Llambias Meets With Newcastle Supporters’ Groups


This is probably the worst season in living memory at Newcastle, in terms of upheaval and ridicule being heaped on the Tyneside club.

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Mike Ashley – never lost his passion for Newcastle

After trying to sell the club, failing to do that and then deciding to hold onto the club after all, Mike Ashley now has to prove he is a suitable owner for Newcastle United, and he has some convincing to do with fans, after remaining silent for far too long.

Things are being helped now by Derek Llambias presumably talking regularly to the local Newcastle papers, who we think have been more than fair to the new regime, and that’s a good start by Llambias – but he needs to keep it up.

And Derek met Newcastle fans’ representatives at a Supporters’ Panel meeting at St James’ Park last night, and had this to say about owner Mike Ashley:

“The passion has always been there from Mike,” “He has missed it while he has been away, particularly the games. He brought the kids back against Everton, which was good, and he will continue to bring them.”

“He’s back onside. I don’t think he ever left. At the end of the day he was upset. He felt he couldn’t win (after Keegan’s exit).”

“He’s pumped so much money into something, thought he was going in the right direction. You are thinking you’re getting it right and then all of sudden, out of the blue, you get a curve ball.”

“You think ‘where did that come from?’ Then you have to start again or you look at it again. We’ve been naive and unfortunate in many ways.”

Well, we agree with the naive part, but why it had to last so long remains a mystery, that’s for sure. Not talking to a huge fan base, which is the most passionate in the land was never ever going to work – and they proved it.

However, when Mike Ashley did take over the club in the summer of 2007, he had never run a football club before, and everyone would have thought he would have got experienced people in to run his new business.

But Mike  didn’t, and while Chris Mort did a very good job when he was here, and talked often to the fans to explain things going on at the club, once Derek Llambias came in it was all silent on the Newcastle front – and that was one huge mistake, which only now are they trying to correct.

Derek continued:

“I think we understand Newcastle United a lot better after what has happened this season,”  “Absolutely, we understand it better as a club and as a business. We are catching on quickly.”

“I think Mike misses the involvement and getting involved with the crowd. He loved it. He bought Newcastle to enjoy it, not simply as another business.”

“He’s invested a huge amount of money in it and he doesn’t want to fail.”

And Derek Llambias was also keen to stress that Mike Ashley considers Newcastle United Football Club to be completely separate from the rest of his business dealings:

Derek said:

“This is nothing to do with Sports Direct. It’s his passion and he really wants it to work. It’s difficult when you have people saying ‘Ashley Out’ but we are trying to look forward rather than back,”

“There seems to be a misconception that the money NUFC makes goes to Mike, but we won’t take a penny out. All the money that is generated will go back into improving the football club.”

At the end of the day it’s good that Derek had the meeting, which he had to postpone when Joe Kinnear was taken ill a couple of weeks ago, but now that he has met with the representatives of the supporters, let’s hope that it becomes a regular event.

Communication will help greatly on both sides, and Derek will get to know better the frustrations of Newcastle fans, if he doesn’t know them already.

If any of our readers were at the meeting last night it would be good to hear how they thought it went.

Comments welcome.



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35 comments so far

  • hitman

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #1

    actions speak louder than words.

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  • ObaMartins

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #2

    Who really believes anything these lot say ????

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  • Stuart79

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #3

    At least their trying.

    It’ a start, I’m giving them one more pre season.

    Some say that’s too forgiving but I want the best for the club so I suggest to the rest of the supporters that we continue to support the club as a whole.

    Are you listening NUSC?

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  • chewbaka30

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #4

    give them a chance man….no point being sceptical all the time….at the end of the day they dont want us relegated….

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #5

    This is a good development. Were there any NUSC ‘officials’ there?

    The niggle is still that Llambias is saying how naive they’ve been, and yet there’s no mention of putting that right by getting some football people in. But then, isn’t that pretty much expecting Llambias to fire himself?

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  • rooks

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #6

    well done Penfold !
    more of the same please

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  • SpartanChris

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #7

    They have the keys to the door and no matter what we do or say, they will continue down the road that they intend to travel.

    Support the team and hope for the best is all we can do.

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  • ronaldeano

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #8

    Agreed Stuart79

    Ashley is here to stay weather we like it or not.

    Im sick of wingeing on about it all.

    We now have to start putting faith in these guys and get behind the team

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  • ginkoh

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #9

    the first and the most important mission for us now is survive the relegation battle. And anyone who support Newcastle should be focus on the pitch and support the club as much as we can.

    Don’t mind Ashley and co. now If we can survive this season, if we want Ashley resign from our club, if we want to protest them, Please do it later on summer. Now we’re in crisis. If we still have inside conflict how can we fight with rivals?

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  • Sav

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #10

    Now THAT is a good idea.

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  • Sav

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #11

    Sorry. Whumpie’s was a good idea.

    They want to start by not making every transfer window into a money maker. And showing the 20m per season investment. Is that hard for them to understand?

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #12

    Ok, I’m sticking my neck on the blogging block here…

    I think that Ashley should now be able to go out for a bevvy in the Toon after a win, and expect to have a grief-free evening celebrating with the fans. The more he enjoys it all, the more he’ll commit and spend. And besides, if he’s spending £20m a year – for little more than fun – on our club, I think we should recognise that.

    Any thoughts?

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  • Stuart79

    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #13

    Sav

    My understand ing is that Ashley’s 20m per season has gone on paying for the players that the previous regime had bought and also allowing the compnay to continue as going concern.

    The financial prediciment of he club is improving(or at least it looks like it is).

    I believe that Ashley would have much rather the money he has put in have gone to he playing suad but he’s been unable to do that.

    Hopefully the next transfer window will show this. I don’t think he’s got any excuses left so we’ll see.

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  • rooks

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #14

    aye Whumpie, get him pissed in the hope that 20 mill might drop out his fat pockets

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #15

    Stuart – totally agree. My only big concerns are:

    1. We may not be out of the financial woods by the summer, and I think Ashley did predict that the club would still lose about £10m next year, which leaves a player pot of just £10m, plus the £8m we made in January. Still – that’s workable given the type of players the strategy is after.

    2. While there’s lots of admission of guilt and naivity, there’s no sign of addressing that, and it’s becoming clear that they think learning on the job is ok. It’s not, and that is going to continue to hurt us.

    Overall, I think we’re going to be ok. For the first time in my time as a supporter, I think we may have a workable strategy. The teams around us don’t and that’s going to change the face of the premiership very soon.

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  • RyanToon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #16

    got a SONG for bassong on sunday 😉 bit of a copy and paste 😉

    Seb-ba song song song!
    he is better than Jean Boumsong!
    seb-ba song song song!
    he’s gonna kick ya in the dong!
    to the left
    to the right
    do the frog’s legs dance tonight
    he’s the man he is key
    and he shits on bellamy!!

    … expect to hear it on Sunday!

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #17

    rooks – you saw through my dastardly plan..

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  • cashleyout

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #18

    i know my name is cashleyout but im starting to feel this lot are trying to make amends, lets give them 1 more pre season to get the right players in, more communication etc. lets all just be on the same side and hopefully have a great next season.

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #19

    Ryan – that is quality. I particularly like the ‘kick in the dong’ line of desperation to keep the rhyme going.

    Sing it loud, lads.

    Incidentally, I am utterly gutted that, after years of spending hours on the redial button to stand any chance of seeing a game, as soon as I had to move south and can’t get to games any more, suddenly you can get tickets just by turning up. No fair. And how annoying is it knowing that those who live within walking distance still don’t go and leave perfectly good seats empty??

    Sorry. End of rant.

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  • RyanToon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #20

    This is my last stab at glory…To the tune of Que sera sera…

    Seb Bassong, Bassong,
    A wonderful sight to see,
    I’m glad you’re not tackling me,
    Seb Bassong, Bassong….

    another good one 😉

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #21

    cashleyout – that is one of the most telling posts in months. Good on yer.

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #22

    Ryan – that one is better, and quite a lot less, um,

    Gay.

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  • Stuart79

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #23

    Whumpie

    Don’t forget that a huge chunk of the crippling wage bill will be off the books also. That should release funds to bring in players.

    Like I said I’m happy to give them one more pre season.

    I do believe that they have made a mistake in not appointing a permanant manager and leaving the club in the hands of Hughton and Calderwood.

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  • RyanToon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #25

    whumpie there not MY songs mate, i got them off bbc 606, i like both songs 😉 theres loads other on there, heres the link

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/F12722462?thread=6355537&show=50

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  • Little Willie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #26

    Whumpie – 2. While there’s lots of admission of guilt and naivity, there’s no sign of addressing that, and it’s becoming clear that they think learning on the job is ok. It’s not, and that is going to continue to hurt us.

    ———-

    Most takeovers have people in new to the game who have to start somewhere and there isn’t a long list of former club chairman at the job centre either.

    Our problems basically come down to us being in a poor financial situation and until they turn that around (which tbf to them they seem to be doing) then we will never get anywhere.

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #27

    I just think Llambias himself was the biggest mistake – more so than Wise. Still, we’re stuck with him and right now things are improving fast – so let’s stick with ’em and hope to bring the fun back into it ASAP before Ashley runs out of patience with the whole thing and takes his wallet elsewhere.

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  • lesh

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #28

    RyanToon // Feb 25, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    This is my last stab at glory…To the tune of Que sera sera…

    Seb Bassong, Bassong,
    A wonderful sight to see,
    I’m glad you’re not tackling me,
    Seb Bassong, Bassong….

    another good one…………

    and far better than the first one – much more mature!!!

    0
  • ronaldeano

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #29

    @Hitman

    That is a superb article

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  • 3D_Delnaja

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #30

    Hey finally we are startin to look positive on things as a unit! Great to see & hear although we still have too see what happens but I for one am confident that we have a sustainable future onwards.
    But a new manager(Bruce?Sven Göran?) is needed next season & I think the time to kick wise out & bringing in Alan as a recruit manager is vital.
    Any decent talented player would rather listen to him than that little rat who had a hmmmm decent career?
    Well enough of the whinin & lets keep gettin united again as fans. All of us lovin this club & have faith must show all these negative loud mouths commitment & unity.
    The club couldnt survive without this new approach, but it will take some time to see the results, not next season or the one after that but for the long haul its better for us. We will stay a PL team & will challenge for europe if we give it time & stability. Now time is a sensitive matter for us magpies but if we have waited this long why not continue & make our evaluation of this regime when we see actions towards their promises or not? For now we have to support the TEAM cause they are the ones fightin for our future right NOW.
    I root for Sven Göran as manager & Shearer in the recruit stables then the big four will fear us once again given some TIME that is…

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  • SpartanChris

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #31

    we’re all turning into stardust!!! 🙂

    0
  • pk08

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #32

    People very quickly need to get away from the idea that Shearer would be a good manager

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  • Stardust

    Feb 25, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #33

    Lol Spartan Chris – theres been plenty of room on my bandwagon for a long time lol.

    Re: “He loved it. He bought Newcastle to enjoy it, not simply as another business.”” I always advocated it was a lifestyle investment not a monetary investment per se – that statement shows why he didnt do due dilligence – he just didnt care as it was meant to be fun. Then the markets changed ………..

    Anyway, good to see folks recognising that some improvements have been made, and nice to see the club talking.

    It would be even better if those egotists NUSC were shut up for once and for all – can someone tell me what their point is?

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  • Don

    Feb 25, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #34

    “All the money that is generated will go back into improving the football club.”

    Not the team….the club

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  • Little Willie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #35

    Don // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    “All the money that is generated will go back into improving the football club.”

    Not the team….the club

    ——

    Whats wrong with that?

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