Newcastle United release worrying set of accounts.

Posted on May 3rd, 2010 | 152 Comments |

A lot depends on these two
A lot depends on these two
Newcastle United have now released the latest set of club accounts, and they don’t make good reading, that’s for sure. I’ll go into more detail later on, but the financial results show just how precarious things could have been if we didn’t have an owner with a huge personal fortune to bankroll us. Whether you love him, hate him, or sit somewhere in the middle of the two, it can’t be denied that Mike Ashley has put his hand in his pocket to keep the club afloat.

Of course we all know the turmoil of last season, but it’s only now that the true financial extent of it is becoming clear. As a football fan, I want to watch my team without worrying about anything else and I want to see the best players and biggest names playing for my club week in week out. However, football fans up and down the country have had to become increasingly more understanding of just what is happening to the financial side of things at their respective clubs. What is happening at ours isn’t pretty and gives a strong indication as to just why the club were unable to find a buyer when the ‘for sale’ sign went up. It will only get worse this time next year as the true cost of falling out of the Premier League will be revealed. There is however some light at the end of the tunnel, albeit a very distant light, but it is still there.

A quick look at the books revealed that turnover dropped to £86.1 million from £99.4 million the year previously. Our much maligned wage bill of £71.1 million meant that an eye watering 83% of our total income was spent on wages alone and was the biggest wage bill outside of the top 4 at the time.

We are in debt to the tune of £111 million, all owed to one Michael James Wallace Ashley. Again there will always be an argument that Mike Ashley has been the architect of much of this debt and he has contributed to it through his mistakes and not checking the books before he bought us. If Mike Ashley did check the books before he bought us, then we may well not be celebrating a return to the Premier League as he would have run a mile. Freddy Shepherd had gone as far as he could, or should I say mortgaged as far as he could and left us with no sponsor money, no assets that weren’t already secured and a debt of £70 million, all whilst he took his own wages home of course. It was less apparent though as quite often, Shepherd would dangle a Michael Owen or another big name star to placate the fans, which worked to an extent as, like I said, football fans love to see the biggest names play at their club.

Still, we can’t change the past so we have to deal with this debt and at least we don’t owe anything to the banks. If we did then you could conservatively add another £10 million at least onto our outgoings as interest would then be payable. The one clause is that this loan is repayable under a change of ownership, which is probably why we have struggled to find a buyer whenever club was on the market.

Being a manager at Newcastle United for long is rare occurance, and the cost of this managerial merry-go-round is also documented in the report. Sacking Sam Allardyce and his team cost the club £4.5 million whilst fighting, and losing, against Kevin Keegan in the now infamous row over Wise and player signings cost the club £5.3 million.

There are also some notes for what has been happening this season. Since relegation, our wagebill has been slashed by £21 million, although this may yet drop further in the full accounts when they become available next year. Mike Ashley has also pumped in a further £25.5 million to help with running costs and player signings.

It’s all pretty grim stuff to be honest and hints at tough times ahead, certainly in the next couple of years anyway. As a club we have been financially sick for far too long now, but we can get out of it and become completely debt free. It will take a while, and we will need Premier League income to do it, but it isn’t impossible. I’ve been in debt myself, and got out of it by paying at all back. Whilst the figures involved in my own debt problems aren’t as great as the figures here, the principle remains the same.

Can we fix it? Yes we can!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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152 Responses

  1. Mike Ashley is “loaning” the cash to Newcastle. Hes not giving the club any money. The club owes HIM 111 million pounds. He has personally been responsible for at least 50Million of the lost revenue due to the sacking of Keegan, Allardyce and the cost of relegation from the premier league. The guy will pull the plug and call in his debts when it suits him to do so. Dont kid youreslf hes not bankrolling the club. HEs keeping the calue of his investment stable by loaning mony, not “bankrolling” it

  2. Much the same thing. Do you not think that maybe by keeping the club afloat he is protecting his investment, ie the club?

    It’s in his and our best interest for him to protect his investment. He could pull the plug, so could any owner, but that would put us into administration and he would lose a fortune, a damn sight more that £111 million anyway.

  3. Can someone please explain to me: How can something you own outright, owe you money??

    If owned my own business & put money into to it to keep it afloat, then how is it possibe that that business owes me money when I already own it????

    I could understand if I lent another business money to keep it afloat, then that persons business would owe me, just like a loan, but if its my own business, surely if I put my money into my business, then that not a loan, that investment!!!

    As for your comment Dale, where did you get £50m of the debt being Ashley fault??? it cost him £10m to pay off Fat Sam & KK, not £50m, that was incurred before he took over the club, thats why it cost him £110m to buy the club off Sir John & FFS, then he’s put in another £136.5m to pay off the debt FFS & Hall got us into & to keep the club afloat, otherwise we’d be finished, capput, gone, never to play again……

    As it was said, if Ashley or whoever brought the club off FFS & Hall had done due dilligence, then they wouldn’t have brought & defo wouldn’t have paid £110m for it knowing it had £111m debt to pay off either, so get off his back will yer, no matter what anyone says, he’s saved our club from going into oblivion forever…. for that I’m very grateful…

  4. Keep on looking at things through your anti-Ashley specs Dale and ignore the truth. Without him we WOULD have been in far worse financial state than Pompey.
    ‘Call in his debts’ LOL, he owns the club, how can he call in the debt ? Hello Mike, its Mike here, want my money back mate LOL.
    The £111 mill, which could well increase, will be re-payable if anyone else buys the club, not unreasonable in my opinion

  5. Cyprus Toon
    If you started say a business selling Cypriot food and it cost you £50,000 of your own personnal money to start the company up, the company accounts would show that it owed you £50,000

  6. Bartmag – But thats capital investment in getting the business going, its not a loan, so the business wouldn’t owe me as I’d be getting the profit from the business & my capital investment would still be there!!

    So what you’re saying is then, that Ashleys ‘Sport International Ltd’ company also owe’s him money because he put up the money to start it off?? the fact that he floated it on teh stock exchange & croned in £928m in one day doesn’t count, the capital investment money he put in to get it off the ground is still owed to him??

  7. Cyprus – Think of Ashley like a bank.

    He paid off our bank loans, which were charging interest, with his own money, not the clubs.

    So now we still owe money, just not to a bank.

  8. I just don’t understand :(

    He owns the club, so he can’t laon himself money, he can invest it surely but not loan it, or isn’t that money laundering to some extent??

  9. He can call in the debts at any time, hence crippling the club. He is not in direct ownership its a company called SJP holdings or some lark. so yes he can call in his debts

  10. This guy is holding the club to ransom. He is the owner and bought the club including its debts. You invest in the club, develop the club to generate a profit. You sell and make a profit. You do not sell the club and call in the original debt as well. The oversight on the debt was his mistake. He wants it all ways and is a curse on this club. CH has been terrific. MA is a cancer on this club and it will not heal itself or truly progress until he has gone.

  11. Not really. He put his own money in to transfer debt to him and not a bank. Loads of owners have done it, Abramovich, Mansour, Ellis Short, Randy Lerner, Mohammed Al Fayed. Ashley isn’t the only owner that a football club owe money to.

  12. dale says:
    May 3, 2010 at 8:54 am

    “He can call in the debts at any time”

    The note in the account says that it is only repaybale immediately in event of a change of ownership.

  13. Jimiley you are so unbelievably wrong, Ashley has saved this club from far worse than relegation !!
    St James Holding could have borrowed the extra 100 million from a bank, it would have now accrued masses of interest, and the bank could call in that debt at any time a la Pompey.
    Instead Mike Ashley loaned St James Holding the money, interest free, and it is repayable in the event of a change of ownership.

  14. Jimiley
    ‘He wants it all ways and is a curse on this club. CH has been terrific. MA is a cancer on this club and it will not heal itself or truly progress until he has gone.’
    As Toonsy has pointed out, if he had of carried out due diligence before buying the club, the likelihood is he and anyone else would have run a mile. We were sinking like the Titanic as FFS had run out of things to mortgage, it was all going to implode, that’s why SJH was desperate to get him to sign by giving him 24 hours to make a decision. Fortunately for us, Ashley agreed within the time frame because he wanted the football club.
    Instead of being fixated on hating the owner, why don’t you just accept that without his cash, we wouldnt be in our present position. If you want someone to hate for our predicament look at the previous regime who hot footed it out of town with their swag bag bulging at the seams.

  15. Here we go again, “We”, that is the fans, owe nothing, we are paying customers, the “Club”, is Ashley, his accounts are his problem not ours,end of story.

  16. its pointless going on about ashleys money and the constant arguement of if he is making money out of us or not. the simple fact is that he is a clever man, clever men dont throw money away for no reason at all. the ashley propaganda machine would have us all think he is our savior……..maybe he is. i am not sure though. the figures released mean nothing and can not be taken as the be all and end all. i have said this so many times, ashley has an army of top accountants that move his money around from business to business constantly, trying to keep one step ahead of the tax man. It stands to reason that if he is showing less or no profit that he can pay less tax. this is normal. i have a rental property or two myself, every year i ensure it always looks like i am making a loss so as not to pay tax on my incoming revenue. its basic accountancy. Ask yourself this… why on earth would ashley ever want to post a profit on nufc? its far more important he posts a profit in sportsdirect.com. we are his toy and legal lauder cash cow. 75% of ALL top league clubs in the whole of europe post a loss year on year. Do you think this is accurate and sustainable or are the clubs just conducting very sharp accountancy every year at tax returns time? Open your eyes guys and look at the bigger picture. Ashley is not daft… why else has he held onto nufc when regardless of what he may tell you, he could have sold.

  17. Cyprus Toon, I have done the same with my own business. By having the company owing the owner as an individual it means:

    a) He can take the money out of the business account and back into his private account without being taxed on anything other than interest charged.

    b) If the company goes into administration then he still has a claim on the assets of the business when they are sold off by the administrators.

    Toonsy, you are right in saying many others have done the same and there is nothing unusual at all.

    Basically it means that Ashley is our bank. He will keep us out of administration as long as he thinks he can get his money back. As with a bank he will put us into administration if he no longer believes that.

    Those thanking Ashley for keeping us going now should also have been thanking the banks who kept us afloat before.

    Also, remember that the debt has worsened considerably under Ashley (and not just because of the Keegan mess and relegation).

  18. Toonsy, the note in the accounts actually explained a change in status of the loan, saying that it used to only be repayable in the case of a change of ownership, but that this is no longer the case.

  19. So if other owners are doing this, then why are the crap-loids making such a big deal of it??? I don’t see any crap-loid reports on any other clubs owners, ie Leaner, Ellis, etc, so why us??

    I tell you what though, it’s a good job I don’t work for the tax office or you’d all be in deep doo doo… lol

  20. off-topic.

    Heard Gary Cahill might leave bolton if a decent bid from a big club comes in. Even the manager will not persuade him,if he intend to leave.

    Newcastle????

  21. in a situation such as this you have to look at, and take out of this all of the positives! Its a similar situation to the Northern Rock / Government situation. Sure the figures look like we’re in trouble… but with the correct business management, and a good business plan, we will get through it. We have a good thing going and by the looks of it, the media are at it again by trying to make us look worse than be are.
    Look at situations at other clubs (ie Pompy), they re in less debt than us and going under! Love him or hate him, without Ashley and his money bailing us out… we’d be in a far worse situation than we are now! He may not have the same motive behind it to us Newcastle fans, but he wants to see the same results as everyone else linked with Newcastle!

    Newcastle have a plan in place and it’s up to us fans to back it! the right players are there, the right manager is there and the fans need to back the plan too!

  22. The tabloids are living off the reactions of both groups of Toon fans: Those who think every action Ashley makes is a complete disaster, and those who think he is the club’s saviour.

    Both are wrong. He is someone who has made a lot of bad decisions which have been hugely damaging to this football club, but at the same time makes some decisions which anyone in his position would make.

    On the balance though, I cannot agree that we are even close to being in a better position now than we were when he took over.

  23. I think one of the reports above stating ashley has cost us 50m was adding keegan and big sams payout to the lost 36m revenue for dropping out of the premiership plus the loss in season tickets and usual revenue which would easily amass to 50m. makes you wonder what happened to all the money of the players we sold last season, given, milner, nzogbia, bassong, martins and many more because if as shown ashley is owed 111m that is 25m less than he paid for freddy shepherd of 135m for the club but every year we have sold far more than purchased and have always been in the black regarding transfers in ashleys reign. this season we have had 2 more home games + have been on the tv the most by far in the championship agreed a new sponsor ship deal with northern rock as well as a new deal with puma along with a partnership with thomas cook we are also due the final part of the parachute payment of 11m for dropping out of the premiership as well as the remainder of given and nzogbia deals due at the end of the season as we only got part payment last year and is still outstanding, mind you instead of the rmainder of the given money i would rather ask for stephen ireland instead hes not getting a game and would be agreat signing for the toon

  24. So if other owners are doing this, then why are the crap-loids making such a big deal of it???

    That ones easy that like Cyprus-toon:

    because we’re newcastle united not Aston villa, etc.

  25. Gadger, I agree that the big question is whether or not we have a good plan in place, but I can’t see any evidence of that. What has actually changed since we got relegated except the reduction in the playing staff?

    The club talk about building an “Arsenal model” which is completely deluded. First of all, if you are going to sign the best worldwide young talent you need serious money. The highly rated kids do not come cheap any more.

    What’s more they are exactly the kids with the prima donna attitudes, demanding massive wages and causing all kinds of havoc off the pitch.

    Secondly, why would the next Fabregas come to us instead of Arsenal or Chelsea? In the past the worldwide scouting network of the European giant teams was less comprehensive and so you could pick out the ones that fell through the gaps. That’s no longer the case.

    Our best chance with our current finances is to take an “Everton Model” of picking up Football League players and gradually building upto the point where you can attract something better.

    The fact that the club still seem to think they can go for the Arsenal model shows that they have learnt nothing.

  26. Driver8 – I have to disagree with you thee mate, when he took over, he took over not knowing what he was getting, which yes is his own fault & in the first season he made some disaturous decisions which in the end got us relegated but you have to admit, that was coming anyway under FFS, he was spending money left, right & center on players who didn’t want to play for us just to appeas the fans, FFS wanted to be one of teh boys but all he was doing was getting us into more & more trouble, of which if it came to it, he wouldn’t have been able to get us out of, not with £111m of debt, not even he could afford that much, so yes he put up a struggle when it came to sell but I can bet he was thanks the gods when he sold, knowing how much debt there was, so my point is, Ashley did make a lot of mistakes at the start but has stuck by us & covered the debts, unlike the owners of Pompey who’ve just passed their debt on the next mug, which is what Ashley could have done or even worse, taken the club into bankrupcy, in which case, we’d have no club to support & the muckems would have loved that!!!

    So love him or loathe him, you have to be thankful that he’s decided to stay, may it be that he couldn’t sell & didn’t want to lose his investment or not, he’s stuck at it when a lot of men in his position would have just walked, no matter how much money was invested, so that he could recoup what money he’s put into the club & personally I think us getting relegated will make us a better club, with a great manager in CH & an owner who we may find in the end was the saviour of our great team but I doubt it somehow…..

    Btw, isn’t this a bit dejavou from the 91/92 season, Sirt John took over, got a rookie mamager in KK, we got promoted the next seaosn & eneded up finished 3rd… lol

  27. AOD,
    Gary Cahill is well out of our league.
    He will cost approx 12m, forget about it.

  28. erm… where does this come from? any sources?

    or are you basing entirely on the Sunday Sun’s half-arsed article from yesterday?

    I’m not saying you’re wrong… but there’s no evidence of actual sources anywhere about this, and the Sun is the biggest source of bullshit man ever built.

  29. Cyprus, I agree that when we were relegated it was a positive thing that Ashley could finance us when a bank probably wouldn’t have.

    However I am not convinced that the banks would have pulled the plug, even under Shepherd, as long as we were in the Premier League. One club in the 17-18 years of the premiership has had it happen to them, but all of them are in considerable debt. Portsmouth had spend more, had a bigger debt, and a smaller revenue base. Even then they only finally went into administration when it was obvious they were going down.

    The banks will continue to finance if they believe they can have a revenue coming in on the loan. As long as we were in the Premiership we were OK.

    Of course we could have been relegated under Shepherd, but it never really looked likely. It need someone with a real skill for self destruction to manage that…

  30. All we need is one season of consolidation and we will have absolutely no financial concerns.

    The figures will not reflect well for this year, however, thanks to Ashley (mistakes and all), we should have no loan interest payments for this year, we made around 20Mil net from transfers, and we are saved around 20Mil on wages from the previous year. As well as a 12Mil pound parachute payment.

    So really Thats 50Mil in itself!

    All this press coverage…
    It all reeks a bit of propaganda on the clubs side to try drum up support for “what Ashley has done for the club”…
    Which disappoints me because he’d get more support by just getting on with the job. We’d be more grateful that way.

    Add to that sponsor money coming in which we’ve been missing the last 4 years because it was immediately spent on the Owen transfer. And a new kit sponsor. Our financial situation SHOULD be looking better and better…

    Not glummer and glummer like the press are making out!!!

  31. If the club are going to mae the club’s finances open to the press.
    Surely they should show where that money has gone and come from.
    Especially in the case of transfers, which it seems Ashley is still just putting straight back into his pocket.

  32. All we need is one season of consolidation and we will have absolutely no financial concerns.

    The figures will not reflect well for this year, however, thanks to Ashley (mistakes and all), we should have no loan interest payments for this year, we made around 20Mil net from transfers, and we are saved around 20Mil on wages from the previous year. As well as a 12Mil pound parachute payment.

    So really Thats 50Mil in itself!

    All this press coverage…
    It all reeks a bit of propaganda on the clubs side to try drum up support for “what Ashley has done for the club”…
    Which disappoints me because he’d get more support by just getting on with the job. We’d be more grateful that way. What choice do we have but to support him now anyway!

    Add to that sponsor money coming in which we’ve been missing the last 4 years because it was immediately spent on the Owen transfer. And a new kit sponsor. Our financial situation SHOULD be looking better and better…

    Not glummer and glummer like the press are making out!!!

  33. All we need is one season of consolidation and we will have absolutely no financial concerns.

    The figures will not reflect well for this year, however, thanks to Ashley (mistakes and all), we should have no loan interest payments for this year, we made around 20Mil net from transfers, and we are saved around 20Mil on wages from the previous year. As well as a 12Mil pound parachute payment.

    So really Thats 50Mil in itself!

  34. All this press coverage…
    It all reeks a bit of propaganda on the clubs side to try drum up support for “what Ashley has done for the club”…
    Which disappoints me because he’d get more support by just getting on with the job. We’d be more grateful that way.

    Add to that sponsor money coming in which we’ve been missing the last 4 years because it was immediately spent on the Owen transfer. And a new kit sponsor. Our financial situation SHOULD be looking better and better…

    Not glummer and glummer like the press are making out!!!

  35. anyone thought, these are for the season we were relegated, the ones released next year will be for this season i.e even worse!
    Because of our loss of revenue and massive wage bill that Ashley has bankrolled this season, we will probably find we are actually more indebted (financially) to Ashley than these figures show. Will probably take two seasons in the Premiership before we start seeing some positive results financially.

  36. “Mick says:
    May 3, 2010 at 10:49 am
    anyone thought, these are for the season we were relegated, the ones released next year will be for this season i.e even worse!
    Because of our loss of revenue and massive wage bill that Ashley has bankrolled this season, we will probably find we are actually more indebted (financially) to Ashley than these figures show. Will probably take two seasons in the Premiership before we start seeing some positive results financially.”

    Mick

    With the stats I’ve just typed above, thats a R50mil head start on the previous season, despite relegation.
    So if the finances do show major loses compared to the season before, we’ll know all transfer cash is going directly into Ashley’s pocket!

  37. Mick, exactly right. Providing we stay in the Prem then there is a way out. All of the transfers out, like Beye, Martins etc should show up in next year’s accounts.

    rantbox – I don’t know if your referring to the article or the Gary Cahill rumour when questioning a source?

    There is the Sunday Sun, which I would never touch. The Chronicle, which don’t exactly trust. Or the official accounts from Companies House, which haved to be legally checked, which I do trust.

  38. JJ – Our sponsorship and kit deals are nowhere near what they were. Northern Rock are offering us £2.5 mill a year and the Puma deal is nowhere near as lucrative as the Adidas one. Yes, it’s money we haven’t seen for a while, but it aint the barrow load that is being made out either.

    Driver8 says:
    May 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

    “Toonsy, the note in the accounts actually explained a change in status of the loan, saying that it used to only be repayable in the case of a change of ownership, but that this is no longer the case.”

    It actually says on the report that the debt will be liable for immediate repayment should change of ownership occur. It’s only the Sunday Sun who reckon the circumstance has changed.

  39. And just to clear things up.

    I have no problem even if Ashley did pocket money from transfers. As long as he used his own money to invest in the right players too when they become available.

    He would be investing and growing his own asset anyway.

  40. at the end of the day,ashley is going to have to invest in some quality players to avoid another dog fight,and this aint going to be cheap…lets wait and see if ashley has ambition…

  41. JJ says:
    May 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

    “He would be investing and growing his own asset anyway.”

    That is the bit that people just don’t get. The clubs fortunes and Ashley growing his assett are inextricably linked to each other. If Ashley wants to make more money, he has to grow the club, or make is sustainable.

    I want the debt gone asap, so it would make me happy if any surplus income after strengthening the team went to pay what we owe Ashley. The quicker we get the debt down to £0, the better. Then we really will be laughing!

  42. Toonsy,

    My point is more to do with the costs we no longer/havn’t have/had incurring: interest, wages and transfers.

    All I’m saying it that if Ashley does what is smart, and invests wisely (which he failed to do last time).
    The club and he will be on a sound financial footing compared to most Premier League Clubs within a year!

    As one of the 20 richest clubs in the world, with our club receipts, we should easily be able to sustain a 100mil pound debt for the next few years!

    Look at Liverpool! They have three times that amount of debt, with no Champions League and massive wages!
    Why are their no press articles about them!

  43. There is plenty about Liverpool, we just don’t notice as it doesn’t interest us. Their debt is hefty, but there turnover is also greater than ours. £100 million greater than ours in fact.

    Hate to shatter illusuions, but with a turnover of £84 million, that is us straight out of the top 20 richlist, and it happened whilst we were still in the Premier League!

    We will be lucky to make the top 50 for this season, as our income has dropped further, a lot further than these accounts show.

  44. Three or four fair priced good signings, this season.

    Say around (15mil). And we survive! Then, we should really be smiling in three or four years time.\
    All the rest of the income can go towards paying off debt!
    Thats 30Mil television plus season tickets, gate receipts and merchandise and sponsorship deals.
    We should be able to knock off around 15-20mil debt each year. And each year, it’d be more and more sustainable.

    My only worry is can we trust Ashley not to do a dirty.
    Thing is we have no choice but to trust him.

  45. At the end of the day most if not all Premiership clubs are in debt many bigger than ours,at least we have no huge interest payment like many clubs will be paying.I don’t like Ashley(still waiting for him to apologise for lies told in the past)but the club is now being run more proffesionally.Whether this is by design/neccesity/or to protect Ashley’s interests or all 3 doesn’t matter,he’s here and probably will be for sometime to come.No one person is bigger than the club we all love,and that is what I follow and support,not the owner not any particular player but the club/team.NUFC til I die.HWTL

  46. As much as people fear what last season’s relegation will cost us financially…
    The fact is we are still afloat, despite it all.
    And things should only get better, we are better off than we were two years ago in terms of growth.

    Despite how small, the kit sponsorship, Northern Rock sponsorship, extra merchandise sales (new kit sales with be huge because of the new sponsor, Premiership badges, havn’t had a new home hit in two years)ie. Merchandise will be up. Television revenue money. And even after incoming buys our wages will be lower than 2009.
    All that should equate to much better financial accounts from this year onward. Meaning. If we avoided administration this this, we will only get further and further away from that from now on.

  47. craig chisholm says:
    May 3, 2010 at 9:19 am

    “It stands to reason that if he is showing less or no profit that he can pay less tax. this is normal. i have a rental property or two myself, every year i ensure it always looks like i am making a loss so as not to pay tax on my incoming revenue. its basic accountancy.”

    Erm, no, it isn’t “basic accountancy”, Craig, it’s fraud.

    So you hate Mike Ashley because you assume that he is as dodgy as yourself? It would be very interesting if that were the case.

  48. Also, one thing I do fear is that, since his arrival.
    Ashley has spent a net total of “0” on transfers in the Premiership.
    Which is absolutely ridiculous really…

    Who is he going to sell to buy this year? Our squad is too small to sell anyone. Meaning he’ll need to invest around 20Mil of his own money to get us a squad good enough to stay up.

    If like last time, he fails to do so, we risk going down again and losing far more than we lost this season.
    If we stay up, it’ll be massive for the club and we can final look forward to growing again.

    In my opinion, this season is make or break for the clubs future!

  49. There should be some law against financial misrepresentation in the press. There should also be a set of guidelines or a format issued by Companies House that clearly explains the differences between ‘current value’, ‘assets’, ‘liabilities’, ‘revenue commitments’, ‘equity’ etc, etc.

    To those that still believe Ashley is the problem, you need to get some basic books on economics and business. We are arguably the luckiest club in the Prem, as it was only lack of due diligence by Ashley that allowed FFS & cronies to offload a sinking ship, and a ship that these directors alone had holed below the waterline with incompetent decisions and spendthrift purchases. Without Ashley the club would have been in administration, and in spite of often woeful decisions in his first year he alone had the cash to keep bailing out NUFC.

    How many billionaires would be daft enough to buy Titanic FC after the iceberg was struck? Well we found one, and for his sins he took the flack and then some. Currently, in a financial sense, we are like Chelsea trying desperately to convert to being Arsenal. What we are not is Man Utd, mortgaged to the hilt with the banks, and for that we must also be thankful.

    NUFC (the company) cannot be Ashley, not should we ever want it to be. It needs to be an independent and accountable entity with a spreadsheet that balances. Ashley could well be the mechanism that achieves this, as he is unlikely to call in loans; primarily because the value of the club is now likely to to exceed the value of the loans (and the calling in of loans would effectively cripple NUFC and make it worth nothing at all).

    Of course the ‘Bank of Ashley’ will remain the clubs biggest creditor for some time. A fact that scuppered any chance of a sale last year, as the Bank of Ashley’s £100m+ loan to the club is an immediate liability in addition to the purchase price. If he had sold the club for £80m and the new owner had defaulted on the £100m he would have been £20m down on the deal, so good sense prevailed.

    It will take 4 to 5 years of sensible management to pay off this debt, which should encourage a hunger on the field to challenge for silverware. Fulham have been a revelation, and now Spurs are in the top 4, so the old order is crumbling. No club is going to exempt from the cost-cutting hell we have been through, and although it might not be as painful or farcical the end result will be the same. On top of which footballers and their agents will be left high and dry as a post credit crunch society finally asks why we ever considered Michael Owen to be worth more than 300 nurses to the people of the North East? After all it is the local economy that really pays the wages in the end…

    We have been very, very lucky, chaps. We could have been waking up in league 1 this morning with an immediate points deduction to also contend with. I might not ever like Ashley, but I do know his value.

  50. @Craig – I work for the Inland Revenue – thanks for the info, now if you can just give me your address

  51. @ Spotlight Kid

    “It will take 4 to 5 years of sensible management to pay off this debt, which should encourage a hunger on the field to challenge for silverware. Fulham have been a revelation, and now Spurs are in the top 4, so the old order is crumbling.”

    I’m sure there are far more people that appreciate having someone of Ashley’s wealth to help the club get through this tricky period.
    The people that “want him out” are surely a minority.

    But what we have now, are people that are just concerned he makes the same mistakes as first time round.
    Ie. Trying to sustain the club in the premier league with a squad clearly not good enough or deep enough in quality because he failed to invest and sold our best players.

    We want to build the club, exactly like you just said. Over five years. But in order to do that, we need to ensure we stay in the Premier League. And in order to do that, we cannot sell and must invest.
    I just don’t see him investing. Even if it is for his and our (the club’s) long term benefit. But

  52. @ Spotlight Kid

    “It will take 4 to 5 years of sensible management to pay off this debt, which should encourage a hunger on the field to challenge for silverware. Fulham have been a revelation, and now Spurs are in the top 4, so the old order is crumbling.”

    I’m sure there are far more people that appreciate having someone of Ashley’s wealth to help the club get through this tricky period.
    The people that “want him out” are surely a minority.

    But what we have now, are people that are just concerned he makes the same mistakes as first time round.
    Ie. Trying to sustain the club in the premier league with a squad clearly not good enough or deep enough in quality because he failed to invest and sold our best players.

    We want to build the club, exactly like you just said. Over five years. But in order to do that, we need to ensure we stay in the Premier League. And in order to do that, we cannot sell and must invest.

    If we had a squad with enough depth in talent to stay up I’d be very happy. But we don’t. We are three or four players short. And we cannot afford to sell anybody really. He must invest. But will he without selling?

    The only players we can afford to let go are: Xisco, Best, Butt (gone) and Pancrate. And all must be replaced with far better quality…

  53. jj thats the million dollar question..will ashley invest the money in players to give us a fighting chance to stay in the prem..
    im not to sure

  54. JJ says:
    May 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

    “But what we have now, are people that are just concerned he makes the same mistakes as first time round.
    Ie. Trying to sustain the club in the premier league with a squad clearly not good enough or deep enough in quality because he failed to invest and sold our best players.”

    Are you serious, JJ? Of course they were good enough and deep enough to stay in the Premiership. The problem was a constantly changing leadership until the players didn’t know if they were coming or going. If your thesis were true, we would have to spend the same kind of money as Real Madrid just to keep in mid table!

  55. Frankly reading all of the above comments and argument/counter-argument is making my head ache. But worky fiddling the taxman in big (or even little) business operations isn’t fraud. It’s creative accounting, you only have to look at our leaders to see how it works!! I wouldn’t mind betting he has at least one offshore account where a chunk of his earnings go and on which he does not pay any tax. I don’t know how this works but I’m confident it’s a system used by many to help launder the money legally.

    My take on the whole business is that we currently have got the wheels back on the waggon and at least we are rolling,for the moment anyway.

    I’d like us to get Stephen Ireland but he is a ManC player not Wigan so offsetting against the N’Zogbia deal aint on.

    Incidently seeing the way Hansen was dissing Liverpool on MOTD was astonishing, they may have had a bad season by their standards but they weren’t rubbish. (love em or hate them Toonsy :) )

  56. Workyticket

    They clearly weren’t good enough… we went down. Blame who and what you like. The squad wasn’t good enough. Maybe they were in terms of skill, but certainly not in terms of balance. Ie. No right wing, no forward that can hold up a ball. No cover at full back. No creativity in midfield.
    If this isn’t rectyfied, we’ll be in the same situation come this time next year!

  57. Fortunately, we have Carroll and Routeledge. So that helps, but what if one of them gets injured. We will again be one dimensional and struggle again.

    We didn’t have a good enough squad last year. in fact, I think our balance is far better this year already, despite the lack of “big names”.

  58. how many first teamers can cut it in the prem,theres a big diffrence from the champioship to the premier league….

  59. Big Willy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    “But worky fiddling the taxman in big (or even little) business operations isn’t fraud. It’s creative accounting, you only have to look at our leaders to see how it works!!”

    No, Big Willy. Declaring to the taxman that a business venture is making a loss, when it is actually making a profit IS fraud.

  60. I don’t surpose we could offset what Manc Al Citey owe us on Given against Ireland could we????

    Now if Ashley was willing to sell the club for £80m a season ago & he’d want his £111m loan also, now that we’ve been promoted as champions, the value of the club would have doubled & more, so doens’t that pay off the loan money the club owes Ashley in some way????

    goood post Spotlight Kid :)

  61. Cyprus-Toon……..Promotion means Ashley would now want a bigger asking price to buy the club plus the loan owed to him……agree good post Spotlight.

  62. Ireland would be perfect but I doubt he’d come. We can’t afford wages that high anymore… Nor due we have the stature. He’ll end up at Villa or Everton if he goes. Maybe even Liverpool.

  63. I dont think S Ireland would fit into the squad to be honest , he is a good player but the bloke is a fruitloop and i wouldnt have him

  64. But id say Joey Barton could be one of the lads if you know what i mean , S Ireland aint like that , apparently he quit the irish set up becasue he was been ‘ bullied ‘ , has said he he doesnt like really like football and look at the grannygate incident , not a playert id take

  65. Johno – So what do we do then? Turn down a player that would improve us and could be available at a reasonable price as City don’t want him just on the fact that he may not fit in with the boys?

    Some of my colleagues and workers are right tits but I have to deal with them and put up with them, because they are good at their job.

  66. 76 toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm
    Johno – So what do we do then? Turn down a player that would improve us and could be available at a reasonable price as City don’t want him just on the fact that he may not fit in with the boys?

    In a nutshell! Team spirit is one of the big things that has helped us this season , the lads playing for the shirt and themselves etc etc and I wouldnt want us to sign anyone who may disrupt that , he is a good player and certainly the type of player who would improve us going forward but Id wouldnt want him in the trenches ( which we could be next season ) so I wouldnt take him

  67. I want to know why batty wanted to know who wrote the post? Does he have his pitch fork ready for me with the label of being ‘pro Ashley’ ready to be flung at me?

    OR

    Is he going to say ‘nice write up’? I think I know already ;)

    So, to nip it in the bud and before I get labelled as pro Ashley, those that remember me from Uncle Ed’s blog may remember I was wishing nasty things upon Ashley and his family whilst he was pissing us about. Now he seems to be giving it a proper go I will also hold my hands up and give credit where it’s due, ie for sticking his hand in his pocket to avoid administration or anything else like that. If he pisses about again, then I will react accordingly ;)

  68. toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    “Some of my colleagues and workers are right tits but I have to deal with them and put up with them, because they are good at their job.”

    I’m not that bad, Toonsy!

  69. Cyprus-Toon says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    “Anyone know what the wage cap is going to be this season???”

    What “wage cap”, Cyprus?

  70. workyticket says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    “I’m not that bad, Toonsy!”

    :lol: I meant in my ‘day’ job

    Match report would be appreciated though ;)

    Or else you’ll force me to blog about something else!

  71. toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    “So, to nip it in the bud and before I get labelled as pro Ashley”

    Who cares, Toonsy? If doylems attempt to label you “Pro Ashley”, it’s only a primitive and clumsy attempt to get you to conform, but who wants to conform with doylems, FFS?

  72. workyticket says:
    May 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    “Who cares, Toonsy?”

    I know. It just saddens me that people are either one or the other. Why can’t they be a bit of both is what I was trying to say.

  73. its a shame all we can talk about is cashley,s money after such a great season.ive said before that Ashley only took the club on cos he thought he could make a quick profit.hes not interested in the clubs proud history or the pride of the best fans going.i think he will recoup whatever money he claims he is entitled to by hook or by crook and then he will go,im very concerned that it will be to the detriment of our beloved club in the immediate future.i think he decided to stay because it looked as tho we were heading back up to the money making prem prety early on in the season.he says he is losing money? look at what he has recieved in transfer money alone in the last 12month,add to that the para payment and tv cash, then the 50mil which the club will ultimitely recieve for getting promoted.he has spent practically nothing bringing players in. come on guys,we are,nt that gullable are we?and all CH is getting to spend is 15m

  74. I love Mike Ashley… The fat clueless tight @ss :-) has kept us afloat. Thank goodness.

    Happy now Toonsy?

  75. WLtoon says:
    May 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    There are many faults in your post so I wont pick on them but;

    “come on guys,we are,nt that gullable are we?and all CH is getting to spend is 15m”

    Would this be the £15 million that has been speculated about in the press? The irony is outstanding :D

  76. I love the way the ‘all CH is getting to spend is 15m’ is been considered fact by some people , yet there was more articles saying it would be between 20-25 million that he would have to spend , Im not saying any of those figures are true but why is the 15m always quoted?

  77. johno there using the smallest amount coz they know ashley is tighter than a hairline fracture :)

  78. hitman says:
    May 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    that still leaves us way short battylad
    <<< aye it dus

  79. Heck, even if CH gets 15Mil… Its 15Mil MORE than Ashley has spent in any other transfer window! At least its a start!
    Who cares what he spends as long as he gets the right players. If we can do it for 10Mil that’d be great!

  80. toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm
    it was me batty, why?
    <<<< just couldnt see any name on it

  81. “batty says:
    May 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm
    it was me batty, why?
    <<<< just couldnt see any name on it"

    Hows that for a clear indication of how a quote can be misread. Haha, imagine how the press can twist things now!

  82. All of this regurgitated money related talk leaves me cold. Companies and their accountants leave trails that no one can follow never mind guessing in the dark Geordie football fans. HMRC, the government, the Bank of England – none of them saw Northern Rock coming and the same in the USA. The only way to think of Ashley and his regime is the line in the level 7 song -‘He don’t care about we’. In that we can trust.

  83. Lets compare squads with the one we ended our last Premier season with…

    GK: Harper (same)
    DL: Enrique (same)
    DC: Coloccini (same)
    DC: Taylor (same)
    DR: Beye (Simpson) = we are definately weaker here now.
    ML: Jonas (same)
    MC: Smith (Nolan) = better now
    MC: Butt (Guthrie) = better now
    MR: R Taylor (Routledge) = better now
    ST: Owen (Lovenkrans) = better now (Owen is crap pls dont argue)…
    ST: Martins = I’d say Martins is a better player just but Carroll can hold up the ball, something Martins struggled with and we desperately lacked = better now

    Overall I think we have improved slightly in midfield and up front. Which is important because we struggled to score that season. We still arn’t fantastic creatively and goal wise but we’re BETTER than we were. Still need ore though…

    In defense I think the loss of Beye and Bassong leaves us a bit weaker. Meaning we need to invest in a quality right back and cover for CB.

    But with investment of a good RB, CB, AMR/L and AMC/ST (four players) we would have a team stronger and more balanced than our last Premiership team. With a happier changeroom and more stablity.
    Surely we’d have a stronger squad than at least the likes of West Brom, Wolves, Notts Forrest, Blackburn and West Ham. Because we will have to in order to survive!

  84. Is this a football blog or business 101# class.
    Enough with the half assed business course by those who`s knowledge of beancountig about matches their football awareness.
    As for aquiring Cahill, believe his manager stated he would let him go if a BIG club came in for him and if you care to read the above, the would be accountants have us down as anything but.
    As things stand we are all quite concerned about Ashleys billion plus fortune (and growing) and willing to settle for a lower level PL place, in case he decides to take his ball home.

  85. Just found myself on a YouTube clip at Peterborough, 2 clips in fact. I never knew I was that pissed 8O

  86. Newcastle United were blown out of the water by Wigan in the transfer market in Jsnuary in the chase for Victor Moses.
    It will be interesting to see if Ashley is still prepared to play second fiddle to the likes of Dave Whelan or will he show some ambition about strengthening his investment this summer.

  87. Chuck – Howay man, there was a football blog yesterday, not that you were interested in what Newcastle were doing of course!

    Fecking half assed :angryfacesmiley:

  88. With a minimum of fifty million from tv revenue, somewhere around 40% of total revenue, it`s going to be tough to survive.

  89. Chuck – I’ve told you before, only £26 million of it is actually guaranteed if you work it our yourself rather than reading and relying on press reports!

  90. Toonsy……….It’ll have been those exotic beers you were drinking at the beerfest by the barge in Peterboro!!

  91. richie – lol I was actually just standing there swaying in the stand. I really didn’t think I was that bad :D

  92. What do you mean by guaranteed and no you have not told me before!
    Should I believe that as printed by the national press(and you know they never either make mistakes or lie)
    or should I believe you, the fact that each PL team is guaranteed a basic income of fifty million over the course of the season, not counting other revenue from post season games etc.
    Is that a fact or not, I dont care if it is in installments or whatever, is the amount true ?

  93. workyticket says:
    May 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm
    Cyprus-Toon says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    “Anyone know what the wage cap is going to be this season???”

    What “wage cap”, Cyprus?

    ——————————————————
    So you’re saying there is not wages cap then Worky?????

  94. I think there was a few swaying in the stands that day Toonsy,a canny weekend was had by all.Wor lass still reminds me of the look on the priest’s face in Peterboro cathedral when he asked me what the score would be and I said we were gonna hump them 3 nowt……..In my defence I’d been on the Stella and Kronenberg!

  95. Chuck – It’s one of those very loose worded things that the press write.

    It depends on final league position, amount of matches shown etc. So if your the title winners, you would probably have more games on TV and get more money from a final league position.

    £50 million quid for the league winners? Yes.

    I’ve based it on us finishing bottom, and being shown the contracted minimum amount of times which is why we have less guaranteed.

    Off the top of my head I think each club gets £16 million, then £500,000 per game shown, then £750,000 per final league place. TV money is NOT going up next year, it stays the same and will be increased in the 2010/2011 season.

  96. Cyprus-Toon says:
    May 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    “So you’re saying there is not wages cap then Worky?????”

    Only ones that have been speculated about in the press ;)

  97. nothing like a couple dollars in the paper to get everyone fired up about ashley again!

    for all those saying he’s looking to make money and get out quick, simply not the case. if someone comes along with a silly offer for us, then yea, maybe, but it probably won’t happen with that extra 100M to pay back. if he takes a couple mil here and there to pay it off, i’m all for that. in the long run, will make the business stronger.

  98. anyone watching the Wigan – Hull game? just finished, 2-2, just witnessed a football side in Hull in deep trouble, will be in administration soon enough, and thats if they’re lucky, could be liquidation looking at they’re figures released the other week!

  99. Oh dear, oh dear!

    Back to moaning about money & MA so soon?

    The parties well & truly over, if it ever got started.

  100. I see one of the newspapers was force to print an apology and a retraction about the whdole director of football thing.

  101. toonsy-You cant inform everyone your drunken mug makes an appearance within the celebrations and then not post the links!? haha ;)

    Also, another top notch write up regarding the financial side of the club. As i’ve already said on numerous times in the past-To say I dont have a business esque brain would be an undersatatement. Numbers and the way a company is financially ran in general goes right over my head if i’m honest, but the article and reading through the posts make it alot easier to understand, so cheers.
    I’d say I was very much in the same camp as you. I’ve been fuming at Ashley in the past and by no means am I now an Ashley sympathiser/supporter. However, it is impossible to not be greatful for the money he has put into the club. Regardless of whether people think he hasn’t ploughed enough into the club as far as players etc go, we were clearly in a sorry, sorry state when FFS was at the helm. Yes we’re still in debt now and it could (probably will) make the next few seasons rather tough, but the simple fact is there’s a good chance we wouldnt have a club to be talking about at this point if FFS was still in charge. We certainly wouldn’t be celebrating a return to the PL.

  102. toonsy,
    nice one mate.
    I tend to go along with your general view of ‘relative’ optimism.
    We’re in a hell of a lot better position than we were & considerably better than most.
    Both on & off the pitch.

    Amazing really that so many were completely wrong about this season, yet still they continue with their speculative doom.
    You’d think some might have learned &/or grown recently, but maybe not?
    :(

  103. CLiNT – Keep your thoughts on this season quiet briefly ;)

    Ross – I’ll get them up when I have finished writing mate :)

  104. JJ,

    If you’re wondering why some of your comments aren’t showing, it’s because one of the IP numbers you are using has been placed on blacklists for abuse. Are you using a proxy server?

  105. toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    I see one of the newspapers was force to print an apology and a retraction about the whdole director of football thing

    You got a link for this info Toonsy???

  106. toonsy, the accounts shoudnt be that worrying for the season just gone by.

    between jan nd summer we have recieved in the region of 40 million in transfer fees…..parachute payments(anyone know what they are??), we were on tv more this year than last….our crowds were amongst the highest in britain…also the money we get from winning the championship……….all the extra money we get this coming year in terms of merchandise and tv money! could our finances really be that bad? especially seen as we have not spent a significant amount on players in about 18months

    also if ashley can loan us money(in acting as a bank) im also assuming he can take money out,making our turnover/profits a lot lower than the may actually be??

  107. people either hate him or like him but joey barton could be a big player for us next season for the fact he has played not much football but has put 2-3 killer balls and a free kick he has scored for goals which we havnt had all season he has done it in just a hand full of games. moving the ball throu central midfield and putting people in while coming off the wing or playing in the middle.

  108. JJ – Crowds, whilst still being high, are still 20% down on last year. TV money is 80% less per game than in the Prem. Transfer fees? Who knows how they are being paid and over how many season they are being paid?

    “also if ashley can loan us money(in acting as a bank) im also assuming he can take money out,making our turnover/profits a lot lower than the may actually be??”

    Er, no. Everything will have to be documented coming in and going out. If they were Mike Ashley’s own books then I can understand scepticism. However, these accounts are independently audited and filed away by a 3rd party. They have to be right, it’s the law.

  109. i havnt seen any accounts since mike ashley has took over! if so this is true then put these accounts up to let us see.

  110. Worky

    I was sending from a work IP address then.
    When I reduced the length of the post it went through no problem though…

  111. nobody gets their loan back they take a hit like all people. nobody will pay him his loan back if he sells the club for 150 mil he takes a hit take it or leave it offer. thats why he will keep the club and if it becomes a top ten side he would then sell and make most of his money back. all his business lost money he can only get that back if they do well.

  112. hitman – It says that the loan is only repayable upon change of ownership. The only place I have seen it written any different is in the Sunday Sun and The Chronicle :)

  113. JJ says:
    May 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    “Worky

    I was sending from a work IP address then.
    When I reduced the length of the post it went through no problem though…”

    JJ, your older posts went through when I approved them as well. They were originally rejected and sent to the ‘Spam’ bin. When I checked this out, it was because the IP number you used is on a blacklist.

  114. doesn’t having that kind of clause on the loan make the club a little less sellable? it basically tacks that extra money on whatever the value of the club is, i’d estimate in the 100-125M range. someone buying would have to pony up over 200M to buy us, and only get half of that as value.
    good move if ashley is looking to stay on, but kind of poor otherwise.

  115. JJ says:
    May 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    “Ok… Odd, it hasn’t happened before. Thanks for sorting it out.”

    It has happened before, JJ. I’ve fished your comments out from the spam bin several times in the past! ;-)

  116. eastcoast – Thats provided Ashley ever really wanted to sell in the first place ;)

    I do think if somebody could have come up with the cash he would have sold at the start of the season, but I don’t think he ever really wanted to. After all, his enemy Whelan has a football club so why cant he? Perhaps it reveals just why Moat couldn’t afford it in the end?

  117. toonsy says:
    May 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    “Perhaps it reveals just why Moat couldn’t afford it in the end?”

    He couldn’t afford it in the beginning, Toonsy.

  118. haha toonsy, exactly. it was funny reading all the crap that we couldnt even get a buyer at 80-100M last season. the loan was hardly ever discussed as being needed to be paid and i’d say was definitely why moat couldnt afford us. in hindsight, probably all for the best.

  119. hitman says:
    May 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    “didnt the all mighty stardust say the loan had been written off”

    Which time did you mean, hitman? The first time the club was offered for sale? Or the second time?

  120. i carnt remember exactly worky just positive he said it,then again i might be wrong like coz he did come out with a lot of bull :)

  121. hitman says:
    May 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    “i carnt remember exactly worky just positive he said it,then again i might be wrong like coz he did come out with a lot of bull”

    Hitman,

    The reason I was asking was because the first time the club was for sale (for around £250-300 million), Ashley just said that he wanted back what he had put into the club (around £250 odd million at the time) and I think it was Keith Harris who confirmed that the sale was “all in”, ie inclusive of the money Ashley had put into the club in the form of a “soft loan”.

    Stardust didn’t come out with “bull” on financial matters BTW, he was actually rather good. It was just in other areas where he was deficient.

  122. Lads,

    Can the writer of this post – Toonsy? Or someone else point me in the direction of the accounts?

    Given that the club is now a private company, it is under no obligation to make its accounts publicly available so I’m curious as to why they have been made public and would like to read them myself to form an opinion.

    Cheers

  123. Ketsbaia – All accounts have to be declared and audited and are available to purhase for a fee from Compnaies House, regardless of whether the comapny is private or not.

  124. Besides, there isn’t really that much else in them other than what is written here and elsewhere to be honest.

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