Rob Lee is a worried man.

The midfielder who was a key man in Newcastle United’s phenomenal rise under Kevin Keegan, sees the club now heading only one way.

Unsurprisingly, he lays the blame for this at the door of Mike Ashley.

Rob Lee says that ‘everyone in football knows that’ Newcastle’s 10th place finish last season was a massive overachievement, only brought about by Rafa Benitez’ expertise.

The once exception to this is the NUFC owner according to Lee and once again he believes Ashley ‘has blown a big opportunity’ at St James Park.

No surprise to the fans sadly, an owner who has only allowed any kind of major spending in the past when relegation has threatened, or actually happened.

The prime example being after finishing fifth in 2011/12 and having no net spend, only Anita bought in and a number of players sold.

The reality of course was that last year was a season-long relegation struggle and if results had been different on the final day, Newcastle could have ended up as low as fifteenth. Plus 44 points is the lowest ever total to achieve a top half finish in the Premier League era.

Worryingly, Rob Lee believes that this squad now is actually weaker than last year and with Florian Lejeune now out long-term, it is very hard to make a case for arguing against the former Newcastle star’s evaluation.

Like the rest of us he hopes things will prove better than they look and that there will prove to be plenty of goals in this squad. However, failing to score in the last three friendlies and Rafa Benitez having no time in pre-season to work with the new attacking players, are major concerns.

If pulling together, can the manager, players and fans combine to avoid a third relegation under Mike Ashley in nine Premier League season?

This is in the balance and would have been completely avoidable if Mike Ashley had done what any other normal owner would have done.


Rob Lee speaking to The Star:

“I genuinely fear for Newcastle United, I really do.

“They overachieved massively, finishing 10th last season, everyone in football knows that.

“Rafa Benitez did a magnificent job and most owners would have recognised that fact and backed him to the hilt during the summer.

But not Mike Ashley.

“He has blown a big opportunity and every other club, even the promoted ones, are spending big.

“I look at our squad and it doesn’t even look as strong as last season’s.

“Are there goals in that team? Hopefully…but I have my doubts.

I thought Rafa Benitez would have gone by now.

“Clearly he’s not a happy man, but thankfully, he is staying loyal to the fans.

“One day though, he will have had enough, and then we will be in big trouble.

“Despite all this unrest, the Geordies will never turn on Rafa or the team, and that is why Ashley can’t win this one.

“Not that he seems to care – being unpopular obviously doesn’t worry him.

“Sadly, he will just carry on running the club just the way he wants to.”

  • HarryHype59

    Fair comments from Rob Lee. A ball hasn’t been kicked, yet the club is facing a season of struggle, due to the short sighted penny pinching of the owner.

    • Ben Jones

      A ball hasn’t been kicked and pessimistic people foresee a season of struggle

  • Tweed Mag

    Rob Lee says what most fair-minded people are thinking, and have already done for a number of years. The only difference now is the increased pressure Ashley finds himself dealing with. His only tactics are to withhold cash for Rafa, use second rate hacks to spread his propaganda and generally ignore the obvious. Keep the pressure on his treasured brand and he will eventually go.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    We need a few more media linked icons speaking out about Ashley. If nothing else, it may be the year where everyone becomes aware of his motives. What’s needed most of all, is someone to quiz Ashley on where the money has gone. Before people mention overheads etc, I’d like to know how smaller concerns spend their winnings.

  • Leazes.

    Like Shearer its taken Rob a decade to get off the fence, and its us that have had to suffer, but alarmingly there are still ex-players out there who are pundits and are in the Ashley camp such as….

    Jermaine Jenas, Craig Bellamy, and of course Denis Wise, Ashley can still count on the likes of Ian Wright, Richard Keys, David Craig, and a posse of London journalists, and to a lesser extent the ‘good news bears’ of Thompson House.

    It has been a very long and lonely struggle for an era, and that was all because of the lie that was told by to Ashley about a fictitious debt that he constructed for the Asset of the stadium rebuild…. Hall and Shepherd remained silent, Ryder and Douglas made us all wear hair shirts….. for what?

    ….to allow the screw to be turned again and again without a squeak from them!

    I often ask ‘why do you think Charnley hides from the light’, and its for the same reason that we have an inquiring press’….. they are no friends of United.

    Yesterday both the BBC and Tyne Tees ran with the story of Ashleys letter but failed to look into the claims leaving it to Fans on the Street and Steve Wraith, they also ignored the letter from chi onwurah… maybe that’ll come today….

    …. they only had three hours to juxtapose the story!

    • Lostprofit DBC

      Unfortunately there are many out there who are happy to side with Ashley as they have issues with us, Bellamy and Wise for sure. This season should bring things to a head, even if that’s just MA burying his head in the sand and ploughing on. Before anyone takes action, I think we have to be aware of what his motives are whether that’s spite, money, revenge, Rafa or all. That way you can find where it hurts him. I personally think that he hates being criticised publicly but would be prepared to take relegation and lose money, to spite the fans and Rafa.

      • Leazes.

        He didn’t show his face last season at all so you’re right he’ll just carry on holding a gun to the head of the club.

        This has been such a dreadful death of a club, and it didn’t have to be so…. if Ashley had put the money into the squad and club infrastructure instead of using it to bale out his relegations to the championship, then the club may have enjoyed challenging for European places with a settled squad.

        Instead we had the madness of starvation rations policy, and a chairman put in place to seemingly play moneyball, without any understanding of the damage he inflicts again and again.

        Lascelles has made a comment on the lack of spending now as well.

        • Lostprofit DBC

          Totally agree, I’m sure Shearer will hold him to account as well. Overall though, lone voices via the media. We need widespread understanding and challenge. His PR machine is in my sights!

    • Ben Jones

      Like Shearer its taken Rob a decade to get off the fence, and its us that have had to suffer, but alarmingly there are still ex-players out there who are pundits and are in the Ashley camp such as….

      Kevin Lee, David Lee, and of course Kevin Lee, Ashley can still count on the likes of David Lee, Kevin Lee, David Lee, and a posse of London journalists, and to a lesser extent the ‘good news bears’ of Lee House

  • BillytheFish

    Premier League Fans, Stadium, and Manager…Championship Club.

    • Leazes.

      Third division owner.

    • MetalMickey

      Think you mean team, not club

    • Ron

      Champions League Fans, Stadium, and Manager…Northern, no, Southern League chairman and owner

  • Down Under Mag

    Other teams have signed players but we see time and time again this not always being a good thing, how much did Everton, Palace and such spend for last season and how did they fair??

    The spending money bit isn’t what concerns me, what does is Rafa not being able to bring in his first or second choice targets, having to make do with the bargain bin as if he was shopping for a cheap pair of trainers at one of his boss’ highstreet stores looking for the 70% off sale items…only this time he is working in an environment that places a premium on it’s products and the only items that he finds on sale are the rejects, seconds and faulty goods.

    On paper we look to be in for a gamble season as Ashley takes yet another punt with the clubs future. Kenedy back is a huge boost and offers creativity and calmness on the ball. Lejeune injured is a massive blow though as I believe he was our best defender last season once he had some time to get used to the English game. As long as Shelvey, Ritchie, Kenedy and Diame can pick up where they left off and Shar proves to be a good partner for Lascelles in the absence of Lejeune then I think we will continue to be solid defensively, but our forward threat will depend on how Rondon goes. He obviously has potential given his record for Zenit so hopefully his record at WBA was simply down to a bad team creating very few chances…

    Well fingers crossed…

    • TheFatController

      Hoping teams spending don’t have the right manager is a gamble.

      Do Palace have a new unproven manager ? Will everton be poor again now silva is there?

      Who really is a manager likely to not get the value out of their signings?

      Wolves and Fulham are well oiled machines with a lot of quality Now added.

      Southampton won’t be as poor. Huddersfield and Brighton are stronger and have that experience now and their owners back the managers.

      I really hope we have a few implosions and bad managers, but everyone is stronger, and two of the promoted sides are leaving us standing on the quality of player brought in.

      And they are all players the managers wanted.

    • Lostprofit DBC

      Another risk the fans and club don’t need. A gamble as you say and this excites Ashley. A few more owners like him and the game will be finished. It is now for me anyway. It’s worse than Scotland when only 2 teams can win the league and the majority of fans are just happy to be part of the EPL. Leicester broke the sequence but it won’t happen again.

    • Paul Patterson

      “The spending money bit isn’t what concerns me, what does is Rafa not being able to bring in his first or second choice targets, having to make do with the bargain bin”

      You’ve just answered/contradicted your own comment there. He has to make do with 1st and 2nd choice targets as he isn’t given the money. There’s £25m profit sitting there doing nowt and that’s before we get onto tv money and previous season profits . .

      • Ron

        £25m doing nowt, Paul, Paul, Paul who is paying Richard Keys?

    • Danimal

      Fair assessment.

  • Ron

    From Entertainers, to over achievers, to relegation possibles. Thanks for the legacy, now Ashley, please go.

  • Ben Jones

    When you think of the money these players earned from the club, any player from any club for that matter, most of these players will have earned 30m+ just from the clubs nevermind image and advertising etc, even if you half that for tax it’s an incredible amount of money(and fair play to them), obviously they have a life to supplement but you’d like to think they put a bit to one side, sensible investing etc. The ones who didn’t, well their opinions on what money should be spent are irrelevant really, they’re useless with their own afterall, the ones who were/are sensible with their money and did put it away investing, well they never seem to invest in clubs do they? It’s almost almost if they know something we don’t..

    Rob never did answer me when I asked him if he was going to start up a consortium to buy the club since he’s so unhappy with the owner and knows what needs done

    • Kenny

      🤡 💩

      • TheFatController

        SD are offering a pack of 10 clown emojis for £1.99.

        With that purchase, you can then get 5 tur d emojis for 99p.

        So we know what Ben jones is getting for Xmas.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I detest Mike Ashley and wish he would hightail it out of town but is all this negative talk before a ball is kicked helpful ?
    Every season we have ex-players, Pundits, Journo’s etc, All putting the boot into Newcastle United and their chances for the coming campaign.

    We all know the score in terms of what has or hasn’t been done with us and other clubs in terms of spend, So we should just get on with it quietly.
    I know the likes of Rob Lee, Shearer etc are right in their appraisals of the situation but would it not be better if we didn’t heap unnecessary pressure on the team ?
    It is going to be a tough enough season as it is without all in sundry pointing it out every two minutes.
    It’s like someone drowning with another standing beside the river bank describing the water !

    • Lostprofit DBC

      Lascelles doesn’t agree.

    • Rob Brown

      Exactly – but don’t let the “fans” hear you say that.

  • Desree

    Are the trolls trolling Rob Lee now in defence of their Master?

    • Kenny


  • Lostprofit DBC

    Is there anyone on here who represents Mike Ashley’s PR machine? Bet there is but you won’t get an admission for obvious reasons.

    • Rob Brown

      Is there anybody here who understands the finances of the club and doesn’t just follow the herd? I think not.

  • Rob Brown

    Another attempt to Bash The Ash.

    If last year we over achieved and that was only down to Rafa – we have Rafa again this season. That’s that bit of the argument shot down.

    Our improvement in performance was due to the arrival of Dubravka and Kenedy, and we have both of them, and more FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.

    The once exception??? Not sure about that.

    No – it wasn’t a season long relegation struggle – that’s what they call “exaggeration”.

    Yep we could have ended up in 15th – and as far as my basic maths skills go – I’m pretty sure that would still have kept us up. Any other results you’d like to change to suite your argument?

    Interestingly – if we had a 20 goal scorer on the books we could have ended up 6th.

    As for doing what any other owner would have done, does that include lobbing 144 million quid into the kitty interest free?

    In my book the only loss from last season is Lejeune, and everything else has improved – and I’m concerned that we might see that he was more of a contributor to our back line than Lascelles.

    So now you have suddenly decided to jump on the bandwagon?
    Only now you figured out Ashley has the purse strings tightly in his grip?

    The problem here is that this is not news. This is not even your opinion. You’re just repeating someone else’s opinion.

    “Worryingly, Rob Lee believes that this squad now is actually weaker than last year”. What – you’re worried that he believes that? Aren’t you allowed to be worried on your own?

    This site has just become a very poor attempt at a delivery system for anti-Ashley expression.

    Sad – very , very sad.

    • TheFatController

      A club legend is worried – Alan Shearer is also worried. Why would they say that if they weren’t? Think they have anger issues ? Bias?

      Maybe they are biased, but as legends, they maybe deserve some respect when they give their opinion?

      Who out there is better placed to evaluate a newcastle squad than men who spent 10-15 years in Newcastle squads, often as captain ?

      • Desree

        Another Ashley employee reveals their cover. Having a dig at Rob Lee? Seriously? Anyone who watched that lad play for NUFC knows how much this club and the fans mean to him.

        • TheFatController

          They’ve got more spare time on their hands now orders are dwindling due to the ‘redirect’ website sending people to competitors …

          Soon they may do the bag search on paid time, not the employees’ time

        • Rob Brown

          Again – WRONG. Not slagging off Rob Lee. Slagging off Jackie Smithfield.

          • Desree

            Ashley lackey. “Another attempt at bash the ash”

    • Danimal

      That just needed some capital letters and an exclamation mark and it would have passed for one of Trump’s early morning fact-free Twitter rambles.

  • Megatron1505

    “Shearer is wrong, Lee is wrong but Ashley’s letter is fair and factual, and we’re definitely not trolls”

    Ok lads, whatever 😴

  • Consett Mag

    I’m with Rob Lee 99%, but I’m not sure that we “massively over achieved” last season. Rafa got the best from what he had. We deserved to finish 10th. Either the final league table lies or it doesn’t.
    I think we’ve got to get behind the team, which despite the pathetically low spend, is probably better than last season’s squad. Loaning players is horrendously short term, and something I find embarrassing that reeks of zero ambition.

    • Mxpx

      I’m not sure Lee is wrong finishing 10th with 44 points was really lucky any other season and 44 points is bottom half of the table

      • Kneebotherm8

        Only Man City’s mega haul of points allowed any team to finish 10th on 44 points…..

        • Ben Jones

          Fair comment, it’s stands to reason the more points the top 6 take that them points have to come from somewhere

      • Desree

        And we beat man utd, arsenal in the same season.

  • JJSS

    Look at Arsenal. Valued at over £1.8bn. Finished 6th. 60,000 seater stadium in north London. Place in Europa League but with a history of Champions League. Ashley should look at that and decide does he want to invest £200 million over the next 4 years to bring this club up to even half the valuation of Arsenal? Maybe 4 years of top 6 would give us a £900m price tag. The fan base would be there. The cash flow would be there. I really cannot understand from a purely financial standpoint why he doesn’t see what an opportunity he has.

    • Megatron1505

      Because Ashley’s business strategy has never been to compete, in all his businesses the aim is to dominate. He destroys the competition by under cutting prices and aggressive buying strategies, then buys out the businesses he has contributed to destroying.

      Unfortunately for him he cannot do that with football so we’re simply left to idle over as a billboard for his tat shops.

    • Ben Jones

      Because 200 million wouldn’t bring the club upto half the valuation of arsenal, the maths doesn’t stack up,


      Club now + 200 million = 900 million

      That’s the same as saying the club is worth 700 million now, no one will pay half that @ 350 million

      ‘In 4 years time and after 4 years of top 6’ you’re implying that 200m now guarantees this fact and a 900m valuation. It’s crazy talk I’m afraid

      • My Cashley

        But he wouldn’t do it though would he, that is everyone’s point.He wont do it because it means spending money and all he is interested in taking out of the club to line his own greasy pockets #minority

        • Ben Jones

          Ahhh right, he won’t spend 200m to make an easy 350m profit because he’s?….oh yes that’s right he taking money out. Well if he’s taking money out why wouldn’t he double bubble it and put money back in to cream off 350m too?


          • My Cashley

            None of us knows how his mind works, although most of us can probably guess. Maybe it’s his deep seated hatred for the fans, he has no ambition to make us a strong team that will compete for things, his lack of ambition can not be argued, as his actions have proved time and time again.

            Let me ask you something, whatever your motive, if you are truly a NUFC fan, which I really don’t believe you are, do you think as one of his apologists he gives a s**t about you? He doesn’t yet you continue to hang out the back of him.

            And if you think your part of the majority, your as thick as the fat mans waistline 🤡 #minority

          • Ben Jones

            I don’t understand the question. If you live your life where you only care for people who care for you that’s fine, what makes you think I care for Ashley? Why can’t you look at my view as caring about the club? Which is what it is, you see I don’t buy into all the fake figures and accusations, my analysis tells me someone not taking money out of the club is the best we can hope for, it’s what we have, our only replacement is a chancer who will pump us with debt. It’s as simple as that. I do not believe we will get better for future long term stability, but I want him gone because people like you just won’t stop, so let’s give you what you want asap and we can watch the real decline of this club play out in real time, remember to sing loud and proud about how you played your part in making it happen

          • My Cashley

            I think you care for Ashley coz of the way you carry on, justifying his actions, even tho he’s been proven in a court of law to be a liar and generally comes across as incredibly slimy, untrustworthy, manipulative and spiteful human being/obese amphibian.

            I feel sorry for you more than anything mate, you must enjoy being bullied as that’s what MA is, and is doing. But I think lots of people have woken up to this, and unfortunately for you and the rest of your minority posse it might be the beginning of the end. Done engaging with you now, clown 🤡 best of luck

          • Ben Jones

            No worries.

  • Jonas

    We’d been ahead of Spurs the lions share.of a.decade and a half in every way and vastly at times – then Ashley arrived. Spurs have.moved forward reasonably as we easily could have.
    look at the difference now. Scandal.