The PR machine is in full swing as Mike Ashley, as always, puts time and resources into distorting the media coverage about Newcastle United, rather than making any effort to help the club be a success on and off the pitch.

At the close of play today, we will be already within three weeks of the closure of this January transfer window.

As the expectation was that if any signings of substance were to be allowed, the work would have been done behind the scenes in preparation for them to arrive as soon as the window opened, it hardly gives you confidence. As the January window was opening, Rafa Benitez was still saying he didn’t know what money, if any, he would have to spend this month, which tells you everything you need to know on how this shambles of a club operates under Mike Ashley.

The blatant PR moves by Mike Ashley’s people, with Keith Bishop (pictured above with the NUFC owner) at the heart of it, are coming thick and fast to try and cover up the disgraceful way the club’s owner is undermining Newcastle United


The biggest story on Tuesday was put out by Keith Bishop/Mike Ashley.

With ‘Tyneside sources’ revealing that the Miguel Almiron signing was in danger of not happening because he was asking for ‘astronomical’ wages.

With the story being put out by the Press Association, I have no doubt that this story was genuine, when I say genuine I mean that somebody connected to the potential deal has told them this – they haven’t just made it up.

Whether it is true that Miguel Almiron is wanting ‘over £100,000 a week’, who knows? What I do know is that it would make no sense at all for the player and his agents to be putting out such a story, so the only place it could have come from is Mike Ashley’s PR department.

The clear intention to make out that this is a supposedly greedy player preventing Newcastle making a big signing, not the fact that this owner refuses to allow the going rate to be paid for transfer fees and wages for Premier League standard players.

The net result of yesterday’s story is that many gullible Newcastle fans were left talking about whether or not £100,000 in wages is the going rate or not these days for such a signing, rather than yet another day has gone by with no signings or help for Rafa Benitez. Only 10 days now until the key relegation clash with Cardiff and clearly zero chance of any new signings playing that day to help improve the chances of a win.


The Miguel Almiron ‘wages’ story quickly followed on from the Rafa Benitez contract one.

Somebody, I wonder who, putting out the story to journalists that if only Rafa Benitez would sign a one year contract extension, the manager would then have transfer funds to spend.

The story talking about how this one year extension would be intended to help the club get through this difficult period with a takeover of the club imminent.

Yet again, the spin is deflecting the attention away from Mike Ashley’s neglect and lack of action in support of the manager. The intention being to at least muddy the waters as to who should be doing what, and at best, convince some supporters that Rafa should be willing to agree this alleged contract extension offer, as it would then allow transfers and pave the way for new owners to come in.

It is complete nonsense of course, because regardless of the manager’s contract situation, signings need to be made to improve the team/squad, especially in the position Newcastle find themselves.

This trick was of course used in the summer, Ashley’s people putting out the story that it was very difficult for a club to be investing in transfers if there was no certainty about the manager’s long-term future.

Rafa Benitez called this nonsense and made the obvious point that if signings were made, and he then left a year later, it isn’t as though he would be taking those signings with him. Rafa making clear that improving a squad, especially a relegation threatened one, is an ongoing non-stop process, or at least it should be.

The end result was that Mike Ashley refused to give Rafa Benitez any money to spend in the summer and instead actually made a £20m+ profit on deals in and out.


Finally, THE letter.

With Newcastle fans increasingly finding the idea laughable of a club takeover happening any time soon, we suddenly had Peter Kenyon’s letter revealed.

A journalist who has constantly backed Mike Ashley and criticised Newcastle fans, was given the story/letter, which allegedly had been written by Kenyon and sent to Mike Ashley, care of Newcastle United, before Christmas.

It was reported that both Mike Ashley and Peter Kenyon had agreed to the leaking  of the letter to ‘prove’ that progress was being made on a Newcastle United takeover.

As many pointed out, if they were serious and wanted to show they were, then both parties would have released a joint statement reassuring everybody that progress was being made and a takeover would/could happen in the very near future.

Just more PR stunts and nonsense, fans supposed to then swallow the idea that Mike Ashley supposedly waiting for Kenyon to find investors willing to pay a fair price for the club, did in some way make it understandable why Rafa Benitez wasn’t being backed in this transfer window.

Remember, for Mike Ashley, Keith Bishop and the rest of his PR minions, they don’t think they can convince everybody when they put out these lame stories in the press. Their intention is to drip feed this kind of stuff regularly that the media then lazily just repeat, and it muddies the waters enough, as well as convincing as many people as possible, especially neutrals, that Mike Ashley isn’t the problem.

Mike Ashley is the problem though and until he has sold up, Newcastle United is a club that is sinking, no matter that temporarily you might have somebody such as Rafa Benitez trying to bail enough water out of the sinking ship to keep it afloat for the time being.

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  • Brian Standen

    Whatever side of the divide you are on – attendee or none attendee! We all know there is no buyer!
    Spin and lies in abundance!
    Meanwhile THAT month is now in full swing, the month that most football fans get excited about the one that we refer to as simply January!

    • Peaky

      Yes…our very own ‘Dry January’…

  • Paul Patterson

    Expect more as the countdown to February gets nearer.
    Also, expect a ‘statement’ or suchlike after the Man City game as the window shuts..

  • Peaky

    The team is shot….the whole club is shot…..relegation looms large…..this time we won’t come straight back…..we are off into the abyss for a while…maybe even do a Leeds or Sunderland and drop down to league one….my oh my isn’t the future bright…

  • mactoon

    Correct me if I am wrong but a club only gets permission to speak to a player once the two clubs have agreed a fee?

    They haven’t so how do they know the players wage demands?

    • Callum

      You can get permission to talk to a player without a fee agreed.

      • mactoon

        “under FIFA and FA transfer rules, if a club wants to procure the services of a player registered with another club, they must speak directly with that club and not to the player or his representatives. The player and his representatives will only be brought in for discussions with the potential purchasing club once the two clubs have agreed a fee”

        • Leazes.

          Tell Man United and Liverpool and Spurs….

        • Callum

          I stand corrected, just could have sworn in the past sky reporting that players have been given permission to talk to players but that talks over fee’s were on going.

          • mactoon

            I’ve no doubt it does happen (tapping) but it would be pretty daft admitting it in public that you are illegally discussing a fee with a player, which leads me to think the whole report is just rubbish.

    • Leazes.

      Because his wages are published (like the rest of the Atlanta squad)….he’s on £64k pw over there….. Are the club saying they didn’t know that?

      I knew that….. why did they bother to send a scout if they knew they would have to entice him with a bit more money?

      Right then…. how many possibilities are there for the clubs actions?

      • mactoon

        So if he is on £64k pw where did the reports pluck £100k pw from?

        • Leazes.

          Some journalist probably did the same bit of searching and made up a nice round figure.

        • Wor Lass

          You`ve been told quite clearly – from Keith Bishop.

          • mactoon

            That’s my point, it’s just made up probably by the club.

          • Pezza

            Leazes’ has it wrong, MLS publish wages and he’s on £30k a week.

            I’d guess that Almiron is looking for £50k a week but tax is not a rich man’s friend in the UK and £50k costs the employer £100k which is far too much for an unproven player.

            I’d have thought the best solution is a loan for this season and option to buy, giving the chance for Almiron to get a good accountant.

          • Wor Lass

            Do you know one, by any chance?

        • Mr_Kinnear

          He wants a rise to play for a club in major decline. He’s not going to win any trophies.

        • Pezza

          Leazes’ is lying again. MLS publish wages and he’s on £30k a week.

          I’d guess that Almiron is looking for £50k a week but tax is not a rich man’s friend in the UK and £50k costs the employer £100k which is far too much for an unproven player.

          I’d have thought the best solution is a loan for this season and option to buy, giving the chance for Almiron to get a good accountant.

          • mactoon

            His club owner has dismissed any possibility of a loan deal, that we know for a fact as he has been quoted in the media. If he is getting £30k pw at the moment I don’t believe for one minute that he has demanded £100k. With Shelvey reportedly on £70k there’s no way they would break that on an unproven player from the MLS

          • Pezza

            That’s really my point.

    • mentalman

      Do you actually think that agents wait until the club has agreed, third parties are used daily to unofficially talk to players agents and agree deals before the club is even involved

  • Roland

    Ashley seems intent on only one thing – getting his loan back. Supposed to be taking back another £30m this year, or already has. Good chance that the fat bar steward has decided this is the only important thing, and that relegation from the PL, Rafa Benitez, etc., no longer matters as long as he gets his money back. Think that’s true of the (not)takeover too. If someone’s willing to pay fat mike all his loan, he’s offski. As I’ve said, investors won’t “invest” in a loan repayment, so we’re stuck til the club no longer owes him anything. When we get relegated, there’ll be a fire sale so he can pay himself off as much as possible. There’ll be no attempt to spend on coming back up.

    • Carl Marks

      Never have so many people been pi$$ed on from the highest pinnacle on Planet Eatth,by one person,YET!!
      They still persist in lining his pockets –
      we need the help of an eminent psychologist to provide us with the reason why!!!

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Does anyone seriously believe that we will sign that Almiron kid ?
    If so, Then they have completely taken leave of their senses !
    I wonder whether these pathetic attempts at “Propaganda” by Keith Bishop are more for the Southern Media to digest because it surely cannot be working on the populace of Tyneside ?
    It has to be for their benefit down there with his reputation not as tainted as it is up here.
    No one has a vested interest in the London area so this “Thule Society” stuff must be put out to paint a picture of a benevolent and caring owner amongst Southerners.

    Like I said, This cannot be for our benefit because the vast majority of people now believe it is a load of old cobblers !

    • Leazes.

      Oh wow!….. you know the Mag never targets the biggest culprits….. the local press, while simultaneously and daily berating any of the BetVictor mouthpieces?

      Ashley couldn’t have done it without Douglas and Ryder…. the shear volume of positive spin and speculation is enough to drown any hope of enlightenment.

  • Wor Lass

    That sums the situation up, Matthew.

  • Lord

    19th January 2018 from The Times about the Amanda Staveley / PCP bid

    “I want to buy Newcastle – it’s hurtful and absurd to call us time-wasters. In the middle of December, Staveley was told that “another bidder” had emerged, prepared, according to Ashley’s people, to pay £350 million. Fine, PCP said, but come back to us if you want to re-engage. Since then, they have heard nothing. Not a single thing”

    “Where are the other bidders?” Staveley says. “It’s been for sale for three months.”

    31st Jan 2018 from TheMag:

    “Islam Slimani has finally completed his loan move to Newcastle United according to Sky Sports. Around half an hour before the 11pm deadline, the broadcaster revealed that the medical had been successfully negotiated and the loan deal signed off.

    Whilst that deal was going through, Newcastle were giving it plenty of effort against Burnley but up front it was dire.

    Ayoze Perez anonymous and not getting into scoring positions, whilst Joselu saw his weak penalty saved at 0-0, then shot wide with just the keeper to beat when Newcastle were 1-0 up.”

    10 days to go before Peter’s deal collapses and 22 days before we get our free loans in through the door?

    Wake me up when the story changes.

    • Leazes.

      We’ve seen it happen before as Shearer said……

      ….This is aimed at local media to run speculative tripe…… but as time progresses the acceptance of the Mark Douglas lie machine diminishes….

      ….and the final payment date for season tickets nears…. then you will see what Bishop is made of in February, That will be the full on hype….. rally around the flag to save your club stuff.

      Gallowgate flags no longer ask for volunteers do they…. the club probably helps them….. mutual admiration.

  • Jonathan

    Keith Bishop and his PR is aimed solely at the Southern Press who regurgitate the nonsense for a gullible southern audience and idiot pundits who are more than happy to kick the club.
    It is not aimed at Toon fans, never has been. whats the point.
    The biggest disappointment and the biggest criminals in all this scandal (after Ashley himself) is the local media. The Chonicle and other local media should be hammering Ashley, insult to north east etc but they are compliant. I can only assume they are being threatened in some way with withdrawing revenues.
    Why are they not leading the Magpie Group and giving it some substance? Shocking

    • Leazes.

      Not solely at the southern press…. this time it was Simon Bird, Mark Jensen and Mark Douglas….. the previous nonsense they targeted Miles Starforth and Mark Douglas…..

    • Billmag

      Leazes will tell you all you need to know about local Journos.

      • Pezza

        Leazes’ is a liar

        • Big Hairy Man

          You have a bit of a record for being up Ashley’s fat @rse.

          • Pezza


  • Toon

    Wow, that was a “must read”. The majority of people don’t need to read this, we have 11 years of experience – however the idiots who will continue to flood St James in blind devotion, read it three times

  • X2

    Surprised Ashley wastes money on PR. 50,000 go every week and couldn’t even boycott one game.

    • Leazes.

      He doesn’t….he owns 51% of KBA….. its his mouthpiece with spin….he’s basically hired someone who has a contact book of media folk,

  • Jay

    Who cares anymore. Life’s to short to think about Ashley. Nufc fan but nearly finished with this whole football money game. The fact is the fans pay the players wages easilly season tickets match day tickets and food and drink bought. Fact so nothing has to be put in of cashley for that. Just fed up of all this now. Do all the maths in the world and you will see he makes a lot more than 20 mil a year being at nufc. Should be against fa rules taking and not putting back in . And to say net profit was 1 or 2 mill a year is pure shat so you can hide all you like in football.

  • ShearersRightPeg

    Surely there is a case to answer here as Mike Ashley cleary lied when providing info for his ‘Fit and Proper Owner’ test? There is no two ways about it as there is no way he would have passed if he had given them the 10 year plan that has played out. So what action do the FA take in these situations? There should be regular FPO tests or at least a punishment for not adhering to your own promises. Given whats gone on since MA arrived there is no chance he should pass the test. What is the point of a FPO test if it still allows people like MA pass?? Either MA lied or the test is laughable.

    • Leazes.

      I wasn’t aware he’d done a test…. any idea what score he got?

      Q1. Have you got money

      Q2. Have you killed anybody recently?

      • ShearersRightPeg

        Lol point is, he done one and passed. Is there any way we can see the actual test they have to do? Cos it would be interesting to see!

        • Leazes.

          Didn’t they bring in the test afterwards….. On the basis that they wanted to protect London and Lancashire clubs from people like him?

          • ShearersRightPeg

            Surely theres a way of finding out what the FPO test consists of to see just how MA actually does. Personally I think he must have lied to pass it and if so surely thats fraud?

          • Leazes.

            Its actually a ‘Fit and proper Directors test’…. set up to stop corruption in industry generally….. adopted by the FA and Prem….. too late for us!


            ….’where’s the money gone’….’where’s the clubs shops gone’….where’s the land gone…’where’s the squad gone’…

          • ShearersRightPeg

            Yeah but the FPO is an FA guidline. You do have the same for directors but anyone can be a director so long as they are not bankrupt or banned from being a director. A fit and proper owner test is FA test. Id like to see it and see how many times MA has failed

          • Leazes.

            I wonder if anyone has failed it.

          • mactoon

            It’s for any prospective director of a football club or someone looking to buy over 30 per cent of the club’s shares so both directors and owners. You can find it on the FA website.

            Dennis Coleman failed it, as director of Rotherham United he was responsible for taking the club into administration twice.

          • Mr_Kinnear

            The bloke at Leeds a few years ago

          • Leazes.

            Don Revie?

          • Mr_Kinnear

            I think the test is for suitability to own the club from a commercial point of view. He can run it as he sees fit.😣

        • mactoon

          The fit and proper test is for people who intend to buy a club, it does not apply to how they run it.

          It checks whether they have any criminal convictions involving dishonesty, or if they have run a club into admin more than once.

          There’s only one person I know of who has actually failed it and that was because of the admin thing.

          The test itself is not fit for purpose for me as it should also include regulations about how an owner runs the club. Something along the lines of they should act to expand and improve the club, facilities and playing squad and aim to finish as high in the league as possible by using funds provided to it by the FA and sponsors in a fit and proper manner. Unfortunately this is ambiguous to say the least.

          • ShearersRightPeg

            Should have to do a review to show they keeping their promises. So ashley basicaly showed them he had funds and intention to invest, passed, then bled the club dry

      • Carl Marks

        Q3. Do you solemnly swear to destroy the football club after your master plan of obtaining as much publicity as possible for your “brand”
        has been achieved?
        Q4. Can you make the “payment” to us in GBP –
        krugerands and gold bars may draw suspicion to us

        Apart from that old bean,

        Enjoy destroying your football club,and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to destroy another
        (providing it’s not the one we support)

    • Phildene

      Apparently the only ‘test’ done to be a Fit and Proper’ person is if the new owner hasn’t been to jail! That’s as far as I know. Rubbish aint it!

      • ShearersRightPeg

        Yeah for a director of a nor al company.but football club test is the same but with other football related add ons

      • Carl Marks

        along with,
        “Hey have you seen how many zeroes there are at the end of my bank balance –
        by the way,did you receive the lorry load of champagne I sent you,and the tickets for the around the world cruise
        (staying in every 5 star hotel on your journey)??

      • FatParosite

        Going to jail is not a deal breaker.

    • Carl Marks

      My sentiments entirely –
      It’s boiled my p*ss for ages!!
      Since the ‘Fit and Proper Test’ was introduced,there’s been a swathe of dodgy individuals,
      who’ve been given the green light to buy a football club –
      individuals,who by no stretch of the imagination could be described as ‘fit and proper’!!
      If,as I suspect,the prospective owner has to sign a legal document to promise certain conditions will be adhered to –
      THEN(ours is a prime example)they’ve broken that contract and punishment is inevitable???
      Makes you wonder,
      if ‘money has been changing hands’?!!

  • Carl Marks

    The difference between the club hierarchy/despotic regime and us,
    is they think we’re moronic –
    we know we’re NOT !!!!!!
    These snivelling,unimaginative PR soundbites have gone from being,
    intelligence insulting and nauseating,
    to vomit inducing.
    Why are the PL and FA remaining silent about what’s going on?
    Blubbersaurus may own the club,
    but surely they can’t be too chuffed with how he’s destroying it –
    not to mention the daily,negative publicity he’s bringing to English football in general !!!!

    • Leazes.

      We are!….well some of us…… it has worked….. Mark Douglas and Ryder will get a loaded SD card every Christmas.

      PL and FA was conceived from the London and Lancashire FA, they are the power blocks within the organisation…… they don’t particularly want a Newcastle in there taking a Euro place.

      • Carl Marks

        Obviously,when it comes to a North/South divide,it doesn’t just apply to wealth and wellbeing

        • Leazes.

          its not a north/south divide…. its a political power grab…. they strengthen their own positions.

    • ShearersRightPeg

      Maybe a petition to make MA do another test is whats needed. It wont happen but would be great publicity and hopefully press would start picking away at the details he submits. Or just a petition to make all FPO tests get reviewed often citing MA as a bad example

    • FatParosite

      The PL and FA are as corrupt as Ashley.

  • Foggy

    The wrong people definitely went down in that helicopter crash.

  • Mr_Kinnear

    I would expect hundreds of top class players are lining up to join NUFC. Once they ask for a specific wage, if it does not align with Ashley then it leaks out. The player then looks greedy. Surely negotiations should take place. Oh well no signing again but at least the PR people will say they tried.

    • Carl Marks

      Why would “hundreds of top class players” want to enter Dantes Inferno??

  • Kenny

    Here`s the latest at 11.37am.
    Newcastle have agreed terms with Miguel Almiron but have yet to agree a fee with his club.
    Source, Ed Aarons the Guardian.

    • mactoon

      If they haven’t agreed a fee they can’t talk to the player, and they won’t agree a fee because they want £24+ million!

      • Kenny

        That`s bollix, it happens all the time with agents, ask Chelsea

    • Carl Marks

      Oh,so he’s “demands” have suddenly stopped being “astronomical”??!!
      Well I’ll go to the foot of my stairs – and everyone elses!!
      Why does the expression,
      “Believe it when I see it”
      spring to mind??

      • Kenny

        I`m just posting what the Guardian has published, take it it leave it

        • FatParosite

          Instead of attacking the article get behind its principles

    • The Postman

      Anyone who still thinks Ashley wants the best for our club just needs to read the last 3 chapters of ” Kevin Keegan, my life in football “.
      I didn’t think I could hate the man anymore than I did when I gave up my season ticket 3 years ago after 30 years but the man is vile and no one should put a penny in his pocket. The only way to get him out is to stop going. It’s hard because we love our club, but it’s the only way

  • FatParosite

    There is only 1 thing in that article that is inaccurate. It is this spelling ‘whho ‘ Everything else is pure truth. Which is hard to come by when reading about NUFC or SDFC as it should be known.

  • Arty Hume

    Rafa SHOULD sign the contract….contingent on Ashley selling the club this month or the deal is off…….

  • Carl Marks

    I’d like to start a thread about the intro tune that’s played over the tannoy when the players enter the field of play
    A tune that reflects the current state of NUFC
    I’ll start –

    “Little Lies” FLEETWOOD MAC
    “Money Money Money” ABBA
    “We Don’t Talk Anymore” CLIFF RICHARD
    “We Close Our Eyes” GO WEST
    “You’re Lying” LINX
    “It’s A Heartache”
    “Tragedy” BEE GEES
    “Do They Know It’s Transfer Window Time”
    “Suicide Is Painless”
    “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
    “Broken Years”
    “What A Waste” IAN DURY
    “Emergency” 999

    • HarryHype59

      “We’re on the road to nowhere”
      Talking Heads


      “Lip up fatty”
      Bad Manners

      • Carl Marks

        keep ’em coming!

        “Promised You a Miracle”
        “Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore”
        “I Heard a Rumour”
        (or if we carry on as we are)

        • Tommy Adds

          AC/DC “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap”

          • Remarks

            if you tolerate this then your children will be next.

    • Tino o

      Boxers by morrisey the first line is “losing in front of your home crowd “🤣

      • Carl Marks

        “Shoplifters Of The World Unite”
        (buy a club and destroy it)

        • Tino o

          For charnley “you’re the one for me fatty “😂😂

          • Carl Marks

            produced by King Tubby
            “Fat Of The Land”
            THE PRODIGY

          • Danimal

            Everything’s For Sale by Manics?

          • drc74

            or hopelessly devoted to you

    • Mike D

      Marilyn Manson’s Cake and Sodomy is perhaps the best song for the situation. Mike Ashley’s got his cake and he’s sodomizing the fans repeatedly or maybe even continually.

      • Carl Marks

        “Sheriff Fatman”
        CARTER USM

        • Glockas

          Remember when Jim Bob knocked Philip Schofield over at some awards ceremony years ago?

        • 5floorshigh

          luv a bit of Carter…seen them live back in the day, supported by Sultans of Ping FC

    • Mirandinha9

      The most distinguishable song for NUFC these days is the Kinks’ song ‘Where have all the good times gone?’

    • 5floorshigh

      ‘this house is not for sale’…….Ryan Adams

  • Shipcote Willy

    The next phase of the PR spin will be subtly blaming Rafa for the problems at the club and the collapse of the fakeover. Ashley does and says what he likes as the full stadium effectively condones what he does.
    The media won’t challenge him so it’s up to the fans but letters and badly supported boycotts will have no effect on him and he probably gets a buzz out of it.

  • Jonas

    Is he waiting for the fabric of the universe to fall apart and natural orders to amongst other things – reverse? – players are not going to be asking for less money as the years go by, £100k pw is going to be what an good championship player will be on soon.
    He should do himself a favour and get out of this football lark.

  • Mr wobert

    I for one would like to wish Rafa well in his next appointment,wherever he ends up has got to be better than the under handed way fatty has treated him since his arrival.
    Rafa has always been a gentleman, when he leaves hope he writes a book about fatty, and what a disgusting t–t he is .

    • FatParosite

      NDA as Rafa leaves don’t expect a full exposé.

      • Mr wobert

        If he signs one, not so sure of that after the way fcb treated him, could be sweet revenge,lol

  • pedrodelgardo

    PRBullshit is the assett stripper’s favourite toy. Smoke and mirrors.

  • Rabid Dog

    By the way. Anything titled “must read” gets read last.

  • TheFatController

    Ashley doesn’t pretend he’s selling to fool the fans.

    He does it to fool the FA who are maybe watching closely now the investment in an element of their product seems to not meet with the criteria they set PL clubs …

  • deadtrail 74

    Does no-one in the press get that the takeover is dead? If Rafa has to sign a contract extension to get funds then the FCB is going nowhere. Also does the contract extension Rafa has signed already not count?