What is the point of any football club?

Well looking in the history books I think that at least in the UK, they became the main way that the working man let his hair (flat cap) down after a hard week grafting.

It was the working man at play, packing into football stadiums for their Saturday entertainment.

Having a few pints and talking before and after the matches about the standard of refereeing and especially re-enacting those glorious moments when the star players had turned on the skill.

Nothing that much has really changed in terms of the basics, apart from a more diverse crowd demographic, especially when it comes to more women attending matches.

However, for Newcastle fans especially, because I am one of them,  I don’t think very much has changed at all.. Just normal people turning up to watch their team, hoping for some entertainment and dreaming of one day winning something.

This Mike Ashley era has though really dragged us down to a place where we thought we’d never visit.

We have had other dodgy/not fit for purpose NUFC owners in the past but never before have we seen anybody like Ashley.

A business plan where survival in the Premier League at the lowest cost is the only aim. No interest whatsoever in the football side of things and actually no intention of even trying to progress and potentially win something.

What if it hadn’t happened, what if somebody else had bought the club?

No guarantees of course that things would have been any better but no reason why they might not have been.

Excitement, drama, even winning something, or at the very least competing, could that have been us?

This is a brief look at what has happened at other clubs since Mike Ashley took over at Newcastle in 2007:

PREMIER LEAGUE

2016 Leicester win title (and quarter finalists in Champions League in 2016/17)

FA CUP

Winners

2008 Portsmouth

2013 Wigan

Finalists

Cardiff, Everton, Portsmouth (again), Stoke, Hull, Villa Palace

LEAGUE CUP

Winners

2011 Birmingham

2013 Swansea

Finalists

Villa, Cardiff, Bradford, Sunderland, Southampton

EUROPA LEAGUE

Winners

2008 Zenit

2009 Shakhtar

2011 Porto

2014, 2015, 2016 Sevilla

Finalists

Rangers, Dnipro, Werder Bremen, Fulham, Braga, Benfica, Ajax, Marseille

It isn’t a case of saying that any/all of these clubs are rubbish, or lesser than Newcastle United. It is simply a case of saying that if these clubs can do it, why not us.

I still think over a period of time that Newcastle could then build and one day be getting in amongst that top six and potentially qualifying for the Champions League and just maybe, build and build from there. However, at the very least, there is no reason why NUFC can’t be like these clubs above and having a go at trying to win things, you know…trying to compete.

We all know about the comparisons with the 11 years before Mike Ashley arrived: runners up in the Premier League, competing in the Champions League and UEFA/Europa most seasons, FA Cup finals and so on.

Ashley’s people will spread the word that football is very different now and impossible to repeat all of that. I’m not convinced it is impossible but I am certain that this attempt to smother any idea of Newcastle being able to compete for any honour whatsoever, is a deliberate strategy of Ashley and his minions to keep us all in our place.

The insult of the ‘delusional’ Newcastle fans ironically being cultivated the most by our club’s own owner.

These next 11 years will see many more surprise packages, maybe not another Leicester amongst them, but who knows?

That is the key, nobody knows what could happen if a club gets lucky with a few signings (Vardy, Mahrez, Kante at Leicester for example) and with a well run and properly financed Academy you happen to bring through a handful of very good players, maybe you just happen to come by a very good manager who knows what he’s doing and what it takes to win trophies (Rafa?).

Under Mike Ashley though, we will never ever be surprised, except in a bad way.

As always, Newcastle fans don’t expect success, all we want is a club that tries to be the best it can be.



  • TheFatController

    Mates supporting other clubs recently asked me ‘what it’s like under Ashley?’

    I told them last season we scored about one goal per game, sat in the relegation zone or just above it until a late flurry, went out to lower league team in LC, beat a lower league team in the FA Cup before going out without trying next round, and signed no one of real note, and made no progress off the field for the future.

    Then I hit them with it – ‘and out of Ashley’s 11 seasons, that’s the second best we’ve had…..’

    ‘Ah…’

    ‘But we knew that it would be like that before the season started, of course’

    ‘Ah….ok. A bit weird that?’

    ‘Well…Yes and no – Ashley is clever. It’s his apologists among our fans that are weird’

    • Scott Robinson

      It’s the ‘Ashley Anoraks’ (NUFC fans?) in the North east (some posting here) who are a bigger problem than the daft pundits, so you are spot on.

  • Wezza

    More damning statistics from clubs who show the one key word… AMBITION. We have none, footballing wise anyway, the owner is ambitious to take as much as he can from the club.

  • Jezza

    The bottom line is that Ashley wants NUFC to be two things:

    1. A highly profitable revenue stream generating funds he can invest into his core sweat shop business.

    2. A huge free advertising vehicle for his core sweat shop business.

    He has got absolutely zero interest in the football side of things at our club.

    • Scott Robinson

      He would though want us to fluke a cup final defeat or European place just for the inevitable plaudits from his pals in the media. Imagine if we finished in Burnley’s position what the daft pundits would have said pro-Ashley’s running of the club!

      • Jezza

        He would undoubtedly enjoy basking in the reflected glory of Newcastle United winning a trophy but he will not reinvest one penny of the club’s substantial profits to try and make it happen. At the end of the day, the huge ammounts of money and free advertising he can take from our club are all that matter to him.

        • molend

          I don’t have the figures, but no doubt somebody does.What did Ashley pay for Newcastle 11 years ago? What was the value of, say Liverpool then? What’s the value of the two clubs today? Whatever way you look at it, he’s not been very clever. OK, he may have saved twopence hapenny on advertising and selling players, but in the big picture, he’s not done well, has he?

          • Sickandtired

            Allegedly £134 million for all the shares. H&G bought LFC the same year (2007) for £219 million.
            A bid last year of £1.5 billion for LFC, which was rejected.

    • Mung Bean

      and 3. (a bonus) A zombie club, as a means to maliciously sink the boot into a fanbase, and city, he has little care for.

  • mactoon

    “For Newcastle fans especially, I don’t think very much has changed at all.. Just normal people turning up to watch their team, hoping for some entertainment and dreaming of one day winning something.”

    It’s certainly changed for me. Gone are the days when I used to meet up with mates before, during and after the match and talk about everything football, Ashley has literally sucked the enjoyment from the whole thing.

    • Sickandtired

      It’s beyond a dream to win something now – it’s an absolute fantasy.

  • Stephen

    Why not vote with your feet I have.
    Newcastle will always be my club, that was my late fathers legacy, taking me as young boy.
    At this moment in time I choose not to attend
    Reasons are in this article.
    There was a time not to long ago when my support was devout home and away and that support could be awakened but not with Ashley running the club.
    If more people stay away things will change but while they blindly follow we will be stuck with this leach

  • qasja8709

    O︁o︁a︁u︁h︁h D︁u︁d︁︁e︁s ! T︁︁h︁e Li︁︁s︁t w︁i︁t︁h N︁a︁k︁e︁d︁-︁Wome︁n︁s f︁r︁︁om y︁o︁u︁r C︁i︁t︁y w︁︁a︁s︁ pu︁b︁li︁︁s︁h︁ed
    H︁e︁r︁︁ee︁ ̩️︁︁o︁n : t︁︁u︁4︁a︁.︁m︁e︁/︁︁i︁d︁︁0︁7︁8︁︁6︁︁0︁1 💋

    • uason27

      LOL ︁Th︁a︁n︁k︁s︁ ︁B︁r︁o︁o︁︁o︁!︁! I’︁v︁e f︁o︁u︁n︁d t︁h︁︁e︁r︁e︁e m︁y T︁e︁a︁︁c︁her N︁a︁︁k︁e︁d ! H︁a︁a︁h︁h︁a︁a︁h︁︁

      • cangilin

        ︁H︁a︁a︁h︁h︁a︁hh l︁u︁︁c︁k︁y m︁a︁n

  • Sickandtired

    The sad fact is we have an owner who is not the slighetest bit interested in football or this football club. No Board, two non accountable cronies as henchmen and a MD who is as clueless and negative as the owner.
    Nil investment in the training facilities, Academy, St James’ or commercial revenues and continued minimal spends on the team itself.
    Football clubs build success through pulling in the same direction to achieve the aim of competing to win something.
    When that desire is not prevalent right throughout the structure and fabric of the club (other than Rafa and most players) then it should be no surprise to anyone that we are as ineffective as we are.