Ashley Cleaning Up Financial Mess At Newcastle

Kevin Keegan will still be able to spend and bring in new players, despite the financial mess Freddy Shepherd and his cohorts left behind at the club.


Kevin Keegan – Ashley supporting his manager in transfer market

Mike Ashley has revealed that the club still owes some £27M on past transfer deals, with most of those players having already left the club.

Newcastle paid out big money, and often poor deals on the likes of Albert Luque, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, and Emre in the two seasons before Mike Ashley bought the St James’ Park club.

And Mike said over the weekend in a long interview:

“One of the most unfortunate things about the club’s finances was the amount of money still owed on players signed in comparison to the amount of income due off players who had gone.”

“There is still £27M net to pay on transfers done before I came.”   “In the latter years before we came in you could argue the club was beginning to lose its way.”

“Financially, the club was in a difficult position. I really think it had over-extended itself.”

Ashley has now put more than £250M into the club since he’s been in charge, and that’s almost twice what he initially paid for the club – £133M.

But Mike also knows that the club has to press ahead under new manager Kevin Keegan, and the fans now expect 3 signings before next Sunday, with Argentine Fabricio Coloccini probably being announced today.

But you really cannot run a club the way Shepherd did and become successful – it was all smoke and mirrors with Freddy. Maybe you can run a scrap metal business like that, but certainly not a football club.

At least Mike is putting the club on a strong financial footing, and that only bodes well for the future success of Newcastle, which we still think is just around the corner under Kevin Keegan.

Comments welcome.

47 comments so far

  • Paul Gadd

    Aug 13, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #1

    Saw Joe Cole going into the grond half an hour ago. Gerrin there!

  • malaysian youngster

    Aug 13, 2008 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #2

    wee first!

  • howie

    Aug 13, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #3

    look at what randy lerner did at villa initially. didnt spend too much transfer wise at the beginning and slowly built a team that is now a good side. now they are beginning to spend big money. this season if we can get top 8 id be happy, and top 6 next season. Are SSN at the training session today?

  • Tore Torell

    Aug 13, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Ashley seems like a sensible man. Still owing other clubs 27m?! That’s crazy…

    Mike Ashley is the right man for Toon, give the lad time and he’ll come good.

  • Phil

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #5

    wall virgin!
    MA is my new hero 🙂
    without this oke we would have done a leeds!!
    he saved our lil asses!!

  • Steven

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #6

    NUFC got something like 9mil in compensation from the FA for the injury that Owen sustained whilst on international duty. I would hardly say that Martins has been a bad buy. If the team as a whole was performing better he would be scoring a lot more goals, he cannot do it by himself.

    Where is Coca Colo?

  • Phil

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #7

    sorr i wasnt the first to write on the wall i appologise for gettin ahead of myself

  • Daniel

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #8

    apparantly they are there all day ive been told

  • Nick Dryden

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #9

    I guess we’ll never know the full extent of the damage shepherd did to this club.

    Between his dividends and wages down the years (50M) and a sell off (40M) he’s taken nearly 100M out of NUFC and we still have a 27M debt!!

  • sirjasontoon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #10

    Action is what we need sunday is getting closer and a few more bodies wouldn’t go amiss..hopefully the irons are in the fire and mike is going to give us some surprises…I was talking to a good sauce of mine at a little chippy van up cramlington and he has told me in good faith that if Ed does not fix his CPU by sunday it will melt into oblivion.

  • Edd Case

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #11

    yeah yeah yeah, money money money…

    Ashley is a hero make no mistake


    For him to be a legend, we need new players – world class players.

    Thus far, Spidey, Guthrie and even Bassong look the part, so fair play.
    We need more though.
    Colo is world class but why oh why have the club not announced this deal? There has to be something stopping them…did he fail the medical? Have a change of heart? Are they simply waiting to announce the deal along with these supposed two others?

    Well, today is the day isn’t it?

    Coloccini, Derdiyok, Inler, Warnock, Xavi?

    I’m at home all day today, so in between Call of Duty 4 game time, i’ll be all over the net like a rash, praying for some news that’ll make me need to change my underwear.

    Sadly, I fear another day of disapointment coming.

  • craig chisholm

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #12

    fed up with hearing MA harp on about the clubs debt. Dry your eyes Mike and make some signings. Paying off debt will not keep us out of a relegation fight this season – new players and depth will. How come cueller managed to slip under the radar and sign for the ville within three days of negotiations? We have still yet to rubber stamp the colo deal after 3 months.

  • Ian

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #13

    The Times has written a different slant on all of this, not aimed at Ashley alone but him and the other billionaires such as the Man City owner etc, their headline is ‘potless and witless billionaires’ and talks of people such as Ashley coming in and thinking they are going to make a profit in the premiership and totally misjudging the money needed and the job in hand.

    It is a nice get out to say that Newcastle was heading to financial ruin, no-one can be sure of that and no-one actually knows that Ashley hasnt got a loan against the club or the club collateral against other businesses or liabilities that Ashley may have.

    If the other shareholders had gone bankrupt it couldnt pull Newcastle down as it was a plc, if Ashley goes down then the club goes down as well now.

    So this sort of conversation to me is a waste of time.

    Someone else owns it, can they operate it properly and make it in to a succesful club?

    I am waiting to see, until the rest of the signings and sales are done and the first three games are played I will not have any idea the same as most of the fans.

  • Ian

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #14

    Craig can you believe that yet again!!!! Great minds!! or mad ones?

  • sirjasontoon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #15

    Has anyone got any news at all that is going to get me excited? the last three weeks has been a pain in the ass…so much speculation and more dissapointment topped off with crap weather this is my worst summer ever.

  • whitey

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #16

    Whether u like him or not, what ashley has done is the best for the football club. Just about all debts written off, but he was clever enough to still buy good young players at the same time for small amounts to safeguard the future. Im sure there is money to spend for keegan, possibly not the 50-100m we all want, but certainly 20m which should see another 2-3 bigger players come in. This should be good enough to see us challenge top 10. We’ve still got good quality players in the squad, it wouldn’t suprise me if ashley takes a look at how we perform upto xmas and then possibly invest extra funds.

  • dick

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #17

    cant believe people going to this open day expecting toon to suddenly produce 3 top players, your just being wound up by a couple of mackems or spuds

  • sirjasontoon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #18

    Craig I agree..less talk and spin and some transfer action would be pleasing to my bored tiny mind..

  • Kash2

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #19

    I thought there was supposed to be a press conference yesterday unveling Collocini?

    Some guy on here claimed his wife was in the box with Ashley and Co. for the Villareal friendly, and Ashley announced it.

    whats the craic?

  • Sav

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #20

    Doesn’t seem like rocket-science to avoid buying players heading into their last big contract on career-peak wages when with a bit more thorough preparation and investigation it should be possible to get them at least 4 years earlier giving the option of keeping them (without paying another transfer fee) or selling on at a premium.
    Its been the Wenger blueprint and now being adopted by ManU and all top sides.

  • sirjasontoon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #21

    Is this open day to unveil players today or is that all spin as well?
    Any news on coloccini or keegans “24 hr”signing that never happened 3 weeks ago?

  • Edd Case

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #22

    Villareal friendly??? You mean Valencia?

  • linz

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #23

    god can eveyone cheer up and stop being so negative!! we cannot expect the earth!! rebuilding newcastle is going to take time and im not expecting to see a massive improvement until 18 months time, MA isnt a fool (he wouldnt be a billionaire if he was) and he has a vision for the club going forward but it will take time so everyone CHILL OUT!!

  • WesToon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #24

    @ Phil // Aug 13, 2008 at 9:00

    Are you from South Africa by any chance mate??

  • WesToon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #25

    Thank you for everything you have done so Far Mike,this GREAT club owes you alot!!

    Splash the cash PLS Cashley 🙂
    50 mill Squid aint that much hehehehe

  • DH7 Mags

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #26

    Edd Case, any developments today, let everyone no as I am at work till 4. I heard the same as you mate, 3pm 3-4 signings. Was on the legends show as well on Monday night suggesting the same. Coloccini, Warnock, Golar Inler and I reckon Xavi, now that would change our season completly. We can all speculate but I will not believe it until it does actually happen. Lets hope it does.

    I dont think anyone realised until now how bad of a state the club was in. I did not to be honest until I found the post and put it on straight away. Lets just sit back and see what happens. What we do know is that Ashley does actually want to back KK. Which is great.

  • Chizzy_Toon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #27

    I have it on very good info, that unless i do some work instead of reading NUFC websites i will be in trouble… Really hope the rumours are true though and we do indeed introduce a couple of new signings today.

  • 9 Shearer

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #28

    Guys the signings will come. Lets go have fun at St. James Park.

  • robertsa

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #29

    beye taylor faye enrique

    why havent we signed a good enogh defender yet. wrap up collocini today. chuck an egg off cuellar for saying he wants to stay at rangers then going to villa. sell barton, ameobi geremi cacapa and smith then buy derdiyok, burdisso, rat, inler, bullard. that wud suit me. wont happen like.

  • Optimist

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #30

    god damn there are some stupid supporters on here.

  • A geordiedoonsooth

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #31

    Where’s Big Willie if he’s wrong he better go into hiding fast

  • James

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #32

    Makes me angry when I saw people on here slagging off Mike Ashley. You make me sick.

    If it wasn’t for Ashley we’d be in the Championship getting a massive points deduction for financial debts.

    He has saved us in more ways than we could ever have hoped somebody would last summer.

    We can’t sign world class players because we cannot offer them anything.

    We need to be a top 4 or top 6 team before the big players would come here.


    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #33

    I wouldn’t mind bullard like! not a huge name like Arshavin or Riquelme but is a very good player & has a gr8 attitude towards the game would be a fan favourite for sure! I think we’ll see Colo/Warnock/Derdiyok & possibly Am? I wouldn’t mind those 3 even tho we need a Playmaker Badly those 3 would be good solid buys! Roll on 10:30 lets see if we get surprised!

  • craig chisholm

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #34

    sir les and Ian………..we are all singing the same song, we’ll be singing it in the coca cola league next season at this rate. I hear we have villa in for milner again too. I know he’s not everyones cup of tea but i rate him and dont want him to leave. esp when you know MA will replace him with some sub two million dross……..and then call for a top four finish at the same time. I just dont get any of it. We are the only club with no debt in the PREM, we have third highest attendence, we were one of only five clubs turning a profit even when we had debt. Now that tv revenue has doubled, wages have came down ALOT with the people we have off loaded, we have no more debts and the interest on the loans has gone are we hearing this bloke harp on about what he inherited from fat fred!! I couldnt give a wank about any of it really. ANy more than MA wants to hear about our finances individualy. I am pleased he has (so he says) paid off everything, great – now shut up and invest on the pitch. He is like an indian giver…….you know, give you a present and then wants you to feel grateful for it constantly. I do not beleive for a second that he bought us without knowing the state of the clubs internal finances……….a person would have to be a complete dipshit to do that – and he aint. he is just creaming off profit to recoup his outlay as much as possible. thats fine by me, but first invest on the pitch. we are footy fans, not accountants, we pay to watch footy – nothing else. we need quality asap otherwise we are never going to get out of the bottom half of the table and will be brushing with relegation all season long. like i say, dry your eyes mike.

  • DH7 Mags

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #35

    Ghana legend Sammy Kuffour has told he has offers to play in England.

    Kuffour is available on a free transfer after he left Ajax at the end of the season when they decided not to extend his stay, following a January move from Roma.

    The 32-year-old now has a host of offers coming in form throughout the world with rumours suggesting Stoke and Newcastle could be the Premier League clubs keen on him.

    Italian outfit Bologna have offered him a one-year deal, but there is more strong interest from the Middle East and Germany in the former Bayern Munich stopper.

    “I am a free agent and I have many contacts, even in the Premier League there are two teams after me,” he told

    “There are also a couple in the Bundesliga, a league I know well.

    “But we will see, Bologna are a good team so we will wait and see.”

  • craig chisholm

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #36

    James……….makes me angry seeing people on here constantly say how great MA is too. Everyone can have their opinion though so lets not turn this personal eh!

  • Macas

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #37

    Craig – we have just signed a £10 million defender and an exciting winger, with Guthrie looking good as well and Bassong impressing against Mallorca. There are more than two weeks left in the transfer market and the club seem set to sign a few more players before then. Since we bid big money for Modric a top central midfielder seems a certainty. I dont think there’s any need to panic, and judging Ashley before the window shuts seems a bit unfair.

  • Toon92

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #38

    Juve & Newcastle Agree Tiago Deal!!!!!!!!

  • Big Willie

    Aug 13, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #39

    Messi seen arriving on tyneside about 10pm last night apparently to be unveiled as newcastles big summer signing in a deal worth to be around £22million

  • sirjasontoon

    Aug 13, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #40

    I just want player investment..been a long summer and the way the communication has been handled by the club is just predictable and alienating to say the least.

    Us as a club can still attract good players..we should have got players like modric,crouch,cueller to name a few and being linked with so many big names with no end product is very frustrating.

    I am not having a go at Mike i am bored of that and I am bored of spin and silence from the club…now is the time to get some players and give us something to cheer that too much to ask for?

    Even a few 10m types would be great..or perhaps a cheeky bid for Arshavin…


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