Sir John Hall has been speaking about Newcastle United and Mike Ashley.

The former owner claiming that Ashley is ‘serious’ about selling the club.

Something that many Newcastle fans find difficult to believe when Newcastle United has supposedly been up for sale for over 10 years, without a buyer.

Sir John Hall also repeats the reason as to why Mike Ashley bought the club in the first place, using the worldwide Premier League TV deals to promote and grow his retail empire, especially in East Asia. However, the former owner also claims that Ashley wanted the team/club to be successful, only for ‘bad decisions’ to derail that possibility.

The Newcastle fanbase simply sees a cynical and manipulative use of NUFC by Mike Ashley, rather than any remotely genuine concern for what happens to it as an actual football club.

Interestingly, when talking about people looking to buy football clubs these days, Sir John Hall claims: ‘People coming into football now do so not because they love football, but because they smell money.’

If anybody truly believes that Hall’s main motivation was a love of football when he got involved at Newcastle United, the facts tell you different.

Nobody can deny that Sir John Hall was key to setting in motion that relative success Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson brought to the club. However, it was a massive business opportunity and money making opportunity for Hall.

Along with Freddy Shepherd, Sir John Hall took millions out of the club on a yearly basis in salaries and share dividends once the club was flaoted on the stock market.

Only last month in an interview with The Guardian (see below), Kevin Keegan stated that it was the ‘greed’ of Hall and Shepherd that ‘led him to quit’ Newcastle United back in 1997.

Newcastle United would have been in a far far better position to get success on the pitch, if it hadn’t been for the fortunes taken out of the club by Sir John Hall and Freddy Shepherd whilst they were in control.

Before of course the final massive pay-off when we were then sold on to the nightmare that is Mike Ashley.

Jack Walker is somebody who stands almost totally alone, in terms of being a fan owning a Premier League club, who only had only the one motivation of bringing it success, rather than gaining financially.

Kevin Keegan when interviewed by The Guardian – 25 September 2018:

Why he (Kevin Keegan) walked away from Newcastle in 1997:

He talks about the time that Hall, then chairman of Newcastle, approached him to manage the club the first time. “He said the two people talking to each other right now can save Newcastle United – you’ve got the passion, I’ve got the money.”

And he admits it was the same passion that led him to quit when Hall put the club on the stock market. “It was this greed to get every penny they (Sir John Hall and Freddy Shepherd) could from the float. This guy from the City, Mark Corbidge, was basically running the club, and he asked me to sign a 10-year contract now or leave. I just walked out. I walked back home and said to [his wife] Jean: ‘That’s it!’ She said: ‘What are we going to do?’ I said: ‘We’re going to America NOW!’”

Sir John Hall as quoted by The Chronicle, speaking at a charity event on Saturday 13 October 2018:

“I think Mike Ashley is serious in his intention to sell, but there aren’t many people with the sort of money to buy it off him.

“There certainly aren’t in the North East, anyway.

“There has definitely been interest in the club, I know that, but clearly nobody has yet given him the price he wants.

“If you have fallen out of love with your business, you have to sell – and I think Mike’s fallen out of love with Newcastle.

“If someone wants to buy a football club, they will come along and do it. It won’t be a long, drawn-out process done in public.

“People coming into football now do so not because they love football, but because they smell money.

“But, when it comes to Newcastle, you will need to spend £300m or £400m to buy the club, and then another £500m over five years to really make the club competitive if you want to change Newcastle’s fortunes.

“It’s not just about who comes along; there has to be success or they have to be able to bring success.

“He had the intentions of taking the club forward. That’s what he (Mike Ashley) told me, anyway,

“He told me he wanted to use the club to help grow his business in East Asia, which I thought would benefit everyone because it would mean Newcastle United would gain a wider fanbase, and grow too.

“But things went wrong, he received some back advice which led him to make poor decisions, and he’s never been able to wrestle that back. I’m sad it hasn’t happened how he thought it might.”



  • Paul Patterson

    “He had the intentions of taking the club forward. That’s what he (Mike Ashley) told me, anyway”

    The court proven liar told you that, did he?

    John Hall is an accessory to the Newcastle United crime . .

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      Exactly !

  • Mrkgw

    I will always be grateful for the great footballing years which John Hall brought to Newcastle. For they truly were magical times. Nevertheless, that good was completely undone when he sold the soul of the club to Mike Ashley, whose neglect has probably seen us have the most miserable decade in the history of the club. We have been humiliated, the club decimated and been made to become a laughing stock for long enough now. And ultimately, John Hall played his part in that by selling to such a career pantomime villiain.

  • Themoscow72

    Mike Ashley will sell if some one bids £300m or more end of story but that is a big ask. Then there will be very little money to buy players perhaps £20m each transfer window at best so it will take a cash rich owner to get us further up the league. Keegan left not because of their greed but because we were going on the stock exchange and the money to buy players had dried up. John was never a football man but Douglas and Freddie were with vast knowledge of the club.

    • Wezza

      “will be very little money to buy players perhaps £20m each transfer window”

      There’d be at least some TV money to spend because it wouldn’t be transferred to MASH Holdings. The accounts you swear by even state transfers between parties do not need to be recorded. Convenient. I’m done with you Monk-Moscow. You’re a blatant wind up merchant and not a Newcastle fan.

      • Themoscow72

        I speak the truth. Income be round £175m, Wages £100m, other costs £40m leaving £35m to spend over two windows. Rafa and his team cost round £8m and average bonus £10m, National Insurance payments and pensions will £12m and normal wages easy £70m maybe more. Not a wind up merchant but do enjoy reading the accounts and cannot wait for March.

        • Wezza

          Where are you getting this information from? Serious question. Show me where wages would be 100M for this season. Keeping in mind you have been caught lying before.

        • Wezza

          So where are you getting the information that our wage bill is 100M this season?

  • Hughie

    Nothing has changed. There are no genuine philanthropists in football club ownership.Look at all Newcastle’s owners– eg the McKeag era. It is done for business and status reasons only, mainly as a platform for marketing a company or business interests. Ashley–SD; Hall– local empire; Mckeag– solicitors— etc etc. Anyone who believes otherwise is a romanticist.

  • Kneebotherm8

    “If someone wants to buy a football club, they will come along and do it. It won’t be a long, drawn-out process done in public.
    How correct is John Hall on that one?………all these potential sales of the club in the public domain are pure smoke and mirrors.

  • kevin Walsh

    Sir John Hall was once quoted as saying he would never sell the club to one single person – maybe Ashley is married – I don’r Know

    • Ron

      Is it possible to marry a bank account?

  • Billmag

    And still no regrets from SJH for selling to fatty, he obviously didn’t have a football interest in the club otherwise he wouldn’t have taken the money and ran.

  • Tweed Mag

    It would be better if John Hall kept his distance and his thoughts to himself. He certainly ‘smelt the money’ when they decided to float the club and then again when Ashley showed up with his readies. We are grateful for his part in supporting the club in the 90s, but he left the club in the hands of an asset stripper.

  • Leazes.

    Businessmen only coming in because they smell the money’…. oh boy!

    You wake up to a headline like that!….. from John Hall.

    You know the only reason the Chronicle stayed on his side (and continue to) was because they were the lever for Halls ambition, they helped him topple the McKeag’s and Rutherford’s.

    As far as I know there’s only one club that has been used as a milk cow by two successive dynasties….and that is Newcastle United….

    ”We’ll buy the club but the fans are going to pay for it”… boy did we pay.

    Hall had financial difficulties in 2002…. but NO,,,,,, it wasn’t United….

    …..it was his Cameron Hall Developments at Wynyard which was the problem….. that’s why he wanted to sell (Cameron Hall filed a huge loss) not to worry John didn’t lose out, his son still lives in the Palatial Lord Londonderry;s house Wynyard Hall and John livres in Spain…. they sold Land (3000 acre’s and United shares to help cover the Wynyard deficit…..

    United had never been a problem financially…. and it still isn’t a problem for owners…..the lot of them have been taking for over 20 years! We were paying out hefty sums of interest to the bank but it was for the stadium rebuild which brought in more than the interest….. you can see how it was beneficial, but the directors were taking what was left of the benefits…. ‘at the end of the day we are businessmen!’

    No they aren’t all like you John….. and all newspapers aren’t all like the chronicle who aren’t just good friends to the club….. but very good friends to the Halls too!

    Hall still managed to squeeze out £300,000 in two donations to the Conservative Party…..

    I didn’t know knighthoods were so cheap.

  • Mike

    Kettle black springs to mind……..Hall & Shepherd sold out

    • Waxi

      Hold on with the Shepherd bit as he was lying in a hospital bed and Hall sold his shares to the FCB putting Freddie in an untenable position. It was Hall who sold out not Shepherd.

      • Paul Patterson

        Shepherd was far from perfect but to screw him over like that was cowardly, instead of just waiting a few weeks.

        • Leazes.

          Shepherd was party to the floatation, so he must have wanted to sell at one stage.

          • Waxi

            It was the way Hall did it and to come out and say they smell the money is just unbelievable. Yes Shepherd was not perfect but for Hall to do what he did is a disgrace to all who have supported NUFC. Money Money Money and that is why his Halls mate TFCB has got his hands on our great club.

          • Mike

            I thought Freddie and Doug were the ones enjoying Spanish ladies of the night and calling Geordie women dogs, Shearer mary poppins etc …they had to resign from the board and NUFC lost 6m off their shares.

          • Leazes.

            You only lose money on shares if you sell them at the wrong time….they didn’t.

            Yes Douglas Hall and Freddy were in Marbella…. where Llambias and Jiminez’s good pal Simon Jordan has a business (selling and renting luxury Villas) and were caught in an entrapment scenario.

  • Lord

    This quote is telling: “If you have fallen out of love with your business, you have to sell – and I think Mike’s fallen out of love with Newcastle.”

    The first bit is true. But I don’t think Ashley has fallen out of love with the cash generator our club has turned out to be.

    • Carverlier football

      True – he’s not fallen out of love with SD and NUFC is all about the benefit to SD

  • Waxi

    It’s all bull anyways lads the FCB is only trying to divide us with yet another takeover story. Keep up the protest and please please please support the boycott of the wolves game.

    • BanJones

      I’m boycotting Wolves.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Right enough, Hall put in something between 600,000 to 900,000 thousand but walked away with millions only few short years later !

    • Leazes.

      The fans have bought the club twice in the last 25 years!

      If we had a mortgage repayment plan attached to the season ticket the club would have been ours years ago.

  • Realist

    Football is a business now whether we like it or not so you either support the football club or wash your hands with it and football in general. This is the harsh truth, football and the world in general is rotten to the core due to greed and power.

  • Steven05

    If you buy a football club and run it successfully, you tend to make money…

    • Geordiegiants

      Very true, look at manure and they are winning things any more.

  • Cockneytrev

    Fracking Hypocrite!!!!!!

  • Par84

    John Hall go and F**k off you stupid old tw*t. You sold the club and fans out years ago for your few pieces of Silver.

    You, your delinquent rat faced Son (Douglas) and his fat Jabba the Hutt sidekick are no better than the FCB nonce in charge now

    • Geordiegiants

      Very true and I couldn’t of put it better my self.

    • Wezza

      True but the FCB is much worse and has taken hundreds of millions.
      Where’s the TV money gone these last few years?

      • Tweed Mag

        Very true. All these side stories should not detract from the pressure to find out where all the TV money has gone. If Rafa had the money to spend, we would be in much better shape and more attractive to buyers. I now wonder if Ashley purposefully keeps NUFC in the doldrums to frighten off a potential buy-out. Is he that clever? We know he is a gambler, despite the two relegation seasons and the threat of another. Monk-Moscow still loves him though, despite everything.

        • Wezza

          Yes and further proof Monk Moscow is not a Newcastle fan.

          • JohnnyH

            Not that further proof is needed

        • JohnnyH

          I’ve often wondered the same thing, but I always come back around to thinking he’s just vindictive. He hates us.

  • joe mac

    some people sell clubs for the same reason!..

  • 1957

    I was once told that the Shepherd had previously found a buyer for the club but Hall rejected it because it fell short of his £50m price for his shares and that Ashley was the first offer that met/exceeded that.

    Selling was a necessity to prop up CHD and refinance Dougie’s lifestyle, so I don’t believe the implication in his interview that it was Ashley taking the club forward that sealed the deal… also I don’t subscribe to the hard done by Freddie stories, yes he’d been in hospital but he was also looking to get out of the club.

    • Leazes.

      Sir Johnny had to sell…. absolutely….

      it was Cameron Hall that was in trouble not United as many journalists have portrayed….

      ‘Ashley the saviour’ spin was a heap of nonsense from the start and its still difficult persuading people otherwise!

      Ashley couldn’t have done this to United without Douglas and Ryder!

  • JohnnyH

    On the subject of greed and corruption;

    The sale of Wembley to a foreigner fell through today. The Sports minister expressed her disappointment that grass roots football would not now receive any money from the £600 million sale, Wembley the global icon of football would have been sold to an American tycoon FFS.

    The PL are fiddling £2.4 BILLION per season to each other, (equivalent of selling Wembley 4 times per year ) some of this money is supposed to go to grass roots football. My mate runs a youth team on bingo cards and donations. Gets F**k all from the PL or indirectly from the FCB

    Corruption on an industrial scale is killing the game. That’s where the moneys gone. No doubt.

  • Mr wobert

    People come into football because they smell the money…his nose was working overtime,when he came in and when he left,
    FFS. it’s as obvious as the nose on your face, no pun intended.
    Smell money, let’s call it f****ng greed plain and simple