Mike Ashley seems to be loving life as the new owner and budding number one fan of Newcastle United, whom he bought fairly quickly in June.
If we look back at the state of the club at the end of last season, what transpired in the summer is something every Newcastle fan might have dreamed up.
A new manager of the caliber and proven record of Sam Allardyce and a new billionaire owner, who was English and wanted to take Newcastle right back to the top.
Thatâ€™s essentially what has happened at the club and itâ€™s very exciting right now â€“ to say the least.
Billionaire owner Mike Ashley – in his new business attire
Also Mike Ashley seems determined to get the vast Newcastle support base on his side and improve things at St Jamesâ€™s Park. On Monday evening, every Newcastle fan entering the ground before 7.15pm was invited to partake in a free drink. Those who took up the offer were able to toast the clubâ€™s best start to a home campaign in a full 12 years.
Mike Ashley always seems to enjoy the Newcastle games, and heâ€™s just like any other fan with his black and white striped shirt on. But Mike talked on Monday about the debt he inherited at Newcastle when he bought the club. It was Â£100M which was about Â£30M more than he expected it to be, but Mike said the speed of the purchase meant he didn’t have full time to do all the due diligence really necessary.
“There was no time to do the usual due diligence on the deal because I had to move so quickly.â€
“So I paid Â£140M for the club with the expectation that there was a debt of Â£70M. Actually it was around Â£100M so there was suddenly an extra Â£30M to find. But I just thought: ‘Shut up about it’. I’m a big boy and I didn’t cry.â€
“To me the real issue was this: Was the debt bigger than I thought? Yes. Would I have changed my mind if I’d known the full extent of the debt? Not one iota.â€
Thatâ€™s really nice to hear from the owner who seems to have embraced the great passion surrounding the famous club. Mike went on:
“It might have been a different story if I had needed to go to the bank to borrow the money but I didn’t.”
“I have my own money and anyway, I tend to live by the saying you can’t take it with you.”
There have been stories about Mike possibly selling Newcastle, but he has said thatâ€™s not what he bought the club for. Indeed he must be pleased that so many others want to now buy Newcastle, because it shows what a good purchase it was by the Billionaire.
But Mikeâ€™s got his feet firmly on the ground and has made a great impression with the fans. He wants Newcastle to go onward and upward. Mike’s already said a strategic move is to buy a trophy cabinet so weâ€™ve got somewhere to store that silverware. That seems like an inspired purchase, and of course excellent strategy. 😀
Comments very welcome.