In an interview for Sky TV, Alan Pardew expresses the depths of Mike Ashley’s confusion about football and erroneously claims the club has no debt.
Normally, I avoid the Daily Mail unless I have fires to light but this particular interview, originally for Sky TV, caught my eye.
In the interview, Pardew says:
“Mike is a strong character who has been a success in his whole business life and is a genius in that world – but when you come to football, the logic doesn’t quite fit.
“He loves football but he sometimes can’t understand how it works and it confuses and upsets him, and when he is upset, he does things that aren’t brilliant for the football club.
“That’s just Mike and he has funded the club, made sure we have no debt – other than to himself – and supported me, but unless we get a billionaire from deepest Russia we are probably not going to be able to compete with the likes of Man United, Man City and Chelsea, which is what our fans want.
“We were after flair players and when you get into that market as a Premier League club, you have your league and divisions like the Bundesliga chasing them because they are a rare commodity, so it is difficult to get them over the line.
“Loic Remy has been a great signing and given us what we didn’t have last year which is a striker who can play, build the game and finish, while he has a nice manner, is comfortable with our group and has the confidence to play for Newcastle, too.
“But Mike has put in about £200million of his own money and I don’t think he wants to put any more of his own money in.”
There are a few points I picked out of that lot. First of all, it’s hardly a secret that the world of football confuses Ashley is it? Some of the decisions he has made over the years bear testament to that.
Another point I picked up on is where Pardew says the club has no debt. If you look back to Worky’s analysis from April you’ll see the club does have debts to the tune of £129.34m. Pardew qualifies that above by saying that the debt is to Mike Ashley. Yes, but it’s still debt. Mike Ashley and Newcastle United are separate entities and if Ashley was ever to move on, the club would need to repay that debt. So the no debt statement is a load of tosh.
Another thing is that even if Ashley wiped the debt tomorrow, he will have put around £260 million in total into club which would be worth around the same with no debt. He bought a business for around what it was worth to use it as a publicity tool for his more important business which is worth over £4 billion. As for Pardew saying “unless we get a billionaire from deepest Russia we are probably not going to be able to compete with the likes of Man United, Man City and Chelsea,” well, with a personal fortune of around £3 billion now, Ashley is actually a multi billionaire himself and the fourth richest owner in the Premier League, just like the oligarchs of “deepest Russia” Pardew spoke of. At least some of this has been due to him using Newcastle United as a free publicity tool for Sports Direct too, whose share price has increased from around 146p when he assumed 100% control of the Newcastle United in July 2007, to around 686p at the time of writing. It’s hard to understand why Pardew keeps harping on about this like a broken record.
Finally, I note that Pardew stopped short of saying he doesn’t understand football though!
Pardew’s ‘Goals on Sunday’ interview.