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Not a single serious bidder for Newcastle United in 5 months.

Posted on October 23rd, 2009 | 92 Comments |

Not a single serious bidder
Not a single serious bidder
After a summer of discontent at Newcastle United, with the club having been up for sale since May, we’ve failed to attract a single serious buyer.

It seems Moat was all mouth and all the other ‘bidders’ were either publicity hunters, time-wasters or chancers who only expressed an interest in the hope of purchasing way below Ashley’s £100m asking price.

A few weeks ago I posted an article which quoted the Telegraph’s ‘source close to the club’ as follows:

No one has come up with any money – no one.

Barry Moat and the South Africans have one thing in common – they are all talking but they have no produced any money.

There will be some preliminary conversations late in the week and I would think Barry Moat will have some provisional discussions with them although I can’t underline provisional enough.

Until someone comes up with the money Mike Ashley has got to stay in control of the club. He has got no choice.”

Newcastle United has an overdraft, high wage bills, money owed on transfers from long ago and a £110m loan from Mike Ashley. Somebody paying £100m for the club is inheriting maybe £130-£140m of debt straight away, effectively meaning they’d need to raise the club’s value to £230-£240m before they’d ‘break-even’ on the deal. Even as a Premier League club that’s a fairly hefty evaluation, particularly when you consider they’d have to spend money on the squad to create a team capable of surviving in the Premier League too.

As a Championship club I reckon Ashley would struggle to sell Newcastle at even £50-£60m. He might get his £100m if we were promoted but I think he’d still struggle.

Football clubs aren’t known for their ability to make money and anyone looking to invest £100m for a good return would look at other options.

Manchester United – who are arguably the biggest club in the world – have made at worst an £8.5m loss and at best a £39m profit each year for the last decade. In 2007/8 Arsenal made £48m in profit but in 2006/7 they made a £39m loss. Up to 2007/8, Aston Villa hadn’t made a profit for 7 years, even under the extremely frugal administration of Doug Ellis. Chelsea, incredibly, lose £70-£80m a typical season.

People who buy football clubs usually have to want to own one for the hell of it and whilst all except the ludicrously rich will of course try to make them profitable, that can’t be an overriding objective. But of course they’d still prefer buy a club in healthy financial shape rather than one saddled with debt.

If Newcastle United represented good value at £100m – or even at £80m – somebody would have snapped it up because, regardless of anything else, it is a ‘big name’ club with a large ground, a dedicated fan base and the potential for much commercial exposure. But we remain unsold.

This presents us with a dilemma because we have an owner who doesn’t want us asking a price that nobody will pay.

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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92 Responses

  1. Hugh, a nice doom and gloom article there to kick off my Friday morning. :)
    Unfortunately, I cannot see any way out of this. Like many people I aired my fears on here that we would be stuck with Ashley for the rest of the season, it looks like those fears are coming true.

    I blame the nights drawing in. Clocks go back this weekend too. Get ready for another NUFC winter of discontent. :o

  2. Aye, sorry about the doom and gloom – I wasn’t feeling particularly doomy and gloomy until I wrote the article, but I am now!

  3. this might sound daft,but i dont want promotion under ashley,he wont invest the money to keep us up and it will be another religation fight.

  4. Promotion might give his sale a better chance of going through though, providing he doesn’t hike the price too much (or at all).

  5. Hugh “As a Championship club I reckon Ashley would struggle to sell Newcastle at even £50-£60m. He might get his £100m if we were promoted but I think he’d still struggle.”

    And your experience above Seymour Pearce in company valuations is……..?

    Maybe we have not been bought because the fans are unmanageable too unstable….which makes long term planning impossible…just a thought.

  6. Stardust says:

    “And your experience above Seymour Pearce in company valuations is……..?”

    None mate, but clearly £80m is too much, so I’m guessing that £50-60m is more reasonable.

    “Maybe we have not been bought because the fans are unmanageable too unstable….which makes long term planning impossible…just a thought.”

    Unlikely IMHO.

  7. Stardust, your blame the fans campaign is ridiculous. I’d love to know what critera you use to come to your conclusions other than some kind of loathing for your fellow fan. Or is this just another ‘classic’ I’ll post something just to get a bite?
    The only statistic that counts when it comes to fans is how many come through the door. No investor will care that some of our fans are a bit radgie, only that we can fill the stadium when times are good and still provide 40k when times are bad.
    The Birmingham fans have been clamouring for their manager’s head since he was appointed, but they still managed to be sold.
    Liverpool fans blow hot and cold every day with their manager, yet they were still sold, plus people are still looking to invest in them.

  8. hitman says:
    October 23, 2009 at 11:46 am (Edit)

    i have me doubts ashley has written off this 100 mil loan like.

    =======

    I don’t think he has.

  9. Stardust: Your continued berating of Newcastle fans raises the inevitable question….why are you one? Why be a member of a body of people you so clearly despise?

    Oh sorry…..I forgot…..your immutable logic places you in echelons we mere mortals can only gaze at in awe and wonder!

    In a world of delusion, sir, you are….without doubt….the king.

    Great (if incredibly bleak) article Hugh. The long walk back to credibility just had another millstone added to it’s rucksack!

  10. Stardust says:
    October 23, 2009 at 11:34 am

    “Maybe we have not been bought because the fans are unmanageable too unstable….which makes long term planning impossible…just a thought.”

    ——————————————————-
    Stardust, you really don’t have a clue.

    Liverpool fans boo and moan and protest, did they still get taken over? YES, did they get relegated because of the fans? NO.

    Man Utd fans protested when they were taken over, did they get relegated because of the fans? NO.

    Arsenal fans have booed Wenger, Eboue and other players.

    Middlesbrough fans booed they’re team after the first game of the season which was 0-0.

    Fans boo, moan and sometimes protest and every club in the UK, the Newcastle fans are no worse or more “mob like” than any other set of fans. If you think they are worse then you haven’t been to many football matches.

  11. Stardust: “Joel, Avi and Bryan Glazer had to leave Old Trafford in police vans on Wednesday after fans angry at the £790m takeover protested outside the stadium!” Reports the BBC: Thursday, 30 June, 2005. So we are the worst fans in the world? Are we? Are we? Hope whoever comes in-gets our “PR” sorted out; someone has to! Anything pro Ashley, or negative Toon supporters-you buy into!!

  12. Fans boo, moan and sometimes protest and every club in the UK, the Newcastle fans are no worse or more “mob like” than any other set of fans. If you think they are worse then you haven’t been to many football matches.

    i would disagree i think we are one of the worst for “mob like behaviour” as stardust might put it the booing of sir bobby was disgraceful though however when you are in the championship and still get 40 k attendancs that has to be a massive appeal for any potential owner that has a bit of grit what also must be an attraction was that we had a 20’000 waiting list for season tickets during the good times(i have no facts to say this is true just i have heard numerous people mention it) and that is for a 52’000 seater stadium imagine what we could get if we started winning trophies and marketed ourselves across the world we could get even more so i would say overall our fans are “THE” attraction for any potential buyer

  13. Micky – you say its ridiculous – but I have a view that the fans are our biggest strength and weakness. If I hold that view others will too. In investments of this magnitude you want to factor out all risk. Investors may have taken the view that its a risk thats not acceptable when factored with other football matters.

    I am simply being matter of fact – I apologise if it offends.

  14. Excelsior “Oh sorry…..I forgot…..your immutable logic places you in echelons we mere mortals can only gaze at in awe and wonder!” why thank you for the complement.

  15. stardust,
    i dont know why you bother anymore…..you used to have some excellent points and offered a really genuine and intelligent alternative view. Now you just are totally pro-ashley(even to the extent that you try and excuse the demise of this squad and club in defence of ashely) …pathetic really! I dont know how or why you do it but you seem to twist everything in defence of this idiotic man and his shambolic regime!!
    Would you defend him if he sold more of our squad in january,if we rocketed down the table and were forced into administration(nothing would surprise me with him these days)…i suspect you would find some way of defending him.
    as for you constant berating of our fans….your argument is fundamentally flawed because we are no different to most other fanbases in the country in terms of complaining and moaning etc etc….wat makes us different is our unwavering supports, truly outstanding in the championship with an wholly nderperforming squad playing distinctly average football….newcastle only real strength right now is its fanbase….its biggest weakness being its owner

  16. I will say this Stardust: you are, without a doubt, always good for laugh. You have cheered up my lunch break and for that I thank you.

  17. I find it really funny – when challenged with an alternate view – (one which I may choose to believe or throw out for debate) people react the way they do towards me – is similar to the venom they direct at Ashley.

    They dont think others have a right to hold a different view – a one formed on facts not romance.

    Again it perpetuates the line that fans whilst acting emotionally can not think logically – become insular in their thought process.

  18. Buddy “Now you just are totally pro-ashley(even to the extent that you try and excuse the demise of this squad and club in defence of ashely)”

    Far from it Buddy – I am just sick of negativity – I surround myself with people who make the best of their lives not wallow in self pity. I give people the benefit of the doubt until such times they prove they are dishonest.

    Just as the next man I will be glad when we are bought and a change of management brought in – but in the meantime I will make the best of the situation.

    I do understand why the squad had to be trimmed – 74m a year in salaries is ridiculous for the performances we were getting.

  19. Stardust says:
    October 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm
    I find it really funny – when challenged with an alternate view – (one which I may choose to believe or throw out for debate) people react the way they do towards me – is similar to the venom they direct at Ashley.

    Perhaps because you blame the fans and call them a “mob” when they are no different from any other fans. As i said in post 12, other fans have protested and booed at alot less than we have.

    You were worried about people coming on this blog and making rash, hateful comments, perhaps they are hateful at you for the way you blame and slag off fellow toon fans.

  20. Ginola “when they are no different from any other fans.”

    Doesnt make their behaviour right though Ginola.

    Your logic is akin to a group of burglars in prison thinking its OK to steal. They each gain comfort from the other knowing they do it too – but its plain wrong either way.

  21. Anyway, I’m not in the mood for a blog punch-up (or anything much at all) today, so I’m off for a pint.

  22. Stardust says:
    October 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm
    Ginola “when they are no different from any other fans.”

    Doesnt make their behaviour right though Ginola.

    Your logic is akin to a group of burglars in prison thinking its OK to steal. They each gain comfort from the other knowing they do it too – but its plain wrong either way.

    Which parts of it are wrong though Stardust? Fans pay their money and are entitled to voice their opinion surely? I hate the booing of our own players as it is likely to cause them to make a mistake on the pitch which could cost us a goal. But booing the team as a whole or the owner/board at half time or full time, i don’t see a big problem with it.

    What specific parts of the fans behaviour do you disagree with?

  23. Further to my previous post, booing the team or owner/board or manager at half or full time is simply fans making their point that they are unhappy with results/performance and wish them to do better.

    It is not about hating the team etc, if they hated the team they wouldn’t turn up to support it in the 1st place.

  24. Stardust – you know I’ve disagreed entirely with your notion that ‘the fans are to blame’ but I’m trying to clarify that I’ve underdstood it properly?

    “In investments of this magnitude you want to factor out all risk. Investors may have taken the view that its a risk thats not acceptable when factored with other football matters.”

    What ‘risk’ are we talking about here Stardust?

    There is a way to counter risk of failing miserably but it means having the following –

    – understanding football and what you’re getting into
    – a good plan and sticking to it
    – a contingency plan if it goes pear-shaped
    – the balls to ride out the rough times
    – honesty with your customers

    None of that, to my mind, should be hindered by the fans if implemented properly and professionally.

    The fans will continue to come along rain or shine, even if you’re not doing very well and actually even when you’ve failed spectacularly. There aren’t many other businesses you can say that about?

    Also, didn’t Mike say he was here to have fun? When did it become an ‘investment’? If the next owners see us as an ‘investment’, they could at least let us know upfront like the Portsmouth guy has, and we all know where we stand?

  25. Stardust: typical pro-Ashley-always avoiding answering direct questions!! “Liverpool fans boo and moan and protest, did they still get taken over? YES, did they get relegated because of the fans? NO. “Man Utd fans protested when they were taken over, did they get relegated because of the fans?” NO,” Ginola.

    Imagine the only thing putting off potential buyers-is! The “asking price” is way too high?!”

  26. are newcastle really up for sale?and if so why does it have to be put on the market then taken off the market?
    surely if someone wanted to buy newcastle they could make an offer whether it was up for sale or not?
    i think mike ashley never intended to sell,but used this farce all summer so he didn,t get a backlash for not givig alan shearer the manager,s job.
    this has always been mike ashley parking his tanks on the lawn,this is how he operates.
    he is playing the long game to bend everybody to his will,and his way of thinking.
    it has been said about mike ashley that he doesn,t like to lose,i think we will be stuck with him for years to come unfortunatley.
    he now knows he can get away with most things at st james,so i think he,s going nowhere.
    he knows there is money to be made at newcastle,and he is onto a good thing so why would he want to give it up?
    he also likes to act like king s**t with his mates at the matches,imo he,s not going to give it up without a fight.

  27. Stardust is veritably the Nick Griffin of this blog. I only hope he doesn’t possess a lazy eye and the attendant persecution complex.

  28. Of course no-one serious wants to buy the club. Why would anyone pay £100 million for the privilege of being ripped to shreds in public. Buying Newcastle United is a PR disaster waiting to happen.

  29. TROJAN 69: “wow!” That marries a few thoughts up. Remember the headline well. You may well be right. The discussions on whether or not MA is right for the club “Stardust” are well and truly-dead. The debate-is, whether or not he stays!!

  30. workyticket: in part, I agree. Its always been a PR disaster-simply because no-one has bothered to look after our interests’! Please find the time to answer some of Ginola’s questions! Can we ride out the protests? Who’s to say Mike isn’t? He’s still here..!

  31. “Stardust is veritably the Nick Griffin of this blog. I only hope he doesn’t possess a lazy eye and the attendant persecution complex.”

    Divvn’t get me started on Nick Griffin……

  32. shivermetimbre,we may disagree on certain things but to liken stardust to nick griffin is way over the top.

  33. i think ashley is terrified to sell the club incase someone comes in and makes a success of it,and he looks like a tit.

  34. Trojan, it’s not to be taken literally, I assumed folks would get that. It was a light-hearted reference to Mr. Griffin’s appearance last night on Question time whereby he was out on limb with his ‘views’.

  35. ShiverMeTimbre says:
    October 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    “Stardust is veritably the Nick Griffin of this blog. I only hope he doesn’t possess a lazy eye and the attendant persecution complex.”

    Shiver, that’s a little too personal don’t you think?

    TROJAN 69 says:
    October 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    “i think ashley is terrified to sell the club incase someone comes in and makes a success of it,and he looks like a tit.”

    Trojan, no-one wants to buy it, that’s the whole point. We’re the ‘Typhoid Mary’ of football clubs.

  36. Worky regarding the PR disaster I think if we got the right owner it could be a PR goldmine and regarding the £100 mill imho there is no way Ma is going to right off the 120 -130 mill loan I would say that is the main reason no one is buying the Club. Stardust no disrespect to you but I sometimes think you just love winding people up ;)

  37. Worky, see my previous post. I’m sure Stardust is not a right-wing idiot like the dishonourable gentlemen representing the BNP last night. Likewise, the lazy eye/persecution complex refers to our ‘friend’ appearing on last night’s Question Times panel. No, not Jack Straw, the other fella.

  38. ShiverMeTimbre I completely understand what you were getting at Re Nick Griffen, sort of the person you love to have a go at like lastnights q time

  39. Let’s not make something of nothing. There’s not even a remote similarity other than what Shiver stated, the polarised views.

    One is a completely ignorant, blinkered and hate-filled individual who would like his views to be adopted by the majority.

    Griffin on the other hand……

  40. Friday is ‘joke day’ right?

    I hope so because I am going to laugh my **** off at Tom Stade tonight!!

  41. Bit of random news is that we’ve just taken a 16 year old on trial for 4 days from Dundalk FC called Nathan Murphy.

    No idea what position he plays or owt, just nice to know the scouting network is still active.

  42. @ Stardust

    I would like you to let me know your answers to my questions at 28 & 29 when you get time, thanks.

  43. `STARDY love it how leave a comment then bloggers come from every where to have a go bet ur laughing your head of at the mugs if only they knew the truth e mate classic

  44. It’s official!! Tis beer ‘o’ clock.

    Quick can and then wander up to Popollos for beers and scran and then off to see my new best mate at the Hyena. Tom Stade at his funniest I hope!!

  45. workyticket says:
    October 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm
    batty, did you get your laptop sorted oot
    <<<<<<< aye got a dell from pc world ta m8

  46. batty says:
    October 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    ” stardust if only they knew”

    Batty, divven’t tell ’em! It would blow their tiny minds if they knew the real truth about Stardust.

    I was trying to tell ye, you could’ve gone to the Dell site, configured your laptop exactly as you wanted it and had it delivered to your door. I would have helped you to get the best machine for the money.

  47. Ginola.

    Sorry fella – been away and off for a pint or two soon.

    I can answer both of your points in a simple fundamental of life – we have debated it before and it sounds rather heavy but its general anchorage in life – is positive mental attitude.

    Einstein, Plato, Socrates some of the greatest minds formed the opinion that like vibrations within the universe attract like vibrations. everything vibrates at a frequency – You as a person are a collection of vibrating energy brought together for a common cause.

    For this reason – water collates together, gold, minerals, planets, gas etc etc etc. Today this is commonly called and known as the Law of Attraction.

    So on a simple level, when a collective think together that we are going to get relegated, a mass of bad refereeing decisions, injuries, missed shots etc etc seem to come our way.

    Of course I have no proof this exists but in my life I have an optimists view, I focus on the things I am working towards *not the want for them – a subtle difference).

    I truly believe that last year that if the fans had stayed with the club – and said – there goes KK again – that we would have stayed up. You may argue the players werent good enough – but Kevin Keegan thought they were – only recently he said if he had stayed we would have stayed up.

    For a man who normally deals in objectivity you can see this is a leap of faith by me – it might mean I sound mad – but Id rather live in an upbeat world than a one smothered in misery and negativity.

    A long winded answer but told honestly – I have laid open the doors for abuse but hey ho – I find the abuse funny.

  48. Shiver – I didnt take any offence and saw the humour in what you were saying.

    BBM – I knew the punchline before I got there lol – enjoy Tom Stade.

  49. Here we go again, Stardust vs. the rest.
    Is this what anyone really enjoys?
    The blog started out with an interesting premise, What is the REAL price of the club, then once Stardust threw his hook in the water, developed into the usual verbal brawl,based mainly on ego`s.
    I have to say it`s getting old and boring, sad because this particular blog started out with so much promise.
    Stardust, could you make an attempt to reign in your ego and be a little more accommodating, I am sure you have interesting stuff you would like to share, why are you so confrontational, please, lighten up dude.
    And Workey, you likened Stardust to someone surrounded by schoolyard bullies, afraid that`s far from true, it`s something he thrives on, the term hubris comes to mind.
    Soh ! can we have a discussion on the REAL price, is it 100m., 200 m., or more, as I find it hard to believe Ashley is so desperate to get out he would sell for a loss of over 100m., that`s including the personal loan of course. ?

  50. hitman says:
    October 23, 2009 at 4:37 pm
    do you think no one will buy liverpool now stardust.

    Id be stunned if they sold at anything but a loss Hitman but you never know. It would be like buying a half dud rocket on tick and expecting to fly to the moon on it.

    Id stick my neck out and say that if any investment does come in Hicks and Gillet will not sell shares “per se” but dilute their shareholding for the investment. i.e. money in to pay debt off and not go in their pockets.

  51. Chuck – no offence but to label my opinions as egocentric is unfair.

    They arent mass market I agree – but I can hold my own in any debate face to face and over a pint. I dont apologise for making my own mind up or defending the club from negativity or doom mongers.

    To call the threads then boring or unfair because of the fact my comments cause a reaction by a group who dont like them has nothing to do with me – it has to do with those attacking me personally instead of challenging the view I hold rationally.

    If Worky has likened me to being surrounded by Schoolyard Bullies – I say not. A bully has to have a victim and I am not, I can hold my own with one or a crowd of them – I can move my opinion at a moments notice on any given issue, I always seek out and test my conclusions, and can switch on any new evidence – but pressure alone will not bend me. I dont rely on sentimentality for my thoughts, I rely on real life, important and knowable facts and human nature for that.

  52. Hmm! have to admit to being intrigued by the exchange between Batty and Workey, in regard to Stardust`s identity.
    Have my suspicions Workey.

  53. Stardust says: “Einstein, Plato, Socrates some of the greatest minds formed the opinion that like vibrations within the universe attract like vibrations.”

    So did the Beach Boys.

  54. chuck says:
    October 23, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    “Stardust, Sound`s like you have been into Nietzsche or Ayn Rand, very superman like tude.”

    Or he’s just a drama queen, Chuck.

  55. Stardust, there’s alot of difference between Einstein, Plato, Socrates and the writers of ‘self help’ books though. They shouldn’t be confused. ;-)

  56. Chuck at 68 – now theres a day long debate on its own! Love stuff like that.

    And Worky – glad you put Drama in front of Queen lol – pint time!

  57. Apparently Worky many here are into self help books – Playboy and Men Only being two. Right def pint time lol

  58. Stardust @ 66: It must give you a little judder of excitement to be in the same room as yourself sometimes, Dusty.

    You must sit there nodding, in a sage-like fashion, as another nugget of wisdom (based on real life, important and knowable facts and human nature, apparently) falls from your massive logic centre and spills across this forum to the waiting throng of your expectant acolytes. All that reason crammed into one mind….my God, it’s enough to make Mr. Spock hang his ears up for good.

    If the breathtakingly smug arrogance you display here is reflected in your “Real” life then I feel a great swell of pity for whoever has the misfortune of stumbling across you.

    The idea that one person can monopolise the truth is a dangerous falsehood, and any notion that human nature functions on logic and reason alone is just idiocy. Life is emotion, logic is merely window dressing. Opinions devoid of emotion ring hollow on deaf ears, for how can logic touch the heart, raise the spirit….heal the soul?

  59. stardust FCCA – ignore excelsior , i’m sure all the locals will be cueing up to share a drink with you and to listen to your words of support for big mike.

    …ZZZzzzzzz

  60. Hugh D.P.
    Beach boys eh ! still laughing .

    Workey
    Drama queen, yeah!

    Excelsior
    Carefull, beginning to sound a bit like Stardust pardner.

  61. chuck says:
    October 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    “Batty
    There`s something suspicious about that grinning smiley !”

    It looks like someone wearing someone else’s false teeth?

  62. “chuck says:
    October 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm
    Excelsior
    Carefull, beginning to sound a bit like Stardust pardner.”

    I hope not, Chuck. I want avoid that particular brand of arrogance….if I possibly can.

    If Stardust is logic, then I’m emotion. If Stardust is arrogance, then i’ll be humility. If Stardust is hopeless (insert joke here) then i’ll be hope!

  63. “workyticket says:
    October 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    At least Stardust has a sense of humour.”

    Meaning I don’t? I guess he must’ve been smuggling his jokes in amid all that pompous rhetoric. If he just put “Boom, Boom” after them maybe they’d be more apparent?

    In case it’s escaped your notice I’m playing the same game he is, and enjoying it just as much. I’m sorry if you were under the impression that i’m taking any of this, even remotely, seriously.

    You’ve been on me since the moment I first posted, while i’m interested to know why….it’s not keeping me up nights.

    Mags 4 – Donny 1….Toon, Toon etc. etc.

  64. Excelsior “I hope not, Chuck. I want avoid that particular brand of arrogance….if I possibly can.”

    oops – you cant – you fell at the first hurdle.

    and “If the breathtakingly smug arrogance you display here is reflected in your “Real” life then I feel a great swell of pity for whoever has the misfortune of stumbling across you.”

    – do you often sit and wonder about meeting me?

    – sigh I am sorry Excelsior the attention you pay me is not returned. I am sure you can join a lonely hearts blog.

  65. Quite funny Shiver – you shoot – you miss – again. Hope most of your other opinions have more foundation – oh – no – they havent have they lol.

  66. Fear not my friend, not everyone is fully aware of how this blog works. Wind-ups can serve their purpose; after all, you do amuse me.

    I may have to report you to the syntax police for the recurring misuse of the en dash, mind.

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