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Newcastle United, Mike Ashley and eternal recurrence

July 1st, 2015 | 335 Comments |

Steve McClaren
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence as it is, without meaning or aim, and yet recurring inevitably, without any finale in nothingness: “eternal recurrence.”

Friedrich Nietzsche – The Will to Power

I quoted the great proto-existentialist philosopher there because it seems such a perfect summary of all that Mike Ashley has to offer Newcastle United fans, in the past, the present and in the future; existence as it is, without meaning or aim, and yet recurring inevitably This includes the humiliation of being lied to and treated as fools on a regular basis, and paying hundreds of pounds for the privilege in many cases. Mike Ashley’s latest alleged overhaul is just as superficial and dishonest as the previous ones, which is why everything coming out of the club must be so strictly controlled. In his hubris, Ashley still hasn’t learned that a Premier League club the size of Newcastle United has to be like Rolls Royce, not Sports Direct. The faces might be different, but the thinking which has taken Newcastle United nowhere is still the same, recurring inevitably. (more…)


Newcastle United’s two forgotten players

June 9th, 2015 | 68 Comments |

Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow
Lascelles and Darlow: “Outstanding lads” says Pearce
In the misery and inertia of Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United, it is good to try and look for the flowers in the cracks of the concrete from time to time to keep oneself sane.

With this in mind, I could have written about younger players like Ayoze Perez, Rolando Aarons etc but then I thought at least we have seen them play in black and white, albeit briefly in Aarons’ case. On the other hand, two more of United’s biggest hopes the the future haven’t been seen at all in Magpie colours. They are the two forgotten men of Newcastle United, 21 year old centre back, Jamaal Lascelles and 24 year old goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who have returned from their loan season at Nottingham Forest.

Signed a season ago from the Tricky Trees for an undisclosed fee which was said to be £6.5 million, the pair were immediately loaned back and forgotten about by many on Tyneside. They are both regarded as very promising players though, and as Alan Pardew used to be fond of saying, ‘It will be like two new signings.’ (more…)


The truth of the Patrick Vieira and Steve McClaren to Newcastle stories

June 5th, 2015 | 23 Comments |

Steve McClaren and John Carver
NUFC: Still no decision on a head coach.
I couldn’t help feeling there was something odd about the story of Patrick Vieira coming to Newcastle, as there is about most unsubstantiated football stories.

Some fans seemed to believe it though, even embroidering it further to their own tastes as it gathered a momentum of its own in a few short days. My curiosity piqued, I looked but I couldn’t find any real evidence that Newcastle United made an approach for Patrick Viera to be the next ‘head coach’ at St James’ Park. Even the guff I’ve read about Steve McClaren coming to Newcastle (and I’ve read alot) seems to be based on the same kind of unsubstantiated “it is understood / sources say” style drivel we see so much of nowadays in the media. Concentrating on the Vieira story first though, I traced the threads of it back to the beginning as I usually do, and in this case it was ‘broken’ by North East Sky Sports reporter, Keith Downie with two tweets below on 30th May, though it seems like longer: (more…)


Newcastle United 2014 full accounts statement

May 31st, 2015 | 22 Comments |

Newcastle United's treasure chest
NUFC’s coffers are overflowing, but the debt to Ashley remains
Before I begin, my apologies for not posting these earlier, as I usually do shortly after the accounts are made public. Better late than never though as I still can’t find any other copies of the statement itself elsewhere, though there is a very extensive analysis of the latest accounts on the very good Swiss Ramble site if you haven’t seen it already. The link to a PDF of the full statement submitted to Companies House is below, along with a few personal reflections from myself.

Some personal notes on the accounts

Turnover

The overall turnover figure of £129.7 million is the highest in the club’s history. This was also true of many other Premier League clubs though due to the commencement of the new blockbuster broadcasting deal. On the £129.7 million turnover, the club made a profit after tax of £18.7 million, and an operating profit of £4.7 million. However, Ashley is yet to pay any tax at Newcastle United as losses from previous years have been deferred once again. (more…)


Why Carver’s Newcastle is the worst Newcastle team in the Premier League ever

May 23rd, 2015 | 29 Comments |

Carver: The crisis continues
Carver: The crisis continues
Of course, if you are a Newcastle United fan, you cannot fail to have noticed the huge dip in form under John Carver, which has been so bad it could still see the Magpies relegated for the second time in six seasons after their final game against West Ham tomorrow. But how bad has it really been?

Worse than Alan Shearer and Iain Dowie’s catastrophic eight games in charge when the club were relegated in 2009.

As bad as the team were back then, they were better than the current side, winning an average of 0.62 points per game under Shearer. This compares against Carver’s 0.5 points in his games. Where Shearer got at least one win in those eight games, the current side managed to lose eight in a row, the worst losing streak since PE teacher Richard Dinnis led the side to 10 consecutive defeats in 1977. However unlike Carver, Dinnis actually had a very good spell with the club, finishing fifth in the old First Division and qualifying for the UEFA Cup as Caretaker Manager in the previous season. (more…)