Newcastle United – News Roundup – 30 July 2009.

Posted on July 30th, 2009 | 21 Comments |

Martins gone.
Martins gone.
Newcastle managed only a goalless draw last night against Leeds United. According to the Club Site, Ryan Taylor had the best opportunities for the home team before the break, with Bassong and Coloccini having the best opportunities in the second half. The Northern Echo contains a better report.

As reported by my colleague, it appears that the transfer embargo – if there ever was one – has been lifted and Obafemi Martins has been sold to Wolfsburg for £9m. There’s a report on Sky Sports but it mentions little beyond what I’ve already told you.

I wonder if this is Ashley facing the prospect of not selling the club before the transfer window closes and deciding he needs to starting getting things done himself. Or maybe it indicates that a new owner has been found who, whilst the legalities of a takeover are completed, has authorised some transfers in the interim.

On the subject of transfers, The Mail is claiming that Spurs will beat Arsenal to the signing of Seb Bassong with an £8m offer for the defender.

Former Newcastle manager Jim Smith is the latest to have a pop at Ashley’s handling of things at Newcastle United. He told Sky Sports:

It originally happened and the guy went in with all of that money and we all thought ‘this is it, this is a tremendous opportunity for Newcastle to hit the big time’.

They are a big-time club and they’re a fantastic team with fantastic support.

But obviously he went in there with no plan, no professionalism and it’s gone downhill ever since. It’s a crime.

Hopefully the right owners can come in and sort it out because everybody knows Newcastle should be in the Premier League and challenging for honours.”

The Chronicle reports that fans and civic leaders are calling for some answers from Ashley and Llambias about the current situation. According to a ‘usually reliable source close to another bidder [other than The Profitable Group]’ they (the bidders) are frustrated in their attempts to negotiate a deal and are angered by the way they’ve been treated, the time it takes to get access to the accounts and the lack of communication with the club. The bidders in question were apparently seeking a meeting with Llambias yesterday to try and get some answers. Seymour Pierce confirmed that a meeting was taking place but denied that there are any communication problems.

In the same Chronicle article they report that Newcastle United Supporters Club said:

Our position has been consistent throughout this sorry affair – Mike Ashley should go now, he has mishandled the sale much in the way he has handled the club.

Newcastle United is not a stack of chips on a poker table to be gambled with, it’s a living entity that provides jobs and hopefully enjoyment to people in the future.

What we are calling for is an end to the uncertainty, secrecy and rumour mill. It’s cards on the table time for all concerned and that includes the potential bidders for the club.”

Other concerned parties – such as The Mag, The City Council and the MP for Newcastle East – express similar sentiments. The Chronicle finished by asking Mike Ashley 6 questions:

  1. ARE you going to sell the club and if so, how many serious bidders are still active?
  2. IF you fail to find a buyer for Newcastle United, are you going to place the club in administration?
  3. WHEN are you going to appoint a full-time manager?
  4. ARE you sorry at the state of the club you have put up for sale?
  5. IF you had your time again, what would you do differently with Newcastle United?
  6. EXACTLY how has the situation come to this, and at what point did things start to go so disastrously wrong?

I’d be interested to see the answers to the first 3 questions although, unless Ashley stays on as owner, the last 3 questions are largely irrelevant in my opinion. Not that I expect Ashley to respond to any of them anyway.

A few of the papers seem to be running stories claiming that Shearer will resume his position on Match of the Day, although I can’t get excited about that one way or the other. It seems Shearer has a fairly open contract with the BBC and even if he does resume his presenting duties at the start of the season, I doubt it will stop him answering the call to the manager’s post if it should come.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. If the Martins transfer goes ahead, as seems likely, then in the usual absence of any communication from the club, should we assume the embargo on transfers – which allegedly existed – is now lifted?

    That being the case – its crunch time……

    Martins out? Yes – we can’t afford him now. But players like Billy Bassong and Tim Krul are not the type of players we need to leave on purely financial grounds – or we would want to leave for playing reasons……if players of this type are allowed to go, what manager in his right mind would want to pick up what will be left?

    It’s a symptom of the shambolic mess the barrowboy has got our club into that as usual there does not seem to be any strategy behind these transfer rumours….

    Wonder if he’ll spend the £9M on some new players or just put it on black 17?

  2. “But obviously he went in there with no plan, no professionalism and it’s gone downhill ever since. It’s a crime.

    “Hopefully the right owners can come in and sort it out because everybody knows Newcastle should be in the Premier League and challenging for honours.”

    Jim Smith could almost be describing his own spell at the club, when we were relegated and he described us as “unmanagable”. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose Jim.

  3. workyticket says:
    July 30, 2009 at 7:44 am (Edit)

    You really are an early bird with these news roundups, Hugh!


    I’m a part-time insomniac.

  4. carnt find anyone named Sirous Mahjoob on the net like,made up nonsense from the current bun,it musnt take much these days to become a jorno.

  5. But Hitman’s right – there’s little on the ‘net about this Sirous Mahjoob chap other than the reports about him buying the club in today’s news.

  6. I would be astonished, totally gobsmacked if KK comes back. Probably more shocked than any of the previous times he’s been announced.

    While one part of me would welcome him because I feel like he has unfinishd business, the other part of me is telling me that our reputation would go beyond repair if does. We would be the laughing stock for all eternity whether we had owt to do with it or not.

    I can’t see he’d want to put himself in that position again either.

  7. bowburnmag says:
    July 30, 2009 at 9:28 am

    “While one part of me would welcome him because I feel like he has unfinishd business”

    He always has unfinished business, Bowburn. As soon as he gets to the Billy Mill roundabout, he blows a gasket and abandons the vehicle right in the middle of the road!

  8. Of course it’s a wind up. SSN are only reporting it because they are part of the same media group as The Sun.

  9. well last night david craig was at the match and sitting above a tottenham scout who had a 2 big red circles around bassong and delph

  10. well i know kk is a good manager but it could end in tears

    i love kk but maybe we need to move on

  11. KK coming back – demands for a Sheikh to buy us – and the name Sirous Mahjoob – “Serious my job” – has to be a micky take.

    On a positive fron – the article does quote Llambias who says more than he has in a year – sale looks likely.