Mike Ashley To Take Hands-On Approach at Newcastle


News today in the Daily Mail, and whispers of it over the last few weeks, that Mike Ashley will become much more involved in the day to day running of Newcastle United next season.

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Mike Ashley – to take more hands-on control of Newcastle

While Deputy Chairman Derek Llambias will be announced as the new Chairman when Chris Mort steps down next week, it seems that Mike wants to become the captain of the ship and steer Newcastle to real success.

Ashley had hoped to take a backseat after his £133M takeover last June, and he was often seen enjoying himself with the fans, during most of last season’s games.

He appointed Chris Mort, a London based lawyer, to oversee a structural change at St James’ Park, and Chris made some solid changes at the club, and pout them on a much sounder financial footing.

But now Ashley’s influence will be far greater than in the previous 12 months, and this may be very good for Kevin Keegan, who had asked Mike in May to become more personally involved with the club.

Ashley wants a leaner business model than the obese one he inherited from former Chairman Freddy Shepherd, and Mike has already wiped out the almost £100M club debts he inherited last June.

Newcastle already look a much better business outfit, than when Shepherd and his cronies were in charge.

Kevin Keegan has also made it clear he would like a stronger working relationship with the boardroom, when he was summonsed to London for talks in early May.

Ashley will now wield his power in the boardroom, and there is even a chance that Chris Mort could rejoin the Newcastle board as a Director as early as October.

We’d like to see Mike and Kevin meet more often, because from what we see they get on well, and both are completely committed to the future success of Newcastle United.

We consider this good news for the club.

Comments welcome.



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28 comments so far

  • Leo

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #1

    deja vu there i think lol.

    loving the ‘obese structure’ very good one, although both men are obese only mikeashleys business model is seemingly one of a etheopian stick man (no offence meant by tht)

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  • broon ale

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #2

    yeah, deja vu. read this in journal last week.

    to sum up every ones thoughths on this so we can move on!!!

    “SOUNDS GOOD BUT NOW ITS TIME TO PROVE IT”

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  • Geordie Gerrard7

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #3

    can only be a good thing

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  • Sav

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #4

    Tagging on ‘No offence meant’ does not obviate you from responsibility for what you write. It only emphasises that you are fully aware it is offensive. Muppet.

    Deal sounds like Keegan’s trade off for a bit of a climb-down is that he gets to deal with the top dog on a regular basis when he wants a staright answer, not a series of lieutenants and appointees. He’s not willing to end up with the same scenario that caused him to leave last time.
    Good.

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  • HeronMag

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #5

    Ashley is a man who has been standing with the fans, listening to their gripes for most of last season.

    I’m happy to see a man who seems to be a fan himself getting directly involved in the running of the club.

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  • WIGAZ

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #6

    Hands on! hope it’s hand out! as in ££££££ to kk! time for willy wonka to put his money where is mouth is & back up all this promise! i’m confident KK can attract the stars as he used to but this is a differednt world now! money talks & BS walks! £50-60m please MA! that will do nicely! PS get rid of that cock eyed lil cockney prick too! that will slash wage bill!

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  • Hate Prawn Sandwiches

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #7

    If they can work together, good news!! Mike Ashley althrough has had huge success as a business man, needs to learn more about football and the internal and external matters of nufc! Keegan I feel also needs to learn new ways of working with business men and the boardroom if that can happen then! the futures bight! and not orange!
    as all newcastle fans want, to have our club back up at the top fighting with the best, and winning silverware! alot to ask but im sure it can happen in years to come!! or Ashley sells to DIC?

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  • crap in the transfer market

    Jun 13, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #8

    Yeah yeah great for the club and all that!!!! Anyway about the football team.
    Whats happening about Turan, and all the other transfer targets.
    I dont follow Newcastle because it has a great boardroom.
    I may be old fashioned, but its about the football for me.

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  • Ian

    Jun 13, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #9

    I have a horrible feeling it will be ‘hands on the pen’ signing the sale of the club, I also wonder if the Mort leaving as chairman is a leak from London as the sale may be wound up soon and he will get back to his normal work.

    Things arent right, I think he is trying to get a sale through, if he doesnt then he will pretend loads of rubbish.

    Tying people in for season tickets makes the club more saleable, keeping quiet about transfer funds and targets etc doesnt sell seats or media interest, advertising etc, now I am thinking there is a rabbit off here, like many others already did and others are starting to think the same, I wonder how the tickets will sell.

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  • crap in the transfer market

    Jun 13, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #10

    Ian.
    I think most people are waiting to see what calibre signings Newcastle make, before commiting to getting their season ticket renewal.
    Most of the lads ive talked to are having to talk themselves into renewing, and all this transfer inactivity dosent help.
    Im waiting till the last possible minute to renew and im not taking up the three year option. I will not renew if i think we will be as bad as the last two seasons. I just couldnt stomach it. Ive been going to St james park since 1972. So i couldnt be accused of being disloyal.

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  • Hate Prawn Sandwiches

    Jun 13, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #11

    I suppose it is possible just depends on the way you think! Has Ashley got rid of the debt, tying fans to larger contracts, looking at new quality talent to get the club in a better position in the league, to sell or to make nufc into a top fight club? who knows just him and close coleagues

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  • Sun'lun's Burnin'

    Jun 13, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #12

    only think he’ll have his hands on is llambias’ c0ck!!

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  • Gateshead Mag.

    Jun 13, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #13

    I don’t think the board gives two fecks about the fans me.

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  • CRAIGG

    Jun 13, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #14

    Does this mean he will eat his pies with his fingers instead of a knife and fork

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  • Hate Prawn Sandwiches

    Jun 13, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #15

    I understand were you guys are coming from, is he setting up the club for a sale, or does he genuinely want the club to do well?
    what happened to the plans to extend SJP! this would take a while but would give him more money from the club to spend, instead of increasing ticket sales!!
    Its all about the tranfer kitty, how much are we going to spend! and what potential quality we are going to get in?
    As a successful business man who only thinks about money, is he only going to spend what he thinks is needed! or is he going to spend a little bit more to secure quality, talented players! probably the first choice! Does he trust Keegan, or was Keegan brought in to excite and get fans signing up to season tickets? we are going to have to wait until at least pre season!! Had for impatient supporters like me and you!!! especially with all the BS the media spouts and makes up!!

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  • Ian

    Jun 13, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #16

    crap in the transfer market- from the people i talk to they seem to be thinking the same.

    Like Keegan said, down south they go to a pantomime up here we go to the football.

    Thing is, everyone knows that you need to advertise what the show will be, it doesnt work keeping it a secret, playing your cards close to your chest etc.

    Ashley is in the sportswear market he knows the power of PR and advertising that is why I am starting to think he doesnt intend this club to still be his at the start of next season or he would have everyone talking up the transfers and game next season to fill his coffers.

    If not he is messing up big style and rich or not he cant afford to run a business this size for his own enjoyment or it will take him down with it.

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  • Walter

    Jun 13, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #17

    let me get this straight. MA is going to rush a sale through after spending 250m to buy the club and pay off the debt? Sell to who? and for how much? What has changed? have we suddenly become an attractive club that has won something with a squad of superstars we could sell for big money? or are we in the same isuation we were a couple of months ago? Jesus some people really are thick! I was under the impression that he bought the club to turn it around, put it back where it belongs, win something and then, if he so desires, as with most business types, sell at a profit. And to the man above that is considering not renewing his season ticket, if you have supported the club since 1972 and you think the last two seasons were bad then what were you watching when we were really shit?

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  • toonoot

    Jun 13, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #18

    Maybe. Just maybe …. he’s fallen in love with the club.

    C’mon it’s happened to us!

    (and that’s why some of us are blinkered, skint and sometimes make the wrong decisions)

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  • Tom

    Jun 13, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #19

    what i thinks strange is that although MA seems keen to cut the players wages, he pays KK 4m a year making him the fifth highest paid manager in the WORLD, higher than Alex Ferguson (3m) and Carlos Ancelotti of AC Milan. Does KK really warrant been the fifth highest paid manager in the world? I know he’s an absolute legend but he isn’t what you’d call world class is he.

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  • Ian

    Jun 13, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #20

    tom easily if you are buying a club to sell on, Keegan guarantees bums on seats and media interest, problem is Ashley hasnt managed to feed speculation, if everyone thought that they were going to spend big and make a serious try for the top of the table the interest would still be there, at the moment everything is losing momentum.

    If I am wrong and he always intended staying then he isnt making it sound welcoming to players looking for another club either.

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  • Keith

    Jun 13, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #21

    I think people should get off ma back! I think he is doing a great job, the whole club was in a mess and it was for a long time. FFS made sure of it, MA clear nearly £200 million worth of debt so if that is not commitment I dont know what is. I know we all want the team to do well but we need a solid base off the pitch too. Chris Mort was never going to be a long term chairman, he came in to sort out the books and he has. All this shite saying he is not commited and why are we not signing x y and z just shows how stupid people are. This goes back to FFS while he was blatently robbing our clubs cash nobody was questioning it becasue people were all too busy waiting for the next big name! He distracted you with one hand and robbed you with the other! Football is a business these days ( for better or for worse ) that is the way it is, and I for one would rather a business man than a crook

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  • Beardsley's Love Child

    Jun 13, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #22

    Ashley’s track record with his company’s successes has been due to his hands on approach. While it makes life more difficult for the sensible City of London button up types because he’s much too eccentric and erratic for their tastes, he has run Sports Direct with low cost/high profit efficiency and has never displayed an interest in a “short sell” just to gain minimal profit.

    For him to fix the debit and lower the costs just to up and sell is what the City of London blokes would expect him to do. What they do not expect is him to hold on to it, which would make sense by cutting dead weight and reducing a wage bill thereby increasing profit for less cost.

    Also Llambias’ experience is in Casino management, traditionally a low cost, super high profit enterprise. To put him in place only to sell of to early would be a good bet but the return on the ante would be poor.

    They are going to raise the stakes tremendously at NUFC before they will sell, if they do.

    Remember Keegan was Ashley’s choice after Redknapp, and would not have happened if he had not spent time with the fans. The “player scout VP” combo of Vetere, Wise and that Spanish Bloke were brought in after Keegan to shore up his weakness, NOT to cut him out. If they were brought in before, then there might be an issue. They maybe misfiring at this point and thats the signal that Ashley may be moving it to prod them in a direction with his involvement and to act as a go between with them and Keegan.

    Of course all this is pure speculation on my part and as my sources indicate I could be completely mad…

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  • Hadrian

    Jun 13, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #23

    who says newcastle will see the benfit of the land development the club owned ?
    mike could stick a casino on the side of saint james’ and none of the money could goto newcastle if he so wished , not the clubs to benefit from like it was in the plc days .

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  • Momo

    Jun 13, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #24

    Does this mean he’ll wear a suit to every game now or that he will start buying players because weve just gone silent, all the other clubs are doing their dirty work by signing all their good signings now and then go on holiday while we are on holiday watching all the good players being bought that were our targets. Just PLEASE give Keegan the money then i can go on holiday and relax.

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  • crap in the transfer market

    Jun 13, 2008 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #25

    Walter.
    You spell situation as isuation, and then have the temerity to call people thick!!!
    I enjoy reading people’s opinions on here. I dont agree with a lot of them, but i wouldnt launch a personal attack if i dont agree.
    Calm down bonny lad!

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  • Andy

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #26

    Spot on there Walter,

    Crap – have you really been goin since 1972? Are you sure you didnt start going when Keegan managed us the 1st time cos you sound like you did. Saying you support a team and doin it are two different things and yes i would call you disloyal if you stopped going. Anyone who regularly goes home and away knows that you do it for better or worse (normally worse) and yeah the last two seasons havnt been that good but for christs sake we are in the premier league which if youve been goin since 1972 should be reason enough to enjoy it. As you well know it could be a lot lot worse.

    And another thing – im sick of people comin up with conspiracy theories about MA – why cant everyone just get off his case and show a bit of positivity and support. 99% of whats been done so far by MA and his team has been excellent. Sometimes i reckon some of you want it all to turn to shit just so you can come on here and whinge about it like a bunch of old women.

    So buck your soddin ideas up and start doin what your supposed to do and SUPPORT the club instead of bitchin and startin negative rumours that have no factual basis. And if your jealous of other teams cos theyve managed to sign players that we wanted then either realise that were not in a position to get everyone we want or sod off to london and support arsenal or spurs.

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  • Ian

    Jun 15, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #27

    Dont agree with that Andy, If people complain on places like here and voice their opinion it is an indication to the club of what people may think, then maybe they will take their PR more seriously.

    No matter if Ashley is selling on or keeping the club, the customers-the fans who pay in season tickets, merchandise and for their TV packages so they can watch their club are the most important people otherwise their is no club, and as far as Ashley goes no business, for the players no wages.

    It is important that the message from the club is the correct one, not the one the press decide to create. If we are starting to liosten to the press it is the club’s fault because they are saying nothing not ours.

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  • Jeff

    Jun 15, 2008 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #28

    Everything that comes out of the club is spot on. The problem is that some of our fans need to be spoon fed information and pandered to every single day otherwise they are not happy. And the press will rumour monger and stir trouble regardless of how many press releases the club makes. If the club arent saying anything its because there is nothing to say. When we get a player in they will let us know about it. They cant confirm or deny everything that the papers speculate on as it may affect other transfer business.

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