Ashley Insider – Fans Can Buy Club And Run It Themselves

Mike Ashley is said to be ready to tell Newcastle United fans that they can buy the club from him.

Mike Ashley – ready to sell club to fans?

But this report is in the News Of The World (NOTW) this morning, so don’t get too excited about it.

Yesterday saw a massive fans’ protest against the Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley and the Director of Football Dennis Wise, and to make things even worse, the team played very poorly and were beaten 2-1 by a poor Hull City side.

And last night a close friend of Ashley said:

“He’s a big boy and won’t go anywhere he’s not wanted. If the fans continue to say ‘stay away’ he could do just that.”“They say there are 400,000 Newcastle fans in the area. If they all put in £1,000 they can buy the club and run it themselves.”

““They can have a website and vote for the manager. They can pick the team and choose the players they buy and sell. They can do it all.”

There’s more than a little sarcasm in that statement.

Managing Director Derek Llambias was the only Board member at the game yesterday, as he sat alone in the Director’s Box.

Mike Ashley, Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez all stayed away, presumably on police advice. One Newcastle inside source said:

“Mike and the boys were advised not to go so as not to aggravate what was a highly charged situation.”

“Police feared if he was there it could incite the protests still further.”

Mike Ashley has invested £250M at Newcastle but he certainly didn’t make his fortune with some of the dumb decisions he has made at the club.

The Newcastle Board and Ashley himself, don’t seem to be on the same wavelength as the Newcastle fans, to say the least.

The fact that the current Board don’t say anything at all to the fans, has also caused enough trouble over the summer, since the Newcastle faithful have really no idea what has been going on at the club.

The fans basically have no idea what’s going on at the club, or what Mike Ashley is even thinking of doing – and it seems that’s also true for the players.

What a complete and utter mess these so called businessmen have left our club in.

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • wolfhound

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #1

    hang on ill get me cheque book…….ffs….when is this gonna ever happen can you see us competing in the transfer windows with the arabs and abramovich…..get real this is just some wanker talking down to us petty little fans

  • ed_speed

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #2

    i like xisco

  • ed_speed

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #3

    a lot

  • ed_speed

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #4

    too much, one could wager

  • Davy C

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #5

    The only way I can see this working is if we modelled it on Barcelona whereby we can vote on a chairman and directors. Otherwise we will end up with the same situation under Shepherd and co.

    50,000 x £1,000 = £50,000,000 – short of what Ashley wants – and how many fans could afford to pay £1,000 each. Some would buy more than 1 share and have more of a final vote. Chaos or stability? I don’t know.

    Something needs done though and quick.

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #6

    De la red.

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #7

    Just a thought….

    We have had the banners, chants and marches and i have to be honest, i’m not sure what they have achieved…..yes Ashley got the message and if that was the point great, job done.

    But we need to move on to the next stage.

    We need to unified and support the club from now on. Full houses, singing and chanting positively.

    We need to appear to be an attractive proposition to prospective buyers…..clear at the moment we are not. I’m sure we are probabley scaring away managers, let alone owners.

    UNITED, we are stronger.

  • nufc toon malaysia

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #8

    if this is true..bring in di maria,reyes,raul meireles,joa moutinho..aquilani,de la red,pocognoli,paolo ferreira,toulalan,metersacker,mcgregor,zhirkov,arshavin…can all the newcastle citizen raised up the money to buy them…NO…i rather find A company from ARAB

  • Jude

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #9

    newcastle’s strength has always been the source of it’s downfalll…IT’s PAssionate FANS…..that really is the problem

    i don’t expect most people to understand…and i hope we don’t all understand it wit time…becuz that will mean the unfortunate will happen to our club…

    OH dear us

  • beyethegreat

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #10

    shortr term this would be a bad idea but long term would be great

  • ed_speed

    Sep 14, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #11

    enrique for pfa

  • Guinea Mag

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #12

    Get real; the fans could never buy Newcastle United.

    It’s one thing to buy the club, you then have to buy players and operate the club; i.e. needs continual funding……

  • Archie Brand

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #13

    “The Entertainers”
    To demonstrate against Ashley you have to make sure that he’s aware that as long as he is there it’s going to cost him financially.

    To make it an attractive purchase you want to give full support .

    “Have Cake”, “eat it” and “can’t” springs to mind.

    50, 000 fans turned up at the weekend. They ate and drank and bought merchandise.

    I hardly think Ashley has been “scared off” by this mass demonstration of unity amongst the fans.

    What has it cost him? A single night out on the piss maybe?

    A mate out here suggested that the demonstration march from Central Station to St James Park would actually be smaller than the usual match day stampede.

    The only people losing money are the fans who paid to have banners and placards made.

    All seems a bit of an anticlimax to me

    On the topic of Eds comments – we seem to be losing track of the fact that Ashley owns the club and as such is under no obligation to tell the fans anything. We are not shareholders. Theres no reporting requirement.

    Basically – its his ball………

  • Dev

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #14

    We lost against Hull for one reason only…..stupid fans who couldn’t keep their silly banner waving for before and after kick off or in the half time break.

    By walking around the stadium mid game with that Çockney Gangsters Out’ banner these fans just proved they are idiots.

  • andyc20

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #15

    As usual I wouldn’t be too quick to believe that these quotes came from anyone connected with Ashley. My problem is less with Ashley and more with Wise. Wise is the one I want out, Ashley is the one who needs to make that decision but can we honestly expect Ashley to side with us if we hysterically call for him to get out at every available opportunity. Calling for Ashley to get out is ridiculous as he can’t just drop the club and leave without finding a buyer first. At the moment no one wants to buy the club and besides there is no guarantee that they will do any better than Ashley is currently doing. Ashley’s mistake is that he didn’t come back to Newcastle and sort this out when it first kicked off and also that he has made very bad appointments in Wise and Llambias. I don’t think this is enough to deserve the stick we are giving him and all we are really doing is helping to damage our club. As usual we have let the press whip us up into frenzy in order to fill their newspapers and TV shows and it’s us who end up looking stupid. Now is the time for calm heads and let’s give Ashley a chance to make up for his mistakes which he was obviously trying to do on Friday night with the Keegan meeting. I firmly believe that Ashley has the best interests of the club at heart and his plans for the club are what we want. It’s just that the people he has put into key positions are not up to the job. Let’s give him a chance to rectify this before we completely destroy any relationship we have with the owner of our club.

  • ghc

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #16

    I posted this before and got no interest, so here goes again. How about not buying the club but forming a new one. United Newcastle FC. Raise funds start at the bottom, AFC wimbledon have done it but we would have more clout. Could pay the players more and progress through the leagues faster. And what fun we would have. I am up for it, and have experience of building business after all this is what football is about but we would have the passion.

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #17

    Nufc have 2 imitate barca

  • andyc20

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #18

    GHC why the hell would we want to start a new club? For christs sake things arent that bad you muppet – weve got a club which fair enough isnt in the best of shape but its not that bad. People like you do NUFC more damage than Ashley and Co have done and youve been doin it for longer.

  • Archie Brand

    Sep 14, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #19

    GHC –
    Plot or Marbles – which one you look for first is your own choice, but you appear to have lost both.

    Newcastle fans are fans of that particular club for a reason.

    You cant just make one up and ask them to come and support you instead.

    Sounds like you have no idea what being a supporter is all about.

    Not surprised you got no interest

  • Spitfire

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #20

    Divide and rule people!. We all have to stop sniping at each other as that is playing straight into their hands. The fact is we all had the right to protest the way we wanted to. Whether that is marching, banners, staying away, not buying merchandise or chanting does not matter. We don’t have to make it look good for outsiders, the press the television etc. Just keep the ball rolling and try and gain momentum. All we want is the gang of three out and to ride out the storm.

  • BenjiToon

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #21

    Spitfire – I agree. We have to just keep going. We have a right to make out feelings heard…and we certainly did that yesterday. Does that mean Ashley will go? Not sure, beginning to think he’s a very stubborn and ruthless businessman who doesn’t know when he’s out of his depth and doesn’t like to back down.

    I wonder if he’s thinking about the affect on his fights with other shareholders at Sports Direct if he’s seen to lose face against us? Mmm, he might just tough it out and say screw the business, just to prove he’s hard enough. Stupid but possible.

    On the question of fan ownership. Great idea but not workable. I don’t really think we can get enough money and distribute the shares evenly enough to own the club. Sad but true. Are these quotes really from an Ashley insider? Doubt that very much. Its all a lot of hype to further wind us up.

  • geordie bulldog

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #22

    newcastle did not lose the hull game because of the protests they lost the game because the other team was better then us and the players we had playing were not good enough
    you cant lose a game of football in the stands
    we had no leadership from top to bottom
    no owner no manager and i didnt see a leader on the pitch
    all this thanks to 3 people ashley wise and llambals
    i am nufc fan but i wouldnt put my own money in to buy the club might be a small amount but you would never get it back and have still have no say on how the club should be run
    stupid idea

  • reillers

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #23

    Ya, what a wonderful idea. Sure I’ll just get my check book and here’s a grand, not a bother.

    Please, it would not work. We know that, Ashley knows that. It takes billions these days to run a club, not millions.

  • Archie Brand

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #24

    Spot On Bulldog

  • Dev

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #25

    No…we lost because of the protests mate. I agree with the protests but doing it dring the game makes no sense at all. We started very strong but the 2nd half was a circus in the stands with even the players getting distracted.

    We all have our opinions and this is only mine…I see no point in doing it mid-game at all…it’s stupid and not only does it put potential investors off but what player worth his salt would join us after seeing some of the silly banners on Saturday?

    We have a right to be angry but there has to be some inteligence behind the protest otherwise it will be more detrimental than anything else….Çockney Gangsters Out? Ok so we are angry about the way things have unfolded but we can’t go around accusing Mike Ashley of being a gangster…’s stupid.

    Keegan is my hero just like he is most of yours but I’ve always known he has no back-bone and he has to take some blame. He has to because he knew the way fans would react to it all….and if he was really thinking of the club he would have done things differently.

    I love KK, but part of me always had a feeling it would end ugly.

    For those fans who think I’m an idiot for thinking like this…..chances are…you are one of the idiots giving those fools with the ‘Cockney Gangsters Out’ banner a warm round of applause instead of watching the game and supporting the players.

    It’s not the protests, it’s the stupidness behind some of them.

  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 14, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #26

    Davy C’s got part of this right–this is a statement by some sarcastic wanker trying to wind us up, but ironically that wanker’s basically correct–We can buy the club–but his prices are a little off.

    200 pound memberships for starters. Maybe different share levels for those who can afford more and most importantly, Fans own the place and vote on board members and president.

    Many say it can’t be done or we’re too big a club to do it. I have one word for you: Barcelona.

    FC Barcelona is Fan owned. One of the biggest clubs in the history of the game. It can be done.


  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Sep 14, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #27

    this isnt at all realistic.
    Along with the above, the statement is pathetically sarcastic, and apparently given to one of the worst rags going.
    this is all just alot of b@ll@cks as far as im concerned.

  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 14, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #28

    KK Forever, that statement is hog-wash, but there’s a kernel of truth in it.

    see what you think:

    I don’t know if it can really work under this plan, but it’s worth trying. I don’t wan t us at the mercy of some unaccountable billionaire.

  • Sav

    Sep 14, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #29

    Its always ‘a close friend of Ashley’ ‘a club insider’ or an ‘Ashley ally’.

    They’re slow learners.

    If this protest goes well and Ashley caves in to sell or reinstate Keegan with a structure satisfactory to the manager, we will have proven it isn’t necessary for fans to buy their club. We can vote with our wallets and even with our feet. we are the customers, and even though we don’t have the usual option of ‘taking our custom elsewhere’, we can still wield considerable influence both financially and in terms of publicity.

    I hope Ashley does not make a profit on selling the club. The lesson must be, keep the customers satisfied and you can make a good profit. Neglect your fan-base and they’ll bite back. If the fans owned the club themselves, unlikely as it may be, there could be no more protests, no more voting with your feet. In many ways we’d be more powerless than we feel now. The key is to be concerted and mobilised as one voice not a post-thatcherite crew who don’t know which flag to rally under.

  • Geordie Lumberjack

    Sep 14, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #30

    “Mike Ashley has invested £250M at Newcastle but he certainly didn’t make his fortune with some of the dumb decisions he has made at the club.”

    I’m obviously aware that the Keegan fiasco/circus is unpopular, but I still don’t see the bad business decisions that Ashley has made.

    Everyone hates the way the board is set up in terms of dealings in the transfer market, but…

    Can anyone tell me which of our summer transfers (in or out) have been bad business?

    I love Keegan too, but the current set-up has produced some wonderful transfer market dealings. You have to admit.

  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 14, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #31

    Hi Sav,

    If the fans owned the club they’d have a vote on the board members and the club presidency–surely more power than we have now.

    We’re junkies–nobody boycotted yesterday, really, did they? I heard the commentators saying that the attendance for this match was higher than the Bolton match!

  • Dev

    Sep 14, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #32

    Geordie Lumberjack….spot on mate. Even KK was raving about the 2 argies and Guthrie and then all of a sudden we buy a very much rated young spanish international….and without even seeing what he can do KK goes mental.

    Question….if Ashley/Wise etc had signed Robinho behind KK’s back would King Kev have stayed or would he have still walked???

    All I’m saying is KK was too quick to spit out the dummy….he said after the Man Utd game and I quote

    “The 2 argeninians Wise has brought me are fantastic and if he can sign a few more like those 2 I’ll be very happy.”

    Ashley made a huge error bringing Wise in just as he has done bringing Alan Thompson. But KK COULD have handled this better too.

  • spunki munki

    Sep 14, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #33

    have you ever read animal farm

  • happy toon

    Sep 14, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #34

    agreed DEV. KK is partly to blame for all of this…he knew the impact he had…and what would happen if he left…yet he did it anyway. He caused all this just to prove a point…just to get what he wants…ashley got a football director so what big deal….name me one player that has come in that has been below standard….what about smith and bambiobi…kk wanted to keep them so why isn’t he getting in stick for it….your still a hero kk but…please don’t come back cause ur gonna leave again!

  • Geordie Lumberjack

    Sep 14, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #35

    Wow, I thought that I was going to have some very negative comments directed towards my post.

    I love Keegan, it’s unfortunate that he took the position without knowing that there was going to be a director above him….. we’ve talked about that do death.

    But, that’s all in the past. Up until last week I really did believe that NUFC was going in the right direction, and by reading a lot of the posts on this site, so did just about everyone else.

    No more big money/mercenary signings. Players with real heart, who are young, and we can get a good price on.

    I just want a manager who will bring some stability to the club and move forward. Let time be the judge as to whether having a director of football role is a successful model.

    We had a good summer, and the first few weeks were promising. I do believe we are on the right track. Let’s look forward to the future and better days at NUFC.

  • geordiejayne

    Sep 14, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #36

    I am not in for an argement with anyone here. But I don’t buy the statement on NUFC by Ashley.

    He is talking like I bought this club it is my money going into the club etc etc. Believe me any business man buying a club like this would have had the books checked.

    So do we the fans not put any money into NUFC… do the season tickets, shirt sales, drinks in bars etc etc etc not go into NUFC coffers. Not a mention of our money Just his.

    Sounds like he is making NUFC look unatractive to buy, stop us demonstrating then things will die down and he does not to sell.

    How will any of us know if there is any serious offers coming in etc.



    PS we did not expect 30 million signings we are not that stupid.

  • geordiejayne

    Sep 14, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #37

    at the end of the season, you will see if it was right to sell players and not build up the squad, anyone can see we are thin really thin, now that is a good structure for the club,

    Leave us thin and save some money, if we go down in the meantime it does not matter because I have put in a structure at the club


  • JakartaDean

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #38

    Wow, where to begin…

    “Dev // Sep 14, 2008 at 11:25

    We lost against Hull for one reason only…..stupid fans who couldn’t keep their silly banner waving for before and after kick off or in the half time break.

    By walking around the stadium mid game with that Çockney Gangsters Out’ banner these fans just proved they are idiots.”

    Ironic you question other people’s claim to middling intelligence. Or are you serious — that’s why we lost? Give me a break.

  • JakartaDean

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #39

    BTW, I’ll do the thousand pounds. Anyone else?

  • LBToon

    Sep 15, 2008 at 12:37 AM

    Comment #40

    While “spite” might be behind Ashley’s comment, the idea of NUFC supporters (season ticket holders) owning the club is not entirely a bad one. In the U.S., the Green Bay Packers (US football team) are owned by the fans and the club has been successful over the years. The football market in Newcastle is similar to Green Bay (small local market, limited funds, but a large global fan base).

    Supporter owned could work if NUFC fans were committed to it.


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