This was never going to be an easy start to the season for Newcastle United.

Little investment, yeah, that’s the side of the fence I’m shuffling on, and the almost bizarre, delusional nonsense from Richard Keys, Andy Gray, Dennis Wise and Shola, have turned shuffling into standing still, aghast. The Newcastle United PR machine has managed to take a decent finish last season and turn it into anger and disillusionment.

I’m not worried about the character references we’re getting from this lot. I maybe should be, but I’m relying on the common sense of most football fans to remember what Dennis Wise did during his time here (his players have not really gone on to do a Tomasson, have they?) and the less said about the former Sky pair the better. My granny used to moan endlessly at the telly, no matter what was on, and I think she did this because she quite liked the confrontation she could have with some squares on a screen. Keys and Gray… everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it doesn’t mean people will believe you.

The worry among the Newcastle fans after last season’s finish, was that Ashley would use this as the ultimate excuse not to bother splashing the cash.

We expected maybe more than the dribble we’ve had, particularly in comparison to other clubs. The outlay versus income argument is certainly an interesting one, but if football boils down to a balance sheet, then everyone is stuffed. Everyone. What worries me is that Ashley cannot seem to see the value in Newcastle United, and by reluctant implication, Sports Direct, as ‘successful’, other than simple exposure on TV.

Spinning the budget as Ashley, Bishop and their pundit chums are so keen to do, you’d think we were trying to sign Lionel Messi.

Their failure to understand how much something costs, in this case, footballers, is to ignore the basic assumption that all clubs now make: you’re an English Premiership club, so you’ve got loads of TV money. Ashley knows how much footballers cost. What happened to buy the young potential and sell it on at a massive profit? He doesn’t even seem bothered about that anymore.

This matters because now that the season has started, and we’re looking at how the new lads fit together, we should also be planning ahead. His PR Pundit Pals say things to attract attention now, because they need the publicity. They need people to react to them, as it validates them, at least to themselves and their employers. But Ashley is a businessman; he surely understands and looks for growth. The risk of investment. He should surely be forward planning, or getting someone to help him to do so. Maybe he has; maybe the plan for the players is simple: don’t get injured, knackered or suspended.

Which leads us to their roles, as outlined, drilled, and coached by Rafa.

If we had more points from the first three Premier League games, where would the tactics discussion be? The players at Rafa’s disposal seem to be doing exactly what Rafa wants them to do. So far, it’s been hard for teams to break us down.

Unlucky against Spurs? Following the plan against Cardiff and Chelsea? It definitely isn’t pretty but it’s not the possession stat which interests Rafa.

Is it inevitable that there will be a moment of class or genius from the big teams, enough to say, stuff it, let’s have a go? By saying we haven’t got the players, what does that do to their confidence? Or is their confidence coming from a 10th place finish, and their role fulfilled?

Meanwhile, Ashley and the fans of other clubs who think we’re delusional may well continue to spout their received wisdom and lazy clichés. That any publicity is good publicity. It’s all in the spin.

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  • Paul Patterson

    Either way, I can’t think of any other business that actively sets out to antagonise and quell the ambition and expectations of it’s customers.
    Newcastle United is set up from the top to exist and at the lowest possible outlay.

    • Tony English

      The last business I can think of to do that is The S3x Pistols and The Great Rock and Roll Swindle.

      Ashley metaphorically spitting on the crowd and flicking them the V’s.

      • Will In Despair!

        My hope is that the 0dious goit’s reputation takes a hell of a hit, now being common knowledge, knowing he’s even capable of perjury (allegedly), and all business confidence is lost and he’s seen for what he really is!

        That would put a smile on many a peeps face 😊

    • Wezza

      Yep. We are certainly the only club in the world where it’s owners use PR to fool/lie to the media and fans.
      We can see the PR though and it isn’t working.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        not that it makes what ashley is doing any less reprehensible, but blackpool would like a word

        • Danimal

          I’m sure Ashley will be delighted when the Oystons finally leave Blackpool. He must be gutted at coming second in a cant contest.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The refs have certainly been against us this season as normal. Most weeks we play twelve men but as Rafa says we must stick together.

    • NUFCLX

      Rafa says a lot, he also says in so many words he got shafted on his transfer budget.
      Do u agree with Rafa on that.

      • Danimal

        I do.

        • Ron

          and me.

          • Paul Patterson

            I third that.

      • FatParosite

        For ƑŨĈǨ sake don’t feed the paid for morons…… Block them..

    • Danimal

      If he plays twelve men every week he’ll get found out eventually.

    • Danimal

      Was about to respond but can’t be arsed. Mission accomplished for you and your boss. Cheers.

    • Danimal

      This creature loves Ashley.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        So you do not agree the Refs have been against us. The Mag just hates Newcastle.

      • Will In Despair!

        Have you ever seen the film Basket Case (1982ish?), check it out in IMDB – I believe Mugpie is MA’s equivalent to Belial 😂

    • Will In Despair!

      Bah, if it wasn’t for luck and now all the Ref’s; we’d be top of the league! Pfft pfft pfft.

      Delusions of grandeur me thinks, regarding certain issues!

  • Danimal

    Can’t believe the morally bankrupt piece of shyte hasn’t bought Wonga yet (with your money).

    • Big Hairy Man

      Wonga and Ashley are made for each other. It’s a failed company, it’s unethical, it preys on the vulnerable and therefore ticks all the boxes for Fatty. He could probably buy it with the next instalment of TV money.

  • FatParosite

    What does Ashley have to do to make you stop setting foot inside his stinkhole…??

    • Down Under Mag

      My main issue with fans staying away is it will inevitably be used as a stick to beat the fans with rather than fans lauded for their action to force change. It will be constantly bandied around the media rooms and by away fans when the old “big club” argument comes up. It will be used as proof that we are just wanting success and won’t support the club when they aren’t spending and winning (the previous 50 years will make no difference.

      For some it is a badge of honour that no matter what they will never stop supporting the club they love, the club they grew up with. For others, it is simply a force of habit or their only get away with the lads or just that it is the one time a fortnight they can spend time with their kids taking them to the match and doing what their own folks did with them when they were young…a right of passage if you like. I don’t think asking fans to stay away is OK, it has to be their choice. I respect anyone who chose to stay away this season, but I would never presume to know why others still go nor would I cast judgement on them for what choice they made.

      • Damon Horner

        Stadium will never be built upon because we don’t have the crowds. We don’t have the crowds because we only want winning, attacking football. Lower income? Take it out of the transfer budget.

        You can see it a mile off.

      • TheFatController

        Maybe, if we are accused of not backing the team by irrelevant people, just let it go. Does it matter?

        If Ashley went because no one turned up ( and the FA would be on his case instantly – they hate empty seats) who would worry what some little antagonistic jealous fan of another club said?

        Worrying what others think or say, and avoiding doing what is right consequently, is no way to go in life.

      • Cockneytrev

        Staying away has to be done
        en-mass, 30/40000 staying away when the cameras are there, it has to be seen as a protest,, not a few staying away, it has to be an organised protest that is seen as a protest….

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Which will achieve what?

  • mactoon

    I don’t think Ashley used last seasons finish as the excuse not to bother splashing the cash. I think the fact we finished 10th. meant he thinks we didn’t have to spend. The excuse he used was when he came out on the first day of the transfer window and stated we were skint because of the alleged £90 million loss from the previous season

    • Kneebotherm8

      When we finished 5th he didn’t bother to spend either……..Anita was the one and only signing after that season…

      • mactoon

        I’ve always been of the opinion that he is happy to finish at the bottom of the Premiership with as little financial outlay as possible so he can continue to advertise SD. If we get relegated or are close to it, that’s when he gets the cheque book out.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Your opinion is spot on……

  • gordon

    Jesus much as I’d love to shove a brick in fatboy’s face I believe, given the choice, I I would actually gain immeasurably more pleasure from kicking the holy f**k out of Bishop. Look at the f*****g pompous [email protected] 😠

  • Danimal

    I was just thinking earlier this evening, if only someone could get Ashley and Trump into a room together, then arrange some horrendous natural disaster. What a happier place the world would be.