set amount of years, we chose the latter.

        Accepting staggered payments for Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Janmaat, Townsend and so on is a one off, relegation type deal, in the Premier League the club will more than likely demand that the fees be paid upfront so that the manager has ever penny that the club generates.

  • Guest 2


    “onerous contract provisions totalling just over £30m” WTF does that mean? I’m still trying to find an explanation as to who left (and how many) and had their entire contracts paid out, to the tune of that sum.

    I can’t find any reason when looking through transfers and loans – so anyone else have a clue???

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Clarko will sort it for you

      • Guest 2

        Surely he’s still resting after cooking those books?

        • MichaelMaximusMoose


        • Leicester Mag

          Heston and his hedgehog ice-cream on a bed of woodbine smoked wild garlic couldn’t match this masterpiece

    • Come&TakeIt1836

      First, there were bonus and onerous provisions totalling just over £30M. Somewhere I read the bonuses paid out for promotion were just under £10M. That leaves ~£20M for the ‘onerous’ pieces.

      This is only a scenario/guess. I could be wrong and I say that up front.

      Maybe some of the players that left received front loaded contracts or their wage packet included something like a sign on bonus as an inducement to come to NUFC. If so, this amount would be included in the player amortization value (depending on how the payout would be structured, this is what I’m not sure is allowed). For accounting purposes the total value of the contract is divided by the life of the contract and that is the amount amortized each year. If the actual amount already paid out is greater than the amount being amortized (true in my scenario in the first year or two of a four or five year contract at least), the club would have to carry the difference as a liability on the balance sheet. This would all even out over time where the balance sheet value is released little by little as the contract runs out and the liability moves closer and closer to zero. Unfortunately with relegation, players would have left in this proposed scenario while a sizable liability still existed. With the player no longer on the club’s payroll, the club would be forced to release the balance of the liability off the balance sheet and onto the general ledger/income statement.

      If this is the case (or something similar) then this is not something that affects the amount of cash on hand for this summer.

      • Guest 2

        Not interested in your comments. You were arguing a couple of days ago all of SJH debt had been paid off and that the SJP / NUFC properties mortgaged by H&S had only just been paid off in March ’17!


        • Come&TakeIt1836

          Blocked? That’s fine. It’s your decision and your head in the sand.

          The documents (satisfactions of charge) are at Companies House for all to see. 11 old debts (2 from prior to MA’s ownership on the club’s properties) all paid off on either the 15 or 16th of March… and they were NUFC debts, not SJH.

          • Guest 2

            Before you go – two different sets of accounts. Newcastle United Football Company Ltd and Newcastle United Ltd.

            I therefore concede on the the two charges you mention here, but neither were for SJP as you originally claimed as that mortgage had to be cleared on purchase of the club.

            Also, SJH debt has not been paid off as you ridiculously claimed.

            Where did the money come from to settle 9 Ashley charges in a season of massive losses? Or are those settlements a hidden part of it .

            Now go bore someone else with your false accounting garbage

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            PS – the settlements were this year… not ‘in the season with massive losses’ (the prior year).

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            I never said these debts were with SJH. You are confusing issues which I grant, using your term, can be easy with the ‘opaqueness’ available in the minimum of numbers required to be released.

            SJH previously carried some of NUFC’s debt (£132M from 2009-12) in addition to what NUFC carried itself (£140M max in 2010-11). The SJH balance was as high as £138M in 2007-08 but decreased to ~£132M the next year. £100M of the £132M was paid off in 2012-13 and the £32M balance was paid off the following year. From 2013-15, SJH did not carry any of NUFC’s debt.

            The £140M at NUFC in 2010-11 became £129M (the often referred to Ashley loan) in 2011-12 and that balance remains up through the released books of 2015-16. Reportedly, this amount went down to £111M in 2016-17 but SJH picked up £33M so the total loan debt went back up to £144M. If more transferred from NUFC to SJH during the year, then I suppose we will see it for certain this week.

            But the loan total (not including the debt in mortgages, deeds, etc. on the balance sheet) peaked in 2010-11 at £272.1M, was reduced to £129M in 2015-16 and current sits at £144M unless the communication of a change has escaped me or it just hasn’t been reported yet.

            The total amount of debt both on the balance sheet and in loans has reduced significantly during the Ashley years.

          • Fireman Sam

            And how do you know this?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            all charges are registered at companies house, this can be seen online for free. A number of charges were released in the last 2 months, these, like these figures clear the decks for a new owner of the club.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Or, if no new owner, ended up being cash spent to effectively only increase the owner’s equity value and then the cash is no longer available for transfers… this is my fear. 11 deeds from over about a decade don’t mature all literally at once. Some money had to be paid in advance. It can be the right call but it is still a reduction in cash.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Cash doent have to change hands but I take those release charges being the facilities no longer required and again, clearing the decks for new owners.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            That could be the case. It certainly does clean things up for a potential sale. Now those old skeletons in the closet are irrelevant history to a prospective buyer.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            I was thinking (dangerous, I know)… if being somewhat optimistic on motivations, the delay in Rafa’s contract getting settled could be that an unknown buyer is quietly getting close to an agreement. It would be very appropriate that they have a say in Rafa’s contract terms and getting that sorted could be delayed for a few days if the deal was close.

            I trust the club never shares anything about the potential transfer kitty’s size. For negotiating purposes, that amount should never be public despite the curiousity of the fans. Nevertheless, the exact top end amount on this could also be in limbo for the same reason.

            I’m not really that optimistic but it is at least a possibility.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I don’t like the Rafa leaks for this reason. Whilst he’s telling his journo mates that he needs assurances, it’s harder to attract players.

            If we are buying players, Rafa is likely to be more settled than he lets on. One fuel to the fire is that transfers never get going until the end of June as most players and managers are on holiday now,

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Can I post a public website? Ok. Here it goes… 😬

            (site didn’t like that so I removed and am reposting)

            Look at numbers 23 and 21 (fourth and fifth ones on the list). Then you can navigate the web page back in history (4th page if I recall) and find the original document, too. 21 occurred in July, ‘04 but the document was posted with Companies House in Aug, ‘04.

            All 11 satisfactions of the loan are there in a row on the first page. Their corresponding debt instruments are spread over the next 4 pages of reports.

            #29 is a fun one. The club took out a loan to pay the deferred transfer installments on Nzogbia, Rosenhal, Martins, Milner, and Duff. The club has been carrying debt related to these players for well over 8 years.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Jesus fella, do you want to learn anything or just shut yourself off to views other than your own.

          How did you ever learn anything in life? Flat-earther mentality.

        • Leazes.

          Well done

        • Come&TakeIt1836

          A second scenario that I came up with that is actually probably more likely because it is simpler (in the spirit of Ockham’s Razor), there could have been incentives in the contracts that the players met. The bad news with this scenario is that it doesn’t have to be related to players that left.

          Regardless, the term ‘onerous’ is certainly a bit disingenuous. They would have been the one’s who negotiated the contracts so if they became onerous due to relegation, that is for a lack of their own foresight.

    • Fireman Sam

      Fat Mike is the only club owner who manages to increase the wage bill massively without spending a penny

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Come on, the P&L is not calculated on cash in and cash out. It’s the expenses throughout the year. The transfer payments in 2016/17 were unlikely to be cash upfront and if you note, the cash position fell ‘only’ by £10m

    • Fireman Sam

      Come on, get your tongue out of ashleys crack

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Fella, I know I suggested that you may brush up on your firefighting skills and your choice of errrmm hose. However, I’m qualified in this sort of thing so you’ll have to make a more intelligent comment if you are going to challenge me because I do know my stuff.

        • Desree

          The accounts are correct, which shows how negligent an owner Mike Ashley is. Hardly a great advert for selling the club and based on these accounts not worth 400m if he is making a 90m loss.

          Ashley has no intention of selling. These accounts have been presented late because

          a) There is no buyer
          b) Ashleys ploy/defence against Rafa and brinksmanship

          Anyone who has any thoughts that we might spend this summer, you are on drugs.

          Time for us to make a distinction, are you a supporter, a fan or fanatical.

          It is much easier just being a plain old fan in the Ashley era. It feels good when you win. Not so good when you lose and you get excited by a big signing if it happens.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Now, I feel a bet coming on!!

            “Anyone who has any thoughts that we might spend this summer, you are on drugs.”

            So, I’m betting we have a bet summer spend of more than £10m.

            Shall we say £20 on this one?

      • Leazes.

        Block him the sensible people on here have.

        • Mark Potter

          Sensible people listen to other points of view. No-one learns anything if they only speak to people who 100% agree with them. An echo chamber is not a way to find the truth.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    At the end of the day Mike Ashley put an extra fifteen million into the club to keep it a live and we still ended up eight million over drawn. With out him we would be Sunderland or even worse.

    • TheFatController

      We’d be like Spurs, you mean, surely ?

    • Guest 2

      Gave himself £18 million first though, you Fckwit. SJH supplied the funds, not Ashley personally. All part of the ‘Group’ strategy which fills his coffers.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        The £18m is the repayment of a loan not a payment to himself. Sir John Hall put £1m in and £144m out good work if you can get it.

        • Guest 2

          It got added to the ongoing debt to SJH as part of the £33 million, you Fckwit.
          So, Ashley got his ‘personal’ loan repaid and added the same amount to club debt through another loan.
          You have some twisted morals bonny lad.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Makes no difference what so ever they are either his loans or his company’s all his money. In effect he is owed £144m which he is entitled to be repaid and does not charge 6% interest unlike the West Ham owners because he is a good man and greedy. You thank him for that.

          • Guest 2

            yeah. Ok, blocked. Finally had enough of your utter [email protected] I’m fairly certain if you had oif been german several decades ago you would have been telling everyone how good Himmler was.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Nearly all the people on here with no brain cells have blocked me. I thought you had at least one but not to worry another block on my list from the anti Ashley state.

  • Leazes.

    Ryder especially guilty of accepting the face value of dubious accounting, and the problem there is that the London press feed of him! Acceptance of the word ‘debt eleven years ago when we knew it was collateral and we said it would disappear once a sale price was formulated… and it has. So where does that leave Ryder and Douglas… fiddling with figures while Rome burns and hiding behind trolls who formulate a way to defend the indefensible…. the bare faced lie of the accounts!

    The chronicle have made united’s fans wear a hair shirt and convinced them of a necessity of frugality when it was simply cover for a downsizing operation, how Ashley and Llambias loved them, and just to be doubly sure banned them from the ground to highlight they weren’t in bed together! They didn’t have to be they are compliant accomplices.,,,through stupidity.

    We are living in an age of media manipulation, the bending of truth 95% of the time

    There’s a site called ‘Transfer Tavern’ which isn’t a cozy little talking shop but one of the many fronts of a media chain called ‘snack-media’, so called because it feeds transfer speculation of agents willing to pay them, its sponsored by Liverpool FC, Celtic and a few Euro Clubs as well…. it helps them put names into circulation….. media management is the name of the game. Watch what rubbish they put out!

    The one truthful thing that Trump has invented…. the phrase…..’Fake News’…. its catchy and its an epidemic.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Level of journalism these days is cut and paste.

      Ryder is so far from being a journalist.

      • Leicester Mag

        Crayon technician more like

    • Coach Clagnut

      Nail on the head! The population is sleep walking into a disaster capitalism scenario with a complicit media in tow.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Anyone know how much it cost us to be rid of Mcfoolish and Carr?

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Steve mcCalaren was paid up in the 2016 accounts, it refers to a cost of ‘loss of office’ the compensation figure being £1m.

      Carr will be in this years accounts, most likely a similar note.

  • Ram Kishore

    Thanks Phil for making many get a understanding on the situation..

  • Peter C

    A good accountant can make a profitable company look insolvent and an insolvent one look profitable. Just look at the Carillion situation, of recent times. Their executives benefit, and almost everyone else is in the clarts.

    The unacceptable face of capitalism, working at its very best, for the privileged few.

    • East Durham Mag

      The privelaged Fat one in particular.

    • Mark Potter

      Absolutely not. If a company is insolvent it’s Directors are legally responsible to stop trading and declare insolvency, and hand the company over to administrators to act in the creditors’ interests. No accountant who wants to remain an accountant would advise their client to lie in the accounts to pretend they were still solvent. It’s not like the accountants are some small rogue trader. They are one of the biggest accountancy firms in the UK. And the accounts are independently audited.

      • Peter C

        Are you implying, there wasn’t any skullduggery in Carillon’s accounting procedures. And that their Financial Director acted competently, because of what I can remember, a parliamentary committee, were scathing of the company, the actions of the directors, and the company’s auditors, KPMG.

        • Mark Potter

          I didn’t mention Carillion. I’m not familiar with the details. But criticising the company using hindsight for poor management is not the same as saying that the accountants knew the company was insolvent, but still prepared accounts suggesting that they were solvent. That’s fraud. If that happened, then individual accountants will be sacked, lose their professional qualifications and may even be prosecuted. Certainly the accountancy company might be liable for £millions to Carillion’s creditors.

          “Carillion’s rise and spectacular fall was a story of recklessness, hubris and greed. Its business model was a relentless dash for cash, driven by acquisitions, rising debt, expansion into new markets and exploitation of suppliers. It presented accounts that misrepresented the reality of the business, and increased its dividend every year, come what may. Long term obligations, such as adequately funding its pension schemes, were treated with contempt. Even as the company very publicly began to unravel, the board was concerned with increasing and protecting generous executive bonuses.”

          Which has no relevance to Newcastle. Admitting to buying some useless players, who are no longer worth anything, is the opposite to what Carillion did, who had useless projects which were onerous – costing them more than they were earning. They failed to admit it, because they wanted to be able to continue to bid for other government contracts.

          Newcastle admitted the onerous contracts, adjusted the accounts to show the loss and got the owner to bail them out last year with a £15m loan, rather than getting banks and suppliers, or their pension fund, to cover the loss.

          • Peter C

            Are you trying to say, that there aren’t any unscrupulous people in business, who wouldn’t manipulate figures, to suit their own purposes.

            In the case of Carillion, directors knew of their perilous financial situation, but still put out vibe, that all was well, and the auditors played along with this view, by signing off on their accounts.

            You are clearly well in awe of Mike Ashley, and how he has run the club over his period of ownership.

            He did save the club from ruin, but was this more by chance than design, would he have bought it, if he had looked at the books first.

            You would of thought, someone of his financial acumen would’ve done this first.

            I’m not saying or implying anything illegal has taken place, far from it, but as some people may say, it’s all about semantics.

            Can I ask you one question, do you believe that the club is worth the quoted, £400 million, Mike Ashley is asking for.

            I believe I know what your response would be, that it’s worth whatever anyone is prepared to pay. Which isn’t really an answer, is it.

            PS Wasn’t Mike Ashley, reckless in buying Newcastle, isn’t he involved in different markets and isn’t his business model, a dash for CASH. And not forgetting substitute exploitation of suppliers, for employees. Have you forgot the report of one of his employees, giving birth in the Shirebrook Warehouse toilet, and workers urinating in bottles, because the toilets were so far away. But of course they were agency staff, and not employed directly by Mr Ashley.

  • Leazes.

    Thank you to Phil there but a few graphs wouldn’t go amiss because blocks of data are almost unreadable or understandable unless they’re put into a context. For instance you could show how United’s Merchandise and Advertising has plummeted in comparison to other premier League sdes under Ashley or a graph showing the amount of contributions by the owner for team strengthening which he then takes back once the relegation has been remedied…. maybe not that’s just a flat line.

    Graphs are good and helpful.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The answer to your question will be in the debtors and creditors at the year end. According to yourself we should have a very large debtor figure and small creditor figure. It will be interesting to see. However we were eight million overdrawn which is not health at all and still owe the owner £144m so all is not as rosey in the garden as you suggest.

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    It’s too early to say if you are right Phil but the policy of paying up front for players appears to have ceased at the end of 2016. Being cash rich was something the club had used to it’s advantage in landing players like Wijnaldum was made easier/possible by paying up front because most other clubs could not.

    The strategy works to our advantage as long as Mike Ashley is prepared to finance the club, Ashley has publicly said the club has had enough of his money and the strategy appears to be back to paying in instalments.

    As mentioned below, we’ll need to see the debtor and creditor position to see if (Phil) you are right.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The last accounts published indeed showed creditors higher than debtors.
      The amount owed for players is actually in accruals the other leg player amortisation and is more than money receivable from players sold.
      Will check companies house when the next accounts are published.


    Yes this is spot on, what matters is cash in and out, i am still not clear on the onerous contract amount, is this an actual amount paid or a provision, and what exactly is it. Certainly the wages seem to have gone out of control, you would expect them to remain pretty much the same as 2015/16.

    • Andy Mac

      You would wouldnt you ?

      Where does it ever state that Fatman will increase wages by 50+% in the Championship ?

  • Andy Mac

    Its not too early to say that you’re spot on Phil but what really matters is finding a reasonably sympathetic national rag that will print the gist of this article to combat Fatman’s pathetic propaganda.

    I’d entitle it “The truth behind Ashley’s lies”

    I’m on the lookout…………….

  • Andy Mac

    The other question we must all ask is why the Chronicle, Shields Gazette, Uncle Tom Cobley et al havent bothered their fkng journalistic R’s to dig up this story and run with it ?

  • Geordieguy

    I used to find the flat earth society on here quite amusing but it’s gone beyond a joke. He’s a dodgy character who’s paid people less than minimum wage and still has people on zero hours contracts