Six Things Ashley Can Do At Newcastle United


The lack of being able to win yesterday against Stoke, a poor side away from home, has set the jitters going again on Tyneside.

Mike Ashley – hmmm – what should I do now? – read below Mike

And the news today from Michael Owen, that his contract is being held up at Newcastle because of the significant turmoil in the Board room, has done nothing to calm fears he may be on his way in January.

However, his statement today is from a mature young man who seems willing to stay on Tyneside, if only the Board would sort themselves out.

So if we now believe that Mike cannot sell the club in the near future, although the club will again be up for sale in the summer, what should Mike Ashley do at Newcastle in the interim:

Here’s some thoughts – most of them fairly obvious – but meant to be constructive, and yes it’s a bit presumptuous of us – but something has to be done – and soon..

  1. Issue a statement saying what the position is, as regards the selling of the club. Nobody, including the fans and the players, know exactly what the situation really is, only what we read in the papers. Try to communicate with the fans more, Mike – even if it’s hard for you – it’s in your own best interests.
  2. Get rid of Derek Llambias as Managing Director of the club, and get someone in who is better at dealing with people, and also knows something about how to run a football club. It is since Derek replaced Chris Mort, that problems have been mounting with the Newcastle Board. It’s obvious Michael Owen will not sing for the club until the turmoil at the club is sorted out, and since it was Llambias and Keegan who had the bust-up – most Newcastle fans who sided with Kevin don’t want Derek at the club. Get rid of him, Mike.
  3. Decide whether to sack Dennis Wise or leave him in place. But if he is left in place, issue a statement stating that his job has changed, and that the Newcastle manager will now be fully in charge of all transfers to and from the club
  4. Once Derek Llambias has left, someone new brought in, and something done about the role of Dennis Wise at the club, meet urgently  with the players whose contracts run out in the summer.
    Those players include Michael Owen, Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi, Claudio Cacapa, David Edgar, Mark Viduka and Nicky Butt. We would assume only Cacapa and Edgar would be allowed to leave the club in the summer, but that decision needs to be made first.
    And it would probably be good to keep all our players until the summer, assuming only Cacapa and Edgar will move on, since we’ll not get much for them in January. And we need some strength in depth to avoid relegation.
  5. Go ahead and fund Joe in the transfer market, as Mike has already indicated he’ll do. If only to keep Newcastle in the Premier league and protect his investment, we need new players in January, and quite honestly the more the better, as long as they are good players.
  6. Finally, to some of our fans.  Please stop calling for Joe’s resignation – that’s simply daft and will only cause Newcastle to be playing in the Championship next year, that’s all that will do.
    Joe may not be the long term solution, but he’s working his socks off for our club, ever since he arrived,  and we openly support him in his endeavors.
    Let’s all support the players and Joe through the end of this season. They deserve that at least, given the difficult political atmosphere in which they’ve been working over the last few months.

Well, those are some constructive things we think will do some good at the club.

Now let us know what you would do – but please keep them constructive – and keep the language decent – many thanks.



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39 comments so far

  • I got the impression from Owen’s interview that he would be willing to sign a new contract if he was offered one. Thats just my take on it. I would be fine if Wise stayed on the condition that the manager could tell Wise who he wants and/or Wise looks at potential players and the manager decideds who he wants. Our scouting team did good this summer with the players they brought in so the stick they are getting is unwarrented.

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  • JonnyNufc

    Dec 7, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #2

    Im also alright with Wise….the argies he’s got in have looked good especially Gutierrez…then you have bassong, guthrie etc

    And our academy is doing brilliantly.

    I think tbh most of us would be FINE with Ashley staying on if he’d just communicate regularly somehow with the fans and back the manager !! Simple as that.

    Good managers dont want to come simply because of the fans hatred towards Ashley & his letting Wise make the signings when it should simply be a referral situation.

    If he stopped that it would all dissapear so easily.
    Just give the manager funds…get the supporters backing it all and we’re goin again.

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  • Joseph

    Dec 7, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #3

    Defiantly agree with point 6

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  • The Alchemist

    Dec 7, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Brillant post Ed. do any of the board members still meet with representatives of the supporters groups? As it would be beneficial to all if action plans like this could be put forward to them!

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  • Richard Money is meant to be taking a job somewhere so we might be looking for new academy director soon.

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  • Hadrian

    Dec 7, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #7

    Ed , you dont speak for me , kindly wish you would stop implying that your the voice of toon fans .

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  • ObaFan2

    Dec 7, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #8

    The club has gone to the dogs.

    1, Ashley sell up and take ur cronies with you.

    2, Appoint a new manager.

    3, Spend some money on the first team.

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  • beyethegreat

    Dec 7, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #9

    hadrian

    how does ed imply he is the voice of toon fans it seems to me that ed just gives us his views and gives us a platform to express our own the only thing ed asks is that everyone is respectful

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  • Alex

    Dec 7, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #10

    Ed 1 point you missed is the backroom staff needs strengthened . Joe needs more coaches and rumors of Money leaving us is not going to help either , that would be a real blow when you see how great the youngsters are doing .

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  • Desmond - DesmondBlog.com

    Dec 7, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #11

    hope Mike Ashley is reading this

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  • mervyn the martian

    Dec 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #12

    Hadrian, I totally agree – I hate it when people speak on behalf of the fans. I have totally different opinions and just because i don’t have a blog my opinion doesn’t seem to count. “we think this is a good idea’ ‘we fully support him’ ‘we know this’ ‘we know that’ whatever man

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  • dan

    Dec 7, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #13

    I think we should keep Kinnear at the club, it looks like he is really trying his best and he is actually tactically quite a good manager. It’s just he panics a bit when there isnt enough players.

    1. Signing at least 3 decent players in Jan and getting a few injuries back will help solve this.

    2. Keep Dennis Wise as a scout. But make sure Kinnear has the final decision on all senior players coming in.

    3. Get rid of Del Boy Lambiarse. No explination required.

    4. Give Owen and Shola new contracts. Give Viduka a one year ‘pay as you play’ contract. Get rid of the others we dont need them. Make sure Krul gets and improved contract.

    5. Football is not all about money. It is about making good decisions as well. Mike start making some. If you can’t get a new chairman like Mort who can make them for you.

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  • Daniel

    Dec 7, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #14

    This is one of the best articles i’ve read on the site. I agree with all of it, we need a more ‘sociable’ chairman (or whatever the position is called). I’d like to see someone like David Dein – who i believe is out of football atm – come in, although that might be too ambitious.

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  • O'Hurley

    Dec 7, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #15

    Ed-

    You may not speak for everybody, but you absolutely speak for me! I whole-heartedly agree with every point you made!! I’m personally not against Ashley retaining ownership, but Derek Llambiarse definitely needs to go. Wise should be a scout, as he is obviously very good at it. And I think we should keep Owen. I don’t think he needs all the money he’s been getting as I personally think Oba is better. DEADLY on the counter attack. Anyway- cheers Ed! Great post!!

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  • Rob Lee

    Dec 7, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #16

    Not much to do with Ed’s article, but I have to say that although I think Collocini could come good, he appears too slow to meet the demands of the premier league. There have been numerous occasions this season when he’s been left on his arse by average players and it does worry me sayin as he cost 10 mil! Bassong is better, and he cost a fraction of the price. Also, wish people would stop sayin ‘he played for argentina’…that means nothing. Christian Bassedas played for Argentina and I think even won more caps than Colo (not 100% on this one). Anyway, point is south american national teams rotate and alter squads massively all the team and it seems any half-decent player from that country will get a few games. i want colo to do wellas i love his hair, but im not convinced. he’s better than taylor just his pace that really lets him down for me, and this has nothing to do with adjusting to the premier league, he will not get quicker. anyway, just my opinions and fears…

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 7, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #17

    Rob Lee Bassedas had 22 caps, Coloccini is stil only 26 and on 30 caps.

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  • Incognito

    Dec 7, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #18

    Come one people – stop crediting Wise with our signings! It was was Jimenez that scouted them – Wise is nothing more than the Poison Dwarf!

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  • geordie jock

    Dec 7, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #19

    Please stop taking the p*ss get rid of this fat B*****d and Everbody connected with him before he kills this club which he is very close to. I cannot believe people want him to stay after what he has done. He is an absolute waste of space.

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  • hisnameisjonas

    Dec 7, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #20

    who knows that wise came up with all the players we got in the summer? we have plenty of scouts, and it could be any other who pointed them out to him, maybe he just chose of the players others brought to him. its hardly a hard thing to point out jonas and colo, everyone who whatched la liga last year could tell that these two players are top class. Bassong is the only wow player the scouts came up with as the others where alredy proven players. Go back to robson, he brouth in jenas, robert, bellamy, domi (viana) and those where not proven on the international scenes and they all became top class. (besides viana, who apperantly had to many ups and downs but at one stage he was top class). Ps jenas is a prick

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  • Guinea Mag

    Dec 7, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #21

    Ed; very good comments buddy…..

    Dissapointed the fans are shouting for JFK’s head already. We had 2 CM players available for yesterday’s game and when Guthrie was injured had no back-up.

    We need to strengthen the squad and back the team/manager or be relegated

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  • UTD111

    Dec 7, 2008 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #22

    You missed one, Ed…….
    7. Sack Kinnear, Llambias and the dwarf…..get Sir Kevin or Sir Alan of Geordieland and their mates in to sort out this F**kin mess……..

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  • chuck

    Dec 7, 2008 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #23

    Yep have to agree in general, got nothing against Wise, think he did a good job recruting during the summer.
    But we need a new Managing Director, possibly a new board and certainly a new PR department.
    It`s been the “Wall OF Silence” since the begining of the summer window combined with the resulting infighting between the opposing factions, with fans divided and angry, that has caused the damage.
    An understanding of exactly whats going on and what are the intention of ownership in regard to the future of the club is essential for any rapprochement to take place.
    Lets hope this Chaotic situation ends soon.

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  • Ian

    Dec 7, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #24

    yep, got to agree with most people, he could do something sensible, what he will do however………..

    This time he has about £150m to lose if he gets it wrong, are Llambias and Wise’s friendship worth that much?

    Keegans transfer bill is starting to look cheap.

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  • canada willie

    Dec 7, 2008 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #25

    Ed,

    Why should we not call for Kinnears resignation. He has proven himself to be totally incompetent. If you think 11 points out of 30 is a good record then I could name you 20,000 supporters who blog on your site who could do a better job with team selection and who do not get banned every week from the bench.

    Ashley has brought the club to its knees by his stupid decisions which include signing a manager who is light years out of date.

    My six points for Ashley are:

    1 Sell the club at a price that someone will pay. If the best industries in the world have lost 50% of their value then why should he try to sell Newcastle at 250% of what he paid for it. Everybody is losing money these days including Ashley whose Sports Direct is worth 10% of what it was 2 years ago. Get realistic and sell at a realistic price. Today it might be as low as 125 million pounds.

    2 If he decides to keep the club then get rid of all of the people in management who have caused problems at the club,Wise, and Lambias for starters.

    3. Joe Kinnear has to go because he is not the best manager Newcastle could get. He is an interim manager because no one else would take the job. Lets not be fooled on this

    4 Appoint a new managing director who is based in the North East, is a competent negotiator , knows his stuff, preference to someone who has ties from the area, who knows the game and the people well and who can communicate with the press, the people and with Ashley.

    5. Appoint a new manager who has responsibility for all firing and hiring of players and coaching staff. This would include new scouting and coaching staff.

    6. Appoint an ambassador for the club who lives and breaths Newcastle and who will champion the club and put a face on it. ( Bobby Robson, Jack Charlton or Alan Shearer etc ) It will take a long time for Ashley to be back in favour in the area and he should take a back seat for the next 2 years

    A new broom is required whether Ashley stays or goes but don’t tell me not to criticise someone for incompetence, they deserve it and the club deserves better.

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  • Cyprus-Toon

    Dec 7, 2008 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #26

    Well from what I’ve read today, that Ashley has NOT paid off all our debt & so that’s why no one will pay the full asking price he’s after!!!
    Also, it seems some Israeli’s are interested in buying the toon, headed by Zahavi!!! could be interesting, having Musad wandering around the ground.. lol

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  • Stamford Toon

    Dec 7, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #27

    It would appear the JK can work with DW from his comments about the Jan window. Its all about team work. Shame KK couldn’t

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  • Premiership Manager

    Dec 8, 2008 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #28

    Ed got to agree with 1 & 2, and although I’m unsure about Wise staying the players signed to date have been impressive.

    With regard to contract talks and transfers I’d let Claudio Cacapa, Mark Viduka, Nikki Butt Alan Smith, Shola Amobi and Geremy go as they all have salaries which do not reflect value for money or long term investment.

    Edgar would stay as cover, (he’s still young so i’d give him a 1 yr extension), unless a reasonable offer was forthcoming.

    Unless Micheal Owen was willing to play on a pay per game basis or reduced salary I’d let him go because we have to be realistic and at over one million pounds per goal the money could be better spent elsewhere.

    Priorities in the transfer market would be a commanding defensive midfielder, a striker to compliment Martins, (somebody good in the air with good movement), and a left back. I’d also look to build on the reserves to get more players to challenge for the first team. Ranger would also get a shot in the first team, he’s young and hungry as were Owen and Rooney when they were his age and that would make sure that our strikers were kept on their toes.

    More than anything we need stability and unity at the club. JK needs the support of a good infrastructure and this includes a full compliment of coaching staff. This is vital and IMO has been a neglected area for a long time at NUFC hence the amount of injuries we have sustained over the years and the stupid goals we concede. One man can take the blame but he can’t coach a squad and address all of the coaching/physio issues unless he has the correct team and resourses.

    The fans should lay off JK as usual they are our worst enemy and can’t see the the fire because of the smoke. Give him time and most importantly the support he and the team need because at the moment they aren’t getting it from where it’s needed most and the is the board.

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  • Matthew Tom

    Dec 8, 2008 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #29

    hadrian and mervyn, voice of the true Toon.

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  • Sav

    Dec 8, 2008 at 5:19 AM

    Comment #30

    So apart from the first point. which is basically,’please tell us what the heck is going on’, your points, Ed, for Ashley are:-
    1. Get rid of the General Manager,
    2. Get rid of the Director of Football (possibly keeping on Wise as Chief Scout),
    3. Sort out the existing players,
    4. Buy some new good players.

    A tall order – I know you want to be conciliatory as the best short term remedy, but
    A. After all that has gone on, do you really expect he’s going to take it on and reorganise the club, getting rid of those closest to him in the process? – I don’t.
    B. Could those points not be summarised in ‘Ashley Out’?
    In other words, if FatAsh stopped trying to make a ridiculous profit at the wrong time on a club he has put in disarray, these things would all be sorted out at a stroke.

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  • Marz

    Dec 8, 2008 at 6:25 AM

    Comment #31

    There’s a ready made chairman in the name of David Dein – look no further

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  • jim

    Dec 8, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #32

    Obafan2-what u talkin about please? you said (1) ashley sell up and get out then (2) appnt a new manager then (3) spend some money on first team- i think he would find it hard to do (2 )and (3) if hes sold it! or is it just me? hahaha idiot-the blog says things ashley could do! are u nigerian? cos u make no sense

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  • lesh

    Dec 8, 2008 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #33

    Of the FIVE things Ashely can do – fully agree Ed

    The sixth is for the fans to deliver – get behind your team and manager – please give them your 110% support.

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  • jim

    Dec 8, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #34

    we all know what he needs to do! he needs to bite the bullet by admitting his mistake not giving keegan full control-then swallow his pride and get on the fone to him and apologise and get the bloke back! simple! thats what he should be doing-as hes certainly given kinnear some leaway-thats not very fair is it? letting kev go then changing his tune for an interim bloke in desperate need of a job! mike we all know keegan cold have compromised-but he sticks to his morals and he was in the right to do so-so get on the fone and get him back-compensate joe kinnear for ending his new deal-he wont care-let the mackems have him! and you all know you would like him back-then he can warm the seat for shearer to take over in 3 years! he mite not win us the league but he mite get us in europe and maybe win a cup! KEEGAN! KEEGAN!

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  • UTD111

    Dec 8, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #35

    Well said Jim!!

    Sack the Dwarf

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  • doofa the loofa

    Dec 8, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #36

    keegan is the only answer. why wait until there’s only about 10000 gate.

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  • dave

    Dec 8, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #37

    what ashley needs to do is UNITE the club – get everyone involved fans,players,manager and directors UNITED behind the team if not we’ll go down
    He can do so in one of 2 ways
    sell up and get out
    admit his mistakes and if he doesn’t want to get rid of DW he needs to clarify his role and let all the fans and everyone else know the command structure and who is responsible for what but ultimately the manager must make the final decision on transfers
    The PR at the club is at an all time low even when the Pirate was chairman the affairs of the club were more transparant!!!!!!!

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  • Sav

    Dec 8, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #38

    Ash has already ‘clarified Wise’s role’ – so has Wise and so did Mort and Keegan came out and said it had been clarified to him at meetings…the thing is, no-one can trust the bloke (FatAsh) or what he says. That is no-one’s fault but his own, and that ‘notorious ‘It is a fact’ PR disaster did nowt to improve matters.

    Ashley, just go.

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  • TQ

    Dec 9, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #39

    Agree with much of what you said, however, I would like to add a few suggestions of my own,

    1. Teach all Newcastle playing staff the apparently difficult skill of passing to our own players.
    2. Install a neon sign, probably 200´ x 100´would suffice, above the East stand, directly in front of out dugout, which states ´Newcastle United cannot defend a lead, do not attempt it – ever´.
    3. Allow all of the ball boys to take free kicks before Nicky Butt – he´s plain shite.
    4. Make it a local by-law that rather than allowing the Clydesdale horse called Shola onto the pitch, we give the boy Ranger a chance. Ameobi, if he does come onto the field of play must be forced to wear long shoes, a loud chequered suit and a red nose.
    5. Get rid of Duff (aptly named), Coco the clown, Butt, Geremi and Smith (please, please get rid of Smith). Give Xisco a break with a run in the team – we´ve done it for Smith with no return, why not Xisco?
    6. Save money on long drawn out lawsuits by brining KK back in the place of the Cockney Dwarf. We know Kev is good in the transfers markets – why not give it a shot. You never know he may take us up on it.

    I really think that Mike Ashley was enjoying plodding around Newcastle doing his thing, he just made a couple of poor decisions and was badly advised. Not many of us can say we´ve never had a sudden influx of excrement to the cranium and not regretted it – give the lad a chance.

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