Mike Ashley – Sorting the facts from the myths, including that debt…

Ashley: May be fat, but not a “Cockney”

Ashley: May be fat, but not a “Cockney”

Has Mike Ashley reduced Newcastle United’s debt?

Hmmm.

Well, it has been several months since Newcastle United published their last set of audited accounts at Companies House (March 2011), and that was for 2009/10. However, at that time it did appear as if the debt had actually risen significantly, though it is hard to deny that the the club are in a somewhat less perilous position finacially since Mike Ashley took over the club from the gruesome twosome, Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall.

In June 2007 when Ashley finally gained full control of the club, it looked as if the club was £71 million in debt, however, after Ashley’s takeover, it became apparent that the mortgage on the ground had to be paid off, and the level of debt was actually £124 million. More details are available from the site NUFC Finances site.

In the last published set of accounts, published in March 2011 (for 2009/10), they revealed that the club’s net debt at that time stood at around £150 million, most of this figure being owed to a certain Mr.MJW.Ashley of  Totteridge, Hertfordshire. It also revealed that despite a slightly misleading statement by Newcastle United in May 2010 which read:

“In relation to recent media speculation following the statement made by the Club on May 9, Newcastle United would like to make it clear that owner Mike Ashley is not looking for his interest free loan to be repaid, or to take any money out of the Club.”

The accounts revealed that while the Aldridge Prior of football didn’t take back any repaynents on loans in the club’s relegation year, or from his well documented £111 million interest free loan (which is repayable on demand) but that he is indeed clawing back at least some of his loans to the club.

From the 2009/10 accounts:

“The group’s total outstanding loan balance from Mr.M.J.W.Ashley was £139.8 million (30th June 2009 £111 million) including £16.5 million due after more than one year (see note 13). All of these loans are non-interest bearing £28.8 million (30th June 2009 £nil) is secured on future broadcasting income, of which £12.3 million is repayable in August 2010 and the remainder, £16.6 million is repayable after more than one year (see note 13). The remaining (unsecured) balance of £111 million (2009 £111 million) is repayable on demand.

Note 13:

The loan of £16.5 million from Mr M J W Ashley is secured on future broadcasting revenue and is repayable no earlier than August 2011.”

Why did Mike Ashley buy Newcastle United?

In a statement made in October 2007 Mike Ashley attempted to explain what attracted him to buying Newcastle United amongst other things saying:

“I bought this club to become part of its passion and it has worked. I feel at home here already. I love the place, the club and especially the fans, who wouldn’t?”

In a statement made in September 2008, he said on the same subject:

“Newcastle attracted me because everyone in England knows that it has the best fans in football…” adding later:

“Don’t get me wrong. I did not buy Newcastle to make money. I bought Newcastle because I love football.”

However, previous Newcastle United owner, Sir John Hall, gave a different, and far more convincing reason in a recent interview (August 2011) with Newcastle United website “Toon Talk“. Hall spoke of the negotiations which led to Ashley’s takeover of the club saying:

“I was told that the man behind the deal was Mike Ashley and I sat with his representatives over 3 days thrashing out a deal. I was keen to know why they wanted the club and they were quite honest. They wanted to market their sports goods in the Far East and would use the club to help do this.”

The gradual transformation of St James’ Park into a huge billboard for Ashley’s Sports Direct empire would certainly seem to bear this out somewhat.

Is Mike Ashley a ‘Cockney’?

There are several definitions of what a Cockney is, ranging from someone who was born within earshot of the bells of St Mary le Bow in East London’s Cheapside (roughly a three to four mile radius), to just a Londoner in general – Mike Ashley fits into none of those categories. He was born in Walsall, NOT Burnham in Buckinghamshire as his Wikipedia profile suggest, however he was raised in Burnham (on the outskirts of Slough). Currently, his main residence is in Totteridge near Barnet in South Hertfordshire (maps here and here).

Is Mike Ashley a Tottenham Hotspur supporter?

Speaking in an interview, Mike Ashley once said on the rumour:

“It is upsetting for them to read these things; they read I am a mad Spurs fan and this sort of thing, and of course it is not true – I absolutely hate Spurs. I always have done.”

In another interview, which I have lost now and failed to source elsewhere, I also recall Ashley claiming to be a Chelsea supporter and frequenter of Stamford Bridge, and also an England supporter who used to follow the national team around the world.

The rumour possibly started because of his close association with Property Developer and football exective, Paul Kelmsley, who used to be a Vice Chairman of the North London club. He is currently chairman of the New York Cosmos.

Former NUFC Chairman, Chris Mort, had this to say on the rumour:

“I know where those rumours come from – Paul Kemsley is a very good mate of Mike’s. But it’s just not true that Mike is looking to sell Newcastle. End of story.”

I may continue this into a second episode of myths / facts about our well upholstered owner at some time in the future if I remember any more, or if more come to light in the future.

avatar NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1038 articles on this blog.

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68 Responses to “Mike Ashley – Sorting the facts from the myths, including that debt…”

  1. 1
    avatar geordiedug says:

    you missing the fact he will sell anyone he can get a price for at nufc and replace them with cheap imports!
    with the money going back into the ashley side of the accounts and that he is trying to recoup all his loses on his investment so that one day he can move the club on after making the most of its assets without a single thought for the fans!

  2. 2
    avatar goodoldjimgold says:

    How about the rumor that Mr M.J.W. Ashley allegedly sniffs his sisters knicker? Not sure if it is based on fact, but I would doubt that there is not at least a little bit of truth in it.

  3. 3
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    He’s got a right to get his money back for his interest-free loans.
    & the sooner he achieves that, the quicker he can either ship out or maybe start investing some cash in players.
    Which ever floats ya’ boat.

  4. 4
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    worky,
    thanx mate, let’s just hope it puts paid to the notion that he’s a) a cockney & b) he’s a spuds fan.

    I doubt it’ll work like, so you may have to put it up again in 3 months.
    :)

  5. 5
    avatar BeeGuy says:

    Isn’t it just about time everybody stop the nasty comments and negative speculation until the next set of books are released?

    MA is trying to maintain his businesses during a fierce recession, and I expect most Geordie fans have similar concerns on the household level. IF one takes a moment to think about it, we all want to survive this and not do it by entering administration. So let’s pull together and make both the Northest and NUFC a roaring success.

  6. 6
    avatar John T says:

    I don’t like the guy, but I think it’s pretty reasonable for him to want that £111M back!

    I’m not saying all in one go or anything like that, but I don’t think it’s realistic to ask him to just write off such a huge debt.

  7. 7
    avatar GeordieDan says:

    Worky>

    You being able to pull all this information together deserves respect mate.

    There’s some stuff in there that I’ve never even heard of and I trawl the blogs and papers about NUFC and have done for years! In particular reading the comment that Ashley claims never to have been a Tottenham fan and hating them. Couldn’t belive that.

    Great stuff! Well worth the read.

  8. 8
    avatar geordiedug says:

    @ clint flick

    who evens cares what team he supports? or where hes from?

    @beeguy

    we are not just a business!!!!!! what business’s do you know that have 52 000 fans turn up each week to see its products? its much much more than a business! its part of the community and he is tearing it apart bit by bit!

    good luck to the man guiding his sports direct empire though the recession i only care about nufc and the fact it is being seriously mismanaged!!!!!!

  9. 9
    avatar workyticket says:

    geordiedug says:
    September 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    “you missing the fact he will sell anyone he can get a price for at nufc and replace them with cheap imports!”

    I kinda covered that with this one and possibly the odd bit elsewhere.

    http://www.nufcblog.org/2011/07/mike-ashleys-transfer-spending-currently-stands-at-48-7-million/

    Anyway, I was wondering what happened to you as you went off the radar for a bit. Good to see you back!

  10. 10
    avatar GeordieDan says:

    I still can’t belive the following :

    “Asked what percentage of the club he was looking to sell, he replied: “I would be quite happy to sell 1%. Just local guys, mad Newcastle fans and everything. I meet them and they say the only thing we regret is when you took the club, we then couldn’t be a shareholder. If you want 1% of Newcastle, buy 1% of Newcastle for exactly the same price I paid for it. You can put in your money every year like I do, sit on the pitch and say this is one expensive season ticket, but I am having a lovely time.

    “Newcastle United is not a thing you would make a profit on,” he added. “Newcastle United is a thing you have to enjoy and love and enjoy going to the games and everything else. It would be very useful if we had some multi-billionaire partners that wanted a stake in Newcastle United. It would help.”

    Ashley said he would also welcome fans who wanted to club together and buy a stake, no matter how small, but that he had not yet held any formal talks with investors. “It would be quite nice if we were able to do something. It’s good for Newcastle, for everybody to get together behind it.”

    Actually came out of Ashley’s mouth! Surely this isn’t the same bloke?

  11. 11
    avatar BangTheDrum says:

    I say thank goodness we’ve got someone with half an ounce of business nous running the club. Do people really think that a board that makes financial decisions based on being a fan first will see a viable club in 5 years time (Leeds?)?? And do people really fail to see that this guy has put £100m into the club (let’s put that again – £100,000,000) to keep it afloat (and why did he have to do that?). Wtf are people wingeing about! This guy has probably saved the club from oblivion, and people are bleating about the prospect that he might actually want some of his dosh back one day. I don’t understand some of the decisions the guy makes, including why he bought the club in the first place, but I know what I see……. Howay the Lads!

  12. 12
    avatar workyticket says:

    John T says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    “I don’t like the guy, but I think it’s pretty reasonable for him to want that £111M back!

    I’m not saying all in one go or anything like that, but I don’t think it’s realistic to ask him to just write off such a huge debt.”

    Of course it is John T, and I don’t recall writing anywhere that he should write it off. However both he and his Owlheaded friend are serial misleaders. They just can’t seem to help themselves.

  13. 13
    avatar Stuart79 says:

    It’s been obvious for some time now that Ashley is taking his loan back from the TV revenue and that when they said that the Carroll money will stay in the club their right, it’s just filling the hole left from Ashley taking the TV money.

    CLiNT, it’s no good taking his money back if it’s to the detriment of the team. The club will never pay him back and be successful.

    Ultimately we won’t make enough money to successful and him taking money back won’t help.

  14. 14
    avatar Stuart79 says:

    Oh by the way, too many spelling mistakes in this article, Worky!

  15. 15
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    Geordiedug,
    not me mate, but loads of other people, to the point of distraction.
    Although i guess you didn’t know that, so you’ve missed my & worky’s point on that then.
    No prob.

    Stu,
    alreet man.
    All i’m getting at is that once he’s got his loan, it could be a different ‘ball-game’.
    It might not, but surely, the sooner the better, hey?

  16. 16
    avatar workyticket says:

    GeordieDan says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    “Worky>

    You being able to pull all this information together deserves respect mate.

    … In particular reading the comment that Ashley claims never to have been a Tottenham fan and hating them. Couldn’t belive that.”

    Thanks GeordieDan!

    On the subject of Ashley and Spurs, his old adversary, Dave Whelan still maintains that he was a ‘Spurs supporter, and used to have a season ticket at White Hart Lane, but I couldn’t find the exact quotation I was looking for at the time of writing.

    With Whelan v Ashley, it’s hard to know who to believe, but bizarrely, I really do believe Ashley for once.

  17. 17
    avatar workyticket says:

    Stuart79 says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    “Oh by the way, too many spelling mistakes in this article, Worky!”

    I don’t make spelling mistakes Stuart, just the odd typo. :-)

  18. 18
    avatar Steve says:

    £60m of the debt to Ashley covers the repayment of the mortgage on the redeveloment of SJP which turned it into one of the finest grounds in the country. The fact that it is pwed to Ashley now is due to the fact that he took this on out of choice; paying off the mortgage as he did. Other debt has accrued due to him putting money in to cover relegation that occurred on his watch. As he owns the club outright, it is sensible for him to invest in the club to protect his asset, for which he paid £134m. However, disguising this as a loan and taking back this cash directly frpm the sale of assets restricts the clubs ability to grow and in a sports business that relies on improved performance week to week against your competitors, this does not help the task of making the club improve and remain competitive.

  19. 19
    avatar MadAboutToon says:

    good article, it painted a better picture of how ashley is running our club, which don’t seem to bad to me. i just wish he and the board would talk to us and stop telling us lies.

  20. 20
    avatar scott says:

    someone give us a run through of the books with projected figured based on whats been in the public domain , our wage bill(%) these days ect

  21. 21
    avatar Sikovash says:

    If Ashley was the superb businessman he’s supposed to be he would have realised that the purchase of a really good striker would have probably brought back those missing 10,000 supporters, made more shirt sales and given us an excellent chance of gaining a lucrative European place and more money in the Premiership table.
    He may be great at making money but for Sports Direct not the Toon.

  22. 22
    avatar Steve says:

    Transparency or lack of it in Ashleys case. If he or the board came out and communicated openly and honestly with us the fans (remember he and his investment is worth nothing without us) then we wouldnt have nowhere near as much distrust and frustration. I certainly havent got a problem with him receiving money to cover the interest free loans but he needs to be honest rather than us being repeatedly lied to. He has recouped many, many millions already from the sales of Given, Milner, Martins, Nolan, Carroll etc. His company has also had huge amounts of advertising without NUFC benefitting financially from it. So Ashley, if you read these bloggs, be honest with us, tell the truth and reinvest some of your/our money on some quality signings

  23. 23
    avatar workyticket says:

    According to Steve Wraith’s Twitta (I knaa)

    “before blackburn game east stand will read (puma logo) sportsdirect newcastle united sports direct (puma logo)”

  24. 24
    avatar toon 4 life says:

    lots of pro ashley fans point to the fact that we are no longer and he is our saviour. but it is just a PR scheme so people think hes doing a good job.

    every half literate business man knows that debt isnt a bad thing in fact if you do not have debt you are seen as not using your equity efficiently.

  25. 25
    avatar AussieToon says:

    @ Toon 4 life…

    every half literate business man also knows when to acquire debt. With slow economic conditions, this is a pretty poor time to be in the red.

    …..

    all this sale of key assets BS is getting old.
    no premiership club would have turned down 35m for andy carroll.
    Barton was a bomb waiting to go off, and enrique didn’t seem to want to be here.
    Nolan was really the only player i feel aggrieved over.

  26. 26
    avatar Rob says:

    Is Sports direct a sponsor of NUFC??? If it is then I just havent noticed but if not, why doesnt it become a huge sponsor (big signs,etc.) in that way MA can get even more money back even faster and everyone wins. . . Possibly happenin???

  27. 27
    avatar Toon69 says:

    Same ole, Same ole…. Ashelys this, Ashleys thats, Asleys done this, Ashleys done that.. blah blah blah….

    When the feck will some of yous get over yer hatred for the guy.. yes he’s made feckups since taking over but what would you have to moan about if he’d spent £15m on a striker… oh yeah, we never brought a CB or we sold Barton & never replaced him… jeez… it wouldn’t mattter if he spent £50m in the summer, you’d still moan aboot summit..

  28. 28
    avatar Dan88 says:

    Ok Ashley bought Newcastle, and the purchase of the club would help him sell more shirts in Asia. which is a huge market. So what!

    So you clear the debt the gruesome twosome built up for the club. You get the club running smoothly on a financial stand point. You don’t pay over inflated prices for players. (Michael Owen anyone??) and certain fans find this policy an issue??

    I like the youth policy the club has, I think they have some great talent, which will hopefully be built on.

    Pardew so far has been the best manager since the Great Sir Bobby. and I hope he continues.

    The biggest failing Ashley has; is he for some reason doesn’t communicate with the fans. All he has to do is communicate and hopefully this will help stop most of the negative commenting. Its a simple thing really.

  29. 29
    avatar Kamar says:

    The difference between Ashley and Shepherd is that Shepherd, his family, cronies and hangers-on helped themselves to the club’s finances. To the best of my knowledge Ashley has not. Moreover, he has continued to support the club financially.

    Ashley has put his money into the club and unlike many other clubs with massive loans he has not imposed crippling interest charges.

    Newcastle United is a saleable asset and will be bought and sold by people who have made their money by being ruthless in business. The chances of them being Geordies is quite remote (as they would have surfaced by now) and they will use the club for their own purposes. Take Blackburn as an example, owned by people who have no history of football, England or Blackburn but want to promote their business.

  30. 30
    avatar Whumpie says:

    Worky – not been on here for a while, but got to say: really good, well-researched article and some very intelligent, balanced responses. Great stuff.

    My fourpenneth: Agree with what Ashley’s been doing since relegation; just wish he’d appoint a decent comms manager who could tell us about it properly.

    Oh, and I wish he’d lose Llambias and hire an MD who knows the first thing about football; his strategy would move along far more smoothly and quickly if he did.

  31. 31
    avatar TOONARMYELITE says:

    John T says: @ 6 agree with ya there

  32. 32
    avatar TROJAN 69 says:

    they are not the “cockney mafia”,they should be known as the “MOSSAD MAFIA”.

  33. 33
    avatar kroe9 says:

    I don’t really think you can attribute quotes from people as facts.

    “It is upsetting for them to read these things; they read I am a mad Spurs fan and this sort of thing, and of course it is not true – I absolutely hate Spurs. I always have done.”

    Oh… well that proves it then… he’s not a spurs fan. He even said so!

    The fact is, he bought the club for £130 million or so, based on the fact that it was carrying £110 million in debts. In much the same way you would buy a house worth £240 grand. If the previous owners had £110 grand mortgage, you would owe them £130 grand and the bank £110 grand it’s very simple economics!
    The fact that a lot of people believe the bullshit about due diligence, and that he’s saved us by settling that crippling £110 million debt is ridiculous. All he did was pay off the outstanding mortgage!
    Look at the club and it’s assets! NUFC owns St James Park, the training ground, club shops in the center of town! The real estate on the land itself is worth close to £240 million in itself, then the factors of 52000 fans each week, premiership status, and the Newcastle united brand! It makes the whole deal seem cheap. So hear stories about how he’s saved us from certain doom, (and if I hear Leeds United mentioned again, I may well strangle that person), and people applauding him, makes me think how easy it is to manipulate lots of people.

    Mike Ashley’s NUFC currently is around £60million in profit from player sales, add the TV money on top of that, and other operating profits that never get mentioned, and that figure cant be far off £111 million. Who here believes that the figure owed to Mr.M.J.W.Ashley in the next set of published figures will be any closer to zero than it is now?

  34. 34
    avatar toon 4 life says:

    @ kroe9

    well said mate.

    kk, alan and john hall have all said this club is going no where with ashley as the owner.

  35. 35
    avatar workyticket says:

    kroe9 says:
    September 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    “The fact is, he bought the club for £130 million or so, based on the fact that it was carrying £110 million in debts.”

    Kroe9, he didn’t know that the club was carrying the debt that it was, that is well documented. The club isn’t “around £60million in profit from player sales” and the club doesn’t get 52,000 fans any more.

    Though it may be something of a subjective point, some might say that Ashley has managed the remarkable feat of actually diminishing the brand after Shepherd and Hall, which would be something of an achievement if it were true.

  36. 36
    avatar workyticket says:

    Whumpie says:
    September 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

    “Worky – not been on here for a while, but got to say: really good, well-researched article and some very intelligent, balanced responses. Great stuff.

    My fourpenneth: Agree with what Ashley’s been doing since relegation; just wish he’d appoint a decent comms manager who could tell us about it properly.”

    Thanks Whumpie!

    On the subject of a decent “comms manager”, Ashley did bring one in, and her strategy has been reasonably effective judging by what quite a few fans are saying now. She still has quite a way to go in terms of moulding some fan’s opinions of Ashley and his project though.

  37. 37
    avatar AndyMac says:

    BangTheDrum says:

    I say thank goodness we’ve got someone with half an ounce of business nous running the club……………And do people really fail to see that this guy has put £100m into the club (let’s put that again – £100,000,000) to keep it afloat (and why did he have to do that?)”

    Because he failed the due diligence acid test before buying NUFC so thats’s how much business nous he’s got :(

    “Generally, due diligence refers to the care a reasonable person should take before entering into an agreement or a transaction with another party”

    Even I knew the mortgage on the Stadium revamp was due for repayment as soon as the club was sold so how difficult was it for him or his lackeys to find that out ?????????

  38. 38
    avatar workyticket says:

    AndyMac says:
    September 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “Because he failed the due diligence acid test before buying NUFC so thats’s how much business nous he’s got”

    According to SJH, there was a more “diligent” Malaysian group who wanted to buy the club as well, but according to him, one of the reasons he was minded to accept Ashley’s offer was that no due diligence was involved, though he did also add that Ashley’s offer was a better deal. How much of this was because of the lack of due diligence and how much was because of other reasons he didn’t say though.

    Judge for yourself:

    “The meeting with the Malaysians went well but they wanted 6 weeks to do due diligence. The offer from the other party at Freshfields waived that right and was a better deal.”

  39. 39
    avatar kroe9 says:

    workyticket says:
    September 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    “Kroe9, he didn’t know that the club was carrying the debt that it was, that is well documented. The club isn’t “around £60million in profit from player sales” and the club doesn’t get 52,000 fans any more.”

    Again Worky I think you are stating quotes as facts. The Ashley camp has put out this due Diligence story as a spin on how his heart rules his head and he didn’t realise the mess NUFC was in, but proceeded to fix it never-the-less. I never have bought that. One man cannot buy a football club, without accountants and solicitors getting involved. To again relate the purchase of the club to buying a large property; when I bought my first house I remember being pretty upset that my solicitor held things up for a fortnight over a dispute on the deeds over a neighbor’s boundary. Something I found extremely contrary. And you believe Ashley when he tells people that his team of solicitors couldn’t find a £60 million mortgage on their internationally renowned stadium owed to a bank! Come off it!

    And I was referring to 52000 fans in regard to the position of the club when he bought it. As I was when I mentioned premiership status, another factor we cannot take as a given under Ashley’s stewardship any more!

    The actual figure that Ashley has profited by spuffing over Newcastle United fans and trousering the profits from stripping the squad bare is £36.8 million. http://www.stuffbypaulbrown.com/the-mike-ashley-nufc-transfer-totaliser-update/
    And that my friend, is an actual fact!

  40. 40
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Aha a chance to kill two birds with one thingy.

    WT says: “According to SJH, there was a more “diligent” Malaysian group who wanted to buy the club as well, but according to him, one of the reasons he was minded to accept Ashley’s offer was that no due diligence was involved”

    kroe9 says: “I never have bought that. One man cannot buy a football club, without accountants and solicitors getting involved”

    OK pin your ears back cos I’m only going to say this once (until the next time).

    SJH knew the club was floundering. They couldnt get credit anywhere and the assets had been all but stripped. A buyer was needed and needed fast !

    Along comes a Malaysian group who would pore over the entire workings of the club and would eventually find those gaping financial holes. Meanwhile a certain corpulent person breezes in and offers SJH cash for his shares without troubling accountants/solicitors and does a typical Fatman “Take it or leave it” deal without realising the wily old scoundrel Hall was shafting him well and truly.

    Kinda poetic justice in a way but unfortunately the Fatman took it to heart and decided to take the “loan route” rather than take it on the chin and realise he’d been hornswaggled :)

  41. 41
    avatar AndyMac says:

    PS Remember prior to the Fatman’s buy out there had been three other interested parties who had sniffed at the club only to disappear at the sight of Fat Fred’s credit card bill.

    Polygon (Hedge Fund) was one of those and Belgravia another but both dropped their interest quicker than a bloke in a tranvestite bar !

    (Apologies to those who may feel inclined towards persons of differing gender)

  42. 42
    avatar geordiedug says:

    apologies guys for not keeping up to date with your fine work i have been offline moving house so its starbucks wifi until i get myself sorted

    Ashley has now shown his true colours and not content with making some abysmal decisions to say the least he now wants every penny of his investment back and will run the club how he knows best like a cheap sports direct store

    im sick of all this crap about its a business WE ARE A FOOTBALL CLUB and how can he get it so wrong at nufc

    Ashley has managed to completely flatten the morale of the fans hence the very low crowd to fulham with alot of fans staying away in protest

    dampened the atmosphere by removing the singing section as they dared to sing his name

    added tacky crap to the stadium to make it look more like a cheap market stall than one of englands premier football grounds

    given away our player of the year last season to a rival!!!!

    minimal squad strengthening with seasoned premier league players being allowed to leave

    this is just in the last 6 months!!!!

    all monies made from out going transfers are not used to secure the club and build a foundation so we can progress with sensible reinvestment! the money is going to Ashley and he will sell tiote collo and krul if the offers come in Jan or at the end of the season and its not in nufc’s best interest but in Ashley’s!

    its not rocket science he owns a football club which comes with a fan base which folk out alot of money and are being treat appallingly!

    The club is a huge part of the community and has so much potential! all he has to do is communicate with the fans so we are all on the same wavelength at least and move the club forward with sensible investment on and off the pitch! but still we are treat like mushrooms kept in the dark and fed on s’#t!

  43. 43
    avatar kroe9 says:

    Yes AndyMac. Two corrupt old scum bags playing a hand of poker, with us as the cards. I don’t doubt Ashley rushed in, and perhaps had missed some holes in the finances here and there, but a £60 million mortgage? Really? For him to point to that as an an excuse to change his initially promised plans of funding for the title, and alter that to gambling against relegation each and every season for the foreseeable future, is a plain out and out lie!
    My point all along is; even with the debt, £230 million at the time of purchase, which was before the economical downturn, really wasn’t that much. Especially considering the state the football club was in at the time. Which, incidentally was a hell of a lot better at the time.

  44. 44
    avatar workyticket says:

    geordiedug says:
    September 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    “apologies guys for not keeping up to date”

    Good to see you back geordiedug.

  45. 45
    avatar stuofthetoon says:

    Lets remember Mike Ashley did not create the debt that nearly crippled the club. I can’t remember a time in 50 years of supporting Newcastle that we weren’t slagging off the board or individual directors. There are, and have been, some fantastic people working for NUFC at board level over the years. I won’t defend every board member but lets cut this guy some slack. People weren’t queuing up to buy the Toon when it was on the market – many reasons I am sure, but we are where we are! We seem to be a sensible buying club, not buying mugs as we have been labelled in the past. We have sold some good players, but as unpoular as it sound, buying young (and by default cheap) up and coming players with their best years ahead of them is good if not exciting business and progress. It is sustainable and if allowed to develop pay dividends. What has years of throwing big money at players got us – a bit of excitement in the Keegan era and Sir Bobby to get us back on the level.
    Not all is bad at Newcastle!!

  46. 46
    avatar AndyMac says:

    “but as unpoular as it sound, buying young (and by default cheap) up and coming players with their best years ahead of them is good if not exciting business and progress. It is sustainable and if allowed to develop pay dividends”

    Whether it’s sustainable depends on two key critical factors.

    1. That a market continues to exist where NUFC can bring in cheaper but presumably equally talented younger players. Remembering Cabaye had a low buy out clause in his contract which enabled our dynamic duo to buy him without shelling out vast amounts. How many other quality players contracts are being adjusted as we speak ?

    2. The existing squad, bereft of key players and goalscorers, can step up to the plate and keep the club in the top division.

  47. 47
    avatar Moomoo says:

    “im sick of all this crap about its a business WE ARE A FOOTBALL CLUB and how can he get it so wrong at nufc”

    Well, if you follow that through NUFC would not be here now. SJH and FFS had mortgaged the stadium, borrowed against all future attendance & TV revenues and owed 30m in transfer fees. NUFC was going bust in months.

    The FCB is an idiot sometimes, an avoidable relegation and failure to get a striker among the worst. But he is in for 260m (hes probably worth about 1.5 billion). At most, I reckon he could sell the club today debt free for £150m – a 100m+ loss.

    But the fact is he DID save this club, the Halls/Shepherds took £150m OUT of the club and some stupid fans still look back on them fondly. If you want a proper accountants view from a neutral guy who’s actually an Arse supporter see http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2010/12/newcastle-uniteds-finances-in-black-and.html.

    One last point, the financial stupidity of many Newcastle fans is astounding. West Ham paid c3m for Nolan and will probably pay him 3.5m over 4 years. Thats £17m. QPR will probably pay Joey Barton £15m over four years + Willie MCKay cut. do you REALLY think they were worth that investment? A younger player at £5m on a £30k pw contract costs £7.5m if you resell him at the price you bought. The club is doing the right thing, giving young players on the up a chance in the premiership rather than providing a goldrush for washed up players who would rather be elsewhere (Barton & Nolan excluded).

  48. 48
    avatar Moomoo says:

    And one other thing… An Andy Carrol Calculation

    Selling price: £35m
    Less VAT (YES, it applies) = £28m
    Less agent fees / Player % = £25m

    Cost of And Carroll @ 90k pw for 5 years = £22.5m

    Relative cash made available for reinvestment elsewhere (transfer fees & wages) £22.5m + £25m = £47.5m

    People need to understand the real issue is wage cost NOT transfer fees.

  49. 49
    avatar workyticket says:

    Moomoo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    “some stupid fans still look back on them fondly.”

    Who, Moomoo? How many “stupid” fans look back fondly on Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall? Where are they?

    Don’t you think this “well at least he isn’t as bad as Fat Freddy” non-argument is fallacious and becoming rather tiresome now?

  50. 50
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Moomoo says:

    “People need to understand the real issue is wage cost NOT transfer fees.”

    Assuming that the Carroll transfer fee was the only money the club brought in during the season that might be an argument. However it wasnt, so whining about £22.5m or £35m is irrelevant. The facts are that Fatman chose not to spend money (even a relatively small amount) on a striker probably because his gamble from last season paid off.

    Selling your top scorer isnt always a good idea but because the others rallied around to help out we survived albeit with only 3 wins from 18 games after AC left. However we had (high earning) experienced support players at the club so the loss of Carroll was, to a degree, diminished.

    This season is a totally different situation. With all the experienced pros (and their goal scoring/creating capabilities gone) out the door we are treading a very thin line with the potential of relegation and/or a lower half finish. Whereas if the Fatman had spent a fraction of that £35m or £22.5m without VAT :) we could be looking at an entirely different outcome.

  51. 51
    avatar Moomoo says:

    AS a fan of 30+ years, I would say that those who only knew the years 1995-2005 probably look back on Hall and Shepherd fondly by association.

    What they achieved in the 1990s was when wages players weren’t getting paid up to 200k a week. Cheeky geordie chappies done good ‘n’ all that. Remember John Hall was the messiah with Keegan way back when.

    They have no idea about the Seymours and McKeags, who TBH make the FCB look like a saint.

    But the FCB has invested 1/6th of his wealth in NUFC with limited chances of getting in back. Hes fecking shite at PR & people management (shockingly in contrast to his brilliant rteatment of Sports Direct staff) but he doesn’t deserve the shit he gets from the MAJORITY of (keyboard warrior) fans of the club.

  52. 52
    avatar workyticket says:

    Moomoo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    “(shockingly in contrast to his brilliant rteatment of Sports Direct staff)”

    You mean untrained part timers on minmum wage, refusal of toilet breaks and dismissal if they ever raise a fuss about poor treatment Moomo?

    I don’t think I’ve ever encountered any fans recently who have had much of a good word to say about Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall, though of course, quite a few people are nostalgic about the times when Sir John Hall was running the club, although there is far to him than meets the eye.

  53. 53
    avatar Moomoo says:

    AndyMac, fair comment.

    Whether Newcastle could reinvest in their squad for a striker (and otherwise)depended on

    1) The cash realised from selling Carroll – £35m
    2) The wage available to pay his replacement
    3) Whether the FCB will pay up

    The Fatman was quoted as willing to put a couple of years ago as being willing to put £20m a year into Newcastle to keep things going. I reckon hes decided to cap it off at the £260m hes in for already and you’ll find he’s stopped putting that £20m in.

    Whether that counts as “taking money out of the club” as many think I dont know, but getting the Carroll dosh to cover the shortfall rather than his £20m is probably what happened.

    THe club effectively hs a debt of 260m to Ashley. As a busines you would value it by its assets (stadium etc)and its revenue generating capability (currently marginal). Ultimately, Ashley is preparing the club for sale (by sorting out profitability), but he will still sell at a loss.

  54. 54
    avatar Moomoo says:

    Workyticket, your VERY wrong there. YOur comments about standard issue treatment of young reatil staff in any company BUT the way he rewards them and gives them a stke in the business is admirable. GO find out matey.

  55. 55
    avatar workyticket says:

    Moomoo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    “Workyticket, your VERY wrong there.”

    I’m afraid I’m not Moomoo, and I know all about Mike Ashley’s bonuses to his slavedrivers, and how they are structured.

  56. 56
    avatar stuofthetoon says:

    Not sure Ashley can be blamed for the selling of Nolan and giving away Barton. Nolan played his heart out for the Toon but his legs were going – another 5 years hmmmm I think not. If we use Sir Bobby as the benchmark of a great manager – do you think Joey would have been allowed to continually shout or tweet his mouth off, bad mouthing his employers. Joey courted poularity by shouting the odds – Sir Bobby would have stopped it or he would have been out the door. Club did the right thing. The decision was not money motivated (ok so we save his wages) it was damage limitation.

  57. 57
    avatar Moomoo says:

    Workyticket, are you suggesting you support NUFC and work for Sports Direct? SCAB!!!!!

    Acknowledged the bonuses ar not to all staff, but as a principle of how to treat staff, he’s not the worst. There is much worse in the retail sector.

  58. 58
    avatar workyticket says:

    Moomoo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    “Acknowledged the bonuses ar not to all staff, but as a principle of how to treat staff, he’s not the worst. There is much worse in the retail sector.”

    Around one in five or six Moomoo?

    Sports Direct treats a huge majority it’s employees poorly by any UK standards, which have been diminshing anyway.

  59. 59
    avatar Moomoo says:

    @Workyticket:

    Sorry, must have mistaken him for Abramhovic or Ellis Short etc who I’m sure treat their employees better. Its all relative, But a company that actually tries to share its success with (some) employees is better than the many who dont.

    I may, however, be incorrectly sold on this idea of this idea of FCBs magnanimity, given the time taken to sort out NUFC playing staff bonuses!

  60. 60
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    If you look into ahsley’s other business deals, you’ll find that him not doing due diligence is his normal M.O.
    So that is a pointless argument.

    I reckon sjh & his cronies/family were made up to get away with all the money they did, then ashley’s on top.

    What a card!

  61. 61
    avatar workyticket says:

    Moomoo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    “Sorry, must have mistaken him for Abramhovic or Ellis Short”

    Moomo, A very interesting piece from years back on how Abramovich fleeced and extorted his billions, but merely citing the example of someone even worse is fallacious. I’ve used a similar example before, but it’s a bit like trying to argue that Hitler was a good leader because he murdrered fewer people than Stalin or Mao. ;-)

    I’m sure that some of Abramhovic’s employees are well renumerated too.

    “The Sibneft minder nods vigorously. “It’s true. That’s right,” he says. “Our wages were held back.” Sterhov continues: “Sibneft said it couldn’t afford to pay us. The country was heading for another financial crisis, and by August 1998, when the economy collapsed for the second time, people here were desperate. Then Sibneft started saying that although it couldn’t pay our wages, it would buy any shares left over from the privatisations of 1992.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/may/08/russia.football

  62. 62
    avatar geordiedug says:

    i cant believe what im reading?

    CUT ASHLY SOME SLACK!!!!!

    the man wont even speak to us and couldn’t care less about nufc!

    Ashley bought this football club warts and all and it is his responsibility to the fans and the community to to move the club forward as we are not a slanzeger or a dunlop brand name he can just re brand!

    he might be the world number 1 boss and a nice guy and whatever but he has made us a laughing stock with his crazy ways and stubbornness and refusal to explain a single decision he has made!

    the man has now had enough and wants out instead of placing us on the market and trying to rectify his mistakes he is cashing in on our assets and will sell everyone he can get a penny for without any sort of suitable replacement coming in

    look at stoke and bolton 2 teams who every season try and improve there squads and progress assuring there premier league safety in the process!

    just look at the sign hes putting up on the east stand its like a big f@#k you to the whole of newcastle!

  63. 63
    avatar workyticket says:

    CLiNT FLiCK says:
    September 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    “If you look into ahsley’s other business deals, you’ll find that him not doing due diligence is his normal M.O.
    So that is a pointless argument.”

    Not if you’re trying to see it from John Hall’s point of view Clint.

  64. 64
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    worky,
    wha’d’y’mean mate?

    sjh got top dollar, without someone checking it all out & done & dusted fast as…he must have also made a canny penny outta the club even before he sold it too & so did the other 2 clowns.

  65. 65
    avatar workyticket says:

    geordiedug says:
    September 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    “Ashley bought this football club warts and all and it is his responsibility to the fans and the community to to move the club forward as we are not a slanzeger or a dunlop brand name he can just re brand!”

    Geordiedug, the thing about a vulture Captalist like Ashley who moves in on distressed companies is that he can always use the line that things could have been even worse if he didn’t step in.

  66. 66
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    He could use the ‘it coulda been worse’ line if he ever spoke.

    :)

  67. 67
    avatar geordiedug says:

    worky i agree

    but why is the opinion of him so divided how much more proof do people need to see this man not only doesnt care about the club but he is quite prepared to sell every single thing in order to make up for his mistakes

  68. 68
    avatar workyticket says:

    geordiedug says:
    September 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    “worky i agree

    but why is the opinion of him so divided how much more proof do people need”

    Geordiedug, One of the main reasons is that the argument keeps getting cleverly turned around to Fat Freddy and debt.

    As I’ve written before on here, it’s a complete trick, a fallacy which is designed to deceive people until they are convinced that the only way to run Newcastle United is either the Fat Freddy / Weaselface Doug way or the Ashley way. While this is complete nonsense, history has taught us that people, especially groups, can be persuaded to believe some crazy things sometimes, especially through fear.

    It’s been a pretty successful strategy which has also been much used in politics too.

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