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Newcastle United – News Roundup – 29 July 2009.

Posted on July 29th, 2009 | 36 Comments |

McMahon gobs off
McMahon gobs off
A lot of the papers have picked up on The Profitable Group withdrawing their interest in the club. The Telegraph quotes Steve McMahon as follows:

We have pulled out. How long can you keep hanging on?

We have put a bid in and we have had no communication, no response – nothing.

It really is poor form from Newcastle, but if that’s the way they want to run their business, good luck to them.”

There were some suggestions that The Profitable Group had not demonstrated their ability to pay the £100m that Ashley wanted, but McMahon refuted this:

That is completely inaccurate.

I just feel sorry for the supporters – they deserve much, much better. They deserve to know what is going on.

We wanted to come in and turn the club round because it clearly needs something at the minute.”

Personally I think most of that is a load of hogwash. I even wonder if The Profitable Group ever had any serious intention of buying the club. I find it very odd that The Profitable Group went public on this in the first place as the transaction is supposedly covered by strict non-disclosure agreements. I have no doubt The Profitable Group made some noises in the direction of the club, possibly offering some ridiculously low price to ‘validate’ their insistence that they made a genuine bid, but I wonder if they ever really had any intention of following through. I will admit that I have no facts at my disposal to prove things one way or the other but this whole Profitable Group thing just doesn’t feel right.

I note that The Telegraph spins The Profitable Group’s withdrawal as a ‘setback’ but I’m inclined to think we’re better off without them, assuming they were ever a serious proposition in the first place. I suppose some people might throw a ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ accusation at me but the way I see it there’s no point replacing an unsatisfactory owner with another unsatisfactory owner.

The BBC’s report on this issue also suggests that ‘several parties remain interested in the club, but no timetable has been set’. I think a timetable should be set now. If Ashley can’t sell the club before the transfer window closes he may be stuck with it at least until the January transfer window opens. He needs to give himself enough time to deal in the transfer market so that he can reduce the wage bill and replace the necessary players.

There has been speculation – from The Mail in particular – that Ashley might put the club into Administration, but The Shields Gazette claims that there’s no danger of that according to ‘club sources’.

The Club Site tells us that Shola Ameobi, Steve Harper and Ryan Taylor will beck for tonight’s game against Leeds United. Chris Hughton said:

All three will be involved.

We’ve had a good response to Saturday’s defeat during the past couple of days.

And we’ll be looking for the lads to take that into the game.”

The Daily Mail claims that Arsenal are in talks with Newcastle about getting Tim Krul but I’m wearing a doubtful face about this one mainly because I can’t see who they’re actually in talks with at the club. I suppose they could be talking to someone like Llambias but this would contradict the transfer embargo that’s supposedly in place. Anyway, we’ll see.

Finally, The Guardian has two articles that cogitate on the general state of affairs at Newcastle United. Louise Taylor’s article takes the point of view that Ashley is still optimistic about selling the club rather than putting it into administration. Rob Bagchi’s article provides a general summary of the things that have gone wrong in the last few months, although I like the bit that defuses comments made by Matthew Syed, The Times newspaper’s prize chump.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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36 Responses

  1. At least one part of what the Profitable Group have to say will ring true with United supporters:

    “We have had no communication, no response – nothing”

    Sound familiar??

    On the Tim Krul thingy – I hope it’s not true. I suppose the one thing we have in our favour is that the Tottenham fanatic who currently owns our club (spit!) less likely to sell to Arsenal?

    We live in hope…….

  2. UTD111,

    I quite agree that the communication thingy could easily ring true of Ashley, but I thought Seymour Pearce were handling the sale so I would have thought all communication should be through them (this is another thing that makes me suspicious of the PG’s alleged intent to buy the club).

  3. Good roundup Hugh. I agree with you, I think the Profitable group never had any intention of buying the club. If you remember even Llambiarse dismissed them as potential buyers several weeks ago. If they were serious we’ve had a lucky escape as regardless of their business dealings I believe they’ve behaved very unprofessionally throughout the ‘sales process.’ This football club certainly deserves better than them

  4. Does anyone else think Ashley is being taken for a ride by people he’s had dealings with in the past? We all know he’s a fool and treats people with contempt. Perhaps he’s had dealings with some of the profitable group or some of the other bidders in the past and they are now giving him a taste of his own medicine? or is it just business and not personal?

    I’m really hacked off with the whole mess. I was really looking forward to WBA away. I wasn’t massively disappointed that we were relegated. We would be fielding a new team of current youngsters, the better older players and some new signings with Shearer as boss. Like I said I couldn’t wait to get the season going again, but instead we are in the biggest mess I’ve ever seen the club in. Even worse that the 80’s, well perhaps not, but close. Actually, we are in a worse position. We might have had the board from hell but at least we had owners and a manager.

    I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but I reckon the Orient match was a players protest. From what I’ve read on match reports we didn’t even bother.
    I’m not going to the WBA match. I’ve got relatives coming to visit for my daughters christening on the day after the game and now I’d rather spend time in the pub with them than watch a side that isn’t interested get hammered off the baggies.
    Ashley’s had £2.99 off me already this summer, he’s not getting any more! ;-)

  5. Just spotted this –

    “It looks like Alan Shearer will not be Newcastle manager for the new season as BBC presenter Gary Lineker says the former Magpies and England striker will once again be joining him on Match Of The Day.”

    Apparently it’s in The Sun. I found it on the BBC website.

  6. Hugh, good shout – you missed one out though; The Sun’s

    …”Shearer will be in the studio with us unless something dramatic happens.”

    …from Gary Lineker. He continued….

    “It is such a shame that a big club like that can be in a terrible mess. It is hard to know what will happen.”

    I think you can read that both ways though. I suppose it’s obvious really.

    I’ll get mi coat……..

  7. Decent article Deb, she’s been pretty good at summing up the ‘on-goings’ of late. On a side note, I bet that rabble that turned out on Saturday worked wonders in convincing any potential buyers we were a worthy investment, ready to bounce back up into the Premier League.

  8. Rod – can you imagine pockets full of cash, excitement at potentially owning a great club, then you watch that rabble and run for the hills.
    Intersetingly, I think the media are starting to turn in the fans favour and instead of lumping us, Ashley and anything to do with NUFC as self deluded jokes, they seem to be turning on Ashley and becoming more sympathetic to the fans. Funny how many of them are doing it on the same day. The fans could use this to reinforce that all we want is our club to be saved. So no antiAshley/Cockney mafia out cr*p, but a ‘we need help to save our club plea’. That would go down better with potential buyers than seeing a hate filled demo against our current owner and the deluded NUSC or whatever they call themsleves campaign to demand Shearer is installed as manager

  9. Yeah Deb, I agree with you about the media siding with the fans a bit, makes a refreshing change. Almost like a psychological arm ’round the shoulder from the bad stepfather who beat you as a child (just an analogy of course!) – not that it makes it much better mind, and come to think of it, it’s probably more ‘salt-rubbing’ than sympathy.

    I’m still optimistic something is about to happen though, this embargo surely signals change. If nowt’s happened by the middle of next week Ashley will probably have to resume the helm and appoint a real manager himself. I can only assume all the groundwork has already been done regarding transfers in and out and there’ll be a feeding frenzy in the last few days up to KO.

  10. geordie deb says:
    July 29, 2009 at 11:01 am

    “From our ‘mate’ Louise… actually to be fair its’not bad for her”

    Deb,

    When the puff adder stops hissing and backs away a little, that is often when it is at it’s most dangerous.

    That evil, Mackem puff adder still repeating the same old unsubstantiated rumours as if they are facts, but her more moderate tone lulls us into a false sense of security, and makes us more inclined to believe them.

  11. ….look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it, eh Worky? You could be right, after all she is a journalist.

  12. Rodzilla says:
    July 29, 2009 at 11:56 am

    “….look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it, eh Worky? You could be right, after all she is a journalist.”

    Rod, it’s just that with her more moderate tone, we’re more likely to believe the specious old crap she’s slipped in there as reality.

  13. Rod
    I am still hoping a sale will materialise. Bearing in mind the current turmoil at the club, it’s interseting that the club have reacted to statements in the media to issue denials on certain issues such as Joe Kinnear, administration etc, but they never take the initiative to manage the news positively to try to get the fans on side or at least placated. I know it’s symptomatic of their tenure at the club but how different it could all have been. At the end of the day the fans need to be reassured by someone. Maybe Seymour Pierce could come out with a short statement to let everyone know what’s going on ie still talking to interested parties and we remain very hopeful of a conclusion before the new season, or we are a long way from any decision being made, new bidders have enetered the ring and it will take weeks for due diligence yada yada yada. But you get the picture. I know people will say they don’t need to update the fans and in normal situations I would agree but this is hardly a normal situation.

  14. All messages from the club in the last 12 months appear to be riddled with spite and/or contempt.

  15. It’s possible that Ashley holds a grudge against the fans for their post-Keegan backlash (and possibly the players too for being outspoken about things at times). Maybe he feels he owes us squat in the way of decent updates about what’s going on with the takeover.

  16. The thing is though, Hugh, he doesn’t have to. It’s that odious little man, Llambias who should be talking to us. I’ve said all along that Ashley should not have to come out and speak to us. He shouldn’t be running the club. He obviously would want some input as he owns it, but the main operational decisions should be down to penfold. Unfortunately he’s clueless.
    Has has been stated before, he’s only really involved with the selling of the club by setting the price and accepting the offer. Everything else, he has appointed someone else to do it.
    Llambias comes across to me as one of those 70’s villains who had a couple of knocking shops in soho. If anyone’s watched The Bank Job, he reminds me of the guy who runs the strip club. I reckon our beloved chairman is the one holding us in contempt and he’s playing the spoiled child.

  17. Micky
    I agree. Ashley was known as a virtual recluse when he bought the club. All the speculation in the press at the time is that he would never be seen in Newcastle or we would never hear from him then to everyone’s astonishment he is in a Toon shirt buying drinks for all his new mates in the Bigg Market and travelling to away matches which he has described as his happiest times at the club, just being a fan. To me that fits in with his wish to have acquired the club as a ‘hobby’ and to appoint people who would run the club on his behalf. However good, bad or worse they have been at performing those duties, they are the one’s responsible for carrying out those duties and communicating. It should not be the owners job, nor do you see that at most other clubs/businesses, to communicate directly with the fans/customers. All was going swimmingly with Chris Mort as chairman, Llambiarse is where it all started to go completely pear shaped IMO. What I can’t understand is why he has been reluctant to change his chairman.

  18. Deb,

    I don’t think he wants to change the MD as he’s a very loyal guy.

    That on it’s own is a admirable trait. Just how blind do you go……?

  19. geordie deb says:
    July 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    “Llambiarse is where it all started to go completely pear shaped IMO.”

    Deb, it was when he appointed Keegan. Once he made that mother of all stupid decisions, he sowed the seeds of his own downfall as owner of Newcastle United.

  20. workyticket says:
    July 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm
    geordie deb says:
    July 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    “Llambiarse is where it all started to go completely pear shaped IMO.”

    Deb, it was when he appointed Keegan. Once he made that mother of all stupid decisions, he sowed the seeds of his own downfall as owner of Newcastle United.

    Things were going swimmingly well compared to these days when KK was at the club.

    Things went pair shaped when Wise, Llambias, Vetere and Jiminez joined.

    We stopped hearing anything at all from the club once Llambias arrived.

    He’s been Ashley’s major error in my opinion. The link between club and fans faltered and broke down completely after his appointment.

  21. Have to agree with Stu but let’s not go over old arguments between us, eh? We all know what our stances are re Keegangate?

    Anybody fancy putting a (decent) vote in on here? –

    http://www.footballfancast.com/blog/newcastle-united/this-last-thing-newcastle-united-need/15287

    Hopefully encourage some more Mags who read that to chip in our site and spice it up a little?

    At the minute, the article looks a little sorry for itself on Fancast with no votes and no comments :D

  22. – Disenchanted fan looking for moderately successful and relatively stable football club (Premiership status preferred but not essential). Will swap for Newcastle United FC + decades of broken promises + lifetime of bitterness + one unused Minerva ball circa 1982 and used ticket stub from season 1989-90. ONO. Successful bidder must have GSOH. –

  23. bowburnmag says:
    July 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    “Have to agree with Stu but let’s not go over old arguments between us, eh? We all know what our stances are re Keegangate?”

    We all know what our stances are regarding Ashley and Llambias too, yet it’s ok to go over the same arguments regarding them. So why is that issue in particular different to the others? What are the psychological reasons behind this taboo?

  24. I see on nufcblog they’re arguing about Xisco (supposedly) being gay. At least the trouble I started was interesting.

  25. Hiring Dennis Wise as a director of football, replacing Chris Mort with a mono-browed mute, backing Wise over Keegan, hiring a fella with health problems to manage the most voluble club in England, fail to replace said Manager until it was too late, consistently failing to back his Managers in the transfer market, mainting a vow of silence a trappist Monk would be proud of – just a few of Ashley’s masterstrokes over the last few years.

    All that said, no return for that other fat Shyster Freddie, please.

  26. We all know what our stances are regarding Ashley and Llambias too, yet it’s ok to go over the same arguments regarding them. So why is that issue in particular different to the others? What are the psychological reasons behind this taboo?

    ==================

    Personally I don’t have any particular taboo about issues, but I think if any taboo exists about Keegangate it’s probably because it split the fans quite a bit.

    Whereas most fans tend to think that Ashley/Llambias has turned out to be a disappointment now, even if they ‘sided’ with him during Keegangate.

    I accept that those are generalisations but they are correct ones IMHO.

  27. worky – in the meantime, Hugh has answered for me really. I just think it’s consigned to history and we can debate the whys and wherefores of ‘the now’ because it’s current, topical and will shape our future. Ultimately, there’s nowt to be gained from going over old ground about how we believe it all panned out last summer?

    Caught the last 15 mins on my way back from my game and sounded half decent though none of our lot set the world alight.

    We got beat 5-1 off Consett :S

    Good side like.

  28. I waited until about 30 minutes after kick off to get in. They only opened 2 turnstiles to pay on the day and loads of people turned up. They then opened up 2 more but ran out of tickets. The match was a bore though.

    In other news Sky Sports News reporting that Newcastle have accepted a £9 million bid from Wolfsburg for Martins. Hopefully the money is put back in the squad rather than Ashley’s pockets (not very likely).

  29. bowburnmag says:
    July 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    “worky – in the meantime, Hugh has answered for me really. I just think it’s consigned to history”

    Yes and no really Bowburn. That event is over, but that’s not what I was writing about really. I’m interested in the self destructive collective psychology of Newcastle United, and what causes it. I have a very keen interest in both psychology, and Newcastle United, so it’s a subject I’ve been intrigued by for some time. The Keegan problem is something of a case study.for me.

  30. Ever seen a mackem in Milan says:
    July 29, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    “In other news Sky Sports News reporting that Newcastle have accepted a £9 million bid from Wolfsburg for Martins. Hopefully the money is put back in the squad rather than Ashley’s pockets (not very likely).”

    If they have accepted an offer, it could mean that they have reached some kind of agreement with new owners over the exit of certain players. It could also mean one or two other things as well though.

  31. Yeah, I get you worky. I don’t agree fully per se but I understand what you’re saying.

  32. Worky, I really do think owners have a huge part to play in any club’s downfall. It may not be the only factor but to my mind it’s the main factor.

    Even if things happen that could not reasonably be attributed directly to them, how the owners respond to those things can have an enormous influence on whether a club rides out a storm or capsizes.

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