Newcastle Fans Angry At Mike Ashley

The Shields Gazette is reporting today that Newcastle United fans have reacted furiously to the news yesterday that said owner Mike Ashley could be willing to sell the club for £420M.


Mike Ashley – Newcastle United owner

It’s been revealed today that Ashley has told a New York finance company his asking price when it made a shock approach to buy the club last month.

In most of the  national newspaper yesterday were reports that private equity firm InterMedia Partners’ interest in buying Newcastle United, and that Ashley had even allowed the firm to see all the club’s financial documents.

But fans have reacted with anger at those reports, which is not the first time we’ve seen them.


Toon superfan Keith “Beefy” Roberts, 45, shown above with Mike, comes from Jarrow but is now unhappy with Ashley:

“He has been sitting with the fans saying he’s one of us all this time, wearing his Newcastle shirt, but this just proves he’s just a sneaky businessman.”

“We all thought he was great, but I’m stunned he would do this, it’s just pure greed.”

“I can’t believe the cheek of him. He’s certainly not the front-man we all thought he was.”

There have been rumors many times that Ashley will sell the club, but they have been denied emphatically every time they have been raised in the newspapers.

Yesterday Newcastle Managing Director Dereck Llambias said:

“These reports are absolute nonsense and we are growing increasingly tired about having to respond to stories of this nature,”

Newcastle have denied all these reports, but they’re hardly going to admit them, if they are true.

The news reported yesterday was that the American Consortium, based out of New York, were willing to buy the club for £320M, but were surprised when Ashley asked for £100M more.

Billionaire Ashley bought Newcastle United, mostly from Freddy Shepherd and John Hall last year for £133M and took on about £80M of debts, so the club is debt free for the first time for a very long time, and Mike has pumped at least £213M into the club since last June.

The proverbial insider at the American Consortium is quoted as saying:

“The Americans specialize in investing in sport and wanted to break into the soccer market in Europe.”

“They thought Newcastle would be the ideal starting place for them.”

“But as soon as Ashley asked for £420m the deal was dead. The Americans were interested but didn’t think they could justify that level of investment.”

The Americans are realizing, at least at the business level that football (which they call soccer because of their own American Football) has become the global sport, which has a market in almost every country in the world.

That is certainly not the case for America’s biggest sports – Basball and American Football – and they tend to treat their sports as parochial, and aren’t interested in other sports played outside of the USA.

We’ve often told our American friends over here, that soccer is called football everywhere else in the world, apart from America.

But they shrug it off and don’t care one little bit, because America is the world to a lot of Americans, although that is starting to change with globalization.   That’s why they call their Championships World Championships.

And the Americans, who are aggressive and generally very good businessmen, are trying to get a piece of the action, as witnessed by the fact that Man United, Aston Villa  and Liverpool are now all American owned, and believe us it will not stop there.

James Moss is head of the South Shields branch of the Newcastle United supporters’ club, and thinks that Ashley has betrayed the fans.

The 23-year-old, from Talbot Road, South Shields, said:

“He’s always come across as if he cares so much, but if he’s willing to sell after just one season, what does that say about him?”

“I started to get a bit suspicious when he wanted to slash the wage bill.”

“Why would he do that other than to make money, we’re hardly going to challenge the big boys paying lower wages than everyone else.”

We think this is a huge over-reaction from the fans, because we are not even sure the story is true.

And maybe if it is true, then Mike didn’t want to sell, which is why he asked for another £100M.

Just like each player has their price, so does each business.

But it does point to a growing misunderstanding between Mike and the fans, and we’re really surprised that Keith “Beefy” Roberts would say those things, especially when he has talked glowingly of Mike last year.

But on the other hand Newcastle fans expect Mike to be loyal to the club, and build it up, and not be thinking of selling it every 5 minutes, that’s what fans don’t like and we can fully understand that.

Maybe Mike, who doesn’t talk to the press, should at least issue a statement on his blueprint for the club, because restricted communications is never good.

People always think the very worst in those cases, because they just don’t know what’s going on.

Comments welcome, but please keep them civil.

120 comments so far

  • Spyro

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #1

    both fans that gave their opinions are mugs


    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #2

    Well if they are so keen to buy into NE “Soccer” they could prbably buy The Mackems for about a Million and still be getting ripped off.

    Theres lots of smoke but I don’t think there is any fire, but whatever happens The Toon will endure.

  • Albert Stigys

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #3

    Agreed, both those fans are mugs. If they owned NUFC, I’m sure they would bite the yanks hands off for 420 million.

    Anyway, off topic, but in Ukraine a host of newspapers are apparently linking us with Dmytro Chygrynskiy, a young centre back playing for Shakhtar. From what I’ve seen in the Champions league he looks a very accomplished centre half for one so young. Not sure there is any substance to this story though.

  • Hadji

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #4

    I understand the cut of the wage bill,it was higher than its suppose to be.
    The best thing to do is to continue with this practise but MA should include some additional bonus clauses such as:
    1-Number of goals
    2-Number of appearences
    3-Number of international appearances
    4-Number of assists
    I’m sure that with this he’ll motivate the players to give their best.

  • Matthew

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #5

    It just confirms that the majority of Newcastle fans are idiots.

  • tony

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #6

    its all a load of balls dont believe anything you read ,woudent surprise me if it were the daily mail who is stiring the shit

  • normski1930z

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #7

    i honestly think that ma quoted them an huge sum for the club coz he does not want to sell….

  • Bren

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #8

    The press can’t get juicy stories from the club, so they drag a few people out of Newcastle pubs and cobble together something like this.

  • John - Newcastle

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #9

    Ashley has bought out Fat Fred, who nobody liked, sacked Allardyce, who nobody liked, brought back King Kev, who every Toon fan loves, and written off the clubs debt by pumping in 100m quid of his own money! The man deserves a sainthood not being slagged off at every rumour!!!

  • Hadji

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #10

    Or maybe he quoted that price so they can reach something in between which is 330 mill.
    Thats still a major profit for only 1 year.

  • Mids Mag

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #11

    Why did they get quotes from 2 muppets!! I think this whole situation is like someone asking to buy my prized signed tino shirt, I would put a price of £10k, basically a F*** off i’m not selling, but if you give me £10K your mad i’ll take it, same as MA “yeah i’ll sell £420m cash” now eff off !

  • tony

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #12

    well said

  • autibo

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #13

    @ Albert Stygis

    Bollocks mate. If already had over £2bn in the bank, I wouldn’t entertain selling, simply for the love of my club. Remember Jack Walker crying when he saw HIS club win the league?! Well thats what I’d want, not an extra few quid in my bank when i’ve already got more than i could possibly spend in a lifetime!! It’s not like he needs the money, what difference does an extra £100m make to him??

    That said, I’m not sure i believe this story either, although I wouldnt call the lads mugs for giving their opinion on it as im not 100% sure i trust ashley…

  • anton 09

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #14

    If this is true (which i dont believe it is) i would be more concerned by the americans saying “They thought Newcastle would be the ideal starting place for them.” No way should we be a stepping stone for anyone in the game of ‘FOOTBALL’!!!

  • darren grech MALTA

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #15

    why we are so slow in the transfer market ? we are one of the most teams in the premier leauge that needs to make new signings because of our small squad.there is money availeble for kevin keegan ?

    i think our club’s spokesmen are ordered to playing with words about the transfers.

    todays teams like portsmouth,evrton,man city,aston villa,tottenham and west ham are better than us.FIVE YEARS AGO WE WAS ALWAYS CHALLENG FOR CHAMPIONS LEAUGE PLACE.

    mike ashley is a buisness man and he can make big profit from newcastle.HE DEFENETLY IS NOT THE RIGHT MAN FOR NEWCASTLE UTD.WE DESERVE BETTER


  • Spyro

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #16

    “It’s not like he needs the money, what difference does an extra £100m make to him??”

    LOL! That is naivity at its best.

  • Matthew

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #17

    James Moss is head of the South Shields branch of the Newcastle United supporters’ club


    Never heard of it, is the branch office his garden shed?

  • Hadrian

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #18


    derek may well come out and say he’s sick of it , but untill mike ashley comes out and says something , these newspapers can pick away all summer , turn sections of the club against each other , and run out any good feeling there was to mike in the first place .

    mike should come out and tell us whats going on , may seem like the papers are forcing him todo that , but so what ? it would shut them up and get us onside .

  • daiv

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #19

    A businessman looking to sell settles the business debt and does not invest in expense… transfers and wages. An owner who loves the club focuses on the playing side and takes the debt in his stride. What is Ashley doing? He’s a seller and a rat.
    Another thing. Are we saying that the insider from the American consortium quoting £420M is made up by the press? Of course not. Are we saying that the southern press is bored every three weeks and for the last year has been inventing stories about MA trying to sell up? This has been going on for too long even for the southern press and now there is some respectacble press publishing the story. Its now obvious that Ashley wants to sell for as big a profit as possible. I feel really sorry for KK who is as quiet as a mouse. Why? God only knows what he is thinking. He’s been had right over. Taxi for Mr Ashley asap.

  • KFroeland

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #20

    There is just no way Mike is gonna sell, all the changes that have been made and money he’s pumped in is saying he’s settling in for a long relationship. Cutting the wage bill of under performing players and insisting to focus on getting younger players in also points to Ashley wanting to be a part of evolving United.

    If he did mention a 420 mill. price tag, talking to these americans, I don’t believe he had any other intentions than to scare them off, because 420 mill. for Newcastle in its current state is absolutely ridiculous and he knows that.

  • autibo

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #21

    SPYRO, look at the context i used that sentence. my point is that any true fan (which he professes to be) wouldn’t be bothered about a few extra quid. £100m to him is probably the equivalent of a tenner to me or you

  • Albert Stigys

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #22

    KFroeland – Spot on mate. My thoughts exactly. He knows 420 million will not be paid by anyone with a business brain, and so he quotes this figure to warn potential buyers off. This time next year, and for a few years after that, Ashley and co will still be this clubs owners.

  • Taiwantoon

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #23

    I am not sure if they were over reacting. I actually thought it is good to have someone questioning him and pushing him. After all, we did not spend that much last summer.

    MA has convinced some ppl by his dealings, and naturally there are still many who just don’t trust him.

    MA just needs to make sure some good signings are coming sooner.

  • Martin

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #24

    Daiv and Hadrian you are both absaloute idiots!!!

    You’re probably the fan’s bitching on about how we’re not going for Ronaldinho and Eto’o…

    Newcastle was rotting from the inside – For years ‘sensible’ fans have been complaining about how our club is being ran – We were paying stupidly high wages, we were buying past it has-beens who only wanted to come for one last pay off and we had O% player loyalty from a huge section of our first team sqaud…

    Ashley has come in, listened to our grievances, recognised the problems himself and is on his way to fixing them…

    I honestly hate ‘fan’s’ like you…the one’s who appear on Sky Sports News and talk absaloute bollocks (giving the red tops a field day) and creaiting unneccisary rifts in the club…

    It is the sun…who talk absaloute SHITE day in day out!

    The club HAS come out and denied it…

    AND even if it was true, I’d love to see you bunch of riteous ‘through and through’ Newcastle fan’s say no to a £200m bonus!

    Mike Ashley is the best thing to happen to Newcastle United in years and if you are too stupid to recognise that then please pipe down so you don’t ruin it for the rest of us!

  • mozza

    Jul 5, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #25

    journo shite at its absoloute worst “fans furious at ashley” what all two of them and what a two especially that fine representation of the geordie public “superfan” beefy, fans aren’t furious theyr’e concerned, if more quality signings such as spidey keep coming in i wonder if this pair will still be furious, no they’l be singning ashleys name and drinking his pints in the blue bamboo, fickle feckers

  • carl

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #26

    well ive got to say im concerned that this is all happening when we should be signing players ready for pre-season,id like to think ma wouldnt sell.and he shouldnt, but until he comes out with a statement of his own, or officially through the website all this speculation is just going to continue

  • Mac

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #27

    If you bought your house for 250,000 and someone knocked on your door and offered you 500,000 would you sell? Of course you would.

  • autibo

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #28

    MAC –

    to put a fair slant on that – bare in mind you’ve already got £500m in the bank and you really really love your new house….

  • normski1930z

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #29

    tell ye what ive still got a sneaky suspiction that something up there with the signing of big al is in the offing, i dont know why maybe i have been drinking too many stellas last night but its just a feeling ive got…..

  • Hadrian

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #30

    martin ,
    keep your head up in those clouds ,
    and your moms and bloody idiot aswell .

    as long as there is mugs like you in the world , there will be others who will take advantage .

    you dont sound like you have a clue , yet your on here bitching about people twice your age like they themselves are just out of school , not had mortgages and ran a family all their lifes .

    shall we have a few home truths for you ?
    mike ashley was after john halls shares for months , in that time belgravia and polydor put bids in for us that took into account the debt the club had , which was also on the clubs accounts for last year .
    mike came in , said he knew nowt about the debt , says the club was gonna ‘fold like a,pack of cards’
    said were not going ‘todo a leeds’
    slashed the wage budget ,
    shipped more players out than he’s brought in , made more from player sales than player purchases .
    requested renewals for 3 years .
    moved alot of people to seats they dont want to move to .
    and embarresed our manager in the national press .

    ohh, but mike wears a toon top ! got rid of a manager that was bad for his company ! he must be here for the long run ehh !!

    head up arse and that sort of thing .

  • normski1930z

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #31

    howay lads at least try and be positive and stop snipin at each other……

  • Big Nez

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #32

    Every club has a price and I think Mike would walk for that figure. Lets be real about this, he is a businessman, not a one of us supporters, and if he finds a good return on his investment then he would take it. That said I don’t think he will walk, yet. Why would he when we can get much bigger and command more money??

    Go and have a look at the gunners and their wage bill. Only Henry was exempt from their wage ‘ceiling’, and because of that wage system they operate a lot cheaper than we do and they have some great talents in there. The key is bonuses for goals, clean sheets, and rep honors. This is a business now, well that’s how our owner is treating it, so all i can say is get used to is lads. (But some more signings would be nice like..)

  • Davy

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #33

    If you look at this response you will see 98% back MA. If you go to teamtalk Newcastle yoursay same response! If a journalist has to leave his front desk-to go and ask the fans their response-then he is pretty desperate! A shopkeeper only uses door-to-door salesmen when he is pushing the goods out the door!

  • autibo

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #34

    well said norm, the whole point of the blog is for people to have an OPINION, no one person is the font of all nufc knowledge. some people believe the story and don’t trust ashley, some people are undecided but optimistic, some people are undecided but pessimistic, and others trust him entirely. its that difference in opinion that make football great.

    be a bit boring if the forum was like:

    autibo – I think ashley will sell
    spyro – so do i
    normski – me too
    hadrian – and me
    mac – and me
    carl – me aswell
    mozza – aye, and me

    keep it friendly lads, and try to keep the faith, and dont let shitbags like the sun get to us!!

  • Toon_Ksk

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #35

    No wonder we have been constantly labeled “deluded fans”, “big club mentality”. This is because we have fans lacking in patience. I’m not sure whether they are the majority or minority, it does not matter, I’ll just keep on supporting Newcastle.

  • Leo

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #36

    another bad story they are doing this on purpose

    maybe the club will then announce a signing again just to kick their arse again

  • mozza

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #37

    you never know normski you might be right the spidey signing came from nowhere thats maybe just a starter preparing us for the main course, a mega signing, he cant be frightened to splash the cash ie modric bid, or i could still be pissed from last neet

  • normski1930z

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #38

    what do you lads of think Pavel Pogrebnyak, i think he is quick powerful good in the air and holds the ball up, could be just what we are looking for i reckon and only 24…..

  • Hadrian

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #39

    yeah sorry . its easy to react when you see your name in print and snipes directed at you , shouldnt have done so .

  • normski1930z

    Jul 5, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #40

    aye mozza am in a good mood the day coz am still abit popped off last neet av got the music on and the bairn is dancing his little ass off, i just get a feeling theres something brewing….


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