As a Newcastle fan it always helps to have a bit of perspective.

Having the ability to be able to compare and contrast what is happening at the club compared to days gone by.

Newcastle United has rarely been a well run club, certainly in most of our lifetimes.

There is a reason as to why there has been no league title for 90 years, no domestic trophy for 60+ years, with even the Fairs Cup triumph now 50 years in the past.

In my supporting days I saw the tail end of the Lord Westwood era, which then became the Gordon McKeag years, before John Hall proved successful with his takeover, then selling out to Mike Ashley.

Fair to say all four periods of ownership/management of the club have seen ups and downs but we aren’t exactly comparing like with like.

The Westwood/McKeag years were ones where there was lack of direction and ambition, lacking the skills as well to make the club successful.

John Hall had a kind of plan and really fell on his feet when Freddie Fletcher overhauled the commercial side of the club, the cherry on top of the icing on that cake of course being when Fletcher also provided the link that helped deliver Kevin Keegan as manager.

For over four years you had an intoxicating period where fans really felt they were part of something, as owner, manager, players and fans all pushed in the same direction, with revenues generated all going to help the club grow.

That all fell flat though as the Hall/Shepherd families took more and more money out of the club in salaries and share dividends as they crept towards their eventual exit when they would make the really big bucks from Newcastle United. Kevin Keegan saw that progress was ending and walked out, the club insisting on selling players such as Les Ferdinand to improve the financial figures ahead of the share flotation. NUFC ending up going into a first Champions League campaign with free transfer oldies Rush, Barnes and Pearce, a massive wasted opportunity.

However, nothing could have prepared us for Mike Ashley.

Nobody could claim that what had gone before had been perfect, apart from those four years under Kevin Keegan maybe, but at least whoever owned the club, did all dream of the team being successful on the pitch.

Which brings us to Mike Ashley and younger Newcastle fans.

When I say younger though, you don’t actually need to be all that young to really know nothing else but life under Ashley.

Unless you were born before 1990, all of your adult life supporting Newcastle United has been with this manipulative tyrant in charge.

A frightening thought that give it a few years and there will be people in their 30s who know nothing but an NUFC with him in charge. Many of those with kids of their own, even some heading towards having grandkids, not able to really talk about the days before Mike Ashley arrived at St James Park.

We can all list any number of disgraceful things he has done since arriving at the club but for me, not even being interested in trying to win something is the most damning of all.

Surviving in the Premier League on the lowest possible spend in order to keep giving Sports Direct their worldwide TV exposure and keep PL revenues flowing in, that is the club’s mission statement under Mike Ashley and I honestly feel truly sorry for our younger supporters who know no different.

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



  • Leazes.

    Liverpool Mission Statement

    1. To improve football performance through positive playing style and strategic player investment
    2. Improve to scouting and player recruitment process
    3.Improve the fan experience and interaction with the club
    4. Leverage the clubs international following to deliver profitable growth.
    (4. diverts to 1,2,3)

    Newcastle United Mission Statement
    They don’t have one.

    What they do though is secure the advertising of SD and its brands with minimum spend on players and facilities. The club having been stripped of Land and its best players over this Ashley tenure with no growth has seen clubs that we should not be competing with overtake us.

    • Wezza

      Our mission, or cunning plan is:

      Money is number 1 priority.
      Football is a distant second.
      Spend as little as possible for maximum return.
      Asset strip.
      Pay as little as possible on wages.
      Use PR to fool the media and fans.
      Maintain premiership status.
      If relegation occurs put some own money in as a token gesture to get promoted.
      Use creative accounting and collect hundreds of millions in TV money.
      Repeat year after year.

      The key one: Use PR to fool the media and fans.

    • funlovingexpress

      what best players have been stripped

      We have the best defence I can remember in a long long time and a really good midfield.

      We have got ridiculous money for poor to average players during his tenure and also sold some that we didnt want to sell but were forced to because of clauses in contracts.

      You can argue we should be paying insane amounts for players and dont, that is all well and good, not a stance I would take but I know its one you go for.

      But you cant argue that he has been stripping the club of players. We alsways hold onto our best players. The only time we havent is when they have forced a move themselves.

      We actually have a good team. The only problem is we dont have a top drawer number 9 and 10. We also have a world class manager.

      A world class manager btw is what you said we would never ever have because you said Ashley only employs yes men.

      You are the biggest manchester wum on here. Never a good thing to say about the club.

      • paul mclaughlan

        I’m confused. Are you Ghost or Monk?

        • funlovingexpress

          Only ever needed to be me. Ive been posting since the early forums on the ronnie gill.

          So neither, is the answer the answer to your question.

          Many fans like myself actually support the club, rather than keep slating it like some of the posters on here.

          Then again many of thje so called supporters on here are mackems or mancs with nowt better to do than keep taking pops at the club.

      • NUFCLX

        We always hold on to our best players. I remember Pardew telling us that just before we sold Andy Carroll

        • ghostrider

          Carroll made his own exit after very recently signing a new contract and then had his head turned with a bigger money offer which he tried to blackmail Newcastle with to renegotiate his contract again.
          The club called no joy and he went.
          Luckily for us it all worked out because the lad has been a sick note ever since and yet we made a 35 million profit on the back of a supposed dreamy young lad wanting to play number 9.

          Weird how his dream was started and he chose to end it like the greedy money hungry player he was and is, of which has spread to 90% of players today.

          If players do not want to play for you and are hankering for a move, then get the highest bid.
          That’s what we do and nobody can be blamed for that in the finance department.

          • NUFCLX

            Standard practice in football, a player improves and he gets an improved contract, happens all the time. If an improved contact does not come players tend to look for an employer who will pay the going rate.
            I agree with u that we cannot blame the finance department, as far as transfers go we only have use for a AR Dept, not a lot to do for the AP Dept.

          • ghostrider

            If all clubs bow down to players, many of them will collapse.
            A player signs a contract. That contract will no doubt have clauses in it for re-negotiation in the event of progression of the player, I would assume.

            Newcastle United are not a club that appears to undercut players…in fact most likely pay too much in wages, overall.

            The major issue with Newcastle United is the perceived mindset of how big the club ius and what certain fans feel the club should be paying.
            The trouble is, this club is being looked at based on the past owners in the beginning and past messiah’s.

            The money involved in football right now has basically numbed people of their monetary reality and now the push is for many to think we should be following the footballing Jones’s…no matter what.

            This club is special…to you and me and all fans of the club.
            It’s not infallible and is not special to outsiders in the main.

    • ghostrider

      Liverpool mission statement. Try and keep up with the Sheikh’s, etc.
      Ensure you pay 75 million for defenders and 68 million for a goal keeper in order to do so.

      Newcastle mission statement.
      Don’t fall into the sickening transfer fees and sickening wages for player who are simply not worth it and will ultimately have a damaging effect on Newcastle United.

      Nobody should ever use sugar daddy clubs are any yardstick for what Newcastle United are doing.

      Liverpool are now firmly entrenched into the elite plastic club.
      Cast them all away and lets have some real fair football. Pffffft….not likely, eh?

  • Superdooperhooper

    Take that picture down or I’m talking you to a human rights trial at the Hague. I’ve had my fair share of suffering but this is too much

  • ghostrider

    i wonder what all the young fans of all the other clubs think when their club has won little to nothing,
    You know, clubs as big as ours who have basically won nothing since year blot.

    And yet we somehow deserve more or if not we have the worst owner in the entire world who wants to kill our club after 11 years and yet somehow keep us in the premier league whilst doing it.

    Aye, I can see where it makes sense……not.
    The reality is this.
    If kids becomes Newcastle fans they don’t do it because of who owns the club. I certainly didn’t when I was a kid that was old enough to grasp what being a fan and feeling it, was.

    Scrooge himself could own the club when I was becoming a fan because I didn’t become a fan because we won stuff. I was far too young to care about trophy hunting a team. I chose Newcastle United through the radio commentary and my sticker book.
    From then on I became 100% Newcastle United as MY team/club with whatever furnishings it had and changed throughout the years…as well as brass/silver or not.

    And here I am in exactly the same boat, to this very day…always hoping but always happy to look forward to a new season with what we have, not what we could have had or waiting on whether we could have or I won’t play ball……NO NO NO.

    I don’t want to waste my time making bad banners or wasting my energy cutting my own nose off to spite my face.

    Accept what you have and have a moan if you expect more….but only really make it loud and proud when you have something to moan about with how the club is run…not because it’s run by a cockney who you despise because it’s the in thing to carry on a hatred based on a dummy spitter messiah kicking it all off and starting a frenzy that just keeps on giving and as to why young kids buy into it, for no other reason than……” my uncle hates him, so I will.”

    And all the rest of it.

    Yeah, by all means have a moan about this and that but just remember that the fans of other clubs have a little moan, yet they don’t carry it on for years and years, even through better times.
    They accept what they’re given with a hope for better…but being a fan of the club (whichever club) is their added life leisure…..unconditionally and not built on the worship of one person, or else…because one person is not a club and all people move on whether living or expired.

    Just look forward to the new season and stop trying to kill off your own club with constant irritation of movements/boycott’s or bile and hatred spewed at every turn.