It was Sir John Hall who delivered Newcastle United into the hands of Mike Ashley.

Taking the money and running, almost 12 years later the former NUFC owner still refuses to accept any blame for the misery that has played out since.

Sir John Hall still claiming: ‘Mike Ashley came with the best intentions…I firmly believe that.’

We get Mike Ashley claiming now that he won’t sell Newcastle United to just anybody, only to someone who can take the club forward, Hall also claimed this back in the day and since taking Ashley’s money.

The simple truth of  course is that it is all about the bottom line with all of them, only caring  about the amount of money on offer rather than the identity of whoever is handing it over.

Lazy people might see the breakdown between Mike Ashley and the fans starting in September 2008 when Kevin Keegan walked out and sued the owner for constructive dismissal after being repeatedly lied to.

However, it was long before then when the foundations were laid.

Tony Jimenez revealed last year that he and Dennis Wise were actually working for Mike Ashley and Newcastle United long before being officially announced in January 2008 after Kevin Keegan was announced as replacing Sam Allardyce.

Jimenez stating that he and Wise were part of the interviewing process and met with Kevin Keegan before Ashley offered him the job.

To suggest Mike Ashley came with the ‘best intentions’ when only seven or eight months later he appointed Kevin Keegan and told him he had the final say on transfers in and out, whilst having already got Dennis Wise in position to have the final say on transfers instead – unbeknown to Kevin Keegan, tells me there were absolutely no ‘best intentions’ from very early on.

I do agree with Sir John Hall though when he says there is no chance of Newcastle winning anything, or even trying to in reality, until Mike Ashley has sold up.

However, for anybody to seriously believe that Ashley has genuinely been trying to sell the club takes some doing, considering he put it up for sale in 2008 and 11 years later he still owns Newcastle United.

If he has been trying then he hasn’t been trying very hard.

Sir John Hall speaking to The Daily Star:

“Mike Ashley came with the best intentions…I firmly believe that.

“He wanted to globalise Newcastle and to use the club to market his brand of goods in the Far East.

“But he fell out with supporters pretty quickly and for too many years now, it’s been a holding operation.

“The club is in limbo.

“Mike has had enough and for everyone’s sake, the sooner he moves on the better. That’s my fervent wish for 2019.

“But it’s imperative whoever he sells to has the finance to take this magnificent club forward.

“It’s not just about coughing up £300m, and from what I hear there is nothing yet on the table, but having the resources to change the whole club and buy players who can take us to where we should be.

“A lot has changed, fortunately in Rafa Benitez, we have got a world class manager and the fans are as passionate as ever.

“I’ll be celebrating if we manage to draw this one

“Back then [when Hall owned NUFC] the aim every season was to win the title, now it’s all about survival.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs, probably a few more downs in recent times.

“I have often tried to get my head around why it’s been so long [50 years without a trophy].

“In my day, maybe we tried too hard.

“Had we won the league under Kevin, I am convinced Newcastle’s history would be very different

“The harsh reality is that today, more than at any time since 1969, we are probably further away than ever from winning something.

“And there is no chance of doing so until there is change at the club.”



  • Themoscow72

    If anyone makes an offer of £280m or more the club will be under new ownership.
    That price is a bargain with round £80m due from player sales and very little to go out on players. What the protesters fail to understand is that no one seems capable of meeting the asking price and what sort of income will they be able to generate to take the club forward. Yes one day you might get a new owner but there will be very little money to spend at all. To break into the elite we will need a very rich owner and there are none on the horizon. There will be very little change with a new owner mark my words.

    • Geordiegiants

      Happy New Year. I hope you recover quickly and get out of the asylum soon.

      • Themoscow72

        Be out for the match tonight be in the Three Bulls for five to celebrate the New Year having a toast to all Mag readers.

        • Geordiegiants

          Day release?

    • Will Venus

      ‘Yes one day you might get a new owner but there will be very little money to spend at all’. I know you won’t, but would you care to explain that statement given that you have absolutely no idea who a new owner might be and how much money they might have?? ‘There will be very little change with a new owner Mark my words’??. Stop posting absolute and utter nonsense, or better still, go somewhere else and do it.

      • Themoscow72

        Well for a start the prospective owners seem to be having trouble raising the asking price never mind having enough money to white wash the gents and putting down new grass seed in the Summer.
        Currently our trading position should generate £40m each year to spend on players. Wait and see when the accounts come out in March next year who is right.

        • JohnCornwell’sHair

          Where is this 40 million a season?
          “Should generate”? We haven’t seen a nut.
          And even then what does 40 million get you these days, apparently your mate Mike loves a gamble but he’s not been willing to take any gamble on NUFC for nigh on 12 years.

        • Tweed Mag

          Can’t wait for the accounts, MASH and SD.

        • Will Venus

          What prospective owners you clown? The club isn’t for sale. The only whitewash is what is coming out of Ashley’s mouth. Using your logic or pure guess work, our trading position could generate £400m each year, it still wouldn’t be spent on players. As for the accounts…..really? Gullible is too kind a word for you

    • Tweed Mag

      Monk, you may be right about there being no buyers on the horizon. Perhaps they have been frightened off by the conditions of sale, the state of the accounts, the lack of commercial opportunity (because the oaf has it all tied to SD) the lack of trust and last but not least the neglect of the club infrastructure. Is the club really for sale? The only man who knows runs by his motto “Everyone cheats in business”. The one thing that might change with a new owner is honesty – now that would be good for everyone. John Hall fell in to Ashley’s trap eleven years ago and has obviously lived to regret it. When will you wake up and see sense?

      • Themoscow72

        The one thing we do have unlike when Ashley took over is a strong balance sheet. Take his interest free loan out which is in the sale price and I bet we have the strongest balance sheet in the league. Round £80m to come in from player sales nothing to go out. All clubs are for sale just no one is interested in ours at the modest price of £300m something the protesters should bear in mind.

        • JohnCornwell’sHair

          Protesters should bear it in mind why?
          Do you seriously think the limited protests so far are putting off potential buyers, or do you think we all should just pipe down and accept our lot?

        • Big Hairy Man

          Who needs trophies or European football when we have what every passionate supporter craves? A strong balance sheet.

        • Tweed Mag

          I think we would all like a strong team, able to compete with the best. Good financial management is also appreciated, but asset stripping is not.

  • Paul Patterson

    “He wanted to globalise Newcastle and to use the club to market his brand of goods in the Far East.”

    And the best way to do this was to employ Llambias and Wise?

    The clubs profile, sponsorship and marketing has been stripped back to levels akin to the 80’s. Ashley bought the club without a plan and took decisions on the hoof without any idea on how to oversee the football side of things. Something which he STILL continues to do.
    He has had countless opportunities to run the club as a football club that could have easily made his business interests more money than it already has. He CHOSE not to.

    Incompetence at best, sabotage at worst. If someone actually set about to destroy a football club, I fail to see how you would do any better than Ashley has.

    • Geordiegiants

      Doug Ellis done alright.

    • Mrkgw

      Well said.

  • Mrkgw

    John Hall is the very reason that we are stuck with this present despicable. Again, in a previous quote from 2007;

    ‘Mike Ashley is a major player in the sporting world and I am convinced that he is the right person to take my place and take the club forward,” said Sir John Hall.

    How misguided was that? Its not about scapegoating and we all make mistakes but, at the end of the day, Shepherd didn’t want this. Supporters quickly discovered why, as in Mike Ashley, we have been served an arduous, prolonged and avoidable horror show. The sale was made in absolute haste and John Hall surely can’t have bothered himself with adequately checking out the new owner so as to safeguard the future of the club. It was presumably about one thing only – money.

    We need this misfit to leave our club. Oust the regime. ASHLEY OUT!

    • Geordiegiants

      John Hall has been the best thing and the worst thing to ever happen to this club. He just like the fatcunt thought about nothing but his estate, and has openly said so recently.

  • Alex

    Personally, I cant blame SJH for choosing to sell to Ashley. If I’m selling my house for £150K and someone offers me what I want, then I’m not going to think too much about if they’re going to stop the roof from leaking or the windows from falling out.

    If they say they’re going to improve the house and put a conservatory on, I’d have no reason to disbelieve them. This just shows that Ashley lied to SJH, too.

    • Tweed Mag

      I can see what you mean, but did 52,000 turn up at your house every other week? Did the sale of your house include the future of numerous employees and the hopes of the fans? John Hall knew he was responsible for the future of the club and he pushed the sale through. He is still trying to justify the mistake he made.

      • Alex

        The sale of the house would have an impact on my neighbours and all those living in my street. But, when the price was negotiated, he didn’t tell me about the 2 rottweilers (‘Wise’ and ‘Llambias’) that would eventually terrorise the whole street.

        You can’t say that anyone is ‘responsible’ for the future of anything, after they cease to own it. If you think that, then you’ll believe that Ashley will only sell to a buyer who agrees to take the club to the next level. Do you honestly believe that? Like any seller, he will sell to the buyer who offers the best price.

        • Carl Marks

          Alex
          I agree – but they didn’t sell the club to someone who’s made the club resemble a motorway pile up at rush hour.
          Look at the evidence since Ashley was allowed to contaminate the club from the very top to the very bottom –
          the only surprise being,
          that it didn’t affect the morale and subsequent mediocre performance of the players a lot sooner –
          you don’t have to be Nostradamus to know that eventually the “cancer” would trickle down from the very top and spread to the players!!

          • Alex

            I agree too, Carl, but McKeag and Rutherford wouldn’t have asked Hall, “Are you going to build a new stadium and take this club into Europe…. or… are you going to leech it, give it two relegations, and take the mick out of the fans?”

            All they asked was a price, and it was paid. That’s what SJH did, and that’s what Ashley will do, too.

        • Tweed Mag

          Your house is not an institution, relied upon by many, offering not just entertainment but a sense of belonging that a club like NUFC should. Comparing the two has limited parallels, but the scale is miles apart.

          • Alex

            An “institution” is an emotional word, and nothing to do with an asset that has value and trades as a business.

          • Tweed Mag

            So why compare a house sale to the purchase of Newcastle United then?

          • Alex

            Because both are assets, belonging to individuals, with an underlying value, that goes up and down with regard to market forces. An ‘institution’ is merely an emotional feeling.

          • Tweed Mag

            ‘Merely’ – I think there is a lot more to it than that. Many people are attached to NUFC (I dare say you are) and trying to belittle that shows a lack of understanding.

          • Alex

            My stake in NUFC is absolutely emotional, as is that of other fans. I understand that fully. But buyers and sellers don’t look from that angle. It means absolutely zilch.

            I doubt Abramovich and Mansour were Chelsea and City diehard fans when they bought their clubs. They, simply, bought two football businesses that they thought they could develop. And, just how they’ve done that!! While Ashley has sought to make money by NOT spending it, these two have invested and made their clubs into mega-businesses.

          • Tweed Mag

            And we all know which business plan we would prefer.

    • Paul Patterson

      I’m more concerned that he absolutely shafted Freddy Shepherd.
      To not even allow him the chance to have a say was scandalous.
      Just goes to show businessmen don’t retain friends easily.

    • Carl Marks

      Before he was a capitalist,he was born a Geordie,(that comes with a responsibility –
      not to sell the “family silver” to someone who makes Del Boy Trotter seem like one of the Teletubbies!!

      • Alex

        Nonsense. By that definition, Rutherford and McKeag should never have sold the ‘family silver’, either.

        People forget that SJH and FS took us to another dimension, one that is frequently mentioned on here, as a level we should be aiming at right now.

        The fact that Ashley decided otherwise, and took us in the opposite direction, is down to Ashley alone.

  • joe mac

    when did the tory supporting capitalist Sir john Hall do anything financialy that didnt involve a profit?

    • DeadToiler

      Well said totally agree. Hall is a greedy c***. He took a lot more out than he put in, but likes to be seen as some sort of benevolent character

    • Carl Marks

      Well said!!
      Nothing more sobering,than a reality check!!!

  • Carl Marks

    I completely agree with Sir John Hall –
    Mike Ashley did buy the club “with the best of intentions”
    a) As a massive advertising vehicle for disreputable sports chain.
    b) To make an astronomical amount of money(why would a lifelong capitalist Spurs fan want NUFC to do well?)
    c) To treat one of ex players,who was recovering from testicular cancer so disgracefullly.
    d) To lie on an so much on an industrial scale,he’s set a new world record.
    e) To sit on his throne on match days,surveying the carnage he created,
    whilst laughing at the fifty plus thousand who,
    despite professing their “undying love” for NUFC
    will not,for some ultra bizarre reason,refuse to do what’s needed to rid the club of him and stand the slightest chance of ever winning anything(in his eyes he’s
    “died and gone to heaven”!!!
    the list is endless….
    just like the queue of people willing to hand over their cash to the very person who’s destroying THEIR club NOT his –
    End the Ashley Nightmare!
    STOP “feeding the problem”!!!!!!!!!!

  • NUFC9

    ONly selling to someone who has the wealth to take the club forward is a total red herring. In these days of financial fair play, a rich oligarch/sheikh can no longer throw money at the club from his own personal wealth the way Abramovic did 15 years ago and Mansour 10 years ago.

    Whoever the next owner of Newcastle Utd is, the club will have to fund itself so all we need is somebody who allows the club to operate to its full potential and the manager to spend the money the club generates. (As opposed to running it on the lowest possible budget purely as an advertising vehicle for their primary business.)

    • NUFC9

      Look at Spurs as an example. They were around our level when Ashley took over. Upper mid table with similar revenues, fan base, etc. They’ve been run professionally and ambitiously for the past 12 years but have not had money pumped in by the owner. They’ve got where they are under their own steam while we have gone massively backwards through mismanagement.

      • Carl Marks

        My sentiments entirely!!
        Ashley has no emotional attachment to NUFC(he’s a lifelong Spurs fan)
        Therefore,why would he want to sell a constant source of income??
        He’s not going to “shoot the goose that lays the golden egg”!!!
        As much as I detest him,he’d be a moron to sell the club!

        • Kenny

          Chelsea Fan

          • Carl Marks

            I think you’ll find he’s a Spurs fan – have you forgotten,that a couple of seasons back,he offered the players a significant bonus to beat Arsenal,towards the very end of that season(possibly the last game)
            Why?
            Because,if we’d beaten Arsenal,Spurs would have qualified for a Champions League place instead of Arsenal!!

          • Kenny

            He`s a Chelsea fan, always has been.

          • Carl Marks

            I remember reading in the national and local media,
            shortly after “it” bought NUFC that he was a Spurs fan –
            I remember it vividly,due to the massive “Why would a Spurs fan buy NUFC?” alarm bell ringing.
            If,as you say,he’s a Chelsea fan,what did the tightest man who ever stalked the planet stand to gain,from rewarding/
            bribing our players money,to beat Arsenal so Spurs would grab the final Champions League place?

            Chelsea/Spurs is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things –
            it doesn’t detract from the fact that he has no emotional attachment to NUFC – just everyones hard earned cash
            Yes the passion on here is phenomenal(great to know you’re not suffering alone)
            but we’ve always been,still are,always will be,
            Newcastle UNITED
            not
            Newcastle Divided

          • DeadToiler

            One thing for certain he’s not a Newcastle fan.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            I’ve heard him referred to as a Spurs fan by some and a Chelsea fan by others. Why do you think it’s Chelsea Kenny?

          • Kenny

            Know your enemy, He`s a Chelsea fan Ok

          • Gallowgate Dave

            Judging from a few of his past statements, (as much as you can trust the man like), I think he’s a Chelsea fan but he’s not really that bothered. I thought you might have some more insight but judging by your answer it didn’t provide much!

      • Billmag

        Said this before what multi-million pound business is run by an office boy, someone that never speaks to the media. This club isn’t run correctly if it was Chumley wouldn’t be at the helm.

  • Kenny

    His intention was to strip the club bare and a fine job he`s doing of it.

  • Leicester Mag

    Sir John plays an early visit to South Shields solicitors Haddawayanshyte!

    • Paul Patterson

      Or Ashley’s – Duey, Shaftem and Howe.

    • Philippines

      Or Boyle Boyle and Carbuncle.

  • Dillon Tovak

    If someone walks into a room with the intention of making friends but within half an hour has beaten everyone up, you don’t credit him for his initial intention.

    What ever happened to Steve Howeys wild claims the sale would be announced today? 😂

    • Kneebotherm8

      Before the Manure game he said….6 hours to go…..time for it to happen yet……..apparently…..😂

    • FatParosite

      Howie = Mackem

  • FatParosite

    John Hall simply has to offer ‘Mike Ashley came with the best intentions…I firmly believe that.’ because it mitigates against his own right and proper caveat. John Hall is a liar too.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Correct.

  • JohnnyH

    The last 12 years have provided ample proof of Ashley’s intentions.

    He’s sold off land assets worth millions effectively preventing future stadium development on Strawberry place. He’s run the club, stadium and infrastructure down to what you can see with your own eyes. TV money and aggregated income not spent on the club…..but where is it? Dodgy accounting.

    The real sadness is that people either don’t see it, or don’t care coz they just want to go to the match whatever.

    Next season will be the same whatever happens with relegation or Rafa leaving 50.000 will still go. Would it happen at any other club?

    • Andy Mac

      Maybe if Rafa leaves and we get Joe Average as manager then the happy clappers (who dont actually clap or make any noise whatsoever) will realise they’ve been had.

      However as someone once said “It’s a lot easier to fool someone than for them to accept they’ve been fooled”

  • Albert Stubbins

    Two Wrang uns!!

  • X2

    What’s with this “But it’s imperative whoever he sells to has the finance to take this magnificent club forward.” tosh? No. All that is required is that a new owner re-invests the money generated by the club instead of stripping it and grinding it into the dirt. We should be comparable to clubs like Spurs.

  • Mike

    aye rito Mr Hall then y don’t u do a decent thing before u go buy the club back u cant take all your money with u

    • JohnnyH

      Aye and give it back to the fans to make up for the Ashley years

    • 1957

      The club was nothing more than cash cow for the robber baron and his family and his sidekick

  • 1957

    Hall floated the club in self interest so he could reap dividends and exorbitant salaries from the club for him, Freddie and their families… using it as a cash cow. It was his plan from the day he took over.

    He sold to the first person to offer an upfront cash deal for his shares, someone who has used the club for his own self interest, to support his major business.

    Hall needs to come out and admit he sold because he needed the money (his other business interests were in trouble and the club couldn’t sustain the level of payments he had previously enjoyed), not because he thought big Mike was going to take us to a new level.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I still hold that old f**k just as culpable for the downfall of the club as fat boy has been.
    He sold the club to the “Barrow-Boy” in the first instance and cannot see that Ashley told him his primary for the purchase of the club was to advertise his business.
    That is exactly what he has done and raised his net worth from 1.9 Billion to 3.8 Billion in his time at the club.

    That being said, Why the f**k would he want to sell the place ?

    • Jonathan Gibson

      what a load of rubbish, Sir Johns development of the club from under mckeag etc to were he took it was simular to a modern day manchester city. The guy was immense for the club and the whole of the north east sporting and buisness world be it rugby, ice hockey, metro centre. When he sold to a billionaire who had a blueprint that prity much all fans agreed was fantastic there was zero slagging sir john back then. Id guess your a clueless teenager

      • 1957

        He ditched the rugby team and the ice hockey team when they didn’t make him money.

        Hall’s claim to fame really is becoming rich while risking little or any of his own money, be that the metro centre development or at NUFC. The metro centre development put many small businesses who were sub contracted to the project on the brink of bankruptcy due to the payment periods Cameron Hall insisted on…

        • Jonathan Gibson

          All good buisness men have an exit strategy and his was initiated from start of poor health any sub contractor on a framework agreement would be given payment terms and conditions, if they were extended terms then they should factor in with there own profit and loss cash flow, anyway in my eyes he was newcastles saviour and i loved the times under his control, his vision was second to none, best stadium in league for quality too

      • X,WHY,Y MAN.

        Utter twaddle !
        Another business man who was nothing but a crook who put very little into the club and walked away with millions.
        A couple of good seasons where we didn’t win anything with the rest of the time struggling and not really taking the club forward.
        Yes there were a few high spots, If you can call them that, But in the end the Halls and Shepherds were nothing but a bunch of Boom and Bust merchants !

    • Andy Mac

      Said it before and so many times its probably become an LP (remember those) by now ? Not only did the Robber Baron suck every last drop of money out of the club he also had no choice but to sell to the Fatman as others came and went after checking our finances and realised we were a dead duck with the bank refusing to extend facilities and sponsor money hocked for 4 years.

      Let’s not forget they also took millions out of the club in dividends and refused to back SBR in our second year of CL football apart from Lee freakin Bowyer on a free.

      Hall can go fk himself along with those hangers on including the snidey, cheating, womaniser

  • 1ewis

    The only way for NUFC to win any trophy is to get to bed early.

    That way you can dream of a Saudi takeover. The only way you can beat oil money is with MORE oil money.