Mike Ashley Should Keep Doing What He’s Doing

Derek Llambias is doing his best to detail just how much Mike Ashley has put into the Newcastle club this season to keep them afloat.

Derek Llambias – praising Mike Ashley

But Derek would be better advised not to push it too much, after the mess Mike made of the famous club in his first two seasons on Tyneside.

Mike’s only cleaning up the mess he made, but yes it’s good he’s keeping the club afloat through the end of the season, in the distinct hope the club get promoted at their very first attempt.

The only way Mike can garner the support of Newcastle fans longer term however, is by doing what he’s been doing these last two months – keeping a low profile and supporting his manager.

Derek Llambias wrote in the Newcastle program yesterday:

“ “Let me set the record straight about Mike’s commitment to Newcastle United.”

“Since the beginning of the season, he has pumped £25.5million into this football club and this week, a further £5M was needed.”

“In addition to these amounts, Mike, realizing the need to bring in new faces and back his manager’s request, spent £5.5M in the January transfer window.”   “This cash, as with all the funds that Mike has put into the club, is interest-free.”

“This money is critical and is needed to cover the shortfall between what we bring in as a football club (income) and what we pay out (costs).”

“As you will have read in the press, not all football clubs have such a benefactor and some are on the verge of bankruptcy or have already gone into administration.”

“There are clubs from across the board that are struggling financially at this moment in time, and if it wasn’t for Mike’s continued input, I genuinely think we would be in a similar position to the one Portsmouth find themselves in at this moment.”’

There is still significant negativity towards Ashley from sections of the Newcastle supporters, and some of them will never take to Ashley – ever – even if we won the Premiership.

However, fans who are only human and if they see Mike trying to right his wrongs of the past, and he brings the club back from disaster and we start to do well, then over time they will start supporting him.

Certainly those fans who were hoping he will sell in the summer are going to be disappointed because Mike will not do that – not after such a great comeback season.

Certainly the club under Chris Hughton looks a lot more stable than it’s been since Bobby Robson managed the club, and the team spirit is one of the best the club has had for many many years – and it’s great to see!

With continuing support for Chris in the summer from Ashley, and some decent signings, things are certainly improving on Tyneside, and the summer transfer season promises to be a good one for Newcastle fans.

Ashley’s gamble of trying to keep the club afloat so they can win promotion seems to be paying off with the team rampant in the second half yesterday, and they are now 9 points ahead of WBA in third place.

It’s certainly looking good right now for automatic promotion.

Howay The Lads!!

21 comments so far

  • Tom4Nufc

    Mar 7, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Lets just hope we get that automatic promotion secured in the near future!

    Is anyone else worried about next weekend? I think it will be a hard one as Boro need to win a large majority of the rest of their games to get in play-offs and will be pumped against their top of the table rivals but nonetheless I’m keeping the faith! 😀

  • Toon-Army

    Mar 7, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #2


    team are 8 points clear not 9 😉

  • Tom4Nufc

    Mar 7, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #3

    He said 9 points clear of WBA in 3rd place! 😉 Sorry, I am in a pedantic mood today! 😀

  • richietoon

    Mar 7, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Ashley should get rid of DL the mans a joke,we don’t want to hear everyday how much is being put into save the club from a financial mess that is partly their own doing.Get a decent chairman in that we can trust and respect and who will respect us whatever our opinions.MA should apologise for the wrongs that have gone on before including the lies,this should be done by him personally and in a local paper or tv not a London based rag.Outline your plans for our club,take care of it,run it right and be totally honest then maybe we can all move on from all the disasters that have happened……………..will any of that happen? almost certainly not but I can always dream.HWTL

  • Sav

    Mar 7, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #5

    Howay, Ed, sometimes your opinions lep about like a cat on hot bricks.
    Ashley is protecting his investment. That’s all.
    He’s bought the place, treated it exactly how he likes, shamed the club and several people dear to the it and is just putting back in some of the money he’s coined by minimal investment and flogging off Bassong, Milner, Martins, Duff, Beye, and N’Zogbia. I shouldn’t have to go back over this stuff to remind you what a lying disreputable pair this is. I could go on and on. By my reckoning we’ve still a fair amount of coming to us from all those outgoing transfers.
    Llambias is also setting us up for a very modest investment in the summer.
    There’s also some kind of myth building that we got rid of all the wasters and the ones without spine or heart and that’s why we are doing so well. I’m afraid we still have many of the players who disappointed fans most last season and who disappeared when needed to show up and earn thier wages. We all know who they are. the fact is, its been mostly our ambitious and most skillful players who have gone – or in other words, the ones the club could get any kind of a fee for.
    Don’t let 6-1 against 10-man Barnsley at home cloud your judgement. we aren’t goint to take the Premiership by storm with this lot. The reason we are doing so well is primarily because this league is rubbish.
    Ashley Out!

  • Jeff D

    Mar 7, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #6

    richietoon. I coulnt have put it better.
    Ed i think you are wrong to say some supporters will never forgive Ashley even if we won the Premier league title. He would get the keys to the Toon!!!
    Weve been waiting for 41 years for us to win something. Being relegated has been the reality check that weve needed. maybe we can return a lot stronger. i only hope we can.

  • Nojdani

    Mar 7, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #7

    Ed, the mess was already there when Ashley took over the club and he has been cleaning it up from the beginning…

  • Nojdani

    Mar 7, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #8

    It is healthy to protect any investment. If you don´t you will go down!!

  • Sav

    Mar 7, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #9

    That’s obvious, Noj, no argument.
    But much as I like his blog, every so often Ed’s years in management background gets the better of his objectivity and he gets the old sentimental reactionary record out and gives it a couple of spins.
    – Sorry, Ed, no disrespect, I like you and your blog, but you are sometimes FAR too ready to assume you speak for everyone or the ‘voice of reason’ and personally, I don’t think you always do. Its nowt personal, you are a fan, not a journalist but you could, for example do well to take a leaf out of NUFC.COM who are more scrupulous in distinguishing between editorial opinion, majority opinion, and are still aware that neither of those two may be right.

  • boater

    Mar 7, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #10

    Sav – NUFC.com is a toon blog – albeit by two of the most savvy and discerning pundits in the region, whereas this is a forum intended to spark debate between subscribers – so it’s an unfair criticism.

    I don’t agree with you at all about the reason we are doing so well is just the league drop. Look at boro for a club which couldn’t handle things in either league, the amount of smaller yo-yo clubs – stoke, fulham, birmingham, fulham that’ve established themselves in the prem as steady eddies by virtue of playing a compact organised game.

    Our squad is happy and pulling in the same direction – that sounds obvious but Hughton has brought about change. I don’t think for one minute we will take the prem by storm but there is a MASSIVE difference between this upwardly mobile set-up and the one from 12 months ago.

  • gallowgate chris

    Mar 7, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #11

    Sav – spot on!
    You need to look at the team now and say who can really make an impact in theprem?
    enrique colo taylor simpson

    Routledge, Best, Guthrie and perhaps Carroll may be ok but thats it, bottom line the first team needs a new center mid with pace and proven prem goalscorers upfront, they cost alot and we’re shaping up to spend almost nothing!

    We could look at the following:
    Fast center mids – Sidwell, reo-coker, o’hara
    Goals: Piquionne, Rodalega.

    Barton, Nolan, Smith, Ameobi – over 150k p/w that will not be able to cope – need to go in the summer when someone else may take them.

  • chuck

    Mar 7, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #12

    Ed. being a Phd. I know you understand the difference be-tween WE and I, in which case could you stop including the rest of the fans in stating what you think.
    And how do you know, (living over three thousand miles from the NUFC dressing room ) the team spirit is some of the best it has been in years, could this be spin ?
    And with a few decent signings (under twenty six with a fifteen thousand a week salary cap)
    in the summer, promises to be a good one.
    You really think so ?
    As far as Ashleys gamble to keep the club afloat,
    are you serious, he had to to protect his investment, every dog in the street knows that !
    And LESH have to agree pal, some just cant get past the spin.

  • boater

    Mar 7, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #13

    gallowgate chris… ahhh deep sigh. We haven’t even got the premiership yet and the squaking parrots are going on and on and bloody on about who’s not good enough.. It is that kind of lynch mob crap that helped de-stabalize the team last time around,, some people just don’t learn.

    “Barton, Nolan, Smith, Ameobi – over 150k p/w that will not be able to cope “…. all have coped when playing in good sides which are well organised – unlike us last season. DO you just think that it’s one huge coincidence that suddenly everyone was rubbish at once? MAybe just maybe a logical common denominator is behind it all.. put your pitchfork away until the summer at least.

  • tdt

    Mar 7, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #14

    chuck – Ed has dealt with that point before, remember? By “We” he means the blog, ie basically himself.

    “the spin” is more colloquially known as opinion. As noboby other than the players and “insiders” really know whats going on other than what is said or printed, more of us mere mortals have to go on “the spin” ie everyone elses views which forms the news, to have an informed opinion of our own.

    But obviously you know everthing that goes on. The dressing room team spirit is obviously high. listen to what the players as CH is saying! Technically every word that comes out of anyone’s mouth is “spin” as it is not a scientic fact, that doesnt necessarily mean that every spoken word its not true, does it?

  • bowburnmag

    Mar 7, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #15

    Technically I think Ed refers to ‘we’ as in him and Neil because he also writes for the blog?

    Ed – agree wholeheartedly that Llambias should wind his neck in. I’m of the same opinion as many, that Ashley would be doing himself a favour if he pedalled Del Boy. Unfortunately he seems to be sticking with him, so thinking long term reconciliation, I’m not sure what that sort of endorsement says about Ashley and what that means for winning over the fans.

    If anyone got a renewal letter for their season ticket, the inane ramblings went conveniently with the recent spin in the press. Also timed conveniently with a request for people to renew a full three months in advance of the normal deadline otherwise face losing your seat, bearing mind these are lads who have been holders since Ossie Ardiles and before. Trying to spin the punters into submission while everything is slightly rosier?

    As for the bit about “…some decent signings, things are certainly improving on Tyneside, and the summer transfer season promises to be a good one for Newcastle fans.”. Do you reckon Ed? Does everything they’ve been saying recently not imply that they’re forewarning us we won’t spend much in the summer. Before anyone shouts about ‘delusions of grandeur’, I’m just talking about prudent but necessary speculation. I’m far from convinced that they are aware that it will take much more than January’s transfers to make an impact on the Premiership.

  • chuck

    Mar 7, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #16

    The summer transfer window eh !
    I can see great expectations from the fans being as usual unmet by the club.
    Already there are rumors concerning Cleverly and Willshire coming on loan and another try for Aanholt.
    Yes it`s cheaper to get em on loan than buy them.
    So if your expectations are high, lower them, the name of the game is austerity.

  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 7, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #17

    It’s funny how a lot of the posters that go on about spin the club is giving (the people in the know) spout forth with the counter spin (cr*p generated by the people NOT in the know),

    So we all look at the info that comes from the club and form our own opinions.

    So mine is Ashley bought the club and because of a lack of due diligence found himself also inheriting a £70 million debt along with it, which by all accounts he paid off.

    Just so there is no misunderstanding I will repeat A £70 MILLION DEBT WHICH HE PAID OFF.

    If that is true then let us forget for the moment the cost of buying the club and just consider the debt he cleared off, now in my eyes not until he has taken back the £70 million will he be coining anything in? As in my eyes he is just recovering some of his outlay.

    “Sav” goes on about players sold and where is the money from said sales well if you consider that a lot of buying and selling is done on credit i.e. future earnings which was I understand the basis for financing the Owen purchase, when the future earnings don’t materialise then there is a debt needing to be paid and nothing to pay it with.

    So when players are sold not only is there often not a pot of cash left over, often there is still a financial hole but why let facts like that stand in the way of some mindless griping.

    So Sav you are looking for money that may never have existed well you may well be Sav but you are certainly not Savvy

    Personally I think the club was in the state it was in because it gave in to fan pressure and tried to buy success like breaking transfer records, plenty big name big money failures, and yet there are plenty of you out there still screaming we need to spend, spend, spend.

    How thick do you have to be to see that it did not work and is not the solution?

  • Sav

    Mar 7, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #18

    Dunno…..very thick indeed, I suppose?

    Look , I’m not trying to start a row on here and perhaps I was a little harsh on Ed, but I get angry every time Llambias opens his gob and tries to BS me and the rest of the fans. The spiel above we’ve had 3 times in a few days – first anonymously from the ‘Club insider’ and then, once he’d tested it out, its in the programme notes and what seems to be a press conference or press interview. In the quote reproduced above, he implies that its 25.5 million given PLUS 5.5 million in January, whereas originally, it was 20 million given in October with the January money bringing it up to 25.5 in total. A small point, perhaps, but entirely typical. The bloke is a congenital liar and will never learn. He thinks it is his job to flim-flam his customers. Incidentally, 5.5 million is higher than press reports of the fees paid out last month.

    As for spending massively, I’m not advocating it. By default, Ashley has ended up having to pay off the club debt. Presumably that makes his asset more valuable so in all honesty, its just a transfer of funds. Its not that he didn’t know the club owed money, just that he didn’t know it had to be cleared up front? If you have the assets to cover it, its not really that big a deal.

    But I have learned to be suspicious and circumspect about whatever L & A come out with, as, clearly, have lots of other fans. I don’t know where you get the stuff about players transfer fees being unpaid. TBH I haven’t a clue what you were talking about there. Maybe I AM thick, Cupidstunt? I know we made 7.5 million clear profit on Bassong, at least 6 on Milner and about 5 on N’Zogbia. Martins, Beye and Duff breaking evens, roughly. And I’d forgotten to include Given, which is another 5 million in. So no, I won’t be shedding any tears for Ashley over his having to fork out to clean up after himself and I’ll be dancing in the street when he goes. I only hope Ed is wrong and that he does find a buyer and s*d off as soon as we are up.

    As for Hughton, he has done well, no doubt. If I was owner, I’d find it difficult not to give him at least a shot at the Premiership. But I’d be worried. I’m quite sure he appealed to the owner as the cheap managerial option.

  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 7, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #19

    I agree with you on D Lame ar*e I think he has problems lying straight in bed, but I do think for a long time a lot of our player purchases were made on credit and not a simple cash lump up front.

    I might be wrong and if so will be shot down for it but here goes.

    I think MO was purchased by financing, using some cash along with future sponsorship and other income as security, this is how FFS was able to come up with the cash for players, I do not think it was actual cash but more along the lines of finance borrowed against future club revenues.

    That being the possible case we do not know just what profit was made if any for the sale of any of the players, and I suppose the worst of it is now that MA owns the club outright there is the possibility that there will be fewer facts and figures released which will make it more of a guessing game.

    Yes we made a big profit on Bassong as we got a lot more than we paid for him, but that just goes to balance the books against all the players that we lost money on like Boumsong big money in small money out big losses so players bought and sold are regularly swings and roundabouts.

    Owen was costing us about 5.5 mil per year while sitting on the physio’s couch then moved on at a big loss to the club, Bassongs profit does not even go close to covering the financial loss on Owen alone. Maybe Milner, Beye, and N’Zogbia who were on the face of it sold at a profit maybe covered the Owen loss but I doubt it.

    Ashley would do a lot better if he just told DL to go or at the least keep his mouth shut.

  • lesh

    Mar 8, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #20

    Yes Ashley has made some big gaffes in his time with us and whilst I understand some of the venom that’s directed at him, I do think it’s becoming a little tedious. Although not at the game on Saturday, it’s been reported that there was some anti-Ashley chanting from fans – not very bright really!

    Of course he’s not exactly endeared himself to supporters, there are some amongst us who must surely begin to realise that he is putting his hand in his pocket to provide day-to-day working capital – without which the club would fold.

    He’s not going to let that happen as he’s got so much to lose and is therefore protecting his investment until the club really is a saleable proposition. Until then, he’s investing with a view to getting us up to the Prem and from there, consolidating and setting the finances into sensible proportions and debt free if possible.

    What do the booers want? Do they want him to put the club on the market and let us endure another close season of uncertainty and instability with no cash injections to finance player deals? Do they really want this club to flounder yet again with players bailing ou and none wanting to join us? Are these people mad?

    Surely common sense says show the guy some respect by at least maintaining a dignified silence. At least recognise that without the investment during the transfer window, we’d be struggling.

    At least encourage NUST, which may well be making the bullets for the anti-Ashley brigade to fire, to enter constructive dialogue with Ashley or establish itself as a credible alternative to him.

    Come on guys, wake up and give Ashely what he wants, whether your feeling are from the heart or not and support him in making our club successful and a product that will be sought after by big investors. Do that, and MA might be gone….. leaving us fit a well for the future.

    And yes Ed, Mr Llambias really ought to have mor sense than add fuel to the smouldering fire of discontent among some fans.

    Just a few random thoughts, that’s all.

    Oh, and I’ll say it again: I am NOT an apologist for MA but one who values our club and wants nothing more than for it to be in the news for the right reasons – come back the entertainers.

  • Davies

    Mar 8, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #21

    Sav, just to reiterate, the money from player sales doesn’t go into Ashley’s pocket, it goes to the club. Since we are effectively running a Premier League team in the Champion, however much of the money actually came in will be long gone by now.

    Also, please don’t accuse Ed of having no “objectivity” and then end your rant with “Ashley out”. It just makes you look like an idiot.


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