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Ashley has made waves but is he turning the tide at Newcastle?

Posted on September 3rd, 2009 | 66 Comments |

Tight as a......
Tight as a......
Here’s something a little controversial from someone who has had very little positive to say about Mike Ashley since last summer. What would you say if I was to suggest he may turn out to be, not the worst thing to have happened to Newcastle United in recent years? OK listen, I haven’t lost it completely, I don’t think. For the last twelve months, I’ve struggled to find an emotion beyond abject loathing to describe how I feel about the bloke but something is changing in me, even if I’m crucified for admitting it. At least hear me out anyway.

Football is arguably all about winning. The ‘getting there’ is part of the fun but is ultimately a means to an end for most. So what it comes down to is wanting to be successful. As a result, the game becomes about gaining a competitive advantage and one way to do that, is to throw a stack load of money at it, which we threw by the barrel load. And what did it get us? Naff-all except close to financial meltdown.

Instead, in rode Mike Ashley with his bright ideas, prudent business acumen and his novel notion of mixing with the working class kids in the stands. Once he tried to bring the good times back via Kevin Keegan’s third coming it all went pair-shaped but not before he’d implemented a financial strategy to put the club back onto a firmer footing. There is perhaps a fair argument to say that he did this for selfish reasons (to make a profit potentially more viable when the time came to sell?) and that we only benefitted as a by-product.

Well that might be true but either way we’re now hopefully in a much healthier position in terms of the balance sheets, though that will be clarified in due course. That fact was a lot harder to digest last season with our inevitable slide because a balanced book doesn’t necessarily keep you in The Premiership and our current status is testament to that. However, winning football tends to clear the senses and give a different perspective and our start to this campaign proves that. It’s not really right or wrong, it’s just a fact. And so more and more supporters are coming around to the idea that whenever Mike Ashley leaves us, his legacy might not be as disastrous as it seemed back in May.

Mike Ashley has a long way to go to prove he can run a football club and he made some unforgivably bad decisions and appeared to show contempt and disrespect to loyal fans but the longer his tenure goes on due to a lack of a sale, the more water there will flow under the bridge. Some will hold grudges for an eternity but human nature and current popular concensus suggests that many more will be prepared to let bygones be just that and who knows what the future could hold if we continue in this current vein of form on the pitch? Maybe he’s a better businessman than I give him credit for. Perhaps this is all some ruse and he’s always intended to ride out the storm, while in the meantime, the results turn around and he gradually gains popularity.

Of course, it is just as likely to end in vitriol and cliched statements and there may yet be evidence to support the anti-Ashley stance but whether Mike Ashley finally leaves here via a ticker-tape parade or under a hail of rocks, one thing is certain for me.
If it’s proven in time that his actions have directly or indirectly managed to –

  • Cleanse the soul of this football club from the corporate and glory-seeking monsters.
  • Clear debt which may have finished the club.
  • Give some fans a wake-up call on the financial implications of trying to buy success at any cost.
  • Provide the basis of a decent youth policy.

then despite the humbling relegation, publicly humiliating decisions and painful national scrutiny, his coming won’t have been the worst thing to happen to Newcastle United Football Club. Just about anyway.

There now, that wasn’t so bad. I’m off for a good cleanse……

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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66 Responses

  1. Some good thoughts in your peice,myself…i think yes he has been nadly advised and made some strange footballing decisions,however he has brought in some very exciting young players and of course reduced the ridiculously high wage bill,yes we have got rid of a lot of players in the summer but how many true fans actually care about losing the majority of those players, these were the individuals that helped get us relegated in the first place and having seen the match on Monday you can see a togetherness in the team that is left yes there was little bits of bitching but they care and want to prove they can bounce straight back up and lets hope we do

  2. good job on this blog bowburn, first time i’ve checked it out,been to busy for ages to comment on any blogs and to be fair the old blog turned into a bit of a joke for ages, althogh it has been getting better of late,i’m still at the hatred stage with ashley though, good article though

  3. I feel sick to my stomach to do so but in many ways agree with your comments. I just can’t believe that Ashley would actually be so horrible a bloke to have set out for all of this to happen. He’s admitted to mistakes and wants to sell but I feel that it’s his subsequent continued silence that has led to us all feeling the way we do about him.

    I went on a tour with my family after celebrating my son’s birthday with lunch at the club and we were told that the corporate boxes have been reduced in price by half for this season to try and keep that money coming in but at the games this season it’s the corportae seats that are empty and boxes at the Gallowgate side of the Milburn Stand have all been closed for the season due to the lack of sales. It seems that a lot of the prawn sandwich brigade have flown already but Ashley is looking at the situation in a sound business sense to try and strike a balance between getting rid and keeping sweet!

    Anyway, onwards and upwards with or without them hopefully!

  4. A decent youth policy was by far his best decision , we could end up reaping the rewards of his invesment in the younger players for years . How much debt thier was and how much of it he has cleared , we may never find out , but we certainly where not financily stable . That was not Ashleys fault it was his predecessor that spent huge amounts on players that were here to fill thier bank balance and did not care about the club . Owen being the biggest culprit . Ashley biggest problem was not appointing a chairman that understood both how to run a football club and how to connect with the fans . Relegation felt like a disaster , but it has been coming ever since Sir Bobby was sacked and now that it is sinking in could end up being the best thing that has happened in years . Why ? because it has allowed the club to get rid of a lot of over paid deadwood and gives the kids a chance to prove themselves at the club . If this season ends in promotion then 1 season outside the EPL will have been the lesson that we needed . Once we are promoted the club will be easier to sell and we will be rid of Ashley . Nobody including me wants him here anymore yet the perverse thing is , he really could in the long run be the owner that we needed at the time .

  5. Davy Craig says:
    September 3, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    “It seems that a lot of the prawn sandwich brigade have flown already”

    Shouldn’t it be the ‘prawn stottie brigade’ at SJP Davy? :-)

  6. BBM – are you on new medication LOL?
    An interesting article. I think there are positives to his tenure especially on the financial side and developing the youth team. The strategy he was trying to adopt was the right one as for validation we only have to look at some of the youngsters we have on our books. I agree with Mark’s points also.
    If only Ashley had recruited an experienced football chairman like David Dein to run the show I bet last years events would never have happened. We were told at the beginning that he did not want to get involved in running the club but he should have ensured he had somebody competent to do so.What has been so difficult to fathom is his behaviour when things have gone pear shaped – talk about burying your head in the sand and becoming more obstinate which has not helped to resolve the issue just made it worse.
    He should have recognised long ago that Llambiarse is out of his depth. He is a poor communicator and doesn’t have the credibility to run this club. Happy the destructive Wise was given his marching orders but his mate Derek should have gone as well. However long Ashley is staying he should change Llambiarse. Ironically it looks like he is very loyal to his friends which is a good thing but often there is misplaced loyality which is the case here.
    So in summary, several pluses, we all know the negatives, let’s see how much he has learnt if he is planning on staying longer term

  7. Davy Craig
    Following up on your point, one of the good things about relegation is getting rid of some of the ‘prawn sandwich/stottie (thanks Worky) brigade’. Many of the plastic fans have s*dded off again and can leave the rest of us to enjoy it. Funny as it seems I am enjoying the Championship – it somehow feels more real.

  8. Deb, I was going to same same. He admitted to mistakes, but then never learnt from them and so nothing has changed.
    Why cant he see that good communication with his customers is absolutley paramount? Why wont he bring in a football minded chairman/MD whatever? Oh and appoint a permanent manager asap. And NO it doesn’t have to be Shearer, just NOT JfK, or anyone else that has been out of football for years and years.
    Have to admit that Chris H is doing a sterling job at the moment, but not sure how long its going to last.
    Finally, I hope we have gotten rid of the BOOO mentallity, when things do go wrong. Boooing is counter productive and to be frank embarrassing, as the press just love it. Dont give them the ammunition to shoot us with. Its been good to get some atmosphere back in the ground again, lets keep it up :D

  9. moz – good to see you around again pal. It’s actually worky’s site. Me, Hugh and Deb just help out with articles. Yeah, I agree about Ed’s blog although I haven’t really ever stopped going on. Too many decent posters to give up on it.

    Deb – just trying to take the positives.

    I know some of you know the background already but I chucked my season ticket after the second year in the Prem and since have got to as many games that didn’t clash with my games as I could, i.e. mainly not Saturdays. And yet over the years, still managed to fluke games like the Man Utd 5-0 and 2-2 games and the Mackems 3-2 game, as examples, when my mate couldn’t get to them so spent some reasonably good times in that part of the stadium.

    So I had decided to buy a ticket for my old seat on Monday but was forunate enough again to get my pal’s as he couldn’t make it. So I went with my mate from next door, who I’ve transformed into an adopted Mag, and took him to his first Toon game at St James’. And Davy Craig is right, the West Stand was a sea of grey empty seats at the heart of it. It was strange where I was as well, up in the old upper tier of the SJH stand, because I was used to being surrounded and it was quite sparsely populated but frankly the atmosphere was better than the last few times when it was busier so maybe proving a point. The less moaning minnies, the better for all.

  10. BBM

    My god man!

    What drugs are you on man?

    We are doing well on the pitch despite Ashley.

    We may well gain promotion this year(and I’m deeply pessimistic on that score) due to the fact we have a far superior first team tha everyone else.

    What happens then? We go back to the PL and it’s been proven in the past that newly promoted teams need to spend at least £20-30m just to surive. Ashley wouldn’t spend that when he was committed never mind now.

    My concern is if he stays, we turn into a yo-yo club.

    Not a nice thought.

  11. Stu – :)

    You’ve stumbled into a parallel universe, that’s all.

    I’m only really seeing how the other half of the crowd think. It’s not all bad. Even if it’s all probably too good to be true in the end.

  12. Stuart I think that’s one of the biggest worries. If lady luck smiles on us and we end up being promoted what then? Will he spend the close season hawking us to any one expressing an interest in buyng us so he recoups his cash and leaves us ill prepared for the following season or does he decide to hang fire and invest to keep us up there? We know what we think he will do, but this is Mr Unpredictable so heaven knows.

  13. Stuart, I also meant to say, I agree the last thing we want to be is a yoyo club. I would rather we stay in the championship longer and get the club back on the right footing with a firm foundation to build upon than to be promoted, with little investment and our squad just can’t compete in that league and we end up going back down.

  14. Nolan, Barton, R.Taylor, Geremi, Butt, Ameobi, Coloccini, Lovenkrands

    Ashley hasnt cleansed much it seems weve got rid of our better players and been left with poor, past it, over paid ones.

  15. Some strange statements imho. “in rode Ashley with bright ideas & sound business acuman” – when was this? Some far better than expected results in the second division and some untested but promising kids can’t surely disguise the fact that Ashley has asset stripped the club and continually made bad decisions. We have 17 players with any real experience, and that includes Geremi and Butt!! He has failed to invest in every transfer window (how many windows have the world and his wife known we need more than one left back for instance?). He has allowed the club to drift and decline over the summer. He has failed to communicate with or respect fans, players and managers. If he had a plan and stuck with it through hard times then at least we could respect that, but instead he has ran from one mistake to another. He may be applauded for admiting he’s made mistakes, but then he keeps making the same ones anyway. Turned the corner? you’re having a laugh!

  16. Hmm. I think if I am to take anything ‘good’ from Ashley’s tenure at the club it would be that he prised it from the hands of Shepherd.

    I’m not convinced we’re financially healthier now than we were when he took over, although I will admit that his financial plans are better than those of the person he took over from.

  17. GJ – you should read some irony and scepticism in my article, particularly the quote you provided. Perhaps it’s too subtle or you’re unfamiliar with my general stance. If you weren’t, you would know that as a rule I share your views.

  18. Hugh – someone had to write from a ‘dark side’ point of view! I knew you wouldn’t be able to :)

    I feel slightly sullied to be honest.

  19. BBM very interesting article, and see your pic on the righthand side which one is you, is the one on the left a squadie ?

  20. Fantastic article Bowburn. With some great comments as well.

    I may see myself move over to this blog on a permanent basis. Ed’s, although recently improved, seems a bit below par nowadays.

    I too have a feeling that after all this is done and dusted we will all be greatful for MA’s arrival. He has made shocking mistakes, but we will come out the other end a stronger, more attractive club.

  21. Cheers mate you are a ringer for someone i know. and I have to admit I was surprised when I seen that you wrote the article lol

  22. Nah, much less interesting than the fuzz. DI Roeder does have a look like.

    Big Dave – I’m sure there’s a compliment in there somewhere. I’ll keep searching :)

  23. Very well thought out article, but I am sorry to say I think you may need help. At this moment in time a majority of Toon fans are suffering a physcological condition called “learned helplesness”. In effect it is a state of mind caused by being subject to long term disapointment, let down, stress and frustration culminating in an inability to do anything about it. In this state of mind the patient desperately seeks any crumb of comfort and so deludes themselves into thinking any news that isn’t bad must be fantastic. I had treatment for this in May and chose not to renew for the first time in 25 years. When I have properly recovered and rejoined the human race and the current regime is gone, I hope to be fit enough to try again. Welcome to the world of Newcastle United.

  24. Agree that the departure of the moaning/booing tw.ts is a good thing, and that the Championship feels more grassroots, but you better like this loads because we have fallen a long way from being able to compete in the PL. This isn’t entirely Ashley’s fault; the rot started to set in before Bobby’s sacking and we’ve been going backwards ever since. Truth is that in the early 90’s we were in the top 3 spending clubs in the world, which is why we were able to storm up the PL, but some ill-judged investments and some bad luck conspired to waste the opportunity. I think we’re in for a generation of mediocrity, barring the arrival of a Man City-style megarich benefactor. Not the end of the world (the atmos at SJP is better than it has been for years) but don’t kid yourself that we’re going to be back in Europe any time soon!

  25. But people say he has asset stripped the club, but he wouldn’t have if we stayed up and yes we should of appointed a permanent manager but i think personally it was Derek Llambias that took control and Ashley just agreed because he doesnt know what hes doing a mean look when Moat was there, things were looking up and then Llambias came in and it all went down hill. He took the advise of Mort and Llambias !

  26. excellent article but the simple fact is Ashley has made terrible decisions from the start, including not checking the debt we were in, his bad decisions just kept coming which resulted in relegation and now he doesnt speak a word to the fans..

    Our starting eleven wouldnt of signed for a championship club over the summer because theyre probably too good for this division but they find themselves in this league with newcastle on nice wages, which is nice for them and suites the club too because their quality is providing nice football and excellent results. But don’t let this fool you that Ashley has orchestrated any of this. He’s just very fortunate he has an excellent championship squad, given, very thin.

    Ashley is probably the luckiest man in Toon at the moment as the sale of the club wont be resolved soon, he can enjoy this period then decide in a few month (if we’re still top of the league) to sell us or not. Its a nice decision to have. Get promoted he’s a miracle worker and will receive more cash selling us in the Prem, if we faulted he sells and walks away. I for one hope he sells soon as he has no affection for Newcastle United and the club will suffer in the long run if he stays..

  27. Dan4tooN says:
    September 4, 2009 at 12:31 am

    “But people say he has asset stripped the club”

    But they’re wrong, Dan, and most of the people who say it don’t even know what ‘asset stripping’ means. If they really knew what it meant, they would also realise that it would be a silly idea in the case of Newcastle United.

  28. I haven’t posted on this blog until now. Very good article. I think you are right, what has happened over the last season had to happen for the future of the club. After being relegated every one was calling for over paid players to be sold (yes we still have some on the books) and for the younger guys to be given a go. Well it is happening and I for one am really excited about what is transpiring. Finally some guts is being shown on the park!! A year (hopefully) of experience under the young fella’s belts in the 1st div should see them develop really quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I am as gutted about being relegated as the next Newcastle Fan but for the 1st time in a long time, I can actually see some light at the end of the tunnel. Forget what is happening off the pitch for a moment and embrace what is happening on the pitch. I have witnessed way too many years of 1/2 arsed performances in the PL. You just have to look at the determination written across the players faces now.. All I ever wanted from them was to give it all out on the park and it looks like it finally begining to happen.

    On another note… Way better articles than ED’s site. I have been finding his full of the same depressing rhetoric week after week.. good job mate

  29. I AGREE WITH THIS ARTICLE 100%.

    Well Put.

    Like it or not Ashley has put this club on a firm financial footing and we are safe from ever folding like a pack of cards due to spending money that we didn’t have thanks to Freddy Shpeherd.

    He focused on youth and we have some very good players.

    Relegation has cleansed this club of high earning wasters past their best looking for 1 last big pay day.

    I’m more than happy for Ashley to stay at Newcastle because he has run us like a business and been sensible with our finances and debt so we are in no danger of becoming a Portsmouth, West Ham and even Hull now who look in financial trouble.

    I still do not forgive Ashley for treating us fans like thickos and not telling us what the heck is going on. Maybe if he told what was going on and what his plans were he wouldn’t be so hated.

  30. I doubt you read this but the only reason young players are being blooded is due the a paper thin squad as a result of the selling of high profile players a relegated NUFC could no longer afford. He is an ass who created the mess that Chris Hughton has worked wonders with. He has done nothing positive…forced relegation and sold players…His contribution…An undefeated record is Chris Hughton’s doing with no help from the Fat Man.

  31. @Jim
    I see your point mate but the only way these young players would ever get game time is due to the situation we are currently in. Over the years we have never given the young guys a go. Other than Shola, Taylor and Carrol. All we have done is pay and play players who are past their prime. And like it or not, it is Chris Hughtons job to get them firing on the park, not Ashley’s. I reckon the whole playing list should be on loan with the option to buy at the end of the season. I think you would see some real gut busting efforts from the players if that was the case. Ashley hasn’t forced any relagation, the 70+ million dollar players we had on our books last year did!!

  32. All of you guys who sympathize with Fat Ash are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome!
    He is the worst thing that could happen to this club!

  33. Good article, though I tend to think any positives coming from his ownership are mostly down to luck – if we’d made a poor start to this season there’d be anarchy round SJP now….

    Can’t help thinking we’re getting carried away a wee bit with the good results at the moment – a few injuries and we could be knackered….

    And who’d have thought we’d MISS Shola when injured!!! Weird times indeed….

  34. This article is bollocks. There is no success story here. The gulf in class between the premiership and the championship is all too plain to see. We had a reasonable squad last year but not a reasonable team. We underachieved big time when a decent season should have seen us in six to eight. Even with the loss of a number of players, some who I personally blame for the relegation, we still have a decent but threadbare squad. We’re doing ok now but a few injuries and the chickens will well and truly come home to roost.

    This financial prudence is all about preventing huge losses and nothing to do with putting the club on a sounder financial footing. Common sense dictates that the time for changes was last Christmas when relegation had become a real prospect. Getting shot of one or two then to bring in people who were committed to playing for the club would have been more financially prudent as we would have not lost the Premiership cash.

    Owen, Viduka and Duff. Three players who were totally ineffective or missing last season. They are already gone and well forgotten. Xisco is another, although we hardly ever saw what he was capable of. All of these could have gone last Christmas. Smith and Barton could have went as well. They are championship players, proven by their relative success of late.

    Bassong, Beye and Martins will be missed, but if all they want is glamour football then perhaps we are well rid as sometimes people need to roll their sleeves up and get dirty.

    There is a chance that we get lucky with injuries and get straight back. The squad, thanks to this fire sale, has been fundamentally weakened. We will struggle if promoted and it is highly unlikely that even with some spectacular investment would see a strong and successful squad built next summer.

    The only people who can be happy with the current situation is those who want to see a win at any cost. Thanks to the reckless running of the club and relegation to the Championship they’ll see plenty of that this season.

  35. Whilst I wouldn’t disagree that he may have had very good intentions and has perhaps resolved ‘some’ of our financial woes, this has been largely forced upon him due to his lack of due diligence at the outset and generally shocking management over the period.

    The youth policy, I’m guessing will be his biggest legacy, but it is interesting to note how that has dried up since he’s spat his dummy out. Isn’t the fact that we have today lost our top scout an indication that his job had become a futile pursuit?

    What happened to MA’s comment that whilst he was in charge he would always make the right decisions for our club?

    The man is a complete w**ker!

  36. The problem with the argument is summed up perfectly in an exchange between Martin Sheen’s character (Willard) & Marlon Brando’s character (Kurtz) in Apocalypse Now. For Kurtz read Mike Ashley, for Willard read a confused lifelong Magpie fan:

    Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.

    Kurtz: Are my methods unsound?

    Willard: I don’t see any method at all, sir.

    And that’s the point, whatever the outcome of this fiasco has nothing to do with any Ashley masterplan, but being forced into facing up to decades of spendthrift financial mismanagement is no bad thing. The old negative experience / positive outcome scenario.

    FFS had run the club as a cash cow, and played supporters for suckers. MA had to bail the club out of enormous financial black hole that he will never recoup, and probably never forget. Whoever took over after FFS would have inherited this same mess, however I’m certain it could have been sorted without the additional pain of relegation? But on the other hand maybe it needed the short, sharp shock of Fizzy League football to ensure the cracks can’t be papered over? We won’t know for another 5 years and the book on this pivotal period in our history is written, we are simply too close to events.

    I do share the overall optimism that whatever is happening will put us on a far more certain footing for the future.

  37. Sounder financial footing? we have more debt now than when Ashley bought us! we’re in a lower division with a hugely reduced income and a vastly inferior squad to the one that took us down. More games, less players and a boardroom that makes Keystone Kops look like CSI.

    All a recipe for success I must say.

  38. I was hoping the subtleties weren’t lost on more erudite contributors but I accept the article out of context has potential to promote me as an Ashley sympathiser. Or maybe I was just too subtle.

    Personally, I don’t necessarily agree with the article either, even though I wrote it. It’s just another viewpoint and a suggestion that not everything will be lost if and when he’s gone.

    It’s quite obvious that whatever good comes out of this, may arguably be down to luck rather than design. I guess it would depend on how critical you’re feeling and whether you accept that along with the many things he’s got wrong, he was bound to get a few things right.

    Or you might believe the notion that he’s a gambler who has just hit lucky on a few rolls.

    “The youth policy, I’m guessing will be his biggest legacy, but it is interesting to note how that has dried up since he’s spat his dummy out. Isn’t the fact that we have today lost our top scout an indication that his job had become a futile pursuit?”

    That obviously wasn’t lost on me when I read it this morning and I completely agree with your sentiment that future plans may well be shelved now in favour of an imminent sale. The financial side of things will undoubtedly be clearer at a later date and may make a mockery of the assumption we’re far better off than we were.

    I just think that this whole mess has sorted out a few issues whether Mike Ashley intended it or not. But it would be stretching it to say I’m grateful to him. I’d hope I’d managed to get that message across.

  39. To qualify part of my last post “The financial side of things will undoubtedly be clearer at a later date and may make a mockery of the assumption we’re far better off than we were.”. The jury is still out as far as I’m concerned and until we’re bought for this “all-in” price without him calling in his loan, then it’s still debatable.

  40. Jesus Christ, this site is full of A-grade muppets. You c___s give decent, loyal supporters a bad name.

    F_____g idiots.

  41. I thought about writing a measured response to this piece then decided that the big fat whopper isn’t worth the time or effort.

    Arseley should do the club and fans a favour and promptly hurl himself under the wheels of a fast moving express train.

  42. “But people say he has asset stripped the club”

    “But they’re wrong, Dan, and most of the people who say it don’t even know what ‘asset stripping’ means”

    The football team has been repeatedly stripped of its assets since Arseley bought the club and this strangely enough resulted in us being relegated last season or did you members of the Mike arseley fan club miss this.

    We haven’t been asset stripped my arse!

  43. Hello there ‘ I’m a noobie on the blog scene but I’m a passionate Mags fan, I’m from the north east , but now live in Bournemouth. It saddens me to see the plight of my beloved club, and it incenses me that the red top rags keep having a pop even now….the latest is that idiot Brian McNally for the Mirror on how the geordies don’t appreciate Chris Hughton and would get Shearer in in a flash…but hey why am I suprised…lazy incompetent journalism…do these people actually come north of watford gap and talk to any real fans?

  44. “the latest is that idiot Brian McNally for the Mirror on how the geordies don’t appreciate Chris Hughton and would get Shearer in in a flash”

    Link please!

  45. Someone be kind enough to list these good youngsters that we have and for which Ashley is responsible for?

    Zamblera?
    Xisco?

    And if there are any, would they not be sold at the earliest opportunity for a quick buck, like he did with the best youngster we had (i mean Bassong you spanner)? Or N’Zogbia and Milner…

    Oh no, it’s ok, we got some no name shit face from man utd to replace him and ryan ‘can’t cross a road never mind a fucking ball’ taylor running about like a clueless spunk monkey.

    Absolute fucking spacca of an ‘article’. A few wins and all is good with world.

  46. “you will find few Magpies fans heralding the former Spurs and Republic of Ireland defender as a viable contender for permanent employment as their manager.”

    McNasllys comment is probably true and he didn’t mention that geordies dont appreciate Chris Hughton as you claimed.
    Hughton has done a decent job so far this season but my take on things is that most Newcastle fans would prefer Hughton to revert back to being coach and a proper manager being brought in (note that I did not mention Mr shearer).
    The caretaker manager appointed as first team boss route has been tried before and failed (Roeder Dinnis)and many fear this may happen again.
    (Having said that, I would much prefer Chris Hughton to be Newcastles boss than that old knobsack Joe Kinnear though.)

  47. The author of this blog is either a complete moron or related to Ashley (more likely both).

    If its winning games we want then why not get relegated to the conference so we can demolish everyone and enjoy winning?

    How is the club on a firmer financial footing when the income has been decimated? Assets have been disposed of in a firesale and attendance is down?

    The current form will surely not last as the squad is ridiculously small and will not stand up to the pressure of a full season in the championship, I’d love to see it otherwise but I cant.

    Once we start losing games then the vitriol towards Ashley will return and rightly so.

    He has destroyed the club and still refuses to communicate to the fans, his advisors are at best misguided or more likely complete liars.

    3 transfer windows in a row when he ahs made a huge profit on player sales will leave us mid table in the Championship at best and some morons think he has been good for the club.

  48. Ha ha. BBM looks like you’ve put your head on the chopping block with some people. Nice to see a lot of new “faces” on here, although some need to learn some manners.

  49. i am not a fan of ashley,but get sick of hearing the conspiracy stories that surround him.
    he is a spurs fan sent to destroy us.
    he is asset stripping.
    he is only here to line his pockets etc..
    the most dissappointing thing for me concerning ashley during his tenure,has been his inability to market us as a global brand through his contacts in the sports retail world.
    mike could have brought money into the club this way,so why has he not attempted to do this?
    just strikes me as odd,for a man in his field.
    another thing that rankles me about him is his cowardice at times,he does a runnner whenever the going gets a bit tough.
    when alan shearer was given the job,at the press conference lambiass said it was temporary,and joe was still the manager.
    when the season finished,and shearer had meetings with them,why didn,t they just tell him the state of play.
    what we got instead was more running away,i,m selling the club bull.
    i for one want to see the back of him,because if he stays,i can see him repeating the behaviour every time he doesn,t get his own way.

  50. TROJAN 69 says:
    September 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    “what we got instead was more running away,i,m selling the club bull.”

    But that’s what most of the fans want Trojan, and they’ll continue to make things difficult for both him and the club until he does sell.

  51. There’s some interesting points made here both pro- and anti- Ashley staying.

    I do think that many years from now, we will look back on this period of Newcastles history and say ‘Remember that Ashley bloke, what a punt, but his money saved us from going under!’

    I’m not entirely sure he would have addressed the financial situation at the club if we had still been in the premier league. I don’t think we would have sold all of the players that went, and I defintely don’t think he would have made any efforts to reduce the overdraft at the bank. Modt of those actions have been forced upon us/him.

    If there is one mistake that Ashley has made, and it has already been mentioned above, he has not appointed good staff. Llambias is a disaster, no credibility within football before he streaked, God help us now. Wise was a mistake, Kinnear was a mistake and I would go so far as to say that both Keegan and Shearer were the wrong appointments but for different reasons.

    If we only make one appointment this season, we need a proper football man at the helm. Not as manager, I would leave Houghton there for now, but get someone in as chairman, who will restore our good name among the football fraternity. David Dein was mentioned in the comments and he is a perfect example of the type of man we need, if not necessarily the person I would choose.

    As for our future, the early results are promising, the obvious team spirit more so. If we can manage to maintain our early form, and stay at least within the play-off zone I will be delighted.

    When we make it back to the premier league, whether it’s next season or not, we must not revert back to the way we were prior to relegation. Let’s just hope that any new owners or Ashley himself, realise this and get us on the straight and narrow and keep us there.

  52. worky
    if ashley decides to stay,he should then state his intentions to the fans,
    he should say look this is the way i want to do things,i own the club if you dont like it tough.
    i think the fans would think more of him if he took a stand.
    i can see where you are coming from worky,but we need strong leadership,and not someone who,s looking for the door at the first sign of bother,
    when he does these things,it,s pretty hard to show respect back.

  53. Trojan, I agree with just about all of that, but with something so complex, the idea that it is all the fault of one person, or all the fault of another person is usually over simplistic in the extreme, and you can also have two sides of an argument which are BOTH wrong too sometimes!

    Ashley’s decision to try and sell the club twice at awful times was a silly and catatrophic decision which he was stupid to make. However he wouldn’t have made it if the fans didn’t push him into it.

    We also have problems outside of Ashley to do with impatience and fans not giving people enough of a chance and calling for heads to roll all the time unless they are local legends with full Geordie passports. If something is teetering on the brink, too many of us always seem to want to give it that extra little push, just enough to topple it over and make it go completely tits up.

  54. Bowburnmag: to be honest -I’d still kill my Grandmother-to put the club in a safer place-even, dare I say it-if it meant keeping Ashley! If he said sorry (he’s done that too many times [but you have to start somewhere]) even the media wouldn’t believe him! It’s well past proof of the pudding-but you can always put one in the oven! If he dug into his pockets-got us back in the prem (backed CH) or put in a decent manager (I don’t mean AS, either). That’s not saying I prefer CH to Alan-but if he were to get us promoted (then he’s been chosen by fate) then he would deserve a chance! Mike talks about plans-I’ve yet to see one! It seems for now AS-is defiantly out of the picture. It’s no use-we, the fans making any demands (look where that’s got us) we will just have to stick with the devil we know (for now anyway). You never know-fate may well play a card yet! MA still owns this club-the debt is tumbling (but at what cost “lost revenue from SKY-prem”). There is such a thing as organized chaos (which is something that is nagging me…in the back of mind). Even-then! It still may not turn out to be our benefit-but until we can, at least see its shoots…protests are defiantly in order! You are right though-we are all to blame! Even me!!! Oh, Bowburnmag-are you the same Bowburn that used to frequent Teamtalk-and NUFC blog? This is a copy of one I’d replied to from another mag (on TT).

  55. Oh, that poster was meant to demonstrate how fickle we are (all football fans are). However there is a tinge of truth in there (maybe more hope-than any conviction) that somewhere down the line we will look back and say “well I never,” but there isn’t a smudge of evidence to back that up!! Interesting point though!

  56. I must be one of the few that does not agree with the above article I foud a table created by the guardian

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/table/2009/jun/03/premier-league-turnover-wages-debt

    Which shows that our wage bill in comparison to turnover was not unsually high during the period that Ashley first took over the club. Also in terms of debt Man Utd currently has £700 million worth of debt. So the £150 million paid by Ashley to supposedly make the club debt free is also a drop in the Ocean in comparison to a lot of other clubs. Also it was a clause in the deal that anyone that purchased the club would be forced to pay for that debt up front, if Ashley had done due dilligence then he would have known this.

    I feel the situation is that Ashley thought he could make a quick buck by buying the club on the cheap and selling it at a profit. Because he did not do due dilligence he did not realise how much of his own money he would have to invest into the club so once this happened the next group that were looking to buy the club (which are currently the owners of Manchester City) he increased the asking price of the club so that he could make a big profit. Once this went through I believe he looked to sell players to re-coup the money that he put into the club originally. The communication between the club and the fans was gone once Chris Mort left (who in my opinion was a great chairman that had a report with the fans).
    Ashley also treat two legends of Newcastle United in Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan disgracefully (some people have a very short memory in terms of what Kevin Keegan has done for our club).
    I believe he got rid of some decent sellable players such as Milner, N-Zogbia etc… and replaced them with some absolute nightmare signings on high wages e.g xisco, through not investing in transfer markets early on getting quality first team players.
    I believe my main point is that I agree in theory that buying young players which can develop for the future is a sound buisiness strategy and I applaud as it is something I have said we should be doing for a while now. But this should not come at the expense of the first team. I heard Ashley banging on all the time about the Arsenal model which I agree is a good team and buisiness model however Arsenal already firstly set up a decent first team to build around before investing in youth. We sacrificed our first team for players who are not good enough to be in the premier league and I fear that although we have had a good start which I am over the moon about, without investment or a change of owner our club will become a yo-yo club.

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