I’m going to start by defending Mike Ashley…Now I don’t like this any more than you do but stick with me and I’ll get around to bashing him soon enough.

I’ve been put in the awkward position of standing up for the awful man following a number of people getting angry about the notion of selling Lascelles because they view it as madness to imagine that Ashley would then allow the club to reinvest the funds generated.

I have to disagree with these people, it’s not madness to imagine that the funds generated would be reinvested.  It might have been 8 years ago, but not any more.  Back then the club was making losses that Ashley did not want to subsidise entirely and wouldn’t allow the club to borrow to subsidise. Instead, the losses were offset by the sales of players like Milner, Nzogbia, Given, Martins, Duff, Beye, Bassong, Carroll and Enrique. After Enrique was sold the net profit from player sales in Ashley’s tenure was approaching £50m.

mike ashley

First impressions last and it’s this initial 4 year phase of ownership that has entrenched perception of how Ashley operates in the transfer market.

In 2011 it changed though, since then (save for an £11m loan repayment) if any player has been sold not only has that money been reinvested in it’s entirity, but any operating profits generated by the club otherwise (TV, matchday, commercial) have also been spent on top of that.

The biggest player sold after Enrique was Cabaye.  £20m in January 2014.  The income wasn’t spent immediately in the same window, but the following summer the club spent twice as much on new signings.

After that Debuchy and Mbiwa were sold for a combined £15m, the spend the following summer was over three times as much at £48m.

Only in one transfer window since has the club made a profit on player trading, following relegation in 2016 there was a temporary reversion to satisfying losses by selling players and not spending all of the money, a £28m profit that summer wasn’t the new norm though, last summer the club spent £45m, £25m more than was received in return for sales.

mike ashley

In all this time, since 2007, whether the spend on signings exceeded the return from sales or not, the approach that generated those outcomes has been entirely consistent throughout – the club spends all it can afford on transfers without borrowing money from banks or Mike Ashley. The club doesn’t spend as little as possible and it doesn’t seek to profit on player trading as many suggest, when the club isn’t in profit player sales subsidise losses.  When the club is making money greater investment is made in players.

The club’s spending power and how Ashley impacts it can be debated, we can’t know to what extent that the total earnings of Newcastle are inhibited by handing free advertising to Sports Direct or by handing them our retail operation to manage.  It’s difficult to say how much profits are enhanced by all loans being made on interest free terms or from the cost cutting exercise that was initiated by Ashley soon after his arrival.  Leaving all that aside though, what the club generates does get spent.

We know the club will be profitable in 17/18 and 18/19 due to the massive increase in media income.  That being true, from what we have seen before, it’s only logical to suppose that any fee for Lascelles would be reinvested, along with fees for any other player sold.

Ashley’s transfer policy is a complete disaster though, even having spent £100m over and above fees received since 2011.  No matter how much he tries to disassociate himself from it by employing a range of head scouts, managers, directors and unofficial fixers that he claims act autonomously, Ashley is the only constant and it’s his criteria on transfers that have held the club back.

On the whole, the money the club invests should be sufficient, Ashley’s miserly approach to every individual transfer is the problem.  He has a ceiling on the price he will pay for an individual, on the wages he’ll pay those individuals, he enforces rules on the age of signings that only get circumvented for the cheapest of stop-gaps. He is the man that walks away from negotiations where the selling club don’t give him the discount he wants or the players representatives value their client more than he does.

Back to the Cabaye example, I gave credit above that we added £25m to the pot Cabaye created for a total £45m to be spent.  That should have seen us do some excellent business, but where did it get squandered?   Perez, De Jong, Cabella, Riviere, Janmaat, Darlow and Lascelles.  The club diluted proven talent to take a punt on 7 predominantly unknown quantities on cheaper wages.  Ultimately Lascelles alone could recoup the entire amount for us if stories of Chelsea’s upcoming bid are right, but it’s taken 4 years and the appointment of Rafa Benitez to inspire him and to reap that reward.  Few would argue that it was a very disappointing way to spend so much. Re-investment that saw us stagnate at best.

Similarly the £48m spent on Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Mbemba and Thauvin. Benitez never got a chance to do anything with the two of those that have gone on to prove themselves elsewhere after partaking in our relegation (Wijnaldum and Thauvin) and he wants nothing to do with the other two he was left with (Mitrovic and Mbemba), they’ve just been expensive hindrances on making signings of his own. In this instance, re-investment of huge sums of club money saw the quality of the team regress and our capacity to sell players and clear wages for new signings hindered.

Benitez himself has lamented that the problem is not the totals being spent, but the price the club will pay for individuals that make his job most difficult. Prior to the Chelsea game at the end of the season he wasn’t as insistent that Lascelles had to stay as some fans are right now, but he was clear on how any funds he generated would have to be spent if he were to go.

“If you want to continue growing, normally you have to try to keep your best players. Jamaal has a great potential, but if you cannot compete, or you cannot keep the level of your team, then maybe you have to sell one player to be sure that you can bring in other players.

“When people say ‘wheel and deal’ – sometimes you have to do it, because if not, you don’t have the money. If you don’t have the money, the main thing is to be sure that if you sell this one for £40million, you have two at £20million who can do well. Then you can be better.”

Mike Ashley would like the public to believe this is an unreasonable demand, whenever he’s been asked about spending power he’s misled people into thinking the ask is for Newcastle to compete with Manchester City.  In truth, clubs much further down the league reinvest their income on much more proven talent than Newcastle.  But to what extent? There are several ways to gauge that but comparing what clubs spend in one window or over several, doesn’t necessarily tell us about the market value they’re operating at. Clubs buy and sell a different number of players over different periods.  To get around this I’ve looked at the last 10 signings at each club and totalled the fees paid for those ten, I think this gives the best idea of the standing in the game the players that clubs target currently have.

Using data from Transfermarkt.com shows that the total cost of the last 10 signings at Newcastle was £72.3m.  We’re paying an average £7m on signings. Just 3 players were signed over £10m.  Compare this with other mid to lower table Premier League clubs.

mike ashley

Everton spent £208.9m, averaging £21m per player with 7 players costing more than £20m.

Leicester spent £137.7m, averaging £14m per player with 7 players costing more than £10m.

Southampton spent £131.4m, averaging £13m per player with 8 players costing more than £10m.

Crystal Palace spent 131m, averaging £13m per player with 6 players costing more than £10m.

West Ham spent £111.7m, averaging £11m per player with 5 players costing more than £10m.

Even clubs below Newcastle in terms of what they’ve spent have invested elsewhere, all have developed or bought their stadiums and training facilities in recent years, something Newcastle have steadfastly left on the back-burner since announcing development works with great fanfare.

Having been in the championship 2 years ago the season of consolidation last year was excusable for Newcastle. Going into 18/19 though, there cannot be any excuses for failing to compete at least on the same playing field as other mid-table clubs going forward.

Newcastle are in dire need of better quality attacking options and whether or not Rafa chooses to sacrifice Lascelles to better fund that advancement there has to be a reversal of the old transfer criteria that saw us dilute our buying power.  We have to go out and pay what is needed to entice the best players Rafa identifies away from their current clubs.

I am very confident that money Newcastle generates will be spent on the squad, sooner or later. Whether Mike Ashley has the appetite to do what Rafa wants with that money is my greatest concern. I don’t believe Rafa will sanction another batch of £7m punts, like Ashley wants, it’s throwing more good money after bad.  The £4m capture of Dubravka exemplifies his excellent eye and his willingness to jump on a bargain, but he needs to be allowed to bring in those £20m players he spoke of too.

There is a valid argument Ashley could make here in that the club currently has 10 senior pros that can’t get a squad number.  Many on high wages such as Colback, Sels, Mitrovic and Saivet.  The club is restricted in how much they’re allowed to increase the wage bill so the limit placed on the manager to sell before he buys is one that cannot be spent around.  Ashley bought these players on the cheap and it’s ultimately his fault we’re in the position that few other clubs have been willing to take on their wages, but rather than stumbling around focused on trying to force the manager into a new contract, the primary objective right now should be on clearing those wages as soon as possible to allow better players to start arriving. Everyone knows that only this is what will secure a new contract from the gaffer.

If Ashley refuses to sanction some big additions and Benitez refuses to waste money on players no better than those we have, then no matter what credit I’ve given him through gritted teeth, no matter what excuses I see as valid, I would not put it past Ashley simply to save that money for a new manager that will do it his way, rather than cave in and make some signings at the current market rates. Without any intention of selling the club at it’s value and with no one keen to pay him over the odds, he surely understands the risk to his investment if he proceeds with that course of action and allows Benitez to leave the club.

You can follow the author on Twitter @bigchrisholt

To feature like Chris Holt submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here



  • Clarko

    Would you look at that, someone who is sensible, someone who is informed. Good article.

    • Chuck D

      Did you skim over the bits where Ashley came in for criticism?

      • Brent Jackson

        Anyone who disregards the insults to the Geordie culture and traditions by this bloated greed maggot and his apologists and talks only of money has no place on an NUFC page..fuck off and support Man City..which is where spocks who only see ‘business’ and ‘money’ belong.
        Sick of being patronised by you bean counting children who are nothing but sad wind up outsiders who will never ‘get’ the Toon.
        HTL.

      • Clarko

        I agree with everything said in this article and even if I didn’t that wouldn’t stop the author being ‘sensible’ and ‘informed’.

        • nufcslf

          Tit

    • TheNutJob

      👽👽

    • nufcslf

      You really are laughable.

      • Clarko

        You would be part of the stupid and uninformed group.

      • HarryHype59

        The joke has been on the laughable delusional buffoon for years!

  • Paul Patterson

    It’s not our fault that he didn’t do due diligence. Or that he bought a football club on a whim without know how to run or subsidise one. Or tarnished club legends. Or trusted idiots to run it. Or renamed the stadium.. The list is endless. Well done Ashley for getting the accounts on an even keel, but like I’ve said before, you don’t praise a mugger for calling an ambulance after robbing and beating up a granny.

    • John Oliver

      He couldn’t do Due Diligence because he didn’t buy the club he only
      bought Sir John Halls shares which was 30%.
      He only seen the books after he bought Freddy Shephards shares.

      • JonMag

        you think a self made billionaire & his army of lawyers & accounts didn`t do do due diligence, of course they did he just wants the fans to think they didn`t. the man`s scum, he`d sell his mum

      • Sickandtired

        No one buys a company without seeing the books.

    • skarabrae

      HE DID DO DUE DILIGENCE!!
      Chris mort said so years ago… this is yet another Ashley lie to dupe everyone into accepting the club was bailed out by him… he knew fine well the stadium loan had to be repaid!!!

  • JonMag

    He`s a Fat scumbag who`s shafted everything & everyone from the non income for Stadium advertising to merchandise, he pockets the money.
    he hasn`t invested 1 penny in Newcastle United since the day he arrived.

    • Wezza147

      Spot on and the sooner everyone realises this rather than bury their head in the sand, the better.

  • Leazes.

    Nice graphs…. I like graphs!…..

    Just looking at your graph for ‘cumulative net spend’, now that’s an interesting one, and I realise that it doesn’t take into account ‘player amortisation’ but according to the last published accounts the squad was valued at only 97.5m….

    ….you really have to spend money to stand still in this game.

    … and the second one shows clearly shows where Ashley has ‘positioned the club’ between Watford and Burnley in the grand scheme of things (fourteenth).

    The club has been held in limbo by this scoundrel for too long, its had to pay its own way in the world as well as subsidising the owner, and has managed to come back from 2 relegations with the subsequent loss of income….. and pay for that too!

    Penny pinching false economy and taking liberties and freebies that Denis Cassidy warned were dangerous because of the ‘fine margins’ in competing in this league have nearly destroyed the club…..

    ….with this owner it is only a matter of time!

  • Sickandtired

    It’s something Southampton have done, far better. Until the wheels almost fell of this season.
    According to Llambias the aim was to emulate Arsenal – rapidly downgraded to emulating Villa. I know which one we still resemble most closely.

  • Jate Legend

    Decent, balanced, well-researched and insightful article. Well done, would be great to see more of this on the site. Just landed at toon airport buzzing

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Wtf

    • Rich Lawson

      Are you a new signing ?

      • Jate Legend

        Haha, unfortunately yes. Rafa has really had to dredge for bargains this summer so I’ve been released from my Tuesday night 5 a side team and given permission to speak to the toon.

  • Texas

    So then Chris Who ever of the Mag… you are defending Mike Ashley defending the undefendable to some degree and in today’s market sell Lascelles how much for 30-45 million? That’s nothing so it goes in the fat man’s pocket when he said his quote Rafa can have every penny the club generates, supposedly off player sales and money generated from tv deals, if you want to be a club that moves forward we quite simply must keep our best players. Where have we heard all this before de ja’ vu anyone? And in today’s market Lascelles is not worth a penny less than 60+ million if that is offered then maybe he’s worth selling look at what Southampton got from Liverpool 75 million for that defender but I’d only sell if there is reinvestment in the squad and quite frankly there won’t be, there is a good reason why Rafa has not signed a new deal and unfortunately we have a stinking owner who’s ambitions do not match our great world class manager, just goes to show Ashley does not care one jot. It’s the Laurel and Hardy show him and his Minion Penfold are absolutely useless and never learn maybe Ashley wants Benitez out so he can get a cheaper yes man in if he’s not going to pay more than 15 million for a player in this day and age and pay the wages he needs to go, but I get the feeling we are stuck with the fat greedy dwarf for sometime yet As Keegan said the club’s going nowhere under Ashley regime and the great man’s right.

    • Leazes.

      Look what happened to southampton.

      • Paul Patterson

        Yep, Nearly relegated within two years. Lost Van Djik and the collapse was dramatic.

    • Mirandinha9

      Love Keegan to bits, but, in fact the club does regularly go places under Cashley. Two relegations account for that.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to start.

  • Numbers don’t lie really. The club is self-sustained and that is great, but to attack the top half of the table a 100m gamble must me made, but not only for players, a serious investment must be done to the grounds and equipment.
    I have always supported Ashley refusing to pay 100,000+ a week to anyone but proven existing players.
    He got burned investing in the idiots he himself put in charge and now doesn’t want to back Rafa who is the only one keeping the club alive.

    • Leazes.

      He’s lost in excess of £150m with the 2 relegations….penny pinching isn’t just silly…its dangerous!

      Number’s don’t lie but analysts do…… if you look at the top diagram for ‘net spend’ then the correlation data vector since the departure of Charles N’Zogbia (Feb 2009) would be a minus figure, indicating a tightening of the screw which resulted in the relegations.

      • Clarko

        So what you’re saying is to just look at the data from 2009 until 2011 and ignore the second cumulative net spent graph that represents the time between 2011-2018 (the period where the second relegation occurred) where it shows that there has been a large amount of money spent on the squad.

        Makes sense (sarcasm).

        • KRS1

          Clarko really is a ladies man (sarcasm)

      • Wages for players has increased 3-4 times at least since then. I guess that’s where all the money has gone to.
        We were relegated last time only because failed in appointing Carver and then McClown but at least he splashed the cash, got Rafa to stay and sustained PL wages in the Championship.
        Last time we got relegated, he didn’t spend a Penny!
        Hughton, Nolan, Carroll, Shola and Lovenkrands were the reason why we got promoted and that was for free! I still think Ashley’s biggest mistake was sacking Chris next year. Despite Pardew’s meteoric 5th place and Europa League Quarter Finals next year, he always looked like he didn’t have a plan B.

        • Leazes.

          Ashley won’t turn down money for Lascelles…. it’s not just about money its also about ripping the squad apart, undermining managers…. remember Pardew’s first press conference…..

          ‘I’m not here to sell Andy Carroll’

          …….ten days before he was sold… no he was here to take the flak for the downsizing operation…. now Rafa and his loan signings and a bus…. he must know the score with this regime…. he cant be waiting for a green light.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      But numbers do lie frequently when manipulated by beancounters…especially the big 4.

  • TheFatController

    I think we can all find things Ashley has done that could give him some credit.

    However, not just in football but in life, he’s a terrible man – you don’t get publicly hauled over MP coals for zero hours contracts and other business practices and sit up there with Mandela as a great guy to be mates with.

    Which makes me think – how bizarre must someone be to defend him energetically on here ? Ad if he has nothing to answer for, and we’re all blind to his Mandela-like great leadership and moral compass ?

    This article is very fair to say ‘don’t judge him on the policy of the first four years’. But when you read comments that are totally backing Ashley, and I know most are trolls, but it’s bizarre – he’s a man only a mother could love. So Ashley apologists, stop loving him and get some basis in reality.

    • Leazes.

      You’re saying Chris Holt is a wacko… I agree!

      We’ve seen the way accountants defend short term expediency for financial gain almost as if the football doesn’t matter….

      …. these are the people who said there was a debt when no other club in the bloody world called in their long term payments, he did though. the accountants only saw the figures and not what game he was playing….it was a tool to downsize and asset strip and give the journalists an excuse to back him.

      Eleven years on…. and united are the only club where merchandise and advertising has shrunk by comparison to the rest of the league!

      The chronicle remain silent and convinced of the accountants case to this day and we have to wear a hair shirt because John Gibson and the chronicle put those crooks from the Hall family into the seat of power and now thinking that they’d overspent due to our rise in fortunes its base camp with a vengeance! The guilt of the Hall era hangs over Thomson House!

      • TheFatController

        I think I always align with the musings of lords Holt and Swan on here, just for the record …

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Most big firms have zero hour contracts and pay no bonuses. He pays any one working above twenty one hours big bonuses so is a generous man,creates lot’s of jobs and raises taxes.

      • KRS1

        He is a massive pr* ck just like you.

      • Geordieguy

        Most big firms pay minimum wage which ashley didn’t until it made national headlines

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          That was stretching things a bit.

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Your unbelievable.Literally

      • TheFatController

        You claim to be a ‘man of the people’ when you mention your social life and devotion to ‘attending matches’ – yet clearly not.

        You’re neither a fan nor a man of the people. You’re a troll and mentally ill.

        Sleep well.

    • Geordieguy

      I disagree with your first sentence but other than that you’re right. A dodgy dealer who doesn’t care about working class football fans shop workers warehouse workers . He is the unacceptable face of capitalism a man who accepted sponsorship from loan sharks in an area of deprivation

  • GToon

    So taking everything that has happened into account over the past eleven years only a lunatic would consider Ashley’s tenure to be a success.
    I won’t list the failings, there are websites set up to do that. It really is that simple.
    Ashley = greed = misery.

    • Leazes.

      Ashley=Nasty Bngger

  • Wezza147

    We are still spending FAR less than our competitors above (we should be competing with Spurs) So where is the money going? We all know where.

    I refuse to give MA any sort of credit because he is a cretin of a man and his lack of football knowledge (really gambling for massive returns) cost us 2 relegations, deliberately wound up the fans (Joke in here), pocketed TV money, sold our best players and gets his PR team to spin lies.
    I’m not giving him credit where the shills will… yes he put some of his own money in to get us promoted but does anyone actually believe this was due to his own goodness of his heart? NO! The real reason is he reinvested his own money to get to the Premier League riches and low and behold we now have the riches. Yet we STILL remain light years behind our competitors.

    It is not about the football, it is about one thing… MONEY.
    Until he is out of our club the football can be brought back to the people.

    • Leazes.

      Some people think he’s a money orientated miser….. he’s not….. he a malevolent owner who takes bits and pieces away from the club to make it struggle…. said himself he has no interest in the club…. did he need Strawberry place?…no but we did! Couldn’t he have given the club its advertising revenue?… not as a goodwill gesture but because it makes the club less competitive by taking it!….. malevolent not greed.

      • TheFatController

        We are a basket case for sponsorship/commercial now because we are so closely associated with SD.

        Thanks Mike

      • Mrkgw

        Well said. ASHLEY OUT!

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        You are stupid, he bought Strawberry pl because the club needed the money and DID NOT need the casino land. You continually make stuff up to get angry about.

        • Kev Newcastle England

          Stupid girl

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            No, Leazes’ is a bloke. A liar but still a bloke.

          • Geordiegiants

            No he isn’t a lair, he is a mushroom, just like the rest of us, kept in the dark and fed on sh it.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            And regurgitates it via these pages?

        • Geordiegiants

          No he took it because he wanted it. £2.4m is f all to him man he could easily of give it as an interest free loan like he has for all the other stuff he has shafted is with.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            No, by selling strawberry pl the club could generate £6m and keep within EFL ffp rules. The club looked like they wld breach the rules if it was debt.

            The only other way was to sell more players.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Also, of what use was it to the club? It’s not been much use to him so far.

          • Geordiegiants

            If that’s the case why didn’t the club developed it and gain the profits. Jabba isn’t bothered about waiting for a return you only have to look at players sold.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Eh? In 2009 you would rather the club held onto a bit of land to potentially develop it into flats at sometime in the future whilst being unable to pay the wages of players and fund the promotion push?

          • Geordiegiants

            Is that not what Jabba doesn’t with players? If I remeber correctly we never signed a single player or invested a penny in the team.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Wayne Routledge? The players needed paying and most on premier league wages. That needed financing.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Also, even if we were now to develop the land ourselves, how would fans react to not buying players because we’ve tied it up in a flat development.

            Do we sell the flats? Do we keep them and take the rent? Rafa may not wait for the 10 year return on capital.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Maybe compete with Spuds over a two year period of increased ambition. (Flying pigs over SJP). First, I’d say we need to move up a gear – and aim to compete with the likes of that WHU, Palace, Foxes and Southampton group. If a person decides to buy a football club then you’d expect them to invest money in it anyway so MA deserves no credit at all for whatever loans he claims to have made. Let’s face it advertising at £10m a year would cover a fair whack of that ‘debt’.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        The advertising is worth perhaps £2m a year. The interest on the debts in 2007 was £11m a year.

        Only a fool would argue that this quid pro quo arrangement was not in NUFC’s favour.

        • Angelswithdirtyfaces

          Only a totally deluded Ashley hagiograph would value SD’s advertising at £2m p.a.. Whoosh

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Stadium advertising tends to be less than half that of sponsorship income. Sports Direct get about 50% of perimeter advertising so I get 2m

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Blah, blah, blah, the bottom line is, he`s a Robber Baron & a 1st class Knave.

    • Leazes.

      I can’t see him getting a CBE never mind a knighthood….. he’s disliked universally.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        😂😂

      • FatParosite

        Phillip Green got one.. he was equally loathed.

      • Rich Lawson

        Chunder by Engorgment ?

  • Leazes.

    Are Newcastle fans prepared to ignore what our eyes show us and the statistics tell us?

    • JonMag

      a resounding yes

  • Vodkamagpie

    That’s what I’ve been saying for the past week. Newcastle have spent 204Mil on transfers in the last 4 years, average spending of 51Mil per season. Nice writing Chris Holt, with all your graphs and big words. I have some more interesting topics Mr Holt, I’ll see if I have time tonight to share with you, as I’ll be on the drink lol

    • Damon Horner

      Nobody should really question the amount spent lately providing there will be funds this window. We do spend but you can disguise it in a way that makes it looks like we should be grateful to Ashley and not many people will respond favourably to that.

      Spending that specified amount isn’t the full picture when consider who it was spent on, who was permitted to input or control the transfers, how it was generated and that despite that spend, it’s lead to more poor seasons than good ones. What is the future going to be?

      I don’t want to sound critical but just objective.

      • JonMag

        i`ve blocked him, he`s an idiot

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          That’s not to your credit

      • Vodkamagpie

        Certainly most fans don’t acknowledge the money the club spend, most fans don’t actually have a flying clue

        • Kev Newcastle England

          Top clown

  • NUFC9

    Great article. Very interesting and insightful. Well researched and backed up with facts and figures.

  • Ryan Ashurst

    Great read! and makes a lot of sense it’s easy to forget (he) is a business man doesn’t have an emotional connection to the club at all really! though he may claim to.. personally I don’t like the guy, I don’t trust him and wouldn’t blame Rafa if he walks I would thank him for providing temporary hope,enjoyment & pride back to matchdays selling Jamal for 50m would make sense but not a penny less. He is our future!

  • JonMag

    The cynics, the realists & the idiots, the latter being the 1`s that think anything at all good comes out of this guy.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      plenty of them on here tonight (idiots)

      • KRS1

        They all seem to have crawled out from under their rocks. W*nkers!

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          all over the place

  • Damon Horner

    Ashley’s motivation is the big question. If this club matched his ideal world would we be successful, rich or other?

    Reading the article, Lascelles needs to stay then when you consider we dont have a history of not spending too wisely.

    I hope the days that those who signed know they have more influence in the club than the manager did pre-Benitez are over.

  • Dillon Tovak

    How much do you get for simply being in the PL, which other than one year we have been for the most part of the last decade.
    How much do we get for all the other advertising?
    How much advertising and merchandising money is stolen by sports direct?
    Ashley does not invest properly in the club and anyone who thinks he does is either on his payroll, doesn’t follow the club or as thick as pig 💩. (or a troll of course)

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      If you look at the accounts over the years, you will see what is received and what has gone out.

      Advertising income for similar clubs like Everton or Villa (when in the EPL) is around £4m. We still received advertising income but not from SD. As opportunity cost it amounts to perhaps £2m.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    To be fair he invests every penny the club has on players, has put in a lot of money and is still owed £144m. The fans will struggle to get a new owner. On a different note very sad to see Mackenzie Heaney leave the club as he had great potential.
    Watched him many time and hope Norwich snap him up.

    • JonMag

      [email protected]@k off birdbrain

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Come on fella, you get proper response s if you are polite.

        • Come&TakeIt1836

          The just as sad thing is three people up-voted the comment… civility does not abound…

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I often press the up-vote button to mock these chaps. He asked a question yesterday and I gave him a civil answer, these guys would learn more and have more credibility if they dropped the childish name-calling.

            I try to avoid racing to the bottom but sometimes, it’s difficult.

          • KRS1

            Very patronising – I thought you had more about you!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            See I fooled you! The vote up button is a rather silly function on this forum but it’s important to some to why not make people feel good about themselves?

          • KRS1

            I doth my cap to you sir!

          • Wezza147

            fleckman/comeandtakeit/ monkseaton/ghostrider/Clarko/vodka magpie
            Are two brothers from Manchester apparently they troll here on the daily to try and get a rise out of people. How anyone can actually say Ashley really has given “every penny” or defend him is being deliberately untruthful. Just block them.

          • Geordieguy

            Fleckers is just too clever for us turnip heads . We’ve been taught a lesson there haven’t we? Better scuttle off back to our caves

          • GlasgowMag

            “These guys” as you call them are real fans unlike you and your troll buddies!!! Your posts are designed to provoke a reaction to amuse your sad existence!! Most guys block you but to be fair I do find your posts hilarious so I don’t!! As I said before Your a very funny guy 😂😂😂

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I may not get to every game but despite living most of my life away from the NE, I get to about 10 games a season so I do class myself as a real fan too.

            I consider myself to be pragmatic in the way I view the ownership of the club and posts on here are supposed to funny with a bit of realism.

            There is no point in these guys, real fans or not living in a vacuum of mythology and lies.

          • TheFatController

            You provoke, enjoy the emotionally charged reactions, smugly assure yourself you’re great as you don’t get like that/ can get that reaction, and onto the next.

            Either you weren’t allowed anger growing up, or you feel powerless in life, and now self medicate by trolling websites ?

            It can only be one or the other ?

            Maybe empower yourself, or learn it’s ok to express anger in respectful ways. Get healthy.

          • Geordieguy

            These chaps are beyond the pale what what

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I do find that, ;-)

          • Geordieguy

            Set the dogs on them. Carstairs fetch my antique blunderbuss I’ll teach the blighters a thing or two. They’re an absolute shower

          • KRS1

            Grow a pair Little Lord Fauntleroy, it’s a football website. That idiot deserves all the abuse he gets. He is someone who criticises the likes of Shearer and Rafa – what does he expect!

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            If you think the commentariat’s standard of behavior is licensed to bottom out because you are on a football website (or any other venue), then I humbly ask you to more deeply contemplate that stance. It is a very important question at the core of who you are as a person. It suggests a serious concern with your moral compass as we each are defined as a person at whatever the lowest civility/moral level we are willing to stoop.

            I did not say I could not handle it. I said it is sad. People devoid of common decency, that lack respect for fellow humans, and with low morals are sad. If you disagree we me, then think about the noteable people in history that puts you in the company of. Is this the lot you want to be grouped with?

            If you have a prideful, stone heart or one becoming more and more hard, then this probably won’t mean much to you but you could try. If you have a human heart, then maybe my explanation will allow you to see something differently. If you think this is silly and let’s get back to football, then keep thinking about it. It is a basic life issue that transcends football and any football website.

            I won’t be moving in the direction of decency (or lack thereof) that you suggested or hardening my heart against poor civility or morals as you essentially asked me to. The question is…do you have the willpower and personal fortitude to change and move your life in a better direction?

          • Geordieguy

            I didn’t know Jacob rees mogg was on here

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            I trust my right and honourable friend Geordieguy does not believe politics (and a Conservative politician at that) has cornered the market on being an advocate for basic human decency in our interactions with ALL people. 😉

          • Geordieguy

            No just on long words

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            🖖🏼

          • Geordieguy

            Dunno what that means

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            (May you) “Live Long and Prosper”.

            It is a Vulcan (Star Trek) greeting or farewell salute. It was first made famous by Leonard Nimoy as Spock in the original tv shows (long before my time and I don’t care much for) but repeated in all of the following series and movies.

            I was trying to be absent of words… 😉

        • JonMag

          i don`t want a response off cnuts like you, now [email protected]@k off

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            This is the language from the university of the street is it? Charming.

    • Geordieguy

      How can something you own owe you money? I own my flat if I invest in it by doing it up does it owe me money?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Separate legal entity status.

        • Geordieguy

          Tax dodger tory

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Oh dear, a scrounging, work-shy left winger who doesn’t even want to learn.

            I’m just explaining how it’s a loan. Go off to Diane Abbott’s academy of adding up.

          • Geordieguy

            I’m amused. Proceed further

          • Geordieguy

            Can you teach me where I’m going wrong in life and feed me some gruel even though I’ve owned 2 flats including the one I’m living in and have no debt in spite of being Walker scum

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Good for you, I’m simply illustrating the stereotype, tax-dodging Tory is no more relevant than the work-shy lazy Labour voter.

        • Geordieguy

          Separate legal entity status ? Just been revoked

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I don’t get your point. It’s not revoked, Nufc is a separate legal entity to Mike.

            He may sell the club in the next six months and part of that may well allow the debt to remain, he’s even indicated he’d accept staged payments.

        • Geordieguy

          It was a joke. If you don’t understand references from 25 year old films then that’s your issue. Go and listen to radio 3

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Are, not seen that one.

          • Geordieguy

            It’s a reference to lethal weapon 2 when a south African diplomat waves his badge and says ‘diplomatic immunity ‘and Danny glover blows his head off . It’s a modern day parable for people who think they’re invincible .Trump should watch it

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Don’t shoot me!

      • Come&TakeIt1836

        Separation of Liability.

        He has personal funds and his businesses have funds. If something goes wrong in his empire (or NUFC specifically), creditors can only get at the business accounts and assets. They cannot come after his personal accounts or assets. He loaned NUFC money from his personal accounts to subsidize a business need. The formal documentation drawn up at the time of the transaction will explain that his personal money is to be returned by the business. Therefore, something he owns owes him money.

        Your owning a flat obviously isn’t a comparable example. A more similar example might be a parent loaning their child ££ to pay a fine. You don’t technically ‘own’ the child but they are your’s of a sort. You have an agreement the child will repay the loan (building responsibility, etc.) eventually with no interest added on (who charges their child interest, right?). The family’s total finances haven’t changed but you are out the money. Get it?

        • Geordieguy

          Tory tax dodging bs Gary Barlow jimmy Carr philip green Man United supporting tory voting trash. Does that help ?

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            This seems an odd way to say ‘I don’t respect you with any level of humanity even though you tried to be truly helpful and put forth quite a bit of effort to answer my question thoroughly.’

            Am I getting to the core meaning of your response? I want to make sure I am clear and we understand one another plainly.

          • Jate Legend

            Keep trying. It was a good way of explaining it.

          • Geordieguy

            Explaining what? A bent system where millionaires pay less tax than someone on minimum wage?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Which is never actually true. The last time he did anything political on TV, Jimmy Carr voted Labour. I can’t see that changing after the tories managed to catch his scheme out.

          • Geordieguy

            I’m not talking about what scrapes under the bar as legal or not in the case of Shirebrook less than minimum wage. I’m talking about morals. How can you defend someone like ashley? He exploits people

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Having a separation of liability is not immoral. It is very, very practical and doesn’t ‘scrape’ under any bars of legality or morality. In fact in today’s crazy world of litigation where some people are ready to sue over almost anything, pretty much every person with any personal assets whatsoever could benefit from a similar (obviously smaller scale) set up… family trusts, etc.

            I am not saying anything positive about MA’s morals or would ever begin to defend his or anybody else’s known immoral activities (including my own human failings unfortunately from time to time). I think his public and professional moral failings are fairly well chronicled. It is one of the biggest reasons I have for hoping he can sell up and no longer be associated with the club.

            Even if this case was borderline or even purely immoral, you asked a business/legal question and, as a business professional with some minimal legal experience, I tried to be helpful and answer it. I was trying to help you… if you go back and look, I never gave any hint of defending MA in the original answer.

          • Geordieguy

            Fair enough I just hope we can get a human being in charge of nufc again ..Freddie Shepherd for all his faults was a real fan and an investor in the north

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Then fair enough… we are good in my book. I would love for a fan to own the club. In that we are 100% agreed. The last two owners have been extremes…papa bear that runs it with no financial awareness and mama bear that runs it on a austere budget. Next we need baby bear/Goldilocks… just right.

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Clown

    • TheFatController

      I think you’ll find we didn’t relegate us twice, he did, so he is not still owed £144m.

      Seek help.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      I agree with you regarding Mackenzie Heaney, strange choice to let go.

      I hope all those who leave manage to have careers but will look out for him.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Still owed? So he is lending money not putting his own money in. He’s a glorified money lender that’s all. He’s no Abramovich that’s for sure. He makes money and kudos from our club. These are the only two reasons he’s involved in Newcastle United and anybody that tells you any different is either very stupid or a lier.

  • KRS1

    Ashley is a proven liar, has treated Keegan with contempt, made us a laughing stock by hiring the likes of Kinnear and has constantly undermined Rafa in the transfer market. No true NUFC can defend him.

    • nufcslf

      Thank you.

  • nufcslf

    Anything with support or defend that stupid fat c**t in anyway turns my stomach off the bat. I do still read it, but know do know that not saying any kind words in his direction is the only thing that makes any sense for any true fan that seeing the back end of him is the only chance of moving forward.

  • Joe g

    The mag works 4 CASHLEY.

  • Weyhhadaway

    True we could have done a Leeds, or worse, a Sunlun!
    It is the fact that we have been turned into a heartless business that galls most of us. A club in any sport should be using it resources to achieve the best position it can. We know we can’t compete with the Citeh’s of this world, but we are showing no wish to do anything except stay in this league.
    Having Rafa right now has given us hope that something might change. I am hoping that this transfer window will bring us the signings we need. Experience suggests that sadly we will be looking at a new manager before long.

    • Billmag

      We can’t compete with Man City in the transfer market but with 2 or 3 addition’s to our team ie a striker and a number 10 for starters we can compete with them on the pitch.

      • East Durham Mag

        Most of us know but Fatty can’t see it.

  • East Durham Mag

    Whether you believe Fatty has stabilised the club or raped and pillaged it is up to your own interpretation. The real issue for me is he has facilitated 2 relegations in 11 years and is only interested in Premiership survival with 17th or slightly better being acceptable. We are lucky to have a world class manager and Mike Ashley should know an injection of cash would push us on to the next level and earn more money. He doesn’t seem to care though and is happy with utter mediocrity and that is what stinks.
    Ashley OUT!

  • Lord

    Spurs extend Kane’s contract from 2022 to 2026 and a new five year contract for their manager who publicly questioned their ambition on the final day of the season.

    Meanwhile at NUFC….it’s all tumbleweed except for articles about our best player being sold and the manager not being able to sign players until he signs his contract.

    That about sums up where we are today under Mike Ashley.

    • Damon Horner

      Summed up well. Tell that to the likes of Ghost rider who no doubt reckon Ashley should be the most popular man in Newcastle!

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Still think Fleckman rims Ashleys unwiped hoop the most….

  • Wor Lass

    That`s an interesting read, Chris. I`ve said in the past that the sell-anyone-for-a-quick-profit view of Ashley was overplayed. many of the players who left wanted to go. In fact some of them more-or-less forced a move. That doesn`t mean that I don`t blame Ashley for creating the unambitious climate around the club that made highly competitive pros think that it was pointless staying. At the end of the day, good players want to be in the hunt for trophies not staving off relegation. And good managers ….!

    • Leazes.

      He does sell for a quick profit….every player who has gained significant value has been sold whilst the value of the squad has declined resulting in 2 relegations and a floundering club.

      The reinvestment figure doesn’t take into account the galloping inflation in the player market or player amortisation of the squad.

      The result is that we have a squad valued in the bottom five…. a club that has been stripped.

      If you play daft games with accountants you’ll start believing things like ‘debt’…. only in the world of the accountant can you owe yourself money for collateral assets!…. it is nonsense.

      This has been a clickbait article, an exercise in defending the undefendable, and unfortunately people like Ryder, Waugh and Co. can and will continue in the same vein…. the club isn’t just being asset stripped of its players…. but of its future! as its competitors look on laughing as they steal a march.

      Chris Holt is guilty of propagating the myth of debt which has allowed the club to be kicked, he in my opinion is a bigger traitor than Ryder or Lowes & Anderson, Macdonald or Brown or indeed Mark Jensen for allowing damage to be done in pursuit of their own political outlook.

      A Downsized club….Yes or No?
      A ‘Trophy Manager’….Yes or No?
      A Competing Club…Yes or No?
      A Club with a future….Yes or No?

  • Geordiegiants

    Nobody can say Chris is wrong, but he is sucking life out of the club still.

    • Leazes.

      I can because he is wrong…. The relegations cost the club an absolute fortune, money was thrown at problems only when it became obvious that relegation was creeping closer, penny pinching, sitting on money, when competitors were overtaking

      Look at the position that the club finds itself in ‘squad value’….fourteenth and fifteenth behind clubs which never resided in the top leagues.

      Holt is an idiot….. its not even a Geordie name, it a name from Manchester….. like the fleckman accounting troll.

      • Rich Lawson

        He’s got graphs tho’ ?

        • Leazes.

          I like therm…. the concept is flawed but I like the graphs….. well apart from the lack of timescale

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Even forgetting the financial aspect, I will never forgive him for taking away our hope and destroying our feel good factor. He knows if Rafa goes, so will the better players and our status. I think, money aside, that would please him. Maybe I was wrong thinking staying up will sell the club.