No sooner had the dust settled on a magnificent 3-0 victory over the reigning Premier League Champions, did we get a (rousing?) speech/statement from our glorious owner Mike Ashley.

Once again 10/10 for timing, to puncture the euphoria generated by Rafa and the lads on the pitch, the owner decides to address the Geordie nation with his own congratulatory speech, no doubt engineered by his PR gurus.

All well and good, some may say. Normally such a speech should cause fans to go wild at such ambition and optimism for the future, even in these days of stupid money, so should the fans dare to enthuse at such a declaration of intent?

NO! Put simply, we’ve heard it all before Mr Ashley, numerous times. You can’t sit there in Stalag Luft Shirebrook and ignore the built up optimism and euphoria that has manifested itself in NE1 against Chelsea on Sunday.

Anyone that was present, could only have come away from the event TOTALLY mesmerised by the influence that one man has held over an institution. Not one of the 50,000+ inside St James’ was in any doubt that Rafa Benitez needs to be backed FULLY over the next few months.

Over the last decade this club has hardly ever done transfer windows well. From signing unknown players the manager doesn’t want, signing young players from overseas that are totally out of their depth in the English game, to signing nobody at all.

Opportunities have frequently been missed, no more so than the summer of 2012 when remarkably the club finished 5th, narrowly missing out on Champions League football, and only Vurnon Anita was brought in.

Back then, the gamble by Mike Ashley backfired and ended up costing him a fortune the following January when he was forced to spend to avoid a relegation and as a consequence, the following summer’s transfer budget was blown six months early. Oh for a bit of forward planning.

For all his faults (and there are many) Alan Pardew should have been backed when the club were doing well, instead of sitting back and doing nothing. Fast forwarding six or so years, it would be criminal for the same scenario to play itself out again and an impressive finish be squandered by not building on and adding to what Rafa has built up.

These players have done a brilliant job of eking out results and working their boll…. off for their manager, a far cry from the more talented sides that visibly downed tools under the previous regimes. It’s good to see players run through brick walls and give everything, this side making up for the lack of skill that more expensively assembled sides in the league possess. When you compare our side to Everton, the Merseyside outfit’s spend is way out in front of ours, yet there is only five points difference.

In Kevin Keegan’s autobiography, there is a Chapter called ‘Capturing The Cream’. As soon as Kevin dragged Newcastle up from Division One (Championship for the younger fans) he immediately began rooting out the players who were cracking professionals and workmanlike stalwarts of the side and started bringing in players of genuine quality and artistry. It’s easy to look at Arsenal of the early noughties and Man City of today and wonder at how good they were as football sides, but we were the forerunners of that brand of football. Even though we won nowt to back it up, the quality and entertainment was there and we certainly gave Man United a ‘run for their money’ as Sir John Hall once famously declared.

I get the impression that half of our current first team are the equivalent of squad men. I don’t mean that to sound harsh, but if you look at the likes of Dummett, Yedlin, Diame, Perez and Gayle it certainly seems, that our problem at the minute is we are over reliant on players that shouldn’t be relied on week in week out.

The summer recruitment should be centred on genuine quality coming in and pushing the first team regulars to either greater efforts, or out of the starting eleven and onto the bench, with the aim of pushing the current squad men out of the club to make way.

Actions speak louder than words Mr Ashley and with £120m+ banked from TV money alone for our magnificent 10th place finish, it’s not unreasonable to expect a decent backing for the one man who has overseen it all. If your latest words mean jack s… then you will surely be using the financial clout he has earned the club, to further enhance the team as per his wishes. Anything else would be grossly negligent and a continuation of the stagnation under Mike. This can’t be allowed to continue . .

PS – Many thanks to The Mag for offering a platform to the many different voices throughout the course of the season.

We all have varying opinions and differing ideas for the future of this madhouse we call ‘United’.

Let’s hope that the owner, who we can’t get rid of (despite what we would like to wish), will see sense and back quite possibly the greatest man I’ve ever seen walk into the club, and at least attempt to give the fans a team to be proud of and win something.

Forget the former, he’s already mastered that bit, the latter depends on the owner himself, for if Rafa has walked by August, then there has been a major cock up at St James’. DON’T let it happen . .

Enjoy the summer everyone and howay the lads!

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  • Leazes.

    That wasn’t an address to the Geordie nation it was to Benitez and to the Journalists who will be forced to side with him (Ashley) when it comes to the battle or the resignation.

    Ashley has been largely backed by the Nationals (press) who swallowed the ‘debt’ nonsense hook line and sinker and essentially gave reason for the asset strip and forced the club to downsize alarmingly over the decade.

    Read it again and understand it in that light…. a ‘battle of wills’…. will end in Benitez staying or going and Ashley has justified his position with a whopping great lie…. as Shearer said…. ‘Cut n paste’ promises from last year which never materialised.

    It looks like Ashley is here for good as the promise of a sale has disappeared over the horizon. My gut feeling is it will be the loss of the peoples champion….. the loss of Rafa because the Chubster has hired PR to take him on…..that statement was written before the game and would have been constructed by Bishop.

    ….. more of the same from Ashley and Charnley into the next decade.

    • panther

      Hate to say it, but the bet is youre right

      • joe mac

        its all gonna end in tears!

    • Guest 2

      Howay man, he’s not a ‘pantomime villain’ you know. He says.

      Sure looks like a Widow Twanky to me like.

    • Chuck D

      Sadly true, as unpredictable as Ashley is at times he’s very predictable in equal measure.

  • FatParosite

    It really is amazing the narrow-mindedness of some of these articles. As Leazes points out this is a PR war & something which escapes most of the people reading it & taken in by it. Expect ‘I’m no money bags’ & ‘I’m on top of the bus controlling nothing’ nonsense to resurface from Ashley. Bishop will also poop out a sudden interested party in the sale of NUFC should Benitez jump ship. Expect thousands of weak minded fools to fall for that not so ‘Jedi’ mind trick.

    • Guest 2

      Aye. he likes to say he doesn’t have any say in running the club. Who the F does then? Lee Charnley? LOL!

      Wonder what happened to the ‘4 other’ interested bidders ;-)

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    First of all you are quick to criticise Mike Ashley in giving managers money to spend..
    Steve McLaren who was here for only twenty eight games was given an incredible £70.5m signing players such as Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Thauvin, Mbemba, Shelvey, Townsend and Saivet. You have to blame the players and the manager not the owner for us getting relegated just like the time before when we had the likes of Owen. This season we were the tenth highest gross spenders with £60m spent just behind Arsenal on players and loans. We spent £33m on players who sat on the bench or who watched from the stands. The problem with this site and Shearer is that they rarely tell the truth just an agenda which stirs up trouble. Just like Luke and George the two so called journalists they choose to ignore that we have spent money and will continue to do so. When we buy new players what will happen to the likes of Murphy and Merino £23m worth of signings. They will at best be on the bench but more likely in the stands. The money was there last year to buy a centre forward we choose not to. That must be the first priority next season. I for one welcomed his speech in congratulating the team finishing tenth. However what ever he says or does will never go down well on here. I await the new owner with interest.

    • Ba ba.

      😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

    • TheFatController

      Hey, I’m with you all the way. You mention arsenal spend being close to ours. Well spotted.

      So they got Lacazette, Aubameyang, Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Mikhatarian cheap then? It’s just that you’ve not quoted arsenal’s spend compared to ours over a few (More representative I think we can all agree) years?

      I am sure you are absolutely correct in comparing our spend to Arsenal’s – so their transfer record is £16m ten years ago too?

      Good spot, the Arsenal similarities. Well done.

      • Guest 2

        How he got to £60 million is anyone’s guess. Even Transfermarkt has it at 44.3 million (Euros) spent, 19.4 million from sales. Net spend including loans 24.9 million euros.

        • Chuck D

          He reckons Murphy and Merino were £23m combined, last time I checked it was £12m and £7m. Now I ain’t the best at Maths but that don’t make £23m

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Transfer values seem to be different in different places… Murphy (£12M), Lejuene (£8.7M), Atsu (£6.2M), Joselu (£5.0M), Manquillo (£4.5M), Merino (£8.5M). Total is (£44.9M). Then add in the cost of the three loanees… MM has that at £13M. I have no numbers for Dubravka, Slimani or Kenedy. With their loan fees £60M spent may be close.

    • Billmag

      Except he didn’t make the speech did he because he wasn’t on his favourite news outlet SSN, one of his minions probably Bishop that put the message out.

    • KRS1

      You really are a monumental tool.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Anyone on here who states the facts is not welcome or receives stupid comments. It’s a site not for Newcastle fans but people who hate Ashley.

        • ghostrider

          Again, spot on.

        • Guest 2

          You wouldn’t know a fact if it slapped you around the head – something all of us here would gladly do, you Ashley hoop licker.

          • Timmy tommy tammy

            You win
            Winning phrase.
            Ashley hoop licker

        • Lakeland Mag

          Wonder if the fact that the 11 years of Ashley’s ownership has seen a marked and significant decline in the clubs fortunes on the field of play, along with the blatant disrespect of some of the clubs icons and loyal servants has anything to do with most genuine supporters feelings about him ?

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            In the late 70’s and early eighties we had seven seasons in the old second division and nearly went down to the third division. Wonder if Shearer would have gone to watch them then.

        • Come&TakeIt1836

          Truth. I’ve about decided the site should be renamed ‘The Mob’.

          If someone is verbally abusive, then I don’t fault anyone for blocking them if they choose. If someone blocks someone because they disagree with them, that is lazy. I am glad to defend my opinions and sometimes am pressed to think of things I had not considered. If when people disagree they would sharpen the quality of their responses (iron sharpening iron) and be just a little open-minded, we might all get more understanding.

    • ghostrider

      Spot on.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Thanks all I get on here is abuse for stating the facts. It’s more of an anti Ashley site than a football site most on here think Ellis Short is a better chairman than Ashley that sums it up.

    • Guest 2

      £60 mil my backside. You just make stuff up, or actually are mentally challenged.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        £47m on players and £13m on players. Spent £70.5m on players when McLaren was in charge for twenty matches. However the truth does not matter we finished tenth but we hate Ashley we hate Ashley the only living person to put money into our football club.

        • Guest 2

          Go on then, list all the players and how they cost £60 million.

          Also explain to all what Rafa had to do in order to be able to spend anything at all.

          Who gives a chuff about McClaren? Ashley signed him. Ashley allowed him to spend all the money which had been saved up.

          That’s the truth, bonny lad.

    • Obese wan kernobie

      Okay mike leave the chat to the fans stop pretending to be one… chubby c***

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Been to more games than you will ever dream off.

        • Obese wan kernobie

          You aint been to one this season mike

        • Obese wan kernobie

          And on a side note ive been going to the games since i was a boy in 1963 was my first venture into the greatest show on earth kid so if ye wanna start making out ye are super fan get ya tongue out of ashleys fart hole

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            So how many away loyalty points do you have be honest.

    • DavyB

      Ok, so how much net spend have NUFC spent in the last 10 years? You seem to be trying to twist the truth to suit YOUR agenda not the other way round. You can’t say gross spend because most of the money spent has been generated by player sales.
      Also, the sins of previous incompetent managers can’t be held against the current one. It seems to me that the mismanagement of the club starts at the very top with bad managerial appointments and poor player purchases. What has that got to do with Rafa? Why is he being punished for it?
      Pray tell, how was there money there last season to buy a striker and who made the decision not to do so?
      Let’s face it, your profile on here has a lower worth than shark sh!t, yet you keep banging Fat Mike’s drum. You are either the fat man himself (in which case get the f**k out of our club) or you’re one of his slimy little brown-nosed cohorts using a FANS forum to try to get Fat Mike’s message across. You’ve been rumbled a long time ago – no-one wants you here, your opinion is worthless!

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        We have spent nearly every penny on players. The last published accounts showed only two million in the bank not a lot of momey to run a football club. As for your other argument take the money Rafa spent on players who hardly ever play. Merino, Murphy, Atsu, Joselu and Manquillo and with the £38m I am sure you could have
        got a decent striker. As for your last point could not care less what peoples opinions are of my posts as most on here do not go to games just slag the club of left, right and centre and ignore the facts. The site is anti Newcastle full stop save for perhaps a dozen people.

        • DavyB

          1. What are you on about? Every penny of what? PLAYER SALES!!!
          2. Fairly sure Murphy, Atsu and Hoss have been getting regular gametime. Manquillo has 23 appearances this season. Merino 25.
          3. Nobody is slagging the club off you imbecile, they are slagging Mike Ashley and his slimy sidekicks off.
          4. If this site is so anti Newcastle, why do you bother coming on here?
          5. Bore off with your pointless pro-Ashley agenda.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Keep on moaning with the rest of the manic depressives on here. Tenth top and you are would think we were in division one. A right bunch of gloomy people bet most are onto the Samaritans at night.

  • Rich Lawson

    PR for sure,but as a business man you put money in to make money. nothing to be made in the last couple of seasons ? But if he puts a hundred mil’ in now with careful management 4th and champ’s league qualification would reap huge dividends,not as daft as it sounds.

    • Guest 2

      He? He won’t be putting a single penny in. Whatever get’s spent is from what the club has earned – and the way the accounts are done means we never find out how much that actually is.

      • mactoon

        because we are running accounts a year in arrears which does not reflect the current situation so the next accounts will reflect the relegation season and he will use that to say we can’t afford to spend money on players

        • DavyB

          Wasn’t that the excuse he used at the start of last season?

          • mactoon

            Every season :)

  • mentalman

    We’ve not got a lot of players who rafa will be happy to sell to generate anywhere near enough money for him to buy quality

  • Weyhhadaway

    It is PR, Ashley put out this corporate blah blah, so what? His promise of not borrowing but using every penny generated needs to be followed through, that is all. The club have failed to bring in strikers for years now, so step aside and let Rafa handle it

    The spend for this window is not going to be 100M plus, the numbers just aren’t there. we have outgoings of approx 110M and with TV, gates, merchandise and gates about 170M coming in. Ashley will not borrow so a spare money take of 50M or so. We have to generate the rest from sales.

    If Mitro has a good world cup we might get 25M, Gayle 15M, 10-15M for deadwood. So I am guessing 80M overall money available, conservatively. Those numbers will get you three reasonable Prem players in the current market. Rafa knows that and has said all along that this is a long term project. So he just appears to want what was promised. Whether the promises are enough to keep Rafa is the question.

    • Guest 2

      Don’t agree on operating costs of £110 million. Generally in the mid £90 million range normally, and we have had minimal transfer spending this season to inflate that.
      By my maths, £179 million income ($126m Sky, at least £25m gate/match-day, £28m commercial/other) before any player is sold.

      £100 million plus could quite easily be there – but neither Rafa nor us will see it.

      • mactoon

        I would be happy if Rafa was given between £30 – 50 million for transfers and he was also able to use any money brought in by player sales. All Ashley has to do is agree an amount to free up with Rafa in charge of ins and outs and give him a wage bill to work to. Can’t see it happening though

        • Guest 2

          I won’t be happy unless Rafa gets to handle the in’s and outs. Left to Charnley again, seeking his masters approval, will be yet another transfer window disaster.

          • mactoon

            Absolutely and you haven’t even mentioned Justin Barnes who is reported to be between Charnley and Ashley in the decision making process which adds another unnecessary layer of delay to transfer negotiations.

            Give Rafa an agreed amount, tell him what the wage bill will be and let him get on with it. Charnley should have no say in what happens, he should just get the players in that Rafa wants. As long as they are within the projected wage bill at the end of the window it’s a win win.

      • Weyhhadaway

        We will have to pay Premier wages. Our last wage bill on the accounts was either 75 or 77M. Can’t recall the exact amount. So outgoing will go up. Plus paying extra in bonus money to the squad.
        I think you are right, we won’t see any of it, so I am hoping we are wrong and Rafa gets his wedge and stays.

  • Coach Clagnut

    For all his faults (and there are many) Alan Pardew should have been backed when the club were doing well, instead of sitting back and doing nothing.
    That’s when I stopped reading.

    • Guest 2

      Aye, indeed. Backed, like McClaren was? That went well, eh! P45 did well, one season, due to players he wasn’t responsible for signing!

  • Mike ocaine

    My sorce at sjp a close friend of ashley says that aparently mikes ready to back rafa extensively and says rafa can have every penny the club generates…… but any pounds and notes are off limits there was 40 odd pence in spare change left from the sissoko move and some one dropped 15 pence at the gate and a coin that resembles a euro but mike wants that for his trip to ibiza with the slimmin world lads

  • HarryHype59

    Ashley could easily sell Gayle, Mitrovic and Joselu for £30m. If he allows them to be sold on staggered payments over five years, like he did with Sissoko, Rafa will get £6m. He won’t be allowed to use the future income streams to buy a £30m forward, as Ashley insists players are bought “upfront”.

    Until the fat one changes this policy, this will always under achieve.

  • Cockneytrev

    Does anyone honestly believe the 💩 that comes out of Ashley’s mouth?

  • nufcslf

    Simply needs to go back to the article a bit back….not the exavt wording…but only sign up for a season ticket if and when Rafa signs. Make the fat c**t sweat with a bit of clout for fans for once. Never going to happy with so many happy clapper and ttendy wankas willing to finance his destrution of the club.

    • DavyB

      Difficult to do when the renewals come out in January but I understand your point.

      • nufcslf

        They have been coming out every January for years and he has been the owner going on 12 rotten ones. Plenty of opportunties to hit him where it hurts. He needs to know and money or lack of it is the only thing that would get his attention. I accept it will never happen and can only control the fact he will never get a penny of my money.

        • DavyB

          I’m of the same opinion. I gave up my season ticket a few years back. Plenty of others did the same but there were also plenty more to step in and buy the STs.

  • kingfisher

    Ever heard this old saying ” You can fool all of the people some of the time,and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” ?This is exactly what Ashley is trying to do, and as far as the 50,000 sheep that attend SJP regularly, he’s certainly proving that he can at least fool them all of the time !🐑🐑🐑🐏🐏🐏
    How anyone can defend this mans behaviour, treatment of the fans and business decisions over his 11 year tenure, is quite frankly astonishing 😲😲😲😨😨😨

    • nufcslf

      It is very sad that people…can’t bring myself to say fans…put up and accept his total destruction of the club and forget the football and home record have been f**king shocking for most of his 11 years. His cage needs rattling and it just won”t happen. So glad at times to be here in Vancouver and it is not completely in my face at all times.

      • kingfisher

        Well said nufcslf.As you know,this site has a few Ashley apologists, and as you say, considering what he has done to our club, anyone who defends him has got to be either a Mackem, mentally challenged or just a wind up merchant.
        Our only hope is that Amanda or some other interested party buys our club and gets rid of him.
        How 50,000 so called “fans” can turn up regardless of how they are treated by Ashley is a mystery to me!