No seriously, you do.

This Mike Ashley attempt at running Newcastle United in an efficient and profitable manner rails against everything the Premier League actually stands for and markets itself as.

The Premier League and it’s TV paymasters give each club a certain figure every year for its performance in the division, with the bottom club receiving around £100m at last count and each subsequent place in the league bumping up the revenue further depending on how ambitious it is during transfer windows.

Now I was privy to an interesting debate on Talksport on Tuesday night, where the presenter Andy Goldstein and his sidekick in the studio, Jason Cundy, were arguing the toss over the bottom ten clubs’ merits for being in the Premier League.

Cardiff copped an unfortunate amount of criticism for being a Championship team competing in the Premier League with Cundy actually saying they don’t actually deserve to be there (harsh) and that they’ve made no effort or attempt to stay in the league. The insinuation that owner Vincent Tan is quite happy to pocket the £100m+ and then disappear back down to the Championship and receive parachute payments and give promotion another go the following season.

That brings me nicely onto Newcastle United.

If Cardiff have abandoned all attempts to stay on the Premier league gravy train, then surely that is also what Newcastle United’s owner Mike Ashley has done. Ashley has made no effort to have a crack at this league because he simply doesn’t need to. £100m+ came his way last season BEFORE profit was made in the transfer window and BEFORE any parachute payments are received in the event that we are relegated. It’s simply a win/win.

The summer transfer window has once again seen the owner take a gamble. He has spent money and bought players, but the big draw is obvious, it’s Rafa Benitez. Ashley values Benitez, no really, he does. He values Benitez on a £6m contract, as it is cheaper than spending say £60m net on players. Imagine if you could pay a world class manager £6m and guarantee Premier League survival every year on minimal or no spend, or in our case, even making a profit?

To steal a quote from Blackadder Goes Forth- “There was only one slight flaw with the plan…”

It was bollocks!

In Mike Ashley’s head the plan is simple. He’s probably admitted he has made mistakes in the past. He’s employed the likes of Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren, who needed fortunes to spend to try and mask their blatant failings as managers.

So he probably thanked his lucky stars when a world-class manager waltzed into NE1 and said he was willing to take the job. Even at £6m (which Pardew and McClaren would only dream of) would be a snip, if Ashley didn’t have to spend fortunes on recruitment of players.

An article appeared on The Mag yesterday highlighting the money Ashley has thrown at managers in the last decade and it was staggering that the most money went to the most incompetent of managers.

Kevin Keegan and Rafa Benitez getting very little/nothing when they were clearly head and shoulders above the rest in terms of man management and recruitment of players. Put simply, if Ashley had given Kevin Keegan back in 2008, the same budget that McClaren had got, I’m sure the course of the following years would have been different.

Then what if Ashley had sanctioned a similar spend for Rafa?

You get the picture. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys, just look at what we pay our Managing Director.

This club needs a massive spend to bring it up to 2018 standards and IF we manage to stay up in 2019 that will be another chance to do so. In the short-term, by hook or by crook, we need to navigate the next six games and then go on and hope we are in a decent position by xmas, as the required spend won’t happen in January and we’ve shown our hand with regards to loan signings already. If we need players in January, forget it. Clubs will know how desperate we are and Ashley won’t sanction such an extravagant spend to avert disaster.

Still, he could always console himself that another £100m+ has been banked, plus the £20m+ transfer profit and then use the parachute payments to hopefully rectify the relegation. He’s been there before and been quite successful/lucky at it. He has his trophy manager that he is no doubt desperate to keep to avoid actually spending the required money in the right areas.

While we’re on the subject of money, Sky Sports can provide a few charts to highlight the spending patterns of Premier League clubs and it doesn’t look great for us Newcastle fans.

mike ashley

Make from them what you will, but much like the Premier League, we’re at the wrong end of each of those tables. Very seldom can a club make profits in the transfer market and hope to do well on the pitch. Mike Ashley doesn’t seem to grasp this and all the meals out and laughable promises of trips away aren’t going to change that. Cold hard cash is the only thing that will sort this club out, which isn’t going to happen.

Scarily, for the first time in the whole time that Ashley has owned the club, he has everything in place to make a go of it at Newcastle United. A world class manager that the fans get behind, a stadium with 52,000 people every week (granted it could do with a spruce up), a decent training ground that with a few improvements would be considered world-class, a workmanlike team and great captain that try for their manager and pots of cash flooding into the club for doing average at best. Yet he still seems to want to put the spanner in the works.

Everything is going for this club, yet the owner puts up ticket prices  and holds back on much-needed squad recruitment. Only an idiot or a deliberate saboteur could knack this club up at present. You decide!

Mike Ashley has what he hopes will be his saviour, at least for this season. Forget the Academy, forget the stadium, forget the team. In Rafa, Ashley trusts. If only he would give him the bloody tools to do his job properly.

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  • Themoscow72

    Excluding last season as the Accounts are not due to be published in March 2019 the Club have made a profit of £3.83m over his ten year tenure. More significant is the fact that we were overdrawn at the bank seven years out the ten as much as £47m overdrawn so there was little scope to buy players. The years we did have money and were in the black 2011, 2014/2015 when we had £44.5m in the bank we spent heavily. The fact that McClaren and Pardew got money was not because of who we were but because we had the money to give them. Simple really as Charnley correctly says what comes in goes out. Get the accounts and it proves it.

    • MrShack66

      Apart from the 22 million that they held back, Monkseaton.

      • JohnnyH

        You reckon it’s him?
        Monks posts were always proper condescending and arrogant,
        This bloke posts with the ramblings of an old fool.
        Anyway between him pezza, Clarko, realist, t00nraider, and a few others,
        2 people max. working for Bishop.
        What do you think?

        • MrShack66

          Pretty certain. He posted something the other day that made me sure it was him. Pezza is 100% Fleckman.

          As for working for Bishop I wouldn’t have a clue. But I do know they love Ashley for some obscure reason.

          • Themoscow72

            I am an accountant for a charity and work in the homeless sector and have never met Mr Bishop or Mr Barnes.
            However I had a good chat with John Hall at the match towards the end of last season at home. We talked about the good old days when him and his wife got the train to Peterborough with all the yobs and we got marched to the ground and back. Nor have I met any other person on this site except for the Editor and one militant like yourself who I shall not name.

          • JohnnyH

            Go on then, I’ll take back the fool bit.
            But you’ve just rambled again

          • MrShack66


        • Themoscow72

          What do mean the ramblings of an old fool. It was a very intelligent comment with time consuming research. We spent in 2011 and 2015 because we had the money to do so. A little more respect thanks very much.

        • Wezza

          Sounds like him. He for sure isn’t heard of in the pub he claims to frequently visit. There are sad Manure fans proven to troll here but I’ve always thought one person is shilling for KBA. No doubt about that.

      • Themoscow72

        For the last ten years I believe every penny was spent but not sure about this Summer as was expecting a net spend of £40m to £60m myself so if it’s Rafa’s contract or some other reason we will find out in March. Expect some big signings in March. Whatever happened to Monkseaton anyway always found him to be an intelligent chap.

        • AbusedCourier

          Whatever happened to Monkseaton anyway always found him to be an intelligent chap.


          • Albert Stubbins

            he was recently sighted disappearing up his own A…!!

    • justchampion

      So where has the money gone? Explain?

      • Themoscow72

        Mainly on players wages Iam afraid but I expected at least forty to sixty million to have been available to spend this Summer like the rest of you so could not understand it. Will no doubt find out in March. If any loans have been repaid since the January transfer window the only good thing is it reduces the asking price of the club.
        For example if Mike was repaid his loan in time some one could buy the club for round £150m.

        • molend

          Who is this ‘Mike’ of whom you speak so highly? If it’s Ashley, please refer to him as ‘Mickey’, as in ‘taking the …’
          Or ‘P*ss’

      • Wezza

        Don’t bother with the troll mate. Just block it.

    • t00nraider

      Well said.

    • X2

      Sports Direct does not treat its workers as humans – say MPs in their report into work practices at Mike Ashley’s vile company. Don’t shop there or buy NUFC branded merchandise.

    • JohnnyH

      The accounts prove nothing other than creativity

  • FatParosite

    ‘a stadium with 52,000 people every week (granted it could do with a spruce up), a decent training ground that with a few improvements would be considered world-class..’ Talk about eulogising with faint criticism.

  • JohnnyH

    Along with the £100+ million TV money and £20+ million transfer profit, as well as the parachute payments, there will still also be commercial income and gate receipts which will still each run at £10 to £20 million and £20+ million respectively, even if we do go down. Also a fire sale of our best players would bring in millions.

    So I would definitely agree that From Ashley’s perspective it wouldn’t be the end of the world for him.

    • Waxi

      Just a game to him Johnny and it’s us the fans who lose every time. Fat smug barsteward needs to just FO.

  • mactoon

    You miss out one major incentive Paul, the advertising.

    You say, “If Cardiff have abandoned all attempts to stay on the Premier league gravy train, then surely that is also what Newcastle United’s owner Mike Ashley has done” and then mention he doesn’t need to because of the various parachute payments and so on.

    The very fact is, that when Newcastle have been relegated under Ashley he has trimmed the wage bill and sanctioned spend on players to get back to the Premiership because that is where he makes his biggest hit, the only one he ever wanted, advertising Sports Direct. The Premiership televised games make clubs a fortune and Newcastle get more than their fair share of these for which he also gets global saturation of SD. THAT’S the win/win.

    He hasn’t ever abandoned all attempts to stay in the Premiership, he simply operates on a model of gambling to stay in the Premiership with the minimal outlay while banking on Benitez’s skill in getting the most out of an understrength squad to achieve this. A gamble which will ultimately fail, again.

  • Leazes.

    …” Very seldom can a club make profits in the transfer market and hope to do well on the pitch. Mike Ashley doesn’t seem to grasp this ”

    …. No Paul, he does grasp that!

    He punishes the fans through strangling the finances of the club. He said in his partly political broadcast to David Craig on Sky that he doesn’t interfere with the running of the club, well that is a lie!….

    Charnley is the club manager not a managing director, he balances what the ‘head coach’ can or cant spend, or what is left after Ashley dictates purchases, wages and spending….. there’s no control at all by Charnley, just the day to day running and micro management of whatever Ashley leaves in the account.

    The chronicle knew this years ago but still big him up as the a ‘director’ with control…. three years ago the editor produced a banner headline which said….

    ” Charnley you’ve got one job keep Rafa or GO! “.. the headline was changed on the insistence of United ans for the second run to….

    ” Charnley you’ve got two jobs keep Rafa then GO!..”

    If any credit has to go to Ashley it has to be his ability to asset strip the club, relegate it twice, keep the merchandise and advertising, fill the stadium, and remain hidden!….

    He couldn’t have possibly done it without Douglas and Ryder in tow!

    • wheyayeman


  • wheyayeman

    I feel no shame in not attending and I feel no judgement to those who do. That’s the problem, I feel nothing. Once he’s gone I’m open to being won over again I know I want to be but know this, the club can’t take us for granted any more if we care at all we must also be respected and appreciated – something KK, Robson and Rafa get but the whole club in future must hold together so we can become what we were always meant to be. In the meantime I cannot get behind this rotten shell of a club in any way.

  • BanJones

    “Where’s the money gone ? Where’s the money gone?
    Where’s the money gone ? Where’s the money gone?”

  • GToon

    The only thing I would give Ashley credit for is jumping off the Tyne Bridge and trying to fly.

  • Let’s go

    Justin Barnes and Keith bishop were also part of the scam at Glasgow rangers and the club was being run and the fans conned with media statements and lies constructed by Ashley bishop and Barnes to dupe the supporters the same way they are running newcastle. Behind the scenes what they are doing is bleeding the club there are no investments in the club everything being run with as little cash as possible and fat scumbag used our club shop as a sports direct outlet… please believe nothing anyone says that is being paid by Ashley. We could only trust real supporters of the club who stood up to Ashley. Just like Alan shearer and Kevin Keegan are doing now……. personally I hope his private jet crashes with all his money and him and his paid liars on board..