Mike Ashley Announces He Will Sell Newcastle


It didn’t take too long after yesterday;s demonstrations and Mike Ashely has issued a long statement and says he will look for a buyer for Newcastle United.

Mike Ashley – will sell Newcastle

Here is Mike’s statement in full:

I have enjoyed sport since I was a boy. I love football. I have followed England in every tournament since Mexico ’86. I was there to see Maradona and his hand of God. I know what it means to love football and to love a club. I know how important it is to other people because football is so important to me.My life has been tied up with sport. It was the passion that I felt for sport that helped me to be successful with my business. That success allowed me to mix my passion and my business.

I bought Newcastle United in May 2007. Newcastle attracted me because everyone in England knows that it has the best fans in football. When the fans are behind the club at St James’ Park it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It is magic. Newcastle’s best asset has been, is and always will be the fans.

But like any business with assets the club has debts. I paid £134 million out of my own pocket for the club. I then poured another £110 million into the club not to pay off the debt but just to reduce it.

The club is still in debt. Even worse than that, the club still owes millions of pounds in transfer fees. I shall be paying out many more millions over the coming year to pay for players bought by the club before I arrived. But there was a double whammy. Commercial deals such as sponsorships and advertising had been front loaded. The money had been paid upfront and spent. I was left with a club that owed millions and part of whose future had been mortgaged.

Unless I had come into the club then it might not have survived. It could have shared the fate of other clubs who have borrowed too heavily against their future. Before I had spent a penny on wages or buying players Newcastle United had cost me more than a quarter of a billion pounds.

Don’t get me wrong. I did not buy Newcastle to make money. I bought Newcastle because I love football. Newcastle does not generate the income of a Manchester United or a Real Madrid. I am Mike Ashley, not Mike Ashley a multi-billionaire with unlimited resources. Newcastle United and I can’t do what other clubs can. We can’t afford it.

I knew that the club would cost me money every year after I had bought it. I have backed the club with money. You can see that from the fact that Newcastle has the fifth highest wage bill in the Premier League. I was always prepared to bank roll Newcastle up to the tune of £20 million per year but no more. That was my bargain. I would make the club solvent. I would make it a going concern.

I would pour up to £20 million a year into the club and not expect anything back. It has to be realised that if I put £100 million into the club year in year out then it would not be too long before I was cleaned out and a debt ridden Newcastle United would find itself in the position that faced Leeds United.

That is the nightmare for every fan. To love a club that overextends itself, that tries to spend what it can’t afford.

That will never happen to Newcastle when I am in charge. The truth is that Newcastle could not sustain buying the Shevchenkos, Robinhos or the Berbatovs. These are recognised European footballers. They have played in the European leagues and everyone knows about them. They can be brilliant signings. But everybody knows that they are brilliant and so they, and players like them, cost more than £30 million to buy before you even take into account agent commissions and the multi-million pound wage deals.

My plan and my strategy for Newcastle is different. It has to be. Arsenal is the shining example in England of a sustainable business model. It takes time. It can’t be done overnight. Newcastle has therefore set up an extensive scouting system. We look for young players, for players in foreign leagues who everyone does not know about. We try and stay ahead of the competition. We search high and low looking for value, for potential that we can bring on and for players who will allow Newcastle to compete at the very highest level but who don’t cost the earth.

I am prepared to back large signings for millions of pounds but for a player who is young and has their career in front of them and not for established players at the other end of their careers. There is no other workable way forward for Newcastle. It is in this regard that Dennis and his team have done a first class job in scouting for talent to secure the future of the club.

You only need to look at some of our signings to see that it is working, slowly working. Look at Jonas Gutierrez and Fabricio Collocini. These are world class players. The plan is showing dividends with the signing of exceptional young talent such as Sebastein Bassong, Danny Guthrie and Xisco. My investment in the club has extended to time, effort and yet again, money being poured into the Academy.

I want Newcastle to be able to create its own legends of the future to rival those of the past. This is a long term plan. A long term plan for the future of the club so that it can flourish.

One person alone can’t manage a Premiership football club and scout the world looking for world class players and stars of the future. It needs a structure and it needs people who are dedicated to that task. It needs all members of the management team to share that vision for it to work.

Also one of the reasons that the club was so in debt when I took over was due to transfer dealings caused by managers moving in and out of the club. Every time there was a change in manager millions would be spent on new players and millions would be lost as players were sold. It can’t keep on working like that. It is just madness.

I have put Newcastle on a sound financial footing. It is reducing its debt. It is spending within itself. It is recruiting exciting new players and bringing in players for the future.

The fans want this process to happen more quickly and they want huge amounts spent in the transfer market so that the club can compete at the top table of European football now. I am not stupid and have listened to the fans. I have really loved taking my kids to the games, being next to them and all the fans. But I am now a dad who can’t take his kids to a football game on a Saturday because I am advised that we would be assaulted. Therefore, I am no longer prepared to subsidise Newcastle United.

I am putting the club up for sale. I hope that the fans get what they want and that the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club that the fans want.

This will not be a fire sale. Newcastle is now in a much stronger position than it was in 2007. It is planning for the future and it is sustainable.

I am still a fan of Newcastle United. We, my kids and I, have loved standing on the terraces with the fans, we have loved travelling with the away fans and we have met so many fans whose company we have enjoyed. We have absolutely loved it but it is not safe anymore for us as a family.

I am very conscious of the responsibility that I bear in owning Newcastle United. Tough decisions have to be made in business and I will not shy away from doing what I consider to be in the best interests of the club. This is not fantasy football.

I don’t want anyone to read my words and think that any of this is an attack on Kevin Keegan. It is not. Kevin and I always got on. Everyone at the club, and I mean everyone, thinks that he has few equals in getting the best out of the players. He is a legend at the club and rightly so. Clearly there are disagreements between Kevin and the Board and we have both put that in the hands of our lawyers.

I hope that all the fans get to read this statement so that they understand what I am about. I would not expect all of the fans to agree with me. But I have set out, clearly, my plan. If I can’t sell the club to someone who will give the fans what they want then I shall continue to ensure that Newcastle is run on a business and football model that is sustainable. I care too much about the club merely to abandon it.

I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart. I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do but it won’t happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in.

You don’t need to demonstrate against me again because I have got the message. Any further action will only have an adverse effect on the team. As fans of Newcastle United you need to spend your energy getting behind, not me, but the players who need your support.

I am determined that Newcastle United is not only here today, but that it is also there tomorrow for your children who stand beside you at St James’ Park.


Mike Ashley.
Sunday 14th September 2008

Mike wouldn’t have got himself into the mess he has, if he had communicated his views more freely, over the last 16 months or so, like he has here.

But this is the first time a lot of the fans have heard from him, and it was the Board’s inability to communicate that has caused so many of the problems at the club.

Comments are welcome but please keep them decent.



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282 comments so far

  • ToonFly

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #1

    already posted this on last thread but nore relevant here?

    Ashley’s Statement…..

    1. Hard to find anything “untrue” in it
    2. Makes a LOT of sense if true
    3. Generates a lot of sympathy for him
    4. Seems like a very sensible way to approach signings & finances
    5. Generates a lot of worry as to what our future holds if he leaves
    6. Should have been made a LOT earlier!!!!!!!

    I’ve been quite tempered in my views on here and was careful to caution that we (as fans) just didn’t know the facts. We probably still don’t but I think the banner-waving (regionalist?) ones amongst us have done us (as supporters) no good in the public eye. The truth will out, but Ashley’s approach wasn’t a million miles off imho.

    (Tin hat on)

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  • pete stone

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #2

    .

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  • Barry Cock

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #3

    Lifted this from another website It some up my feelings exactly. (Copyright royalties are in the post Mr Rice).

    Written by Scott Rice
    Sunday, 14 September 2008 17:35
    It has been ten days since the resignation of Kevin Keegan and this represents the first statement released from the club, with any official name attached. While the gesture, far too late to build bridges, is grudgingly appreciated it seems even now you do not understand the club, by which I mean the club’s main asset, its large bodies of fans. I take this opportunity to reply on behalf of those who share opinions similar to mine and who love the club like I do.

    1.We the fans realize that the financial state of the club was precarious. We realized that before you bought the club (just not the extent you have subsequently revealed), We understand that this has come about due to the inept policies of the former owner and the ensuing managerial revolving door. This is why we are particularly disappointed that your board structure was such that it resulted in the departure of one of the few managers whom the fans identify as a success.

    2.We the fans were happy with the mooted “Arsenal” model and contrary to your claims did not expect or demand vast sums to be lavished on the squad. We note, however , that Arsenal does not have a director of football and has appointed NOBODY who can overrule ****ne Wenger in contract or transfer decisions.

    3.We the fans had two expectations for the transfer window. The Kevin would be given a reasonable transfer kitty (our net spend is close to zero) and that transfers would work as you yourself had described them. There is no evidence of the £20m investment, the TV windfall or the 3 year season ticket purchase taken up by many fans being invested in the first team squad. Initial investment was far more important than year on year contribution given the fragile state of the first team squad and the insufficient cover for key positions.

    4.We the fans are disappointed that you did not take the one step that would have resulted in this situation being immediately resolved to everyone who matters at the club’s satisfaction. The removal of Dennis Wise and the introduction of a structure that answers to the manager in ALL football related matters.

    This is why we are grateful that you have offered the club for sale and claim you will represent our best interests until that sale completes. It is our hope that this is more honest than previous statements about the club. It is our belief that you do not understand the club sufficiently, in light of the above, to lead us into a successful future.

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  • Dave G

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #4

    MA has hopefully got some credibility back as I do believe he always had the
    best interests at heart, but the biggest mistake he made just cant be redeemed.
    A business should be a business and run like one at that. But as well as a
    business this is a football club! A football club needs a very important
    person, a person who has the passion for the club, a way with the players, a
    special bond with the fans and most of all the ability to do things his way.
    KEEGAN!! I am sure that Keegan would have understood that money is not to burn
    and may not be available in the bag full, but a manager accountable for results
    needs to be accountable for the players that work for these.

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  • Legs

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #5

    I don’t really mind Ashley to be honest. If he didn’t bring keegan in then we would be alot better off. So that was his biggest mistake.

    Theres always been talk about stability. Keegan, as great as he is, is anything but stable.

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  • ginkoh

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #6

    Mike Ashley still miss the plot. All of Toon army don’t need any 20-30m super star signing every summer or instant success in 1-2 years. BUT WE NEED LONG TERM STEP FORWARD PLAN FOR CLUB AND MAKE SURE YOU CONTINUE THE STEP EVERY WEEK !!! If Mike Ashley said he’s think he got right plan for NUFC why he don’t appoint director who can do the job with Manager or let your director choose his own manager ? Nobody in the success football team let director can be higher position than the manager !!

    I agree with him that we need develop by youngster and try to make our own hero but you can’t sell or buy someone without manager permission because manager is the man who responsible on result and that’s the most important thing for FOOTBALL CLUB not profit. And another reason you cannot disrespect your own manager who you are the one who choose him, Every manager has their own pride and they don’t let you make them be your own puppet.

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  • ObaFan2

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #7

    What can you say but he made mistakes, alot of mistakes imo fundamental in running this club.

    He may be a success generally in business but not in running a club with a fan base as big as NUFC.

    Also why has he taken so long in talking to the fans?

    Too little too late imo, don’t feel sorry foryourself Ashley, just check ur bank balance in the morning that will cheers you up.

    Why did he lie and why did he stick up for others that have lied to us.

    Sorry but all the protests have been vocal but NOT violent and it is a shame he believes he is under threat.

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  • RobB

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #8

    http://toon-talk.net/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=76&Itemid=56

    I thought this was an excellent reply from toon-talk.

    It would be good if KK would come back to see us through the transition. We still have a canny team though now showing just how thin it is.

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  • shearer4pm

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #9

    i think thats a fair comment, took me 3hrs to read it, but he seems like he genuinly cares for the club, he may have made sum bad mistakes and he kinda accepts that, but for him to feel like he and his family cant attend games is appauling, no one should be made to feel like that ever, full stop. it is also good that he says he wont abandon the club, so thanks for that,

    but in this modern game 20m a year jus isnt enough with the age of our structure, we need double that to be competetive in the 1st 3 or so years, then as our structure matures then bring that sum down, as the players get better,

    mr ashley speaks alot of sense from the heart and i think that (although better late than never) he has admited defeat and that he hopes the club have a gud future and as he wishes us well so thanks for that, and i think that he shoule come to the games and not be botherd by the fans because he has admitted defeat and admitted he was wrong and he isnt just goin to abandon the club, which is because (alot will disagree) he is a fan,

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  • Steeley

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #10

    Too much emphasis on the desperacy by fans who want big money signings (which really isnt true) and no mention at all of the problems (actually the cause of this whole sad drama) which is quite simply DENNIS WISE!

    It’s sad that Ashley releases such a heartfelt statement, but then ignores the real reasons why everything has soured.

    P.S. From a few comments on previous stories on this subject, I dont think Ashley was saying that he felt he (or his family) were going to be attacked by fans, but he simply mentioned that he was advised (by the police presumably) that he might be. Lets not make tales out of something unnecessarily – he may not be flavour of the month, but lets not take this particular part out of context and say that he is calling all fans thugs.

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  • robinho lee

    Sep 14, 2008 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #11

    yeah, that makes alot of sense ashleys words there, if he’d said this the day after keegan left, then perhaps he wouldn’t have got so much stick?

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  • SuperShearer

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #12

    I categorically agree with everything that Ashley has said here. From reading this I now understand what he was trying to do and appreciate his best efforts. I think KK wanted too much power and the rumors that he wanted to spend big money on past it players doesn’t fill me with confidence in his transfer targets. HOWEVER why oh why did Ashley take so long to tell us fans what he was trying to do? essentially Mike this is your own doing for never talking to us. KK obviously felt threatened by Wise and so Ashley should have done something to clarify this to everyone. He manages to evoke huge sympathy in this statement and as a result I genuinely wish him all the best. I hope the new owners stick to his model and keep most, not all, of our recruitment team as I feel they have done a sound job. Finally I’m not sure you’ll like this but i think that KK’s time is up now, I love him to bits but his personality has always been too insecure for a Premiership manager and I think we need someone young that can offer us continuity.

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  • danny hunt toon

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #13

    fair and honest words from ashley. but the bottom line is, the current structure without kk isnt gonna create interest for future possible signings or investment and certainly not win football matches!
    decent managment and a team playing attractive football first – and the finances will follow.
    Wise oot!!!!!!!

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  • DanToon

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #14

    If he remove’s Dennis Wise and i would be more than happy to see Mike Ashley stay on as our owner, he really does know what he is doing you know!

    Good look to you Mike (i really mean that), i feel you have been treated very harshly!

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  • vaughany

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Makes a lot of sense reading that, Feel sorry fot the c*nt now, haha

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  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #16

    Wow.

    If he’d only spoken like this more openly and consistently with the fans we may have viewed things differently.

    I’ve always viewed him as a very mixed bag–some great financial work behind the scenes but really awful about making his case and very poor in communicating/putting communication in place in his “system” or structure or whatever else…

    I still seriously believe fan ownership is the best for the club, but I’m so stunned by this announcement I don’t know what more to say at present except that this may be the perfect moment to start organizing.

    He doesn’t seem like a monster at the end of the day–just really bad at communicating and organizing communication within his business…

    Wow…

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  • The Entertainers

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Communications have destroyed this club:

    Ashley to the fans

    Wise to Keegan

    I know youve put millions into the club Mike, but ‘talk is cheap’!

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  • Tom Mo.

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #18

    Yeah. Really should have said this earlier and things could have been almost fine. The HUGE problem is not cooperating with Keegan and forcing Wise to settle down. However, this is a good and pretty much believable effort at showing that he cares about NUFC. I thank him for cutting the debt and finding players like Jonas and Colo. But, I still think it is time for a change in leadership.

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  • TOON FAN

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #19

    ASHLEY HAS BEEN BADLY LET DOWN BY LLAMBIAS AND WISE.
    HE HAS DONE SO MANY GOOD THINGS FOR NUFC.
    HOWEVER HIS MISPLACED TRUST AND FAITH IN WISE AND LLAMBIAS HAS NOW COST HIM DEARLY.

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  • SteveM

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #20

    It’s so fustrating when I can see something happening and I cant do anything to stop it. Newcastle United are imploding as a football club. Who is going to buy MA out? we are destroying the very team we support if we havnt destroyd it already. As if some foreign Billionarire is going to buy the club and then reappoint KK as a sword of damacles over the new owners head. Maybe the club isnt worth 270million – It wasnt worth that as a PLC. It frightens me that we are still in debt – we must have been seriously up s*** creek.
    I fear this is the beginning of the end.

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  • Lacedaemonian

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #21

    This message was needed prior to the transfer window. He has won me over with this. I can not deny it. Keegan was not the right man for what Newcastle needed – which was a fundamental mistake. I feel guilty about the ‘not being able to take his kids to the game’ line. We all should.

    We need to get a decent coach in and start winning games.

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  • murvar

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Before you all start pouring your hearts out for the guy, let’s remember that this is a corporate animal we’re talking about and he is only concerned about money.

    This statement will have been written for him by his communications people (yes, those same people who have told him to remain silent for the last several months), and it is designed to do two – maybe three – things:

    1) to stop the noise and make him seem like a good guy
    2) to improve the chances of a quick and healthily profitable sale as a result.

    The third, possible, thing is to clear the way for KK’s return. Look at it like this:

    a) No-one will buy the club with the intention of keeping Wise and the other objects of hate.

    b) Ashley says he will stay on until he gets a sound buyer; but he can’t afford to keep a caretaker manager in position for as long as that may take.

    c) No manager will come in before a sale knowing that a change of ownership may cost him his job for non-footballing reasons.

    Solution? Pay off Wise, that gets Keegan back, and makes the club more attractive to buyers. If all this blows over, Ashleystays; if not he gets the business deal he wanted – a win,win for him then.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they cooked it up together last Friday night. In a way, I hope they did.

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  • Fans Should Own the Club

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #23

    Friends and fans,

    Please, think about this:

    100 pounds for membership & a share in the club…

    It’s from this link. http://www.savenewcastle.com/7.html

    Club Buyout.

    At this point 3 million share would be sold for £100 each. With no individual being allowed to purchase more than 1% of the shares. All funds used to purchase share would be held by a third party financial institution. Upon successful fund raising and an agreement with the current ownership these funds would be released to purchase the club.

    If we are able to sell all 3 million share will have raised £300 million to purchase the club. This is considerably more than Mike Ashley’s estimated investment of around £230 million. With these funds and the fans supporting our buyout we should be able to outbid any other interested parties. Hopefully we will have considerable funds for club improvements left after the negotiations.

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  • listie

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #24

    I have serious concerns now for our premier league status.
    Who is really going to buy us, I just dont see some cash rich man/ woman/ investment group etc coming along. So the club will just learch from pillar to post until it is sorted, and this could be some time!

    All these protesters have got what they wanted, and at the same time scared any potential buyer off, so we are shafted !

    Another season gone, but this time serious concerns that we will be relagation fodder, and in Jan we could lose some key players

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  • Dave Hill

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #25

    Taxi for Ashley !!!

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  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #26

    why wasnt he communicating with the fans like this from day one.
    look at how many people are now feeling a slight sense of sympathy towards him.
    If he had spoken to us thoroughly like this, explained decisions made etc then i dont think he would have had half the problems/taken half the stick he has done already.
    its a shame he couldnt have done all this from the beginning.

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  • Dave Atkinson

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #27

    Genuinly touching statement….and I believe he’s fundamentally honest. Don’t be too cynical or angry would be my recommendation to the most vociferous of objectors.

    His main problem is that he hasn’t been anything like as honest with us fans, particularly recently. If he’d come out wth a statement like this a coupld of weeks ago it would have been ‘over to you Kev’ to justify his position. Instead, Ashley’s silence only served to promote the assumed KK’s position as the accurate one.

    Both a culpable and I have no doubt that before the KK departure, most fans respected Ashley but retained doubts about Lambass and Wise. I still reckon if the unlikely was to happen and KK returned and the communications would be more upfront, frequent and represented a united view, then Ashley would be accepted once again.

    No-one will forgive Wise and Lambass however, not least for their own silence.

    I sincerely hope that this (albeit late) sincerity will help him patch tings up with both the fans and Kevin and we can the show on the road again.

    Nobody expects us to compete with the huge spenders and no-one ever did. We craved stability and direction and some geniune ambition.

    We’re not stupid Mike and we wouldn’t beat you or your family up. What we do respect though is openness and honesty and, if your statement is a first step in that direction, you’ll regain the support and passion of the vast vast majority of the fans.

    Over to you my friend….

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  • listie

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #28

    Fans Should Own the Club – nice idea but 3 million people !!!!!!!! Time for some coffee I think.

    Also what about money for transfers?

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  • The Entertainers

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #29

    Is’nt it amazing the amount of fans whos same complaint is communication!

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  • Nick

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    Comment #30

    Basically

    1) Wise overstepped his remit

    2) KK ”didn’t get” or fully understood his remit

    3) the Abu Dhabi group – what a missed opportunity.

    A lot of what Ashley says is right here. Right model, wrong personnel.

    Although Arsenal don’t spend more than 20M a year, the Abu Dhabi group could have taken us to the Chelsea level.

    This Chinese guy and the North east group haven’t got anything like the clout of the Abu Dhabi group or Anil Ambani. There would be no advantage in selling to the first 2.

    After this statement, I don’t know what to think any more. I was certainly behind wanting rid of Smith. Duff, Viduka, Barton and even Owen on his stupid unsustainable wages.

    Maybe anyone else but Wise and we wouldn’t now have this situation. I can’t feel as happy about Ashley selling now as I did before the statement.

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  • Graham

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    Comment #31

    A very open an honest statement from a bloke who, in a short space of time has a great deal of affection for the club….

    Just 2 problems…

    1. A statement of intent should have been made over a year ago.

    2. The directors he has in place are doing it for themselves, not the club or Ashley.

    I dont feel sorry for the gut as he has been very naive to say the least. But ultimately he has fallen on the sword that he erected in the appointment of the one major weak link….. Dennis Wise

    If he would only get rid of him, keep the structure but employ people in the right way – people who know and trust each other, he would be more than welcomed back to sjp by the majority of fans.

    But Mike, we dont want millions spent each and every transfer window – get that into your head. We want to be entertained and we want the manager to be able to do what he was told he would be able to do. Thats all.

    Thanks for the statement though – it could have been so different if it was made last year….

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  • Davy C

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #32

    This was written by Scott Rice and I wholeheartedly agree.

    Sunday, 14 September 2008 17:35
    Reply to Ashley

    It has been ten days since the resignation of Kevin Keegan and this represents the first statement released from the club, with any official name attached. While the gesture, far too late to build bridges, is grudgingly appreciated it seems even now you do not understand the club, by which I mean the club’s main asset, its large bodies of fans. I take this opportunity to reply on behalf of those who share opinions similar to mine and who love the club like I do.

    1.We the fans realize that the financial state of the club was precarious. We realized that before you bought the club (just not the extent you have subsequently revealed), We understand that this has come about due to the inept policies of the former owner and the ensuing managerial revolving door. This is why we are particularly disappointed that your board structure was such that it resulted in the departure of one of the few managers whom the fans identify as a success.

    2.We the fans were happy with the mooted “Arsenal” model and contrary to your claims did not expect or demand vast sums to be lavished on the squad. We note, however , that Arsenal does not have a director of football and has appointed NOBODY who can overrule Arsene Wenger in contract or transfer decisions.

    3.We the fans had two expectations for the transfer window. The Kevin would be given a reasonable transfer kitty (our net spend is close to zero) and that transfers would work as you yourself had described them. There is no evidence of the £20m investment, the TV windfall or the 3 year season ticket purchase taken up by many fans being invested in the first team squad. Initial investment was far more important than year on year contribution given the fragile state of the first team squad and the insufficient cover for key positions.

    4.We the fans are disappointed that you did not take the one step that would have resulted in this situation being immediately resolved to everyone who matters at the club’s satisfaction. The removal of Dennis Wise and the introduction of a structure that answers to the manager in ALL football related matters.

    This is why we are grateful that you have offered the club for sale and claim you will represent our best interests until that sale completes. It is our hope that this is more honest than previous statements about the club. It is our belief that you do not understand the club sufficiently, in light of the above, to lead us into a successful future.

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  • embarrassed to be a geordie

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #33

    agree legs – comment 3

    Really good words from MA but unfortunately the damage has been caused beyond repair in both directions.

    I for one thank MA for saving this club from FFS.

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  • Guest

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #34

    NUFC.com put it perfectly for me. The statement makes a lot of sense but he still fails to understand what the fans really wanted and that wasn’t 30 million pound players.

    The statement however still attempts to pull the wool over our eyes and it appears from one or two of the comments on he that it has been successful. The 100 plus million that Ashley put into paying off the clubs debts has to be paid pack. Ashley does not however expect the interest to be paid back which is where he has reduced the clubs debt and of course stopped it from spiraling further out of control.

    This however is still left unclear by him and his statement attempts to show his input and the clubs debt to be much larger than it actually is.

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  • Michael12

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #35

    You are clearly not fans if you could not see this. This is what I have been arguing all this time. What do you do as Newcastle fans?

    I researched on the club and Mike Ashley’s vision for the way forward to fully understand the model he has trying to implement.

    The rest of you expect the information to be summerised and and published for you. It is not a lack of communication it is a lack of interest into what else the club does than on the pitch.

    Clearly you think Newcastle united is only on a Saturday afternoon on the pitch.

    I fully back Mike Ashley. Wish we had more to spend but unless you are willing to risk your money, do not tell Mike how much risk he should take with his!

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  • Thump

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #36

    I don’t think any of us can argue against this. He’s admitted that he’s made mistakes and that he WAS thinking about the money… but like he said, he doesn’t have unlimited funds and at the very least we can all appreciate that.

    I feel bad about him not being able bring his kids to games because of the fear of being assaulted, but that’s just how some people are, unfortunately.

    I think we should at least give him the respect he deserves for saying this to us all and admitting his wrong doings.

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  • Danny

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #37

    HA, well i didn’t think id ever say this, but now i feel kinda sorry for the guy. But im an “in the moment” kind of person, and get carried away by simple words such as these.
    Putting the bigger perspective on it;

    – He was a poor communicator, and should have let the fans know long before, how he was going to run the club.
    – He see his point of view at the business part of things, but he is very wrong when i comes to business with transfers. KK should have pointed, and the rest should’ve gotten!
    – Still about the money; he doesn’t have the cash to do a “Robinho”, and that is really what every clubfan dream about isn’t it? Altho it’s a bit like a headless chicken, and a bit worriying, i would’ve like Robinho coming to the club!

    Those are the three pointers i see that are wrong. I for one dont NOT want Wise out of the club, i think he’s a manager destined to be one of the greatest. (Say what u like about that). And he obviously has an eye for talent, and u know its true! BUT, i do want him in a scouting type position, and not a decision making one…

    Howay the lads!

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  • bowburnmag

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #38

    Graham – it could have been made two weeks ago and it still would have made a difference. It wouldn’t have appeased everybody but would have reassured a lot people to a degree. Communiation has long been his downfall. It could have reinforced some trust? I’m fairly sure nobody hates the man and surely no sensible fan would want him to feel intimidated. But he made mistakes. He should have come out and told us and talked about some new, alternative plans and not let everyone think Keegan was being mistreated without a care. Of course, it could all be a load of tripe.

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  • STEVEYO

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #39

    Nothing like 20 mil spent this season Mike eh?
    and you did’nt do due diligence either so wot are we supposed to do about that.You go on about KK having final say on transfers and previously Chris Mort and Dennis Wise uttered those very words so why attempt to say everyone has to fit into your structure when the one man that really matters is out of the loop.Every NUFC fan on this and other boards hoped for a decent summer of investment in the first team squad as it was very thin last year and very little money has been spent on actual transfers.We have the fifth largest wage bill in the prem.Which you have been trying to reduce all summer contrast that against Tottenham Hotspur who must then be in the top four of wage bills and you reckon we with upto a million shirt wearing fanatics in the north east alone cannot compete at the level of Spurs.Further evidence of your cost cutting is evident when you say we can not compete for players like Berbatov,Robinho and the likes of those players.Who in there right mind believed we could.But Scummderland are spending 30-40 mil a season right now and wigan/Hull/Stoke/Villa/ManCity before takeover spent a lot more than us this summer and in the case of Villa and Man City they already had stronger squads than us so what you are saying really is that we arent in a position with you as owner to compete with the top 13 of the Premier league.Thanks for helping with the debt situation as well but as you well know you will get that and more back when you sell up.

    In essence Mike Thanks for effall now f@ck off

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  • MR k keegan

    Sep 14, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #40

    i am thinkin of buying the club al be outside the ground with buckets all donations welcome

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