It is nine days now since Mike Ashley made an appearance on Sky News and told Newcastle fans that a sale of the club was imminent and we could even part ways before welcoming 2019 in.

Whatever his real reasons for making these comments, they were clearly done to get headlines and grab somebody’s attention.

The question is, whose attention?

The overwhelming reaction of Newcastle fans was to simply laugh at what he had to say, supporters believing here we go again with Mike Ashley. The interview aimed at pushing his usual agenda of muddying the waters, raising hopes, putting doubts out there, whether to justify making it a third January in a row when not a single player is bought and/or the ongoing PR campaign from his people against Rafa Benitez.

So that when the inevitable split happens and Rafa walks away in disgust, Mike Ashley can claim he did everything he could to sell the club, just like when he had the club embarrassingly put in the latest Fans Forum minutes, claiming that Newcastle in the summer had tried to buy any number of players for sums above the current club transfer record.

After the Sky News interview, we asked the question: ‘Do you believe what Mike Ashley has said about selling Newcastle United?’:

The Mag – Wednesday 5 December 2018:

Thanks to everybody who voted (1,182 in total) and as you can see, an overwhelming outcome…

10% (119) Yes, Ashley’s telling the truth this time and NUFC will soon be sold

90% (1,063) No, same old nonsense from Ashley ahead of a transfer window and club won’t be sold

An online poll in these past 24 hours by IfRafaGoesWeGo backs up that position above, they asked ‘Do you think that the club will be sold and that new owners will be in place before the end of January 2019?’, in response 87% of Newcastle fans said no.

I don’t think there has ever been a bigger divide/disconnect between what the media are reporting with this takeover and what the fans believe.

Both local and national media journalists are insistent that this time it is different, everybody from The Chronicle to The Mail saying that this time it could definitely happen, that there are willing buyers trying to get a takeover done.

However, Newcastle fans are seemingly refusing to entertain it at all.

As to the reasons why?

There is the usual scepticism about the newspapers, due to most of what we read about transfers and suchlike never happening, the same with all the previous claims of Mike Ashley selling up and sources saying whatever.

Then if fans do believe that the journalists are getting information from informed sources, there is then the belief that the info is from Mike Ashley’s people, thus completing the circle. Mike Ashley claims he is selling the club, newspapers report this, then Mike Ashley’s people tell the papers that this is definitely the case (Ashley willing and set to sell NUFC) and the media back up their story.

Mike Ashley has lied to the fans so many times.

Is this all fair on the media? Probably not.

They get the stick for reporting what they are told and as well as the undoubted lines being pushed by Mike Ashley’s people, the journalists insist that they are getting info from other side, whether it is the Peter Kenyon camp or whoever.

The truth is that only one man is responsible for this mess and he has been responsible for it for over a decade now.

I really hope that on this occasion we (the fans) are all wrong, and the media are proved correct on this occasion, and can take great pleasure in reminding us so, many times, when the new owner is in place in January.



  • Chris-Chapple

    ??

    • Pezza

      Are you sure you are not Wezza or Jezza? Odds of 9/1 being 90% Vs 10%

      • Realist

        This is exactly what I thought, Chris chapple aka wezza the poster who claimed I was soon to be banned from here as my opinion didn’t fall into line with his.

        • Pezza

          I have been banned, I bought the first Mag in 1988, written loads of articles but the independent voice has become a lie and Mark is everything he started out being against.

  • Andynufc

    The media have proving to be nothing more than Ashley’s little lap dogs. I’d ask where’s their professional pride when they keep printing Ashley’s lies and but clearly they’re desperate for any sort of headline. I don’t believe a word that parasite comes out with and I hope this will be the final push to convince fans that boycott is needed next season

    • wheyayeman

      There is no journalistic or professional pride just as in Judges – everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. Decent fans would be better off putting their hard earned into a club like Gateshead until fatty leaves.

  • Carverlier football

    Might be true this time… It’ll be true one day… But I think those odds of 9/1 against are probably about right…

  • archiedog79

    Misleading click bate

  • Wezza

    Thing is, the media is fed by KBA in particular the Ronnie so of course they’re going to say it is a go. All quiet now, no new developments as predicted.

  • Themoscow72

    I have said all along that when an offer of £300m comes a long he will sell. Why does he need all the hassle as apart from free advertising he has not got a penny out of the club unlike the directors before him. Unless it’s Kenyon coming in expect dark times a head. How are Boro and Sunderland doing. Not very well the last time I checked.

    • wheyayeman

      You may have said it all along but you are incorrect.

      • Themoscow72

        In accordance with Financial Regulations any dealings between Mike Ashley has be disclosed, wages loans dividends, bonuses, corporate hospitality. Not a penny has been taken in wages, dividends bonuses and that is a fact.

        • wheyayeman

          He’s hidden the takings in other businesses you plumb. We are also also under scrutiny by HMRC you are either the most naive person, a troll or dumb

          • Ron

            He cheats the way he pays his staff, looks as if he could be
            fiddling his taxes, is a Court proven liar, but of course he complies with Financial Regulations, can’t think why you thought he wouldn’t. Unless it’s because he cheats the way he pays his staff, looks as if he could be fiddling his taxes, and is a Court proven liar!

          • Pezza

            Wow Ron, tell me where this has happened [lack ofof compliance with Financial Regulations, specifically the companies act 1985], and what benefit it serves him.

          • Ron

            FRS 102 (Financial Reporting Standard) under S23 require SD to account for the fair value of the consideration received or receivable? In which case it should be shown as a cost in SD accounts and as income in NUFC co accounts. By omitting to do this he is benefiting by keeping profit levels where he wants them, after all that would increase the “every penny generated” by NUFC and coincidently the transfer pot if he were to keep is word on that one.

            Now what do you propose to do with this information, or was it you didn’t think I could answer?

          • Pezza

            Ron, where are you saying the income is accounted for because as I see it, it’s all in the related party note.

            The follow on point, SD pay tax, Nufc currently don’t, ma owns 100pc of Nufc, just 55pc of SD. Why would he direct a tiny amount by SD’s standards to SD, give a chunk to tax and lose 45pc if the remaining profit to other shareholders?

            On top of that, the bigger picture for SD is to show the service in a good light.

          • Ron

            It should feature in the profit and loss account and not just as a note. He wants to show SD in the best light because that is where his wealth is, and I read somewhere he owns 63% but could be wrong.

          • Pezza

            It does as far as I can see, the notes reference the income & expediture

          • Ron

            As far as I recall NUFC weren’t mentioned at all in the related parties note, so I checked Page 74 of the accounts gives the related party note – no mention.

          • Pezza

            In ours or SDI plc?

          • Ron

            SD

          • Pezza

            Which SDI Co number?

            What do you think this shows? We’re not going to see a breakdown of sales, i.e Nufc sold £4m of merchandise within SDi’s turnover and received £1.6m commission. We just see a broad outline that there is a relationship

          • Ron

            06035106

            Look – there is no mention of a NUFC as a related party – you said there was not me.

            I see no evidence anywhere that NUFC has benefited from the advertising by SD – if you can then great – publish it, and I’ll say I missed it, and was wrong.

            You asked where I thought he wasn’t complying with the regulations and I told you. Now if I’m wrong you prove it, if you can’t, then hey, I might just be right, and he isn’t compliant!

          • Pezza

            I’m not that bothered about advertising revenues, it’s a pittance in the scheme of things. It looks like SD paid £500k in 2017 for advertising. There is a note to that effect in SD’s accounts.

          • Wezza

            Yes and also Grant Thornton “independent” auditor for NUFC (paid for by FCB) are ALSO under investigation for SD accounts!
            Now call me a conspiracy theorist but there is a pattern forming here!

          • Tweed Mag

            They have also been fined £3m for ‘misconduct’ in August 2018 and are currently being investigated for Valerie Patisserie almost going bust after a £20m black hole in the accounts audited by them was discovered. In the past Ashley has been accused of paying his brother from a private account (authorised by Grant Thornton) for supposed work. He also paid £5m p.a. to his son-in-law for being in charge of ‘restructuring’. No doubt more to come. The HMRC investigation is taking ages and may reveal some interesting/creative accounting.
            The worry is that this will put off a buyer. If ever there was a need for due diligence, then this is it.

          • Wezza

            Spot on mate. I didn’t know about the Valerie Patisserie black hole! I wonder how many dodgy accounts Grant Thornton have got their name attached to.

          • Ron

            Just left this reply for Pezza

            FRS 102 (Financial Reporting Standard) under S23 require SD to account for the fair value of the consideration received or receivable? In which case it should be shown as a cost in SD accounts and as income in NUFC co accounts. By omitting to do this he is benefiting by keeping profit levels where he wants them, after all that would increase the “every penny generated” by NUFC and coincidently the transfer pot if he were to keep is word on that one.
            Let’s see what he says!

          • Wezza

            Haha. He really doesn’t have a leg to stand on so to speak but he will most likely play dumb and quote the accounts and cherry pick some lines all the while ignoring Grant Thornton.
            I have him blocked but should be a good laugh.

          • Themoscow72

            The H.M.R.C. is to with money we have paid out to clubs and agents and how it is treated. We currently have a provision in the accounts of £3,871,000 but it is not anticipated that this will have to be paid. It is a matter of interpretation of law with H.M.R.C challenging clubs on tax and N.I.

          • wheyayeman

            Ok take the last year alone – 150 million + from last season’s staying up / TV money / merchandise / player sales etc – account for that will you?

          • Pezza

            Last year’s accounts are not published yet.

            We know income was about £170m salaries around £115m other costs around £30m. The profit for the year being £25m ish.

            Smaller clubs have got lower overheads, especially salaries. if you start from zero, buy a team to get from 3rd div to EPL in 3-4 years, the dead wood and dead wages aren’t really there so Bournemouth, Brighton, Huddersfield etc are in good positions to compete.

            Search the Mag for “Why wage constraints may be hampering Newcastle United in transfer market” it’s a useful article by the wonderful but departed Bobbi Fleckman

          • Pezza

            If HMRC win, we will be the tip of the iceberg, agents payments like this are normal within sport and entertainment.

          • Toon Arnie

            All three boxes ticked by Mr Moscow and 2 out of 3 for Pezza.

          • Pezza

            Which other business? How is that beneficial? If you are right, you will be able to tell me the years it happens and the explanation within the related party notes within the accounts.

            The alternative possibility is that you don’t know what you are in about.

          • Wezza

            All three.

        • JohnnyH

          Simon you know that accounts prove nothing.
          The sums of money that we know are involved are there for all to see.
          He’s taken millions out of the club

          • Themoscow72

            Google Newcastle United Accounts, Companies House Filing History and Accounts and there is a legal section near the bottom detailing all Ashleys transactions. Apart from provisions for future contract write off’s and say valuation of players in intangible assets I would say the accounts are spot on. If there was anything wrong would have come out in a black hole write off by now. The only area where he could be making money is the merchandising side sales and the margins been put back into the club as profit would like to see the full break down of that.

          • Pezza

            Yep, legal documents mean nothing.

            Are you suggesting Mike Ashley has taken money out of the club and not disclosed it? Over the last 11 years he could have withdrawn up to £144m quite legally and tax free but instead you think he’s riskier imprisonment to take a few quid out the back-door.

            Do you get all your information from Viz’s Elton John’s various elaborate scams?

          • Pezza

            When did this happen Johnny?

          • Wezza

            Did Simon Carr mention anything about Grant Thornton “independent” auditor for NUFC (paid for by FCB) who are ALSO under investigation for SD accounts… now would you think about then eh?
            Didn’t think so.
            He constantly trolls that rubbish.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He must be simple if he believes the accounts prove anything….

      • Pezza

        Yet it’s clearly true what the monk says

      • Wezza

        Is that cretin still peddling that line?
        FCB has taken hundreds of millions out of the club and that is even BEFORE SD’s merchandising and free advertising. Everybody but him knows it.

        • Billmag

          See he’s on the prowl again must have escaped out of that lift he’s been in with fatty.

    • Ron

      Dark times ahead? I think they’re already here!

    • Jonas

      how are Bournemouth, Watford and Wolves doing?
      considerably better than us considering they are all considerably smaller clubs. Its in spite of Ashley not because of him that we aren’t were those other north-east clubs are – and Boro are about where they should be anyway.

      • Pezza

        Wolves may not thank you for saying they are smaller. If they delayed their success a few years, they’d have been up there with Liverpool, Manu etc.

        Watford and Bournemouth are fortunate in that they joined the EPl as the money shot up and their wages are still some £25m lower than ours negating any advantage we have in gate receipts.

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          responding to yourself with two separate accounts is a cry for help

          • Pezza

            I replied to Jonas

    • Toon Arnie

      Unfortunately you are pretty much always wrong though so your opinion doesn’t really have a bearing on this sale.

      • Pezza

        Except he’s right and generally is usually right.

        The Moscow, did I get introduced to you briefly at Everton, by a muyual pal named Paul? We were in the row Infront of you?

  • Billmag

    Well that local paper that’s packed with information about NUFC (Chron) ran a story yesterday saying a consortium is already doing due diligence if this isn’t true they should all be sacked for misleading the public.

    • Cushty lad

      C’mon Bill you didn’t fall for that old trick did you. Big spread back page “Ashley to sell”. 75p ova the till & same old s***e when you get home & sit down with a cuppa.

      • Billmag

        Tongue in cheek mate that’s why I said that comic was full of information. 😀😀

    • Wezza

      They even said it in a way that their source is believable!

      • Billmag

        They are a disgrace to the fans because they’ve been pedaling the same 💩 for a couple of weeks now.

  • Sickandtired

    They are all in a bubble. None of them know anything and simply keep repeating whatever someone else says on the matter. Indeed, the Chron and the Gazette recently played tag team with one repeating the others story, then the other doing the same!
    Same as all the ‘blog’ type sites which pop up through newsnow. Every single one of these so called ‘sports writers’ should be ashamed of themselves. Click-bait and nothing more.

  • 23D

    Well i just heard off an estate agent who deals with commercial land( ie the st james metro land) that the sale has happened & its being kept quiet for some reason!…still think its bullshit myself like.

    • wheyayeman

      He’s an estate agent 😂

      • 23D

        Exactly mate 😊

    • Carverlier football

      Sounds like BS… Although I’ve had some inside info that something out of the ordinary is definitely going on inside SJP – but quite frankly that could be anything. Could be HMRC back again…

      • Kneebotherm8

        Smells like BS too….

        • Carverlier football

          Oh it’s reliable, it’s just so vague that you’d be incredibly unwise to draw any actual conclusions from it…

  • mactoon

    You see the thing is, here’s the problem:

    “There is still much to be done, not least getting anywhere near to agreeing a fee, but from there comes procedure; a formal period of due diligence, proof of funds, the Premier League’s Owners and Directors test and then a sales and purchase agreement being put in place. All of those elements, which could potentially run through the difficult period of Christmas, are now predicted to take around 40 days”

    The problem is, that isn’t about the current ‘bid’. It was cut and pasted from an article about Staveley back on 6 December 2017 before it fell through in January. It’s EXACTLY the same position we are in now so I’m not surprised the fans don’t believe it.

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. He may be saying he wants to step aside for the fans and the club but he has lost any shred of trust he may have had with the fans. I don’t believe a word until I see the new owner holding up the shirt.

    • Ron

      He’s playing us all for fools, and this time no one has come out publicly saying they’re interested. The deception is not even as believable as the previous lies, you’d think he would get better with practice not worse!

  • FatParosite

    I trust The Comical less than I trust Ashley. That is how far they have fallen. The sooner they are out of business the better.

    • Ron

      I have a wood fire – it has its uses.

  • Alex

    None of us dispute that there’s interest from parties wanting to buy. It’s the lack of interest from the party wanting to sell that’s the issue.

  • toonterrier

    Put in on the back page of the local rag and daft supporters will queue to buy it and believe all the waffle that comes out of the fatty backers who wrote it. Santa wont be bringing a new owner and sack load of cash for a buyout but maybe next December it might happen but don’t bank on it.

  • Leicester Mag

    I’ll believe it when I see a skip full of direct tat hoardings outside St James Park, preferably with the lardarse prostrate on top of it!

    • Jonas

      that’s the Christmas tree for me

  • Dutch

    90% said no they did not believe him but 100% turned up after refusing to boycott the Wolves game. I rest my case.

    • pedrodelgardo

      Wrong! Some still boycotted – TMG aren’t in charge of anything especially not in my house. Better pick up that case…

      • Geordiegiants

        Well near as dammit.

  • Pezza

    You say “90% of Newcastle fans” what you mean is 90% of a very rigged poll of rather stupid Mag readers voted one way. A vote where most correspondents who dare to disagree with the agenda are blocked and banned.

    Pathetic article Jim, for an increasingly irrelevant media.

    • Chris-Chapple

      not as pathetic as your posts and we all know your agenda.

      • Pezza

        Brilliant, no arguing with that insightful comment

      • Wezza

        Just block the troll mate. Even another troll claims we are the same person!

    • Toon Arnie

      So you believe he’ll sell the club in the near future then ?

      • Pezza

        If we stay up we’ll have a new owner by Aug 31 2019

        • Big Al 1967

          And if we don’t stay up?

          • Pezza

            Unless sold in the next few weeks, if we go diwn, we’ll not be sold until back up.

          • Big Al 1967

            And you know this how??

          • Pezza

            It’s logic, it gets bought cheap now or they wait until we are safe.

          • Toon Arnie

            If we go down that must be a record for a club chairman of ours – three relegations in 12 years. If we do go down this time I think we’ll stay down for a long time. Rafa will be away at the end of the season anyway if he doesn’t get backed again in this window.

          • Pezza

            If we go down, Rafa will go.

            Historically, we’ve been out of the top division for 30pc of the time so to be relegated would be about on par.

            If we stop up, we’ll have new owners so Rafa will stay.

        • Geordiegiants

          You have inside info Bobbi?
          I will guarantee you that this exact same story comes out in the next window and the one after.

          • Pezza

            Not much more than anyone else.

          • Geordiegiants

            Pretty much the same as the regurgitated transfer story’s like Townsend and Bas Dost etc

          • Pezza

            I do have a little more now! DD may be a bit quicker than I stated before.

          • Geordiegiants

            How / where do you get that?

        • Toon Arnie

          So you sort of agree that all the talk of a January sale, well from Ashley anyway, is rubbish again ?

          • Pezza

            I think it’s possible but also difficult.

            The buyer has to find £156m and then find a lender for £144m in a year. Certainly possible but then DD.

          • Pezza

            No, it’s possible but difficult.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      go away

      • Pezza

        Genius

  • Jay

    It’s the most wonderfull time of the year. When the fat Mike speaks out and all is in dought. Or it’s the most wonderfull time of the year

  • Mr_Kinnear

    Well everyone will see by the end of the season. It will be very difficult to get it sold before the end of the transfer window

  • BigHairyDog

    The 10% who believe Ashley also believe in Santa, fairies, aliens captured and held at Area 51.

    • mactoon

      If santa is held at Area 51 how the hell am I going to get my presents???

      • Tweed Mag

        Lord Lucan will deliver them, riding Shergar.

        • Geordiegiants

          The same people that think god, allah and every other one of the estimated 330,000 so called gods are real.

          • JohnnyH

            Amen 😂

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            this “I’m so much smarter than theists” act is getting boring. No one cares how much more intelligent you think you are than anyone else. Stick to soccer. At least you know a bit about that.

          • Geordiegiants

            I’ll take what ever positive you intended out of that thanks.
            Can I ask you why it’s fine for religion believers to express their views but me being educated enough to know it’s not possible am not allowed to express mine?

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            I’m never on here going on and on about Abraham or Maimonides or Mordecai Kaplan. So why are you always on about the opposite? I never see anyone on this site say anything “pro-God”. From within the Mag bubble, your constant jabs look like they are coming out of nowhere.

          • Geordiegiants

            Up above they are talking about Santa, aliens etc being real, it’s related!

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            Fair play then

  • Geordiegiants

    I very much doubt it Jim, but we can all live in hope.