Mike Ashley runs Newcastle United in a way that is unlike how any other Premier League club is run.

We all know the many weird and wonderful examples, such as using the football club as a prop for his retail empire, including renaming St James Park to the Sports Direct Arena without a single penny being paid into the club.

However, it is the transfer market where it is felt the most – by manager, playing squad and the fans.

It has been an ongoing problem that has dragged the club down, overall failing to invest properly in the squad, whilst when any kind of significant spending is made, it has usually been done in a chaotic way with conditions attached (only players of a certain age etc) that hamper sensible team/squad building.

Rafa Benitez is the latest to suffer under Mike Ashley’s ownership, with a net spend of under £1m since promotion, whilst Huddersfield have a net spend of £78m and Brighton £110m.

If anybody still doubts that Mike Ashley is bad for Newcastle United, how do you explain that NUFC are looking hot favourites to make it three relegations in their last nine Premier League campaigns?

Earlier today, The Telegraph revealed (see below) that Mike Ashley took £10m out of the club once the transfer window closed.

This followed a summer transfer window where the club made a £20m+ profit on deals in and out.

The club have refused to comment about the £10m taken out by the owner, when approached by the newspaper.

To be honest though, I’m worried that it was revealed to be only £10m Ashley has taken out.

The official NUFC Fans Forum minutes of the 24 September 2018 meeting (see below) had already informed us that a sum of money had been taken out by Mike Ashley, though it didn’t detail how much.

However, they did say that ‘by the end of the financial year we aim to pay back what is owed, in terms of short term funding, to whomever it is owed.’

Well basically, the ‘short term funding’ is only owed to Mike Ashley and in total it is £33m, so basically, if Ashley has taken £10m out so far, then in the coming months he fully intends to take out another £23m as per the official NUFC Fans Forum minutes.

Some of you may say fair enough, repaying himself money that he has loaned the (his own) football club.

However, this is not what other Premier League club owners do, they understand that from time to time they might need to put in extra cash for various reasons but don’t then later pay themselves out of the cashflow. They instead try to build the club up so when it eventually is sold, somebody is prepared to pay them enough that ensures they profit overall.

Mike Ashley wants it all ways though.

Take money out, which equals less money to buy players, AND then eventually make a massive profit as well.

If anybody thinks Newcastle’s league position is not connected to a lack of cash for signings, they haven’t been watching properly.

The Telegraph – Monday 22 October 2018:

Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, took around £10m out of the club over the summer, depriving manager Rafa Benitez of much-needed transfer funds.

Telegraph Sport can reveal the amount Ashley took out of the business as he suddenly decided to take back some of the £144m he has provided the club in the form of interest free loans.

Ashley had promised in an official statement back in May – as he had done 12 months earlier – that Benitez would get “every penny” the club generated in the Premier League, as he claimed he wanted the Spaniard to stay long term.

But instead he has decided not to stick to that pledge, with Benitez’s refusal to sign a new deal thought to have been one of the reasons for him doing so.

The club refused to comment when asked to confirm £10m had been repaid to Ashley and to explain why it was taken out of the club given the lack of financial support for Benitez in the transfer market.’

Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes from meeting on 24 September 2018:

AH: “There is an idea from fans that the club has £30m – £50m in the bank. Is that accurate?”

‘The club stated that it was an oversimplification to talk about a cash position at any particular point in the season.

“The cash flow has peaks and troughs through the season and has to be managed – including periods to ensure the club is not in a negative cash balance – with support given either by the owner or through an external lender.

“Either way, by the end of the financial year we aim to pay back what is owed, in terms of short term funding, to whomever it is owed.

“The amount owed to the owner was disclosed in last accounts and the figure is currently less than that.

“However the source of funding and level of funding required for the remainder of the season is not yet finalised, so this position may change.

“Premier League payments are not made in full at the start of the season and come into the club in three main instalments in July, January and at the end of the season. The club also receives smaller monthly payments.”



  • Tweed Mag

    Indefensible. Spiteful. Pathetic.

  • Paul Patterson

    That’ll be the £25m transfer profit gone for January then.
    Is Fraser fit enough to start a game yet?

  • Wezza

    10M? Rubbish. Add a 0 on the end of that. More KBA PR to try and scam us with the true amount and nature of cash being removed from the club.

  • panther

    so lascelles, shelvey or both packing their bags

  • Let’s be clear about this. The £33m figure is taken from the 2016-17 accounts (note 17 on page 24 or page 26 of the pdf submitted to Companies House). The minutes from the Fans’ Forum would suggest that all of those funds were paid. The Telegraph figure seems to be speculation and is unclear whether it relates to the current accounting period or 2017-18, which could make a total of £43m withdrawn.

    Given the House of Fraser takeover, it does not seem unreasonable to assume that Ashley has withdrawn the maximum that he had the potential to.

    • Sickandtired

      £18 million of that money immediately went straight to Mike Ashley let’s not forget.

      • Good point. It was an excuse for him to restructure the supposed “debt”.

  • Rabid Dog

    This is the sort of article The Chronicle should be running, not “Where do we go from here?” garbage.

    It’s about time these so called professionals stepped up to the plate and earned their living.

    • Sickandtired

      You ain’t wrong. They had a piece today which was nothing other than what other journalists have written! They are nowt more than lazy bloggers, as they sure ain’t journalists of any definition.

    • AbusedCourier

      Professionals??? Don’t make me laugh! Third rate cut and paste merchants more like.

  • robbersdog

    For f*ck sake, NUFC is a football club, not a private piggy bank!

    • toonterrier

      Well the fat greedy money grabbing so and so is always telling porkies and nothing will change until he sells up and moves back to his sty.

  • Sickandtired

    And I bet the club still ‘owes’ him more than it did in 2009 (£100 million). That, despite the fact he’s already repaid himself £29 million that we know of (2012 £11 million and Dec 2016 £18 million).

    Thieving robbing [email protected]

    • The £18m was part of the £33m, being a net £15m but bringing forward repayment of a larger part on the “loan”.

      • Sickandtired

        Indeed.

        2008 accounts, loans amounted to £100 million
        2009 end accounts, loans amounted to £111 million
        2010 accounts, loans increased to £139.8 million (due to relegation 1)
        2012 accounts, £11 million repaid to Ashley, loan amount reduced to £129 million
        2016 accounts, £33 million secured loan (SJH), £18 million of that immediately to Ashley. Loan amount now £144 million

        Mike Ashley has repaid himself £29 million so far, that we know for a fact. If, as this article suggests, he’s repaid himself the full £33 million from Dec 2016, then that’s £62 million he’s had back.

        Yet the accounts will show £144 million minus £33 million = £111 million …again! As I said, thieving, robbing, [email protected]

        • HarryHype59

          In return for most of the 2008 £100 “loan” he obtained outright ownership (apart from freehold) of a modern stadium. The debt was actually converted into ownership of an asset.

  • Toontone100

    I would be very surprised if it was ONLY £10m that Cashley took back from the club after the summer … I think it will be shown to be far higher in due course.

  • drc74

    come o spxnkster, lets defend

    • t00nraider

      Well he didn’t take any out when we spent £50mil net.

      • drc74

        why do u bother trolling

      • drc74

        your right, tbh i woyldne like to be man u now, can u imagine spending so much cash, but being absolute shxt, i mean if it wasnt for dodgy reffin, they would of been beat by a team whose now bottom of the league

      • Big Hairy Man

        Anything Ashley has spent has been recouped/embezzled many times over. The £50m spent by Rafa in the Championship was paid for by around £80m outgoing.

  • Mrkgw

    Utterly shocking. ASHLEY OUT!

  • Peaky

    Corrupt
    Unbelievable
    Nasty
    Thief

    Read the first letters down….

    • DC1964

      Like it!

    • Danimal

      Would make a good t shirt for the Sky matches.

      • Big Hairy Man

        It would indeed. It must have Fatty’s face on it also so no one is in any doubt who the c**t is.

        • Danimal

          That’s what I was thinking. It’s a Peaky blinder, so to speak.

      • HarryHype59

        I would buy one!

        • Danimal

          Just be careful to check you know who isn’t the one selling them.

    • Wor Lass

      Good job you said that last bit, Peaky, I was trying to figure out what a TNUC was!

  • TheFatController

    It looks as though Ashley has seen this season as a chance to take money out, thus reducing the sale price.

    He then was seduced by the likes of Dennis Wise etc saying the squad was better, and assumed under Rafa we’d be safe in mid table and thus he could sell to a decent bidder.

    Sadly he’s coming unstuck because rival squads and promoted teams have improved their squads massively by comparison to us, plus there is the track record of second season syndrome of promoted teams surviving one season but then losing momentum second season and being relegated. He ignored and didn’t have an ex pro telling him about that trend clearly.

    He’s gambled and lost. As ever. Fit and proper owner?

    • HarryHype59

      The greedy fat fool now owns a Championship elect club, as relegation is nigh on certain. An asset that was worth over £300m in August is now worth just over half of that!

      • TheFatController

        Smarter businessmen will now wait – its become like a new car or new technology, it fits in the ‘don’t pay top whack now, it’ll be a quarter of that price in a year..’

    • Down Under Mag

      If the price comes down then yes, all well and good. but do you honestly think this is about selling the club still?? It will be some clever accounting to dodge tax or maintain control over things…it wouldn’t surprise me if he is taking money out without reducing the debt so he has that cash available for next season when we go down and he can “loan it back” and add that to the debt as well.

      • TheFatController

        I think now the debt is irrelevant because it’s so high he needs a good sale price to get that back.

        Ita the high sum needed to break even for him that is stopping him selling.

        His vanity (two fingers up in a van? I rest my case) won’t allow him to sell without getting one up on us.

        Sadly no one will spoil the fat brat with the £400m he has asked for so he can be like that spoilt child with a new bike rubbing his schools’ noses in it that ‘you may hate me but I have this bike and get spoilt’

        Like Trump he’s motivated by childhood hurts, has to win, be the victor in petty stand offs where he sees himself as always the victim and thus entitled to be as nasty and selfish as he likes to punish people.

        This stand off could go on for years, now that he knows he’ll never ‘win’ by selling for £400m – he’ll look to ‘win’ in other ways, slowly taking back his money wherever possible …

  • BigHairyDog

    When Mike Ashley bought the club he expected to recoup every penny spent, when he saw the debts he loaned the club the money and again expects the exact amount back. When we were relegated through HIS mismanagement he again loaned the club the money. His mismanagement but he won’t pay for it!!!

    So when everything is said and done and Mike Ashley has sold the club to whomever he will have invested a massive £0,000,000 on the club. Whilst also taking out unknown sums for such expenditures as allegedly buying homes for siblings and the acquisition of a well known department store. Meanwhile in the past decade most fans have put on average around £8,800 (£800 per season) and they won’t be getting a penny of that back.

    Ashley then on top of that acquired free world-wide advertisement on prime time sports television for all but 2 of his 11 years, something a lot of companies would’ve paid a small fortune for. Anyone who thinks Ashley hasn’t leeched off this club long enough needs a thorough brain examination,

    • Steven05

      I honestly don’t think anyone does think like that. The only logical explanation why people on sites such as this try to defend him is for a little bit of attention (I believe the phrase is trolls, but it’s much sadder and pathetic than being a ‘troll’)

      After the fat cancer goes, we should put our energies into helping this type of person (troll). Maybe help them go to classes on how to build confidence and self worth, and eventually make real life friends

    • Rob Brown

      This is hilarious.
      So when did they included a “whose fault was it clause” in the loan paperwork?
      Using your logic when he sells he should give it away free.

    • Pezza

      So when he came in, he paid £133m for the shares and in the first 4 years, £129m to sort out the debts and losses, he could have said, hang on, this is FFS & DH’s MISMANAGEMENT so I can have a refund?

      Can you put a a avalue on ” free world-wide advertisement on prime time sports television for all but 2 of his 11 years, something a lot of companies would’ve paid a small fortune for.” .What is a small fortune?

      Truth is, if he put his £277m in a post office long term savings account, he’d have been better off.

      We are unable to post your comment because you have been banned by The Mag. Find out more.

  • HarryHype59

    In an era of TV money riches that exceeded £120m last season, how and why does this club need “loans” from the owner. The club must be self financing once it has received the mega TV money.

    It puzzles me how the “interest free” loan remains at £144, when the Fat looter has taken payments of £29m, £15m and now £10m out of the club over the past few years. No wonder HMRC are investigating this regime.

    • Down Under Mag

      And the debt has increased – go figure eh?

    • Rob Brown

      The club IS self financing now, but it still has to pay back the cash loaned when it wasn’t.
      And it’s not 144 million still owed – it was 144 million loaned with some of that paid back
      Is this really so difficult to understand?

      • HarryHype59

        C larko, There is and never was an actual loan as the money isn’t owed to an external party. The “loan” is owed to the owner whose flawed business plan results in the club losing the main income streams twice soon to be trice. The loan is used to justify Ashley looting the club.

        It is all very dodgy which is why HMRC are investigating NUFC.

    • Pezza

      I agree

  • Leicester Mag

    He’s been actung the urologist as far the club fans and city are concerned for a decade

  • Blackburn1066

    You lot still give him what he wants ( YOUR DOSH ) He is not the fool.

  • Down Under Mag

    What price the “debt” doesn’t shift though and this will be for some other payment smokescreen. For all the TV payments and transfer window profits, this just seems like some pretty shady finances going on at this club – no wonder the HMRC got involved.

    To be honest he can take what he likes out of the club as long as it is a prelude to lowering his asking price and F**king off. But so much for “every penny the club generates” B.S. – he obviously needed that back so we didn’t have the cash to spend.

    #wheresthemoneygone

    • Pezza

      Don’t be so thick. Seriously, you are joining a bottom feeding club on here.

      • TheFatController

        You seem obsessed with how intelligent you are ?

        • Pezza

          It depends on the company I am in

          • TheFatController

            No, you are obsessed with how intelligent you are.

            It’s blinded you to the true nature of mike Ashley for one thing.

    • HarryHype59

      The market is lowering the price more than our inept owner. NUFC are a Championship elect side as relegation is nigh on certain. Ashley has managed to reduce the price of his asset 50% since July.

  • Paul Bloomfield

    Taking funds out of a company for your own personal gains? Is this not embezzlement? Fraud?

    • Rob Brown

      Errr no – its called paying back a loan.

      • HarryHype59

        Troll alert!

      • TheFatController

        So he’s taking out money the club that it generates.

        I am sure you’ll call me ignorant, but hasn’t he twice told us Rafa will be given ‘all funds the club generates’?

        My ignorance leads me to believe he’s reneged in that pledge and this he’s just a two-faced self serving owner and not quite the decent bloke you have him down as. But I’m probably wrong, yes. He’s great no doubt.

  • graham18

    Not like the FCB to do this

  • Rob Brown

    Here we go again with the “free advertising” BS but this time you’ve got the nerve to complain that he’s taking back repayment of interest free loans. You don’t see that as ironic in any way?
    “Taking funds out of a company for your own personal gains? Is this not embezzlement? Fraud? ” – This sums up the intelligence level on display here.

    If he’s owed 100 plus million and he sells the club, that’s another hundred million plus on the asking price. I would honestly have thought that you’d be jumping up and down that he’s taking money back out. This has to be an indication that he’s preparing to sell and lowering the price, with possibly even a deal lined up.

    • HarryHype59

      Rob Brown…Clarko…Fleckman or whoever you are. There is and never was a buyer, as the club has never been for sale.

      Ashley now has zero chance of selling the club even if he wanted to. It’s only October, yet NUFC are already a Championship elect club due to the owners mismanagement. As such NUFC has lost half of its value since July.

    • TheFatController

      Lowering the price ? Why would any businessman buy a sinking ship at the cost of a healthy going concern ?

      As an aside, can I congratulate you on being smarter than the intelligence level on display. Is it genetic or the benefit of a great education? Asking for a friend…

  • Jeremy Fine

    I signed up for lifetime support of NUFC. What do I do now that they’re Sports Direct United.?

  • Pezza

    Oh dear, another article that mileads th

  • Lostprofit DBC

    We keep getting compared to Premier league clubs but we aren’t one. We are a Championship club in the premiership with top fans and manager.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Down before Christmas

    • HarryHype59

      I think we are already down. Ashley rolled the dice by skimming £20m off the club! His gamble has failed on an epic scale.

      Doomed!

  • Themoscow72

    Mike has every right to take the loans back as this not only reduces the debt but also the asking price of the club although not many on here will understand that. The debt certainly need to come down to £100m and then he would consider selling at £250m which would attract a lot of interest at that price. The person buying though would need at least £200m for players if we want to compete.
    For the record the loan movements are as follows which replaced bank and other long term loans. The figures represent Mike and Mash Holdings.
    2008 Loan put in £105m repayments £5m net balance £100m
    2009 Loan put in £12m repayments £1m net balance £111m
    2010 Loan put in £28.8m no repayments net balance £139.8m
    2010 Loan put in £200k no repayments net balance £140m
    2011 Net balance £140m
    2012 Loan repayments £11m net balance £129m
    2013 Net balance £129m.
    2014 Net balance £129m
    2015 net balance £129m
    2016 net balance £129m
    2017 loan put in £15m no repayments net balance £144m.
    There were some years when money was put in an equal amount put back which are not included in my figures.
    This interest free loan has saved us over £100m.
    The way some fans are carrying on I can see Mike taking loans back to cut his losses as why should he subsidise the club and receive all that abuse.

    • TheFatController

      Plenty understand that lowering debt reduces the asking price you drama queen.

      However, what you don’t get is that a selling price is not determined by debt and assets etc but by what the seller wants. Simple economics, drama queen.

      Why should he receive abuse? Because he’s a selfish, arrogant moron who plays victim (‘the police say I’m not safe’, ‘social media cause is in the hands of the Met Police’, ‘the City don’t like entrepreneurs’, ‘I don’t know what goes on day to day at my company’ – like you he’s a drama queen) and this feels entitled to exploits people to get even with a world that (clearly) victimises him.

      Like you he’s a child mentally waltzing around in an adult body.

      Like all children in adults’ bodies, from serial killers to trolls to exploitative businessmen. Better you seek help than act out your anger and hurt on society?

      • Themoscow72

        The above figures are actual facts bit the fans are not interested that he provided interest free loans. In a way I hope he takes them all out and we will see what happens to the club then.

        • TheFatController

          It’ll go to where we were in 1992, then someone like Keegan will come in and take it back right up the there.

          History clearly tells us what happens when bad owners take us to rock bottom. It provides a clean slate for someone new to quickly take advantage of the fan base to quickly do all the right things and maximise the club’s potential. Some ruthless billionaire will snap it up and want to make it massive to enjoy it and make money. Like many of the owners in the PL.

          Look at how quickly Wolves gained momentum.

          Has that historical confirmation of the reality ruined your nasty vindictive hate filled diatribe against the anti Ashley brigade ?

          • Themoscow72

            We had a few good years then the money ran out and Keegan jumped ship. The rot had set in long before Ashley came a long. Five points off relegation, crowds dropping and massive unrest.

          • TheFatController

            Why do you just move on to attacking something else.

            Look, here’s how it’ll play out.

            No businessman is going to pay £400m for an ‘almost t1ts up club’, they’re going to wait til it is t1ts up and pay £100m for it.

            So we’re all just waiting for the inevitable t1ts up to materialise and then it’ll all change quickly.

            At that point, Ashley’s loans etc will be history on paper, they’ll be irrelevant.

          • Pezza

            He’s given you the facts, you are arguing black is white here.

          • TheFatController

            No I’m not. You can’t say ‘every penny goes to Rafa and then take out 1,000million pennies.

      • HarryHype59

        Thermoscow72 is a pro Ashley troll on the Bishop payroll. Best to block it!

        • Themoscow72

          Moscow72 will be at Southampton on Saturday now via Reading as there is a train strike.

          • TheFatController

            Enjoy clearing the carriage and having it to yourself …

      • Bottler

        And how much is all the free advertising he’s had out of the club these past 10 years worth, I put to the MA apologist ? If sponsors had to pay for that scale of advertising it would have brought in revenue to the club that would by now account for most of his legendary loan, not to mention all the other money he is creaming off us through transfer money, his MASH holdings every time you buy a pie, beer, a shirt from the club shop….the bottom line if all fans are being exploited for his own capital gain!

    • X2

      Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, said:

      “Whistleblowers, parts of the media and a trade union shone a light
      on work practices at Sports Direct and what they revealed was extremely
      disturbing. The evidence we heard points to a business whose working
      practices are closer to that of a Victorian workhouse than that of a
      modern, reputable High Street retailer. For this to occur in the UK in
      2016 is a serious indictment of the management at Sports Direct and Mike
      Ashley, as the face of Sports Direct, must be held accountable for
      these failings.

  • HarryHype59

    The Sky TV money eases the cash flow issues. Three lump sums are received in July (pre season) , January and June. There are also smaller monthly payments made to ease cash flows.

    Cash flows are not an issue whilst the club is in the EPL. To imply otherwise is misleading.

    • Pezza

      It depends on player purchases but yes, it’s self financing, the author has written a stupid piece that could have been written at any time in 12 years, he’s able to withdraw funds at any time

      • TheFatController

        He can do what he likes, which is why he should go. His company is the most unethical FTSE listed company – that’s not something that’s happening to him, he made it that unethical.

        He brings shame to our club by that association.

        • Pezza

          He should go? Take the loans, strip the club and leave the shares to charity? Who wins in that deal?

          • TheFatController

            Why do you mention Saudis as if two wrongs make a right? That’s a pathetic argument – ‘done mention SD being unethical, when a handful of people were all for a Saudi owner’

            Wow, hey everyone, SD are ethical, Pezza just made a watertight defence by saying Saudi Arabia has worse ethics as a nation. Some also claim jimmy saville is ok because he’s not quite Jeffrey Dharmer

            Yes, I’d prefer him to go and strip the club back. I’m sure all true fans would support the idea of ridding the club of the toxicity and starting at the bottom and working back up without any toxicity.

            I can’t stand playing to hold on to 17th every season, and one out of every two failing. That’s not sport, that’s being an also ran wasting all your potential.

  • Pezza

    Let’s say the article is bang on. mA is taking £33m this year, say he gives notice on the £144m. He decides to sell players and gives himself a divi of £133m and walks out of the club, donated the shares to SBR fund.

    You have exactly what you want.

    • TheFatController

      I’d take that yes. Everyone positive rebuilding and pulling in the same direction.

      Nothing would be impossible at that stage, it would just take hard work and some smart people leading it.

      Great idea, let’s hope he’s reading. I mean, what’s the point in a PL club if no one enjoys it, might as well be lower and loving the challenge. That’s what life is about for me, not being patsies for a businessman.

      It’s why Keegan came to us in 82 – to build the club by galvanizing it.

      • X2

        Me too. You would have hope and something to support. The club’s dead now.

  • Paul Bloomfield

    Instead of him taking money out of the club and putting it into his back pocket that £33m could be spent on players. He will get that money back IF he sells the club, not investing in the team will surely spell relegation come May. He will not get that money back if relegation does happen as the clubs worth will drop dramatically. Get your finger out of your backside and spend money you did it with House of Fraser or do us all a favour and get out of our club.

    • Wezza

      The FCB is in full on spite mode now. He is taking every million he can now and has left Ian a broken shell of a club. Asset stripped to the bear bones.
      Even if he does sell for 100M at something point he has still mad a massive profit. This is personal now.

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, the club is worth £300m. A return (gross profit) on that capital investment of 10% would be £30m a year. Similarly capital growth of £30m would also be a quite tidy return. Newcastle has been in the top 20-25 Forbes list of most valuable clubs pretty much consistently and with poor team success, but reasonable financial results. He doesn’t need us to be successful on the pitch, just stay in the Prem, so he doesn’t take a hit on the club’s total equity. Ashley’s business model works for him. Everyone is assuming the loan(s) are separate from the club – not so – they’re a part of the club’s equity. Part of the value of loans to him is that they are capable of tax write down – very useful.