Ashley To Become More Involved In Running Newcastle


A good article in the Newcastle Journal this morning by Luke Edwards, about how the Newcastle club will be run in the future, and what the priorities are at the club.

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Mike Ashley – will become more involved in running Newcastle

The Journal has apparently spoken to a senior member of Newcastle’s board, and has been given some good insight on how the club will be run.

First of all Mike Ashley will take a more active part in the running of the club, after Kevin Keegan told Mike he would need to be more involved if Newcastle were going to be successful.

This happened at their meeting in London on Friday, May 9th and it seems that meeting was a positive one for the club.

One thing that has surprised us is that the source says there is not a drive to reduce the wage bill in the summer.

But nevertheless Ashley wants to build for the future and the stars Newcastle bring in during the summer, should be young, and have their best years ahead of them.

While nothing has been done about incoming transfers so far this summer, that will change when Kevin gets back from his family holiday in a couple of weeks.

That will also be towards the end of the ongoing Euro 2008 Championships, and we are told there should be some significant action at that time with incoming players. That’s good.

The source has also again stressed that the final say on players is Kevin’s and not Dennis Wise.

Dennis and his other two recruitment executives, Tony Jimenez and Jeff Vetere have the vital job of scouting and finally recruiting the players, but the final say on any player will always be with Keegan.

It couldn’t work any other way, so we have been surprised by the reports that Dennis is running the show – but he is an important figure for the club if we are to sign good up and coming players.

To us this news makes a lot of sense, so presumably we’ll need to hold off on incoming transfers for a little while, but Kevin returns from his holidays within 2 weeks, so we’ll hopefully get some idea then, as to the quality of player we are able to attract this summer.

The club are also willing to punish Joey Barton following his imprisonment for assault last month, as we reported yesterday.

The club wants to cut the player’s wages in half to around £30K week. A final decision on what to do with Barton will not be made until his upcoming trial is complete.

However, Keegan has made it clear to the board that he would like to keep the star, and we would expect that if Barton accepts the terms Newcastle lay out for him, he will remain at the club.

Keegan has also given a list of players to Dennis Wise, that he is willing to lose in the summer, if acceptable bids are received, and Dennis has already told the players’ agents they can leave. We have to assume Emre was on that list.

Unfortunately this also seems to suggest that Alan Smith will be kept at the club, since his agent, Alex Black, has often said his client is staying on Tyneside next season.

That’s not good news, but overall these things all make a lot of sense, as long as we see players starting to arrive as soon as Kevin returns.

Comments very welcome.



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38 comments so far

  • Tom4Nufc

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #1

    I say if he does become more involved its a good thing, more money for players… I hope.

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  • Wezside

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #2

    Nice to know Ash is getting more involved, its a pity all our fears are realised about Smith, you never know, maybe another club will be desperate for him… heres hoping…

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  • broon ale

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #3

    i think it was mike ashleys decision to stop wearing his Alan smith shirt which ruined the lads confidence. ha ha

    he never recovered! poor chap

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  • liamtoonbirchy

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #4

    2 weeks, i thought keegan was back in a few days?

    i hope barton hasnt rejected the smaller contract, he is a good player but needs to be punished and he should accept this new contract and count himself lucky for newcastle standing by him.

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  • Jimi

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #5

    It’s nice to hear some news from the top at last, especially concerning Keegan’s role within the club. I think things are ticking along nicely, brain power as well as pocket power. Hopefully if everyone’s getting along with each other as well as this ‘board member’ insinuates we can see some interesting action in the coming weeks. (C’mon VDV!!!) No panic……

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  • Davies

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #6

    Barton turned down the deal.

    “Oh, I’m a jailbird, please carry on paying me 60 grand a week, I need it for my macdonalds habit!”.

    I’m bored with this silly saga now. He should be fired. I know I’ve slowly but surely changed my stance on this, but I just don’t think he’s worth what he thinks he is. Too much hassle. Get rid and keep his license.

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  • Davies

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #7

    This is an encouraging article, but has anybody heard anything about Michael Owen and Steven Taylor’s contracts?

    Number one priority for months and still no word since the board met with MO’s representatives many weeks ago.

    Come along gentlemen…

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  • James

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #8

    For all we know deals have already been agreed with a number of players but due to the Euros and the July 1st transfer window we cannot make any accouncements yet

    And yes, Barton’s agent confirmed this morning that Barton rejected the pay cut. He is demanding we pay him his full wages for being in prison.

    Anyone who defends him on this site should go support Sunderland

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  • Ian

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #9

    It would be better to hear it from an official source.

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  • The Entertainers

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #10

    This is a good move from Ash.

    I have been surprised in recent weeks with some of the negative comments towards Ashley on this site.
    Who can argue with his actions up to date:

    * Bought the club from Fat Freddy
    * Paid off all our debt
    * Got rid of Big Sam
    * Brought back King Kev
    * Brought in an experienced back room team
    * Appears to have put trust in youger players.
    * Cleared out the dead wood
    * Putting in significant bids for star players

    People are criticising Ashley for what he has not done and not giving him the chance of a full pre season. I for one am excited about what Ashley is doing and credit to him for becoming more envolved.

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  • broon ale

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #11

    remember when chris mort (supposedly) came on this site and posted a comment. I have a feeling that was a piss take. even Ed said it was definately him.

    also can anyone remember when alan oliver came on this site.. ha ha ha ..

    someones blowing smoke up your hoop mr Ed!

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  • James

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #12

    Davies – Owen is on holiday and his Agent said the deal wouldn’t be sorted until the end of June when Owen gets back. He will sign don’t worry

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  • NUFCFAN

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #13

    good news to hear – think if Big Mike Ash is seeing the club every day and understanding things about the club.

    I am beginning to feel alot more positive about things at St James’

    even with the big exodus, just feel that we are going to see alot of exciting signings that come in

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  • John

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #14

    interesting to see that there not looking to bring down the wages….It all came from the mail and esclated to every paper from there..

    It would be quality if it was announced Owen signs a new 120,000 a week contract..that would be a big f*ck you to the press..

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  • Jimi

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #15

    Can just see it now on the Mail back page…Owen 120k a week 3year deal…..nice…..

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  • James

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #16

    In terms of the wage bill, it’s quite clear it’s more a case of get rid of the dead wood that are being payed £60K a week+ and are not earning it (Carr, Duff, Emre, etc)

    But those that are here and are showing commitment to the Toon cause (Owen, Taylor, Martins, Butt), will be paid handsomely for their services.

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  • ANON

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #17

    Entertainers, I cant argue with his actions to date but I can look at it from a different angle:

    * Bought the club from Fat Freddy (This was a good business move for him. Club was rife for take over, and he got it relatively cheap)
    * Paid off all our debt(interest on debt vs club revenue was negative, therefore he had no option)
    * Got rid of Big Sam (This was a good move in IMO)
    * Brought back King Kev (King Kev, the ticket seller…say no more)
    * Brought in an experienced back room team (What experience?a solicitor, a property executive, a Casino owner, a ‘football encyclopedia’ released by real madrid (You dont often hear that), a half decent ex player who revelled in getting up the nose of NUFC fans when playing, oh yes and a bloke who ran a race course !!!
    * Appears to have put trust in youger players.
    ( we have signed several unproven young players and got rid of several proven players (Not saying they were any good, but never the less proven) Young players yet to play a premiership game!!!!!
    * Cleared out the dead wood ( Yip a agree with this, but when you clear out dead wood, it usually leaves massive holes!!!!)
    * Putting in significant bids for star players (Obviously put in a significant bid, however, was it significant enough?? OBVIOUSLY Not!!!)

    I personally will not knock MA!! I will give him till this time next season!! Then I shal voice my opinion further.

    Let us not forget, our season ticket prices have risen 10%……we have shed a massive wedge from the wage bill already……..Yet we havent actually seen any substantial give back to the Bread (the fans) & Butter (the team) of Newcastle United Football Company oooops i mean club, yet!!!

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  • wilko

    Jun 11, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #18

    I think there are some unfair comments about Alan Smith . I saw him early last season when he was played out of position in midfield and his work rate and commitment to the team was second to none. if played up front agin for a good spell he could rediscover his great scoring ability. I still think he’s OK and a good lad to have around the dressing room and he loves Newcastle United !

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  • wilko

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #19

    great news about Mike Ashley taking a more hands on role. this will be good as the priorities will be right with the playing staff. Ash is starting to get the real feel for NUFC and what can make us tick again like a nice Rolex

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  • clinta

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #20

    I was wondering myself about the smith thing too, as you’ve been near certain in earlier post that the guy is on the out so I always assumed i’d missed some interview or something?

    but i guess it was all an eductaed guess hey?

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  • Jimi

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #21

    Agree with Wilko about Alan Smith. Not saying he hasn’t played crap but keep your eye on that fellow re-discovering some form…

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  • Nick Dryden

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #22

    Wilko wouldn’t you love being at NUFC on 60 K a week when you’re absolutely useless and contribute nothing except getting yellow and red cards. Redicover his great scoring ability – you’re being ironic yes?

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  • wilko

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #23

    cheers Jimi, glad I’m not on my own .
    another thing about Smith is he’s very loyal – he was at Leeds and the other unmentionable team. Listening to him talk on the website I always get the feeling he wants to do very well for NUFC in whatever way he can andi like that sort of thing – some passion and hunger – a rare thing to seefrom footballers these days

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  • wilko

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #24

    hi Nick , sorry mate ,no I do mean it , I ‘ve seen Smith score great goals over the years – he still has that in him and can also play a good hold up role up front -many players need a good run in the team to perform at their best

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  • The Entertainers

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #25

    @ Anon

    I suppose it is too early to judge Ashley just yet and there always at least two ways to look at his actions.

    Those were my personal feelings on what has happened so far….

    I am still backing the guy 100% until proven wrong and am still optimistic about our future. It appeared Fat Freddy was behind the wheel of a run away car and all you could see was a wreck at the end ie Leeds!

    One other point, football is a business first and foremost, so by appointing this backroom team of business men i do believe this is experienced. Whether you like them or not Wise, Vetere and Jimenz are football men.

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  • wilko

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #26

    sorry to be controversial guys, think I’m just nervous of all the outgoings from SJP, I’m desperate to see some of our top talent staying and saying they will go for it withNUFC next season, like I say passion and hunger – we need stability at the moment

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  • Leo

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #27

    hmm, could be good could be bad, depends if keegan really wants that…

    has anyone got the new shape ford focus? is it any good?

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  • Nick Dryden

    Jun 11, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #28

    Wilko Smith did have a good run in the team – he was absolutely dire. It’s no coincidence that when he and Duff finally got dropped we started winning.
    Smith makes Shola look prolific !!! I would rather see Smith out the door on £60K a week than Ameobi on 30K a week who despite criticism played through injury. Check Smith’s goal stats – they don’t lie. Even one ”assist” would be nice.

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  • Nick Dryden

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #29

    Fergie doesn’t get rid of good players.
    Smith is loyal beacause no one else would pay him 60k a week. I’m glad Ashley is wising up to some of the stupid signings Allardyce made with Smith and Barton just being a pair of very over rated underachieving goons.

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  • UTD111

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #30

    I’m another fan who feels the criticism of Smithy has been unfair. Be great if he stays – every club needs utility players and his passion and commitment are above criticism. It looks like Sir Kevin wants him to stay and so do I.

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  • Ross

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #31

    I give Ashley credit for what he did when he first came e.g clearing debt etc. But personally i dont think he gives a toss about Newcastle as a place or a club, give it another 12months and he will flog it! He wants to be challenging the top four, but wants to cut wages and not pay stupid money for players, fair enough but the top 4 will go out spend money on big wages and stupid money on players!! so surely to challenge them he needs to do the same.

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  • Nick Dryden

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #32

    Fine lets settle for mediocrity then.
    Smith’s hair has got more creativity than he has.

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  • Taiwantoon

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #33

    I like Smith, but I must admit he was aweful in most games he had played last season. Doubt he will ever recover his form with us, a move might just help him IMO…

    Regarding MA been more involved with the running of club, I think it would be a good thing. He needs to be involved to know what other guys with ambitions are doing. I am not slagging him off, I’m just finding it hard to defend him at the moment. Nonetheless, to be fair to MA, we should wait at least until mid of July before making our judgement.

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  • Sav

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #34

    Rediscover???

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  • Punk Skunk

    Jun 11, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #35

    Well, as if y’needed tellin’: It just goes to show, what complete pile of steemin’ crap the rags write!..Now can we all just hold off from critisizin’ Ashley, for a while at least?..
    …& Ed, if anyone comes on quotin’ the likes of the mail on here, mod ’em, just for bein’ so gullable-Ta!..

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  • wilko

    Jun 11, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #36

    Just hope the end result is that we end up with a great squad that everyone ishappy with and we get things going again with some long term stability. we deserve some good luck !!

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  • Dillon

    Jun 11, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #37

    Bids for star players ! what ya talking about….

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  • Rafael Van Der Vaart

    Jun 13, 2008 at 3:07 AM

    Comment #38

    hate to annoy you guys but alan smith won us that penalty at fulham and last time i checked that was a assist.

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