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Archive for tag: Mike Ashley.

Avoiding Relegation the Sole Aim for Newcastle United in 2018/19

September 13th, 2018 | No Comments |

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.
Laurel and Hardy – The relegation specialists.
The Premier League is not only the most popular football league on the planet, but it is also the most lucrative. With television rights and top-flight status offering millions of pounds on a yearly basis, every club wants to avoid relegation. But for a club like Newcastle it is vital to stay in the Premier League, Magpies fans cannot cope with more relegation heartache.

Let’s get one thing straight: Rafa Benitez is a top class football manager. The Spaniard has done a tremendous job with the tools at his disposal and Newcastle supporters recognise his efforts. Benitez is not, nor has he ever been the problem. If the Magpies go down it will be down to a lack of financial support from the club’s hierarchy. (more…)


Who could replace Benitez at the end of the season?

September 4th, 2018 | No Comments |

Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley
A very rare shot of Benitez and Ashley together.
As most fans will know, Rafa Benitez’s contract as Newcastle United’s manager will expire at the end of the season and so far, the omens do not look particularly good.

After a nightmare start to the season against pretty much the worst possible opposition (Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in their first four games), the club are currently in the bottom three, and overall transfer spending is in minus figures, leaving Benitez with what is effectively a lower mid table squad. Indeed, according to transfer website Transfermarkt, there are only four teams in the Premier League with lower value squads than Newcastle (£157.23m), these are Bournemouth (£147.83m), Watford (£144.63), Huddersfield (£104.49m) and Cardiff (£84.83m), which almost makes them relegation battlers. Of course, Benitez showed his mettle last season by taking a squad which should have been hovering precariously above the bottom three to a highly creditable 10th in the Premier League. (more…)


Why Newcastle can’t progress under Ashley

February 12th, 2018 | 2 Comments |

Ashley Out!
Ashley – Over a decade of unpopularity on Tyneside.
It’s fair to say Mike Ashley is not a popular man on Tyneside. The breakdown of £300 million takeover talks has given Newcastle United an uncertain future at a time when we should be celebrating our 125th anniversary.

While the sporting-goods tycoon deserves credit for bringing in Rafa Benitez after a slew of bad managerial decisions, his continued presence is only holding the club back. Here’s why:

Lack of ambition

Back in 2013, we shared the news that Mike Ashley had a net worth of £3 billion, which then made him the fourth-richest club owner in the Premier League. While he is now only the 10th richest owner, you’d think he was one of the poorest. (more…)


Newcastle United Art Forum – The Shearer Statue

September 14th, 2016 | 150 Comments |

Alan Shearer statue
Looks like something out of a cereal packet
It isn’t very often that I venture off the highway of football to enter the arena of art criticism here on NUFC Blog, but this is one of those occaisions and I am actually more qualified. Having been a figurative artist, a designer and also an art dealer in a very modest sense, I hope I can give a reasonably informed opinion without getting too carried away.

As you might have guessed from the photo accompanying thus piece, my current musing has been inspired by the recent unveiling of the Alan Shearer sculpture. Named ‘Local Hero,’ it is the second by local self-taught sculptor, Tom Maley for Newcastle United. It follows Maley’s Bobby Robson tribute of 2012, though it was actually commissioned by former NUFC Chairman, Freddie Shepherd before that in 2007 at an alleged cost of around £250,000. There is almost certainly some kind of club politics behind the nine year delay in its unveiling but that is not what this story is about. (more…)


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…)