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Archive for category: St James’s Park.

What has Newcastle United ever done for Mike Ashley (and Sports Direct)?

June 29th, 2012 | 62 Comments |

Sports Direct sign, St James' Park.
Cheap and nasty.
There has been something of a rehabiltation of the reputation of Mike Ashley at Newcastle United recently.

This, of course, has been due largely to the club’s generally upward trajectory in terms of it’s League position in recent seasons under Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew, as well as some successes in the transfer market since Ashley and Llambias cast their their three casino aquaintances adrift and let Chris Hughton bring in a proper chief scout, a move which has been highly beneficial for the club so far.

Less obviously, perhaps, there has also been a relentless PR campaign run through the media on all levels. Like the current coalition government, much has been said to demonise the previous administration, presenting Ashley as some kind of messiah type figure who made tough choices to save the club from certain liquidation as a great benevolent gesture to the people of Tyneside. But, according to the narrative, this has been a thankless task, with Geordie ingrates not showing the suitable appreciation of his selfless largesse. Admittedly, this isn’t the most difficult thing to do when the targets are the likes of Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall. According to a peculiar logic, much has also been made of what Ashley’s alleged financial “backing” of the club in terms of making a £140 million loan to himself, which is repayable on demand by the club, to save himself from paying high interest rates on his own Newcastle United debts. The term “clearing” the club’s debts has been used so often that many fans are still oblivious to the fact that the club is now actually far more in debt than it was when Ashley assumed control of the club in 2007. (more…)


Newcastle United 2011 / 2012 Season Review – Part Two – Conclusion.

May 18th, 2012 | 22 Comments |

Papiss Cissé scores another one!
He scores when he wants, apparently.
NUFC Season Review – Part One.

Following on from part one of Newcastle United’s 2011 / 2012 season review, we begin at the start of the new year with a home tie against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.

January – Man Utd humbled / A Nightmare at the Cottage / The new number nine…

A stunning display from Pardew’s team saw champions, Manchester United, comfortably beaten 3-0 at St James’ Park. Two brilliant goals from both Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye put United on course to victory, with Phil Jones putting through his own net to complete the rout. It was a tremendous start to January, and helped eradicate the previous month’s below par performances. Pardew got the tactics spot on, knowing that Man Utd’s centre backs Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones couldn’t handle the physicality of Magpies front men, Demba Ba and Shola Ameobi. (more…)


Newcastle United 2011 / 2012 Season Review – Part One

May 18th, 2012 | 9 Comments |

Ba celebrates hat-trick against Stoke.
"Make mine a treble!" - Ba gets his revenge on the Potters who shunned him.
NUFC Season Review – Part Two.

The end of the season is finally upon us. A season in which defied all expectations. A season where even the most optimistic of Toon fans would have struggled to predict what would be.

Newcastle United gate-crashed the top six, and also knocked on the door of the Premier League’s top four. As it turned out at 5pm on Sunday the 13th of May 2012, Newcastle United were confirmed as finishing in 5th place, above Chelsea, above Liverpool, and above the majority of peoples expectations.

The Europa League awaits the Magpies next season, a new chapter or perhaps a new beginning is on the horizon. But before we look forward into what might be, I’m now going to relive the season that was. Cast my mind back and tell the tale of Newcastle United’s 2011 / 2012 season. I hope you are all sitting comfortably… (more…)


Llambias: SJP name changed for the sake of the Geordie poor

May 2nd, 2012 | 15 Comments |

For the sake of the fans says Llambias.
For the sake of poor fans says Llambias.
Newcastle United’s Managing Director, Derek Llambias, has been speaking to David Conn for yesterday’s Guardian.

In the interview he spoke on how he has received so much abuse from Geordie ingrates that he doesn’t hear it any more, how Mike Ashley told him that he would have “a horrible job” in May 2008, just before he took over as managing director to oversee Ashley’s Sports Directification of the club, how the club spent all of the £35 million Andy Carroll money (although the club made a mighty profit of £36.731 million on player trading without amortisation in their last set of published accounts). Conn also wrote of many other things Llambias supposedly revealed to him in what is a rather fawning piece overall.

Irritatingly, for much of the “interview,” Conn give his own version of what Llambias told him, rather than just giving the quotes themselves in something which reads like a PR piece, something Llambias usually reserves for his friends at Mirror Group titles such as the Mirror, People, Chronicle and Journal. But I digress. (more…)


Newcastle United To Unveil Sir Bobby Robson Statue

April 26th, 2012 | 92 Comments |

Sir Bobby Beside His Ipswich Statue
Newcastle United have announced that a statue of Sir Bobby Robson is to be unveiled before the final home game of the season on 6th May. The statue will be nine and a half feet high and cast in bronze. It will be situated at the south west corner of St James’ Park.

Ipswich Town, of course, have had a statue of Sir Bobby outside their ground for many years – a much younger Sir Bobby it has to be said. I’ve had my photo taken standing beside that one, and will be completing the set when United’s new statue is in place!

The club’s managing director Derek Llambias told the club’s official website:

“We’re delighted to be able to honour Sir Bobby Robson with this lasting tribute.

“He was a great man and ambassador for this football club and for the city. He achieved great success during his time as manager of Newcastle United and this statue is a fitting way for the club to remember him.”

Lady Elsie Robson added:

“It’s very fitting that there will be a tribute to Bob outside Newcastle United’s ground. This is where his love of football began.” (more…)