Mike Ashley has always been keen on his five year plans at Newcastle United.

Regularly over the past decade, the club and Ashley’s PR machine have claimed that any number of five year plans are in progress (see below).

This is quite ironic when Newcastle United, under this owner, are clearly a football club who only live/exist from one season to the next, or cynics may even claim, they live from week to week.

It is painfully transparent that Mike Ashley uses the ‘five year plan’ claim to try and present a public facade at the club which suggests there is some kind of plan to grow the club over a long period of time. A blatant attempt to try and shift focus from the here and now.

The latest (see below) is Mike Ashley’s people’s briefing The Chronicle with: ‘Benitez is keen to have more financial power at St James Park but also wants to make changes at the club’s Academy and wants a better training ground.  The Sunday Sun has learned that all three of those conditions could be met between over a five-year period – which would be the course of the initial contract offered to Benitez back in June.’

So with Mike Ashley now under the spotlight and more pressure than ever before at Newcastle United, we are presented with this nonsense from his PR machine. Supposed to believe that if we (and Rafa Benitez) just show a little patience, for five years, ‘everything’ he/we want will happen.

I believe this just about as much as I do that Mike Ashley was genuine about the club being  properly up for sale 10 years ago, it just being bad luck that it still hasn’t been sold a decade later.

These are desperate moves from the Ashley camp to stifle protests, I have a feeling that Newcastle fans won’t be fooled this time…

The Chronicle – February 2009:

‘United have mapped out their future and are banking on their youth and academy system to bring through the best in homegrown and foreign talent.

Managing director Derek Llambias (pictured above with Mike Ashley) told the Chronicle:

“In five years’ time I would hope we would be challenging for everything.

“We hope to be like an Aston Villa but you need to have solid grounding under your feet.

“Mike isn’t afraid to spend money out of his own pocket.

“We aren’t a selling club, we’re a buying club.

“We are out there in the market.

Club statement – June 2009:

“The Board have set a five year plan to promote core values of credibility, viability and sustainability both on and off the field of play at Newcastle United.”

United for Newcastle meeting – February 2011:

‘Even if the club reaches the Champions League in five years, those prices will be the same under the (10 year) deal.’

Derek Llambias – September 2011

‘From time to time we are approached by people claiming to have an interest in buying the club. Our message to them is clear: buy a box for a commitment of five-seasons and then we’ll know you’re serious.’

Eddie Rutherford (Head of Facilities) – September 2018

“If I say I want all this money to do everything I want to do in one go, I’m not going to get it so you need to be sensible. These are things we need to do, and do it in a nice progression.

“Five years ago to today, it’s absolutely phenomenal so I expect the same in five years time.”

The Chronicle – October 2018

“Benitez is keen to have more financial power at St James Park but also wants to make changes at the club’s Academy and wants a better training ground.

“The Sunday Sun has learned that all three of those conditions could be met between over a five-year period – which would be the course of the initial contract offered to Benitez back in June.”

(Thanks to @bigchrisholt for the inspiration for this article)

  • Greg Pullen

    Spend money on players, it’s simple! Would love Rafa to stay and investment in infrastructure but ultimately the utter neglect on everything, culminating in the first team squad in recent years is a disgrace. Get out of our club now!

  • Paul Patterson

    Nothing new and just a reaction to the protest news.
    Bishop’s PR in full swing.
    #court proven liars.

  • Leazes.

    Thopse 5 year plans were sold by Mark Douglas to United’s fan base, this guy calls himself a good friend to the club…. you bet he’s a good friend to the regime.

    Reading Mark Douglas he doesn’t comprehend the situation and seems to be in favour of peering through rose tinted glasses.

    The sports Editor is in complete denial of the seriousness of the situation favouring a view which overestimates the capabilities of the squad, and underestimates the other strugglers desire to also spend their way out of trouble.

    Counting points available and looking to the history books for Gypsy Rose Lee’s predictive assessment might work in his head but it won’t do it in reality…..

    ….One Injury or layoff to Dubravka, Lascelles or Shelvey and its goodnight Vienna!

    Also in denial that he’s taking briefings from the club is the man who set up a ‘Live Blog’ of the Pizza House Summit, and supplied a photographer for what exactly?

    He denies being fed takeover stories which he happily prints as fact to feed a hungry fanbase eager for a sale….. its a betrayal to present this nonsense as truth!

    Ashley has just installed a metal sign in the atrium at the Milburn concourse for a few thousand quid…. he’s not selling because the club has never been for sale…. not because there isn’t a buyer!

    Ashley wouldn’t have lasted this long in Liverpool….. the Echo doesn’t have a patsy like Mark Douglas to keep the nonsense going!

    #BoycottWolves #AshleyOut

    • Sickandtired

      Douglas, Ryder, Waugh, are like kids with their noses pressed to the glass of a cake shop window. They aren’t allowed in, so they write stuff they have to make up (or plagiarised from elsewhere) and formed in a manner in which they hope the shop owner is finally going to throw them a few crumbs.
      How hard is it for our own City’s newspaper to actually represent and support the fans against a despotic owner?
      The sad events down the road show exactly what a good owner means to a club, supporters and community.

      • Leazes.

        Its not a Newcastle paper anymore…. it changed its name from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle to the Evening Chronicle then to the Chronicle….

        Owned from Salford by Trinity Mirror and printed on an industrial Estate on Teesside….. driven up the A19……

        ….Its Sports desk reporters support amongst others….Bradford City, Liverpool and Carlisle United….. then there’s Chris Waugh who is a United fan but unfortunately under the influence of Douglas and Ryder….

        …..nobody steps out of line and they reinforce their hostility and politics by interviewing each other rather than the Charnley gang….

        …..Ashley couldn’t have survived a decade without Douglas.

        • Billmag

          Boycott it’s printing premisses is the way forward, apparently Ryder went down like a led balloon on Talk💩 is that true never heard him just what I was told.

    • Wor Lass

      Was Gypsey Rose Lee Ryder`s mother?

      • Leazes.

        No…. his mums surname is from the east riding area.

        • Wor Lass

          You definitely need to get out now and again, Leazes! Interesting things going on at Rangers – they`ve shown us the way all along.

          • Leazes.

            Rangers have people who own the club and can take on their sub contractor….

            Ashley owns our club and is his own contractor, there’s nobody to stop him except the board…. the role of a board is to secure the clubs revenue and future….

            ….but we don’t have one.

          • Wor Lass

            I seem to remember the fans acting together to demonstrate and boycott the club`s merchandise. Didn`t they market their own or am I making that up?

  • Down Under Mag

    The problem is, even if Ashley and his minions were serious about it (and I don’t for one second believe they are here btw), they need to remember the little boy who cried wolf.

    We have heard this sort of thing so often now and been left with nothing but broken promises that I don’t think even the most eternal optimist believes anything positive out of this regime any more. It normally coincides with season ticket renewal but this appears to be, on the face of it, nothing more than Bishop P.R. spin to try and deflect some attention from the growing s**tstorm that is brewing as he begins to realise this isn’t “all blowing over by September”.

    Growing talk for a boycott of the Wolves game live on Sky. I actually hope people listen. I have backed people wanting to go, but there is clearly a point where doing nothing achieves nothing and a mostly empty stadium will show a live TV audience that there is a problem and hopefully show Sky how important fans actually are to their international brand and maybe people in charge will start to take notice of what Ashley is doing. I suspect what will actually happen though, sadly, is there will be a few who don’t turn up but there will still be 30k+ at the game as there are a lot of fans who may be dejected but are content to bury their heads in the sand or just willing to leave it up to everyone else to sort out…it’s like people who don’t vote because “my vote wont make a difference” mentality.

    • Leazes.

      The biggest problem is the chronicle Sports desk who simply take and report literally any line that is spun to them….periodically the papers Editor steps in to try and save some credibility for the newspaper.

      It doesn’t work anymore…. Ashley couldn’t have survived this long if questions were asked by the paper, or statements scrutinised before selling them to the fans.

      Just the feel of a regime which hides tells you there is something wrong, and when little fragments come out it gives an inkling of what this ‘nice little group’ are all about,

      Why would a Chairman hide? Why has the club been silent for a decade? Why don’t they engage? Where has the money gone?….. aah!

      • X2

        The Chronicle is in the gutter. I imagine Ashley saying to himself “I’m a disgusting human being but at least what I’ve done has made me a billionaire”. What is the motivation for Ryder and Douglas to spin Ashley’s PR?

  • Joe g

    Get real 2 all fans Ashley is going NO wear.we no it. 2 the all fans GROW A SET OF B…S, we are becoming a louthing stock. STOP CRYING AND STOP GOING 2 THE GAMES. It’s a JOKE. SIMPLE AS THAT.

  • Joe g


    • Wor Lass

      You owe me one – I made it look like you did that on purpose! lol

      • Kenny


  • Joe g


    • Wor Lass

      You can say that again.

  • BanJones

    Words from the Ashley camp? He always speaks the truth, just like me and I used to play for England when I wasn’t in the recording studio with John, Paul, George and Ringo back in the day like. I went to the Moon with Neil and Buzz when I was kid.

  • Kenny

    See, he is going nowhere, he has no intention of selling, the club for sale is a facade. the Fat [email protected] needs to be driven out with protests & boycotts.
    It’s all down to the fans & more importantly those who hold season tickets.

  • Tweed Mag

    Five year plans, written in five minutes, that don’t last five days. Is this the best they can come up with? Do any of the journalists reporting this drivel ask serious questions before going to print? Spineless waffle mongers.
    Ashley/Bishop/Barnes/Penfold we don’t believe you. Give Rafa some backing in January or shut up.

  • Geordiegiants

    So sad watching Skysportsnews this morning, Leicester a club in mourning over such a good person. I genuinely think people would be partying if our odious thing died. There just isn’t any need to go through life being that horrible to people, there is no doubt that things are getting on top of him, let’s hope a heart attack can kill him off.

    • Jin Patel

      I want Ashley out but ‘lets hope a heart attack can kill him off’? you really are a disgusting human being

      • Geordiegiants

        Give you head a shake he is a disgusting human being, despicable. I hate nobody on this planet like him, I hope his whole family suffer the way he is causing suffering to all our Geordie families.

        • Jin Patel

          hahaha. caused harm to our families has he? verbal abuse? physical abuse? forced you to go to games at gunpoint does he?

          his whole family deserve to suffer too? wow. get some fresh air mate, it will be good for you.

          • Geordiegiants

            I think your fully aware of what he does to the Geordie family. I detest him with every fibre of my being and more and more people are starting to feel the same .

      • panther

        no Ashleys actions are disgusting and I cant wait fr him to die, just hope its excrutiating

    • panther

      if that ws Ashleys helicopter, I would be dead too, partied to death

  • joe mac

    ZZzzzzzz…wake me up in 5 yrs!

  • Sickandtired

    Fatty hasn’t met any of the promises or self professed ‘conditions’ during his ownership. Who in their right mind – other than The Chron numpties – would believe a word of it?
    There was once a plan to emulate Arsenal. That got changed to a plan to emulate Villa. A few weeks ago there were stories of scrapping the youth system altogether. 11 years of under investment and asset stripping is the reality.

  • Wor Lass

    The man`s got more patter than the Chinese army in flip-flops!

  • 45709

    I’ve got a plan, leave the club this week

  • Kneebotherm8

    The man who wants to sell the club has a five year plan?……….doesn’t add up really…

    • Leazes.

      When the chronicle interviewed head of facilities Eddie Rutherford after criticism of neglect he hit back with plans for the atrium refurbishment…..

      I didn’t think he meant the permanent metal SD sign that was installed….

    • panther

      the five year plan is lie for another ten

  • Danimal

    The new five year plan is…five more years of living week by week, lurching from one self-inflicted crisis to another.

    • panther

      then another and another and so on

  • Hughie

    Another joke. The club is a laughing stock and has been for decades. The odd short flash in the pan during the Harvey, Keegan, Robson eras was not sustained because we have had a succession of greedy naiive owners who pretend to care and an appalling HR record with employees from the Directors down who are not fit for purpose. The 50k fans and ridiculous TV money sustain these people today. We should be up there consistently with Spurs or Liverpool. Ashley has simply kept the joke going. At least we had a few genuine stars over the years. This is the most boring team of overpaid nonentities I can recall at SJP, sleepwalking into another relegation with everyone elses money.

  • JohnnyH

    Chronicle + Bishop + Ashley = one and the same.

    I wonder how long it took them to dream this one up.

    Our 5 year plan should be to get Ashley the justice he deserves.


    “All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

    (Edmund Burke)

    • AbusedCourier

      Anybody noticed that Bishop always has a face like a smacked @rse.

  • bob0411

    Well they got one thing right – emulating Villa!

  • Lostprofit DBC

    In 2009 they were right. The future proved that we are like an Aston Villa.

  • Mike

    Ha ha ha Panto season starts now at St James park look behind you ……

    • Mike D

      But he said he’s not a pantomime villain.

  • AbusedCourier

    Five year plan??? Same as the current 11 year plan??? Rip as much money out of NUFC as possible!

  • robbersdog

    A five year plan? Chairman Mao had one of those and it led to the deaths of 45 million people, whereas Ashley’s plan will merely lead to the death of a once great football club.

  • Wezza

    “Yes Rafa sign the contract an we agree to put all those demands into place.”

    The old bait and switch ploy!

    The only 5 year plan is to take even more and stick it to us geordies for crossing the FCB.
    EVERYTHING this club says is a lie.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”Hope to be like Aston Villa ” What,marooned in the Championship with Steve Bruce as manager ? Start stockpiling those cabbages now !

    • MadMag83

      Well we’re certainly a lot closer to Villa now. However I don’t think we’ll ever see the day this club is in danger of breaking FFP whilst Ashley is around!

      • Mxpx

        Interesting idea financial fair play maybe there should be rules introducing minimum spends too

  • 1957

    I always associate 5 years plans with political parties wanting your vote. They get elected then by year 3 or 4 claim the situation has changed and they can’t do what they promised, they ask for more time… as often as not they get re-elected. In big Mike’s case it will be 48 or 49 thousand home supporters filling the ground, will he deliver of course he won’t, finances will mean he needs to have another 5 years to deliver.

  • panther

    he cant have another plan, his last lie was the club is for sale

  • Blackburn1066

    What a load of Cr-p

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Sell Lascelles, Shelvey.

    5 year plan 2021-2024
    Promotion from League One, then Championship. Recover Season ticket sales to over 40,000. by 2022.