Newcastle fans are having a tough summer so far.

No new faces signed up, with only Martin Dubravka converted from loan to permanent, plus then Mike Ashley has put up all season ticket prices in every part of St James Park.

Over the course of Ashley’s 11 years running of the club, he has been unique in many ways.

One of the stand out examples is that surely he is the only Premier League owner who constantly pushes out the PR message that the club is nothing special, that Newcastle fans are deluded if they think it has the potential to compete in the top six any time in the future.

Whereas pretty much every other Premier League owner is looking up at the stars, dreaming of what could happen if everything falls right, Mike Ashley’s only plan/intention is to try and keep NUFC in the Premier League whilst spending a minimum amount of money necessary (from club funds).

He only wants to ensure Premier League level revenues come in and the worldwide free coverage given to Sports Direct and his other associated brands continues.

He has no ambition in terms of what happens on the pitch above that AND wants to try and make sure the Newcastle fans don’t believe anything else is possible.

However, supporters need to take heart and believe that if everything was done right, then Newcastle could once again compete.

Tottenham have gradually built the club into one that can compete, whilst of course the example of Leicester City will always be there as well, though very difficult to replicate that!

However, Newcastle United do still stand out as a club that could rise again, if ran with ambition and everybody pulling together.

If you still don’t believe that, I only need to call one person to give evidence to back this up.

Rafa Benitez.

Only two months after leaving Real Madrid, why on earth would Rafa Benitez come to Newcastle United if he didn’t think the club was capable of far far better?

He has regularly said that there is massive potential for Newcastle to climb the league once again.

In October last year when a takeover was thought possible, the manager spoke.

Rafa Benitez – October 2017:

“When I signed here, it was because I could see the potential.

“It’s one of the top sides in England if you put everything together.

“The question is, is it reaching its level? Obviously, no. Can we do it? I think so.

“I think we can do better, you can see the potential is there, it is just to do the right things.

“Obviously, you want to win trophies and want to compete.”

Rafa Benitez – March 2016 (When agreeing to become Newcastle’s manager):

“I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club.

Lee Charnley – March 2016 (When Rafa arrived):

“In Rafa we have, without doubt, secured the services of one of Europe’s top managers.

“He has managed some of the most successful teams at the very highest level of the game and we are proud to now have him as our manager.

“Our sole focus now is to give our full support to Rafa, his coaching team and the players.”

After winning La Liga twice with Valencia, Rafa’s clubs have been Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid.

He chose Newcastle United because it still does have that potential to succeed and Newcastle fans should never forget that, despite whatever Mike Ashley’s PR minions put out.

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  • Wezza147

    Nice article but we know it will not change. Rafa has been lied to and undermined numerous times. The owner has no ambition for the football, just the money. It will never change under MA. We’re stuck with a rotten regime.

  • Leazes.

    Well the club did shed 22 youth and squad players, you would expect something to happen sometime.

    I thought the reason would be due to the accounts date being due in the new financial year to the 31st June and that was the way this Chairman operated ‘inside the box’.

    It leaves a heck of a lot to do in a very short time.

    Viva la Rafalution…. can’t wait.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      31 June? He Dianne Abbott school of mathematics graduate strikes again.

      • Virsino

        You pull the 31st June, and can’t spell your own comment correctly. #Oops

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          #oops indeed. The poor fella blocks me anyway so he will not read it.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The last two sets of accounts prove that every penny has been spent on players and the same will happen this time. The problem is we could do with more money to spend as every time we go for a player the price doubles, the wages and agents fees double. Rafa understands this that is why he is still here.

    • TheNutJob

      he`s still here because he won`t break a contract & there`s a £6m penalty hanging over his head.
      this time next year he`ll be long gone

    • East Durham Mag

      Every penny not syphoned away into MASH Holdings. A moronic owner, a puppet Cheif Exec and a one man board and your happy, what do you drink drain cleaner?

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        But that is not true is it?

      • Leazes.

        United’s money is held in the parent company…. that’s how Ashley has cash on the hip to make purchases for his retail businesses…. just so long as someone balances all of his different accounts all is legal…. Robert Maxwell and others did this sort of thing with pensions funds!

        That’s why Rafa won’t have a stated ‘budget’…. it’ll be released bit by bit when needed…..but it stays in the parent company!

        ‘Syphoned away’ is perhaps not right…..I’d prefer ‘loaded onto a truck and driven away’.

        It makes you wonder what those interested parties who signed ‘non disclosure agreements’ to do due diligence actually saw?….. you can’t see United’s turnover because its inside another company.

        A layman cant see anything in United’s accounts about shirt sales or merchandising, advertising and marketing…. there’s a million words of ‘accountant speak’ masking the whole operation, and when you add to that a silent and absent owner and a Chairman in hiding you know why…..

        …..its a crooked operation of interest and tax avoidance and has been from the start.

        • Sickandtired

          I can suggest an answer to one thing – there were no other interested parties!

          • Leazes.

            Thats a problem isn’t it?….. if the club make a statement saying that there were interested parties then the local press are obliged to believe it….. and they do.

            They also are of the opinion that the club is overpriced….. I don’t think it is at all…. unless Ashley keepst the Cash.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Except that’s a lie.

        • Wezza147

          Well said Leazes.

        • jack

          It may not be illegal , but it’s not exactly honest , and Robert Maxwell wasn’t an honest man either , and like Maxwell I hope it all comes crashing down on him soon

        • Mark Potter

          This is completely untrue. They don’t produce accounts for Newcastle United Limited, but for the group of companies of which Newcastle United Limited belongs. All of the revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities of those companies is included as if they were a single company.

          The “parent” company is St James Holdings Limited (SJH) This company does not operate as part of the football club, ie. it is not part of the group of companies. It does not hold money belonging to the club.
          In the last accounts it published, cash on hand/in the bank was less than £1000.

          SJH owns the shares of the football club. It has a single Director, Mike Ashley. As the sole shareholder of the football club, SJH has the right to appoint the Director(s) of the football club at the annual general meeting.

          Although SJH has little cash, it has huge debts – over £100 million. But as it owns the shares of the football club, and these are worth probably £250-300m, then it is solvent. But it has virtually no turnover, carrying out no business activities other than to hold the shares. That’s it’s role as a holding company.

          There is no money going through the books of this company, either holding cash on behalf of the football club nor directing money towards Ashley. Ashley is not an employee of SJH and takes no dividends or Directors remuneration. That company would only do anything if the football club was sold – it would transfer the shares to the buyer and receive the purchase money. It would pay off its debts (probably all to Ashley) and then pay out the rest to the owners of SJH (also Ashley). The only other role of SJH is to appoint Charnley to be the Director of the football club. SJH can replace him, and/or appoint new Directors.

          A layman or an accountant can’t see details of shirt sales in the accounts. Why should they? It is a privately owned company. The accounts are available from Companies House only for other businesses to know that the company is solvent etc. And they are prepared for taxation purposes. No company would itemize every bit of income/expenditure. The wages of employees for instance are not disclosed, except for the most senior executives. Nor would they disclose how much they buy the shirts for, and how much profit they make when the sell them. Just like MacDonalds, Amazon or Marks and Spencer, or the local car dealer, their commercial dealings are not disclosed in any detail, and don’t need to be. There is nothing dodgy about this, it’s the way all accounts work.

          The fact that these are available online for free is a major step forward, you had to request and pay Companies House to search the register of companies not so long ago. This sort of information is not available in many countries.

    • Geordieguy

      Every penny ? Where have I heard that before ? So there was no money at all leftover ? They negotiated deals to the last penny in the account? You’re the accountant. You tell me

  • jack

    We were a top six side before on numerous occasions and would be again with proper investemenf and ambition , I remember Tottenham being well behind .us the sorry state they were in when we beat them seven one , but because they’ve invested and are ambitious they’ve outstripped us and left us in their wake , in eleven short years

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      So, 11 short years Tottenham were behind us in both league attainment and financial clout? Now we’re 7 places below them and financially solvent?

      That’s terrible, it it were true. It’s not true though is it. When Ashley took overo We were 8 places below them and insolvent being some £60m behind in finances.

      Reality Vs myth.

      • jack

        No myth , fact. It’s just too far up this regimes backside to acknowledge it . And you like the regime lack ambition.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Fact? I’m looking at the 2007 accounts and the 2006/2007 EPL final table – I can’t see any fact to back you up.

          Seriously, try looking at reality.

          • jack

            Your just nit picking , every team has bad seasons too , look at man city , etc, nothing what is said would make a difference , you just live in Ashley’s false reality ,

          • Leazes.

            Just block him…he’s a troll.

          • jack

            He’s more than a troll. A pr2ck is a better description

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Block anyone that disagrees with Leazes’, that way he will always think he’s right.

          • Wezza147

            They’re brothers from Manchester apparently but they troll on names like Fleckman, Monkseaton, Ghostrider, vodkamagpie and more. Easy to spot, just block them. They just want to get a rise out of people to fuel their sad, sad existence.

          • jack

            Yeah that’s what I’ve been told, one thing they aren’t is Newcastle fans , they are very economical with the truth , they keep quoting Ashley’s accounts , Ashley’s accounts mean nothing as proven by last set released .In future I’ll use just one word to get my point lol

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Not Newcastle fans. If anyone on this site has been to more games than me Id like to meet them.

          • jack

            Dream on

          • TheFatController

            Surely you’d meet them at all the games you both go to?

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            If you believe that you should join Jezza in the funny farm.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            I would say it’s you and your cronies who are trolls as always having a go at the club nothing is ever any good not even a top ten finish.

          • TheFatController

            Those finishes are anomalies to the trend, my Mugpie friend…

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I take it that’s a joke. The previous season we finished 7th having spent most of the season bottom half, the season before, 14th which was about where we were all season.

            So, 4 places below where we are now in 2005, 3 places above in 2006 & 3 places below in 2007. So good season or bad season I’d say we have hardly gone backwards, we’re in a similar position.

            What about the finances? 2007 we had £60m less profit than Tottenham (we lost £33m) we were technically insolvent some £60m behind Spurs.

            In the words of Nigel Tufnell and you, that’s nit picking.

          • TheFatController

            It’s fine to quote spinal tap. Maybe try not sounding like you’re in the band though?

            Get back in your ‘where are they now? file’

            Because you’re in your underpants at mum’s house trolling is the answer.

          • Billy Bob three teeth

            Technically insolvent? So we were not insolvent! That would be illegal to trade while insolvent. You go on about facts, then make stuff to suit your Ashley love in. Trading while insolvent is unlawful and breaks the Insolvency Act 1986. Facts? Lies, damned lies, and statistics

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Without a financier, in 2007 we were technically insolvent. The bank were not too willing to finance the club any further but were still honouring payments. The bank had a team in SJP ever since the Belgravia lot pulled out so one way or another, they were going to force the issue.

          • Billy Bob three teeth

            So again we were not insolvent! You bang on about facts then put technically and pretend it’s a fact. You constantly call Leazes a liar then make up stuff to appease your Ashley fixation.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We had fewer assets than liabilities , technically that’s insolvent. I think the directors were very close to trading illegally but that’s always difficult to prove.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            How do you define insolvent? Can you run through the Balance sheet and explain how we were solvent? The only reason was the new owner was prepared to finance the loss and the debt

          • Billmag

            The reality is we have more debt now than we had when fat boy took over why won’t you face reality, this club is down trodden in the face of keeping the owner happy.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We do have about £15m more debt that we did in 2007, we also have an owner who holds most of that debt himself . Moreover, we have a turnover now that is 2 1/2 times that of 2007 with infinitely greater profit increase.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It also stands to reason we have more debt. In 2007, we had a £33m loss with salaries running at £62.5m on a £87m turnover. The big wages were contracted for at least 2 years and we continued to run losses so debt increased.

          • Ram Kishore

            He’s right about the lack of ambition on the clubs part though

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I agree to a point, I’d love us to go for it, spend big money and try to break the top 4.

            However, if I’d put £274m in already and realised that to move into the top 6 it would take another £200m just to be in with a chance, I dont think thats a risk worth taking. Especislly ehen it’s highly likely that we’d fail and even if we achieve it, I’d still get abuse, death threats and previous so called fans would moan about a sponsor, the fact I’m not from Newcastle and make up nonsense.

            The way Jack portrays us is that Ashley took over a champions league club with a history of being a top dide. He didn’t, he took over a mid-table side where the wage bill was far too high and the club was hemorrhaging money. He took over a club that historically spent 1/3 of its time in the 2nd division but up to 1955 had done well in the fa cup.

            This is way I want fans to buy the club. If it was our money, we may not be too hasty in demanding money be spent.

            Newcastle fans are like socialists, we seem to want everything on a plate, all paid for with someone else’s money.

          • Ram Kishore

            Sometimes I fail to understand what makes our fans hate Pardew so much.. All the reasons they give also seems more like most are viewing everything under a microscope..
            I feel Mag with articles of this sort even manipulates fans outside of UK who are viewing it

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I don’t live in Newcastle anymore, in fact I’ve lived away more than I’ve lived in the area.

            Rumour and myth can get around Newcastle very quickly and the rumour becomes a fact and before long, it’s accepted as the truth.

            Living away from the area can give you a broader perspective. You get other views, you know people who work for other football clubs and a more balanced opinion.

            The Mag and the comments can just reinforce myth, it has been gong for many years now and should be more responsible but the site would not be popular if it stuck to the truth.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          We were five points off relegation when Ashley took over eg two games off going down and £135m in debt hardly a healthy club he inherited. Most on here think we were in the Champions league. The rot had set in long before he came.

          • jack

            And look how well we’ve done since , your really are an idiot

          • jack

            And the rot hadn’t set in .2005/2006 season we were 7th , and if you check the previous seasons before then you’ll see the difference between then and now , we had a bad season but all teams do .And we’ve only been in top ten twice under Ashley , relegated twice , and two near misses , his tenure is abysmal , yet you think it’s fantastic , your deluded , you and fleckman

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            The three seasons before he took over we were 14th, 7th and 13th so hardly a top six side. More like a side in decline. Under Ashley we have finished 10th twice and 5th.

          • TheFatController

            Let’s not mention relegations. They don’t count in the grand scheme of things.

          • Danimal

            And the three seasons immediately before that? Was it 4th, 3rd, 5th? And before that, never under any real threat of relegation since returning to the top division in 1993. All the conditions in place for an ambitious owner to run a decent club. Just to garnish your selective stats further, under Ashley we have also finished 18th twice and 21st twice.

          • panther


          • TheFatController

            Check your facts, Mugpie. Have you no shame?

      • TheFatController

        Well, forgetting the £120m debt, I guess we could be described as solvent.

        If only we hadn’t been relegated twice eh?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          But for £15m relegation debt, that debt is from 2007.

      • GlasgowMag

        Are you guys the same person and is that within the mag rules to answer your own post!! But in any event if I am answering either mr Jekyll or Hyde/Monk/Bobbi once again your posts are hilarious keep it up you are both funny guys!!!😂😂😂

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Are you the same person as Fireman Sam & MickeyMmoose. Just because there are about ten people on here that can add up and understand figures, it does not mean we are one and the same.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      We have only finished in the top ten twelve years out of the last forty years and three of them have been under Ashley so hardly a top six side on a regular basis.

      • jack

        And two relegations in eleven years , your a dope

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Hardly Ashley’s fault the players were good enough on both occasions £70m worth of talent a team full of stars let the manager down on both occasions.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          We’ve been out of the top league for 2 seasons in 12, history says we average close to 5 in 12

          • TheFatController

            You love to use inaccurate ‘facts’ – that’s a manifestation of your weak arguments I presume …

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            in our first 100 years of existence we were out of the top division for 35 of those years. 35%

            In the mike Ashley era, we’ve been out for 2 of 12 years – 16%

            I’m not sure where you think I’ve been in accurate.

          • Mirandinha9

            And when we were out of the top league in 1982, sitting as a mediocre, mid-table second division side, the board, despite its failings, had the ambition to sign Special K – the England Captain and two time European Footballer of the year. Can you see your friend Cashley even dreaming of signing say Harry Kane or a Christian Ronaldo? No, he is devoid of ambition, other than the eternal insatiable appetite he has for more wealth. His pants weigh about a 1kg given the innumerable £50 notes he has stuffed in them. If only he used them to good effect in buying a modern day Special K, then he might get some respect.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We signed KK, went straight up and never looked back?


            Took two years to get promoted, went up and just started up courtesy of a flooky start to the season.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It wasn’t quite like signing Ronaldo at that time. More a case of signing Franck Ribéry but we actually got promoted quicker the Mike Ashley way and we, on both promotion occasions under Mike, established ourselves better in the top league.

            I want us to crack on but supporters have to be realistic.

          • Mirandinha9

            Special K, was Captain of his country and a 2 time European Footballer of the year, who was famous around the world. You compare his stature to that of Franck Ribery. Goodness!!! You give Special K little credit, fundmentally, because he detests your icon Cashley. You know Cashley, the person that “you cannot work with…because you cannot trust him”. The man who got well and truly stuffed by Special K in the Courts.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I was at KK’s debut, I love the man but by the time he arrived, he was a few years off being the European player of the year, hence the Ribery comparison.

            Also, it took two seasons to get back up in a far less competitive era than now. That’s no slight on KK but more on the Mick Martin’s pat Hurd s etc

      • Mirandinha9

        When Keegan was Manager in the 90s, we were never out of the top 6 and Keegan detests your friend, hero and inspiration, Mike Cashley. Tells you something, although, you wouldn’t ever aspire to listen.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Very true but we did that because Hall bankrolled us until his money started to run out and he floated the business. In that time we lost money but it was the sort of money a Hall or an Ashley could afford.

          The stakes are higher now, Ashley has already sunk £276m in and most fans (finance experts) say the club is not worth that money so why would he put more in?

    • Toon

      In NUFCs 125 year history, very rarely have we been a top 6 side. The problem is the fans want to be but Ashley doesn’t as it makes little difference to him

      • Leazes.

        Our average position over 125 years is the seventh best club in the land…. that is an appealing indictment of the lack of ambition….poor really poor!

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Which is why the fans should remortgage their homes, sell the car, miss out on a holiday etc and club together to buy the club.

        We should stop whining, put up or shut up.

  • mentalman

    He is here because he wanted a job in england and we offered him more money than anyone else, he was also aware of the situation between the majority of fans and thed owner and knew he could use it to his advantage

    • TheFatController

      He’s exactly what the fans needed, you’re right.

      The first reputable coach for a few years rather than a yes man, taken on at Ashley’s most desperate, weakest time.

      Ashley hoped to ride the tiger that is Rafa and stay up. Then he needed to ride the tiger to get promoted. Now he is safe in the PL he wants to rid himself of the tiger and get in another pussy cat to roll over and say ‘can’t quite get over the line – agents fees, you know wink wink’

      You’re very astute to say Rafa knew he could save us from that idiot owner. Good insight shown.

      • Leazes.

        Rafa….He’s exactly what Ashley needed…a ‘trophy manage’ in order to string along the media and fans for another year….. one thing for certain is his replacement will be another journeyman doing the rounds…we haven’t had Mark Hughes yet…probably the only one of them on the ‘merry-go-round’ we haven’t had!

        I don’t know what fans were expecting of Rafa but I expected more than this nonsense.

        Still there’s 22 places that need filling and the chronicle wont differentiate between Youth or Squad or First Team they’ll all be brilliant swoops…. been here many many times!

        • Down Under Mag

          There’s a few – Pulis and Warnock also spring to mind.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Very true

  • Rich Lawson

    ”We are all in the gutter,but some of us are looking at the stars”.Ashley is just in the gutter with his eyes shut.

    • TheFatController

      If his mouth was shut instead he’d be slimmer