It is quite amazing how many journalists think they know all about the issues at Newcastle United with Mike Ashley, without having to actually do any proper research.

Or alternatively, even worse, writing stuff that they know is untrue but which makes for a better story.

Newcastle fans have been on the receiving end from Martin Samuel before, a West Ham fan who writes for The Mail.

Somebody who thinks he is an authority on Newcastle United despite being at the opposite end of the country and clearly not doing any research as outlined above, or deliberately writing fiction.

Martin Samuel claims that Mike Ashley paid off £144m in external debts when he bought Newcastle United, it is simply not true.

Ashley has £144m as the total debt owed to him by Newcastle United now but some of that has been added in the meantime due to his reckless unambitious running of the club, which has led to two relegations.

As for the debts which were paid off when Mike Ashley bought the club, they were simply part of the price of buying the club. In other words, if these debts hadn’t been thee to be paid off, then he would have had to pay that much more on the purchase price.

It is simply ridiculous to claim that Ashley didn’t know about the major amounts that were outstanding.

The biggest one being a £45m mortgage that was being paid off year by year (due to finish in 2016) to pay for the St James Park redevelopment. This became payable on demand if the club was sold, there is no way Mike Ashley and his people didn’t know this debt existed when buying NUFC. The same with the money still owed on players bought by the Hall/Shepherd regime, these amounts are prominent in every club’s accounts each year, as well as the money still owed to them on players sold in instalments.

What is also laughable is that Martin Samuel makes it out to be as though Mike Ashley was riding to our rescue, rather than as his advisors told John Hall, because he knew it was an ideal asset to help him promote Sports Direct around the World via the far reaching Premier League TV coverage.

As for that £45m mortgage that was owed on the money borrowed to turn St James Park into a 52,000+ stadium with massive corporate/conferencing facilities, even if you accepted this was somehow a debt Mike Ashley didn’t know about (even though he obviously did)….you are talking about him getting a massive modern new stadium for only £45m.

What would the owners of Arsenal and Tottenham have given to only be paying that for a modern new stadium? Everton want a new stadium and that will cost the best part of half a billion the last time I looked.

Martin Samuel claims Mike Ashley first put the club up for sale in 2009 ‘when a compensation claim from Kevin Keegan was considered to have endangered the club’s future.’

Not true again, it was in 2008 after Kevin Keegan’s departure and Newcastle fans demonstrated against him, when Ashley claimed he was first wanted to sell. A load of rubbish of course anyway, as clearly he was just trying to dilute the protests by pretending he was trying to sell Newcastle United.

As for Kevin Keegan to have ‘endangered the club’s future’, that is laughable. As the independent panel/tribunal found, Keegan had been constantly lied to by Mike Ashley and his cronies and had been constructively dismissed. Once again it was Ashley if anyone, who was endangering the club, not Kevin Keegan.

The biggest laugh of all though is Martin Samuel defending Mike Ashley by saying that he would sell the club if only he could find a buyer.

Imagine you live in a street of 20 or more houses and over the course of the last 10 years, a dozen or more have been sold.

However, your next door neighbour has had his house up for sale for these entire last 10 years but has failed to sell it.

Would you think…

What dismal luck the poor bloke has had over these last 10 years, or….

Obviously he has no real intention of selling and is just messing people about and/or got it priced way over what it is worth

These last 10 years have seen the majority of major clubs in England change hands, either sold in their entirety or new investors take major stakes, often controlling ones.

When looking up some info on other clubs for this article/response, ironic to see that in light of Martin Samuel making a big thing of Mike Ashley paying off NUFC external debts as though it was some generous act, it turns out that when Sullivan and Gold bought into the club he supports, West Ham in 2010, as part of the deal they also agreed to take on £120m of debt from the previous owners.

Owning Newcastle United suits Mike Ashley just fine and he derives massive benefits from it, just look at how his figures on the rich list have increased since he bought Newcastle United. The football club is a key factor in promoting his retail empire.

He has no intention of selling and as I indicated above, if he really was trying to sell, how come all of these other clubs have managed to find a buyer  and yet Newcastle United supposedly can’t?

Martin Samuel writing in The Mail:

Ashley’s Newcastle takeover in 2007 was also the answer to a financial crisis.

‘The reason the club were on the market was that Sir John Hall and the Shepherd family had run up short-term debts of £70m and recorded substantial further losses.

‘Hall had been trying to sell his stake for three years and Ashley paid off £144m in external debts.

‘Indeed, for a club with such untapped potential, it is hard to think of a time in more than a decade when Newcastle hasn’t been for sale.

‘The first reports that Ashley was looking to cash in emerged in 2009 when a compensation claim from Kevin Keegan was considered to have endangered the club’s future, and he would certainly sell now for the right price.

‘It makes the angry entreaties to get out of Newcastle ever more ironic.

‘Ashley would: he just can’t find a buyer ready to take the chance he did 11 years ago.’

October 2009:

Kevin Keegan won £2m in damages after he was constructively dismissed by the club, Keegan having his case heard by the Premier League Manager’s Arbitration Panel.

The independent panel found in his favour against Newcastle United following his departure in September 2008.

The Tribunal condemned the club for lying in public statements about Keegan’s role.

Announcing its decision, the panel released a statement:

“We declare that Kevin Keegan was constructively dismissed by Newcastle United Football Club Ltd, for which Newcastle United Football Club Ltd must pay to Kevin Keegan damages in the sum of £2m plus interest to be assessed if not agreed.

“We are satisfied that Mr Keegan left the Club (i.e. resigned) because the Club sought to impose upon him a player, namely Gonzalez, whom he did not want, in breach of the term in his Contract which we have found entitled and required him to have the final say.

“This was his evidence, which we accept, and it is supported by the timing of his resignation.

“Mr Wise telephoned Mr Keegan and told him that he had a great player for the Club to sign, namely Ignacio Gonzalez, and that he should look him up.

“Mr Keegan tried to locate him on the internet but could find no reference to him.

“Mr Wise told him that he had been on loan at Monaco but having checked out the details, Mr Keegan was unimpressed and told Mr Wise that he did not think the player was good enough.

“Mr Wise then told him that the player was on “YouTube” and that Mr Keegan could look him up there but he found that the clips were of poor quality and provided no proper basis for signing a player to a Premier League Club.  Moreover, no one at the Club had ever seen him play.

“However, notwithstanding that he made it clear not only to Mr Wise but also to Mr Jimenez and to Mr Ashley that he very strongly objected to the signing of Mr Gonzalez (he was to be signed on loan with an option to purchase), the Club proceeded with the deal and the transfer was concluded the following day, on 31 August 2008.

“The Club did so, according to its witnesses who gave evidence before us, because it was in the Club’s commercial interests to do so.

“It was what the Club described as a ‘commercial deal’ by which the Club meant a deal which was in the commercial interests of the Club.

“The ‘commercial interests’, according to the Club, were that the signing of the player on loan would be a “favour” to two influential South American agents who would look favourably on the Club in the future.

“The loan deal cost the Club nearly £1m in wages for a player who was not expected to play for the first team but no payment was made by the Club to the agents in respect of the deal.”

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


  • Scott Robinson

    From a poster on NUFCBLOG who isn’t usually daft, but still too hard to believe!!!!

    ‘Just spoken to my nephew….
    This has come from a person who works at the club. My nephew was with him at the match.
    It’s £320 million for the club plus £140 million for debt owed to Ashley.
    £460 million in total !
    He also said it’s a Chinese ‘Company’ when I queried if it was possibly a ‘Consortium ‘
    Seemingly the bookies will not take the sources money when trying to put a bet on that the Club will be sold ‘This Month’
    The source works for Newcastle United
    Look I can genuinely state this is exactly what I was told, I know nothing more….It could be accurate – time will tell. I have been told the name of this person but for obvious reasons I am not naming the person.’

    He might have been on the sauce.

    • Megatron1505

      It’s bollox, another Bishop drone trying to quiet the crowd.

      • Leazes.

        Thats a troll

        • Kenny

          Is it ?

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            Must’ve disagreed with him, once. Smart person, makes a lot of good points, but 48% of the population is a troll according to Leazes.

          • Leazes.

            Scott Robinson yup

  • Kenny

    another one of Fat Micks vermin with the Bishops finger up him, must be some brown envelopes knocking around.

  • TheFatController

    It’s funny the PR offensive for Ashley.

    They know it will make the fans hate him even more. So clearly they don’t care what the fans think.

    They just want sympathy from non-fans in view of the protests.

    And people say Ashley is thick skinned. The man weak, vain, insecure, and prone to feeling entitled and thus unable to accurately evaluate when he is right and when wrong.

    I suspect he always knows he’s right and thinks life still owes him, and is genuinely startled that we hate him.

    Aka: mental illness.

    • Kenny

      they don`t understand the culture up here if they did you wouldn`t get this sort of 💩

      • TheFatController

        They’re all very sensitive – not least Richard Keys, who went home to ‘get his mum on us’ and then realised he was 60 and matured enough to ‘go home and get the police on us…’

        I bet that 29 year old girl former friend of his daughter found him fairly immature.

    • Danimal

      Donald Trump in a Slazenger shell suit.

  • Paul Patterson

    Bo!!ocks.

  • TheFatController

    Could anyone confirm if you have had the police round for ‘hairy hands’ offences in the Keysgate Enquiry?

    Or anyone had a response to their quote for tarmacing his drive ?

    Martin Samuel has been bitten by Keys’ werewolf, it seems. Or maybe Bishop bit them both?

    Arrest me now.

    • Leazes.

      Nah nowt

      • TheFatController

        Mugpie will be calling the confidential line to ‘grass us up’ !

        • Kenny

          Mug to Mike hotline

        • FatParosite

          He can’t operate a phone otherwise he wouldn’t be a shut-in.

  • Big Hairy Man

    Martin Samuel is typical of the sports Journos at the Daily Fail. Total London/Manchester bias. Us Geordies should know our place and be grateful. Yes Guvna, thank you Guvna.

    • Paul Patterson

      I fink you now that noocarsel fans should now that they can’t hope to challenge for top six. They should also fank Mike Ashley for running such a smoove clab.

      • Big Hairy Man

        Fackin Joodies. Fink they’re samfink special.

      • Danimal

        Remember Stan Seymour and his ‘we can’t hope to compete with Liverpool’. Within five years we left Liverpool in the shade. Now we have another defeatist owner and his defeatist fans, ensuring that all that good work was wasted.

  • Ashley-out

    Pressure is starting to work on Ashley ok, i can just see him now saying to his PR team, get the Geordie`s off my back, what we need is a demonstration at the next home game and the next

  • Sickandtired

    Well, to start with he didn’t have a choice with the mortgage on the ground. It had to be fully repaid on sale of the club – as in the terms of the mortgage itself.
    If all debt had been ‘paid off’ then perhaps Samuels could care to explain why the accounts show that the club has £144 million of debt?

  • HarryHype59

    There never was an actual debt once Ashley bought the club. The £85m owed to external creditors was part of the price he paid to buy this club for a total price of around £210m. This included a modern stadium and a team that was one of the top eight in the EPL pre Ashley.

    The so called debt now stands at £145m due to Ashley’s flawed business model. It is however, a notional figure designed to ring fence the money Ashley has “loaned” the club. It has no real impact on the actual market value of the club.

    This is one reason why the club remains unsold at Ashley’s asking price of £400m. Ashley could sell at £250m and make a profit on his original investment.

    • Ed White

      Spot on. Had he paid commercial rates for his SD advertising, which Deloitte esteem at 12-15M pa he would have cleared this debt and the club could be up for 250M which seems fair and reasonable… and he’d be gone… he chooses I believe to market the club at a price at which it will not be sold imho

    • Danimal

      It’s ironic that Ashley himself said, only last year, that Newcastle could have been ‘the fourth club’ in 2007, as Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham hadn’t soared ahead at that time. His apologists on here like to make out that it’s impossible for a club in the northeast to do well. What can’t be excused is that, having missed the boat with the ‘fourth club’ thing, he has positioned us not as the sixth or seventh club but as the 16th to 21st club.

  • Kenny

    profits without fans, only 10 Premiership clubs made a profit without fans in the
    16/17 season. we were in the championship but I’d bet we`ll be one of them in the next review. that explodes the myth about empty grounds making no difference to club owners

    • Big Hairy Man

      There would be no profits without fans. The TV revenues would drop like a stone with empty stadiums because the viewing figures would drop. People are not going to pay a fortune for subscriptions to watch matches with zero atmosphere.

      • Kenny

        that`s why those on here that say it makes no difference are fools

      • Duh

        zero fans would be a problem but there are plenty of examples where tv money compensated for low crowds e.g. baseball in America, Italian football etc.

        • Kenny

          well that`s helpful seeing as we`re on about premiership football in England

          • Duh

            You are entitled to your opinion but what happens elsewhere suggests lower crowds may well not reduce tv audience that much of at all.

          • BanJones

            Ask Sky Sports what they think of Premier League games with no fans, they’ll tell you straight away.

  • Rob Brown

    I love the way you argue that he must have known about the debt, despite every report on the subject saying the opposite, then you say “and even if he didn’t…”

    So which is it?

    It’s also interesting that the Mags flock are having a crack at changing history with their own version of “actual facts”.

    • Kenny

      a billionaire with an army of accountants & lawyers didn`t know about the debt, right oh

    • Megatron1505

      Employs the most expensive legal firm in the country (Freshfields), who don’t tell him about the debt prior to purchase. Mike is then so enraged that he employs their top lawyer (Chris Mort) as the M.D. of the club upon completion of purchase.

      Sounds perfectly plausible right?

      • Leazes.

        Thats the same guy he’s come on as 4 different people….

        • Megatron1505

          And another one bites the dust.

    • Danimal

      I knew about the mortgage and that it had to be paid if the club changed hands. It was common knowledge. Due diligence or not.

    • FatParosite

      Ar$e maggot

  • Tweed Mag

    Further confirmation (if we needed it) that the professionalism amongst so called journalists is at an all time low. The article in the Mail also proves that the Ashley camp is worried – tomorrow will see the serialisation of Joe Kinnear’s memoir’s – starting with how he nearly signed Ronaldo and Messi (if only he had not lost his phone with all the contact numbers). Foreword by Sir Alex Ferguson. Dennis Wise has produced a book (it comes with free crayons) outlining how everything that went wrong at NUFC was blamed on him. Of course it wasn’t, that would be impossible. It was just everything he was involved in went wrong. This has not hampered his glittering career since.
    I have just made a lot of that up, can I have a job at the Mail?

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The debt was £147m full stop the accounts show it.

    • Kenny

      course it is, your mate Mike has impeccable integrity and would never ever tell porkies, would he

      • KRS1

        Apart from the times he loses employment tribunals and court cases!

      • FatParosite

        Don’t feed the gob$hites

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Don’t be so blindingly thick

        • BanJones

          Blocked

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            That taught me.

            You blocked me with you other account you dafty

          • BanJones

            I doubt you learned anything other than that you are shouting at the wind.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You aren’t doing a good job of blocking me fella.

    • Jonas

      In his letter Ashley claims it is £144m.
      Are you calling him a liar?

      and if not why not?
      how much of that debt has that stupid oaf caused himself, how much do you lose per season outside the PL?

  • Toonarden

    Don’t send this to us. Send it to Martin Samuel or his publication.
    Then let us know his response. Too many people getting away with rubbish being spouted but being unchallenged.

  • Jate Legend

    No news today, so let’s write something to wind everyone up.

    • Kenny

      diddums he beat you to it, that`s one of your jobs, WUM 🤡

  • Wezza

    Lies lies and more lies. This regime and it’s PR machine is rattled.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Also in the Mail was an article praising Wolves as wanting to win the Premiership in 7 years. What does the FCB want 7 x 10th place finishes. No criticism of the lack of ambition by NUFC. Are is 10th the best we deserve.

    • ghostrider

      Wanting to win the premier league at any time would be a dream of any club.
      It’s an easy thing to say.
      Accrington Stanley could say it and it would have no less relevance to Wolves saying it.

  • Leazes.

    Again I’ll say that the extent of the lie couldn’t have happened without the Evening Chronicles Mark Douglas and Lee Ryder….. the debt story hasn’t left in a decade….. and its still swilling about amongst journalists who want United out of the way!

    Ashley couldn’t have thought he was buying a Club its stadium its branding and its squad for the price of the shares…. everyone knew that it was a New Stadium…..

    Shepherd had been using it as his flagship in 2005-6 with ‘The Match’ a reality TV show on Sky One in which a group of celebrities form a football team … The matches were played at St James’ Park, …. it was a celebrated….It was Shepherds baby.

    The shock that Ashley found it a surprise total mortgage repayment must have been nonsense… you cant buy this club for just the share value….thats nuts!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      You have a nerve Leazes’, you lie, lie and lie again.

      • cmrowley

        I thought you had more about you, Ad-hominems are a sign of intellectual weakness.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          With Leazes’ there is an exception. I’ve tried to educate him, given him facts, figures and he continued to make claims that he knew not to be true.

          • drc74

            let me educate u coxkface, your saviour has, bargin bought house of frasier, going to be changing the face of it to include sports direct & flannels, thus poss changing tupe employees rights, hes also shafted 10,000 pension fund payers who will now lose between 10 & 15 % of their pensions, hes also arranged a deal which has resulted in suppliers only being paid for stock post sale, therefore has over 60 million of free stock to trade, what a guy

          • Ben Jones

            Drc74. Stop pretending you care about the workers, if you had your way they’d all be out of a job and we would have 90m worth of talent in our squad, ya kidding no one

          • drc74

            yep thats right, ben

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He’ll brand SD as Lillywhites in HofF.

            HoF went into administration, creditors tend to accept a reduced settlement. Most pensions are arm’s length now but you are right, HoF scheme will be reduced. Essentially, the money isn’t there to pay the pensions.

            He tried to take over HoF and Debenhams in the past, it’s likely that both could have survived, albeit on a reduced scale (duplication removed, branding according to the wealth of the area etc). Retail is tough, a Sports Direct owned HoF is better than what happened to BHS.

            Business is not a charity. If government supported business more, there would be less of this happening. This government at least improved business rates for the smaller guys but to an extent, the big town centre department stores were crippled by it. The opposition are no better, they hiked business rates up when the high street started suffering which guaranteed the decline.

          • drc74

            he took the pre pack option, meaning he refused it before going into administration, as soon as it went he swooped in and bought it, meaning he didn’t have to honour the debts, hes a real peach

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            That would be the same for anyone buying it from the admintrators. The administrators need to show they got the best deal.

          • drc74

            ask Philip Day who got the best deal, txsser

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            SD’s directors have to get the best deal for their shareholders, that is their duty. It’s not their role to consider the creditors of the old business or, unfortunately, the employees.

            The administrators are there to get the best deal for the creditor that appointed them. I’ve not looked into it but often, it’s either the bank or the crown. They are not looking out for anyone else although creditors can challenge them.

            The reality is SD is likely to be as good a suitor that is out there. There are synergies and allows SD some diversification.

            It has nothing to do with NUFC though.

          • drc74

            philip day offered the best deal, 100 mil which included safeguarding the pension fund, ask employees of hof if they think ashleys the saviour you seem to think he is

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            But he was slow off the mark and as I say, if the administrator was appointed by, say, the crown, their priority is not employees.

            You can look at my posts, I don’t hide them, I don;t think I’ve said he saved HofF.

            On the general point of a white knight, if Phil Day came in, he may have offered to keep the pensions, pay suppliers in full etc etc. That tends to miss the fundamental problem that the business was not performing and there needed to be a different strategy. Mike Ashley may be rationalising the stores, the distribution and inventives

          • Sickandtired

            And let’s not swallow the whole, ‘Mike Ashley’ line either. SD bought it. It’s their money, not his personal stash. Samuels makes the bloke out to be Robin Hood – when in fact another buyer was ignored even though his priority was to save the employees pensions first. Instead, the Banks and Bond holders went for SD as they were first in line for payment with him/them.
            As for safeguarding jobs, go ask the USC staff thrown onto the dole because Ashley wanted to avoid supplier debts.

        • Leazes.

          Okay then here’s another point…. if you deduct the £70 stadium extension from the share price Ashley paid then he thought he was buying a club with its stadium, branding, squad, for ONE TENTH of Chelsea’s debt (real debt)

          Ashley’s boyhood club Chelsea owed £701m at that time in its quest to buy players and titles…. smaller stadium too…..

          That argument is nuts I know…. did Ashley really believe that a gleaming New Build had been amortised into the cost of shares?….

          Lie from the start…. his actions from doomsday 2007 year one prove he hated the club!

          • Sickandtired

            He couldn’t possibly have, as the terms of the mortgage itself required full repayment on change of ownership of the club/or a sale.
            It’s the biggest lie of all the lies, which Muppets like Samuels and Co keep spinning.

          • Ben Jones

            Who did chelsea owe the debt to? Who owns chelsea?Interesting

    • Sickandtired

      No surprise at all. It was in the mortgage terms! Full repayment on change of ownership / sale of the club.
      Just the continued perpetuation of one of the most blatant lies about his ownership.

  • Ba ba.

    Fat

  • Jimblag23

    There are many things I could say about Mike Ashley, but for now I’ll just ponder on his pride.
    Why, if you can afford it, would you not want to be associated with success? He has all the money in the world yet still wants to appear to be stingy and unable to spend money. It’s bizarre, he has what? 20 years left on the planet and that’s if he starts exercising and cutting out the drinking and kebabs. You can’t take billions to the afterlife dummy. Supporting the club you own and running it professionally wouldn’t touch the sides of his fortune.

    • ghostrider

      Are you asking him to put his personal wealth into the club and forget about it?

      • Ben Jones

        ‘invest’ , ‘ambitious’ , ‘potential’

        Give us ya money Mike

    • Duh

      Honestly, I do think he is odd with logic and motivation I don’t understand.

      People say, oh he’s a gambler. Normally a gambler speculates to accumulates.

      Others say it’s all about sports direct, I am no marketing expert but here must be easier and more cost effective ways to promote your brand.

      Or it’s about the money. With £120m in wages, I can’t see there is that much money in the pl, that’s why it’s mostly rich people treating clubs as an indulgence. Then he’s had to subsidize the club a couple of times it got relegated through mismanagement so there is real risk to any profit you can squeeze out.

      So yea, I think he is a bit mental. If I were him, I’d get rid.

  • FatParosite

    Once again the Mag tries to incite fan bile through worthless lickspittles. Bulldog Samuel the hirsute cockney gob$hite is known for his factless guff. He writes in the Daily Fail FFS. Stop this parade of idiots, giving them webspace only divides us. Re-inforce the TRUTH instead.

    • Leazes.

      No I think it a pretty good idea to confront these people….. if you don’t they’ll go on and on…. at least we can maybe make them start to think that they were perhaps mistaken in backing a wrong-un……

      • Duh

        The chronicle seem to be increasingly anti Ashley to be fair to them

  • Brian

    Never trust a journalist that uses the word ‘simply’ in every paragraph then rambles on about ‘lack of ambition’ and ‘we deserve better’
    If you don’t like the product, shop elsewhere. As an exiled geordie I used to be proud of being a NUFC supporter but emotional fanatics like you have made us laughing stocks. Support or sup off.

    • Gallowgate Dave

      “If you don’t like the product, shop elsewhere”.

      It really is that simple to people like you isn’t it? Business first and sport a distant second.

      Regardless what you think of the article:

      It’s not a product.
      Proper fans can’t just shop elsewhere.

      No wonder you were exiled.

      • Ben Jones

        Proper fans. This is the problem Dave, you can’t accept we’re all proper fans with different opinions but the same passion. If NUFC is a religion, then the militants are the extremists, the ones who’ll spoil it for everyone if things are not done their way, and surprise surprise, there they are, telling the supporters what to wear(no ashley era tops) where to shop, to not go to the match and if you don’t….well you’re part of the problem.

        The crowd is regularly ~52k. These are fans buying the product. The people who do not go in protest and won’t go back till he goes are forgetting that they probably won’t get back in, reason? Proper fans have taken their place

        • Gallowgate Dave

          Ben do you even see the irony of chastising me for calling out probably the most plastic supporter comment I’ve ever seen on here, someone who describes footy as a “product” not a sport and telling us if we don’t like the “product to shop elsewhere”, yet in the same comment you accuse me of not accepting other viewpoints you yourself immediately launch into a tirade against “militants” and telling me “proper fans have taken their place” implying the “militants” aren’t proper fans? You’ve had a nightmare with that reasoning fella.

          For the record too I’m still a match going fan and if you’d bothered to read any of my previous comments you’d see I’ve been quite consistent I understand why some fans still go (obviously), why some fans protest and why some fans have decided to chuck in. I also don’t need to prove my support is better than other fans because I’m not 5 years old and I freely admit I have more important things in my life. But I’d never describe a sport I love as a product and just go support whoever won trophies instead of my own team.

          • Ben Jones

            Ha. I inserted the ‘proper fan’ to illustrate the point. I have taken notice of your comments in the past, indeed we discussed the 73rd? Minute stand up protest against Tottenham. I believe I was careful to not call you a militant in my reply. If I wasn’t then hopefully this reply goes some way to rectifying that

          • Gallowgate Dave

            Ben I try not to play my fan is bigger than your fan but I’ll make an exception for someone who describes it as a product you can shop elsewhere for. I’d rather sit next to you, Monk, Bobbi, SuperDes and Ghostrider at the match before I sat next to “Brian”. Actually maybe not Ghostrider, I’d rather be at an insurance seminar than the match if I was sat next to him. Pleasure as always Ben.

        • Squintytoonarmy

          There are a lot of proper fans staying away. A lot attending now are happy clappy day trippers. We had a better ‘proper’ following in the 80s

          • Ben Jones

            Oh no doubt the demographic has changed, it changed in the keegan years to be fair, building that stand and poof 52k supporters appear, half of whom barely passed through the gates prior, or maybe they were the proper fans staying away until the club was ran properly and the fans of the 80’s were happy clappers who were paying for their own dire football by turning up and endorsing the owner….

    • Leazes.

      Where are you shopping now Brian…. Old Trafford?….. Blyth?

      • SuperDesHamilton

        Leazes sniffs seats

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Wow, Jim, if you are going to say someone is lying, please do not publish a heap of lies yourself.

    • drc74

      dont stoo cockwomble bobbir

    • Ram Kishore

      They could have published the whole article written by The mail journo.. let the people decide about its truth or lies but only the lines that gets reaction

      • Sickandtired

        So, which parts of the article do you feel should have been referenced, or were truths and lies?
        I’d be happy to debate you at length about the inaccuracy of that entire Samuel article.

        • Ram Kishore

          It’s inaccurate and i know it but I’m just saying, they could have posted the article in entirety.
          When it’s possible to attach many past articles to a normal reporting at the Mag,it isn’t going to hurt.
          Just a honest opinion pal.

          • Sickandtired

            Sure, a link to the article wouldn’t have hurt. It wouldn’t have made it any more truthful though and that was the jist of this piece. Samuels is full of inaccurate [email protected]

          • Ram Kishore

            I don’t really have any idea about him since I am not from UK. But mag’s getting a bit toxic apart from some good articles now and then.. its the discussion i give a read..

          • Sickandtired

            Toxic because of nonsense like this. Perhaps Samuels can explain, if Ashley got rid of external debt, why Barclays Bank have a charge against the club, made on 23rd December 2016? Has to be signed by the FA too – so i’d guess it’s a charge against PL revenue. For what? Where’s the money? How much was it? Now, that’s a story.

    • Kenny

      🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 you haven’t got a clue you fukwit
      Troll vermin 🐭

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Ahhhh, Micky love, you managed some words this time..

        What is a “🤡🤡🤡”

        • Kenny

          you think you know it all, but in fact you know sweet FA
          you scum. you`re just another troll

          • Leazes.

            Wrong….he’s not another troll… he’s the same troll.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I just see a little box with a cross, it looks like an envelope. You want to write me a letter? Awww Micky Love.

    • drc74

      your saviour iwhose bargin bought house of frasier, going to be changing the face of it to include sports direct & flannels, thus poss changing tupe employees rights, hes also shafted 10,000 pension fund payers who will now lose between 10 & 15 % of their pensions, hes also arranged a deal which has resulted in suppliers only being paid for stock post sale, therefore has over 60 million of free stock to trade, what a guy

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        I’m reading this wrong, how is the stock FREE? Did SD not pay £90m?

        Inheriting stock from an ailing business is not always how it appears on the balance sheet. Inveriably, it’s slower moving stock or dead stock.

        • drc74

          he waited until it went into administration, rather than save it before, MEANING he doesnt have to pay the suppliers for the stock the stores already have, therefore as reported on the money site, the suppliers are going to lose out to tune of 60 mil, if u dont think thats a problem, ASK former woolworths workers what happens when suppliers arent paid, THATS why theres calls for ashleys latest project to be investigated by the dept of trade

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Ah, OK. The creditors will get a settlement of so much in the £.

            SD have seized an opportunity but they have paid £90m. That £90m will need to be allocated by the administrator. It may seem flippant or tough but businesses that go into administration or liquidation do not tend to pay their suppliers in full, I’ve been on the receiving end a few times myself but that is business. The retail sector has massive changes and whilst there are a lot of well-meaning hand-wringers about, how many use sites like Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, ASOS etc. I bet many who bemoan the lack of a living wage but wear clothes made in Bangladesh, Vietnam etc. You can’t have is all ways.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Not sure what this has to do with Jim’s rather unfortunate piece.

  • PoolToon

    To all the Ashley sympathisers. This isn’t a dig. Answer truthfully.

    Are you happy with the ambition of our owner?

    I’m not asking if you’re happy with the way the club is run, or whether you’re happy about our sound financial footing. I’m asking if you’re happy with our owner’s ambition.

    Are you happy that the owner doesn’t want to back our world class manager with signings he’s shown is needed (I’m not talking about spending tens of millions of £’s on players). We’re spending 90’s levels on players with hundreds of millions of £’s coming in.

    I don’t care how much you believe he’s got our club stable, which in some aspects he has, but you can’t be happy with his ambition for our club..?

    • Ben Jones

      Yes for the reasons you’ve given. This window has took me by surprise but there will be a reason, either cashflow, Rafa contract or using the money to make the club look real purdy to investors.

      I genuinely believe we will wake one morning within the next 6 months at the announcement that the club has been sold, that being the case if this window helped facilitate that buyer then I think the people who want him out will be happy.

  • Scottie Chugger Dearden

    The Daily Fail, I thought that paper was for people who got confused at the thought of Asylum seekers torturing Pa%@os? SIMPLY lazy journalism looking for click bait Samuel, Keys or Ashley fantastic firing line.

  • robbersdog

    If there’s one thing worse than being talked about, it’s not being talked about. At least we’re big news, we’re still a ‘thing’, and I think it’s both amusing and flattering that the glitterati of football punditry (Gray, Keys, Samuels etc) keep sounding off about us.

  • Carverlier football

    I hope Martin Samuel doesn’t have a mortgage – if so, shame on you Samuel you irresponsible reckless maverick! Who’s going to ride in and save you from the inevitable financial ruin caused by your unconventional practice of borrowing from a financial institution!? But don’t worry, I know I guy who’ll pay it off for you – interest free! Well, not including the 100% equivalent interest when he doubles your debt… Sure you’ll still be in hock to him 11 years later and he’ll limit your regular income, and you’ll lose your zest for life and all your dreams for the future will be extinguished but hey – at least you don’t owe the bank!

  • drc74

    mikes such a hard worker, i think he deserves a break, can i suggest the canaries, in his private yatch

    • Murdy

      How about the Bermuda triangle?

  • SuperDesHamilton

    We’re just a wee club in the north, yet all these charvers break their neck to talk about us haha