Chris Hughton Has Saved Ashley’s Bacon On Tyneside

With the news in the Daily Mirror that Mike Ashley was somehow going to reduce players’ wages next season in the Premier League, the Newcastle owner arrived at Benton yesterday, for a fleeting visit to talk to manager   Chris Hughton and the Newcastle players.

Mike Ashley with Hughton and players yesterday

Ashley hadn’t reduced the wages when the side are playing in England’s second tier of football and getting just £50M in revenues this season.

So why he would do that in the PL we have no idea, but the Daily Mirror has never let logic or common sense get in the way of one of their ludicrous stories, have they?

Ashley arrived in his helicopter at around 10:00 local time to take in Newcastle’s training session, ahead of the very important game at Middlesbrough tomorrow afternoon.

Mike flew in from his Buckinghamshire home, and he is said to have been in very good spirits.

The owner was at the training ground for about 3 hours, and is said to have told Hughton, in no uncertain terms, that he appreciated the job the manager has done so far this season.

It’s an open question how much he’ll pay Chris in enumeration next season, should Chris get the lads promoted.

One thing is for certain, it will be Chris’ highest wages ever as a coach or manager. And the same can be said for his assistant Colin Calderwood.

At least these two deserve everything that’s coming to them, and that’s meant in a positive way.

Chris has saved Mike Ashley’s bacon on Tyneside this season, as it seems the lads will get back to the PL next season, after some disastrous decisions made by Mike culminated in the club’s relegation last season.

Newcastle fans have to hope that Mike has learned from those many mistakes he made, but maybe the good news is that he’s at least admitted those terrible mistakes.

But exactly when he’ll be able to have a pint with the Newcastle fans again may still be some time into the the future, and we know some fans will never forgive him.

The proverbial Newcastle United insider told the Evening Chronicle today:

“Mr Ashley was in good form during his visit to Benton.

“It was just a routine visit and there’s nothing unusual about it, it’s happened a few times during his reign at Newcastle.”

“He was keen to see how training was going and have a chat with Chris Hughton ahead of the Boro game.”

“He also wanted to wish Chris and all the players the best of luck and he told Chris what a great job he was doing.”

“Mike enjoyed the training session and had a bit of banter with the players too.”

“He’s very much a fan of football and is looking forward to the Boro game.”

The only thing that really matters for Newcastle United these days is getting another win.

We have no idea how many more points Newcastle will need to earn promotion but we’re not too worries about that.

We just want Newcastle to win their next game, and that’s at Middlesbrough tomorrow afternoon.

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Chris G

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #2

    ‘…Mike flew in from his Buckinghamshire home, and he is said to have been in very good spirits.’

    Of course he was – he’d need to have a few drinks during a long flight like that, wouldn’t he?

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #3

    Yap, well even if he has planned the wage reductions, it would be good in the long run. The general situation in world footy today is unhealthy financially speaking.

    Some of the readers in here have said it, and I’ll say it again. Ashley just might be the best thing that has happened to NUFC since SBR. In few years the whole EPL will face cuts in player wages and transfer fees (Think about Liverpool or ManUre). The credit crunch plus the new transfer & Finance rules driven by Platini & UEFA will change the climate in world football and we might be one of the front runners then and there.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #4

    I agree, it’s time for a truce. I’ll never like the guy, but the longer this hatred rumbles on, the more it will hold us back next year as MA will always just be looking at the bottom line and offloading the club.

    Soon (another 6 wins should do it) we will need to indulge in serious longer term strategic decisions, made with an eye on just how we plan to progress over the next 3 seasons. This is not possible with the Ashley taunts or one eye on selling the club.

    Besides, the real bottom line is there is no realistic option to Ashley (certainly not NUST who lack the capital and business experience), and since the hard work has been done and fizzy misery has already been endured by all then why oh why would we want to change owners now?

    Compare to the Glasers who have plundered Man Utd’s equity base, Ashley is an angel. He has not mortgaged NUFC, but rather pulled the club out of the kind of crippling debt that sets up spiralling interest rate commitments that in turn leads to administration or worse. He has put more of his own cash into this club than anyone in its history!!

    He can’t undo the errors of last season, but he has certainly sorted it out this year and proved his model can work. Back off, give him a chance, it could have been far far worse.

    There’s a time to shout abuse, and there’s a time to remain silent. The vociferous ones never notice the changing seasons.

  • Johno Toon

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #5

    As ive said before I think the club has a whole ( fans owner playeres management etc etc ) have to put a line under last season and move on, Its over and as Captain Beefheart said it cannot be changed

  • lesh

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #6

    Posts in summary:
    1 – the Torygraph article’s old hat but nevertheless, the message to the whingers is clear – shut up!

    2 – It’s a long and tricky flight from deepest Bucks!

    3 – agreed about the sate of football, worlwide. Too much greed and a lot of the responsibilty must rest with Sky who’ve pumped mega-millilins into teh game, clubs and thus player wages. There is a monster that needs to be tamed before football as we know it, devours itself.

    4 – Captain Beefheart, or is it Captain Sensible? A good post – agreeed 120% and refer back to post 1 to complete the loop.

  • lesh

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #7

    And @5 for good measure, we’re getting a consensus here andnot before time too.

  • Alan

    Mar 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #8

    agreed with everyone. Things need to stay in the past now and let us look forward.

    I believe Chris needs to take so much credit for the clubs resurrection though, he has truly worked wonders.

    Wrote an articles about this on my blog:

    if people could have a read and leave some comments I would be really grateful as this is for my uni work.

    Thank you 🙂

  • G

    Mar 12, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #9

    To put this in to context, I would prefer MA at the club than Fat Fred, after all, I never forgave Fat Fred for the whole whoremongering, geordie women, and 40 quid a shirt mugs episode. At least MA seems to be at least trying to fix his mistakes. I don’t think I will ever be able to say I like the guy, but I certainly don’t hate him either.

  • Ericles

    Mar 12, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #10

    To me it looks like the players have turned their backs on the Fat Man and are walking away!

  • Ericles

    Mar 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #11

    Do not know what the joke was but going by the Cheapy Chappy’s posture it can only be a belly laugh! Ashley does not make me laugh – no way!

  • Solaidback

    Mar 12, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #12

    Having seen what the Glazers have done at Manc Usa, Gillett & Hicks have done at Cessepool, I think that Ashley has seen what Abramovich has done at Chelski with regards funds for the club, which in hindsight is way better than anyone else has done for their teams, so I think it’s time to put all of what happened last season behind us & get behind the team as we use to be under SBR 🙂
    Lets hope what Llambias said about Ashley not selling the club is actually true & that he’s willing to stick with us for a season or two until someone who’s as rich as him or richer comes along who wants to take the club to the next level, that way they’ll be no problems with a take-over then but for now, I’m with the ‘Lets get behind the team & Owner’ club 🙂

    HWTL 🙂 2-0 for us tomoz

  • coxonfamily

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #13

    I will never forgive the “man” if thats the right word, and for the amount of people using Sir Bobbys name near his I think its disgusting to be honest. I get on with things as a fan but I will never forgive him, He got us relegated and a win in this league is nothing to be excited about, we should never have been here.

  • Solaidback

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #14

    coxonfamily // Mar 12, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    I will never forgive the “man” if thats the right word, and for the amount of people using Sir Bobbys name near his I think its disgusting to be honest. I get on with things as a fan but I will never forgive him, He got us relegated and a win in this league is nothing to be excited about, we should never have been here.
    I think you’ll find he didn’t get us relegated, it was the so-called high calibre players like Owen that got us relelgated, Ashley just didn’t do what the majority of the fans thought he should have done & was throw more monay at the problem, which if he had would most probably have sent us into adminstration because we would have still had the same players & would most likely been relegated anyway, so take off your blinkers & wake up to reality for once!!

    As for that stupid comment about using Ashleys name near Sir Bobs, what is all that about, its 2 words in a sentence, you should have more important things to worry about, like backing your team this weekend & getting behind them, not raising silly, childish comment!!!

  • coxonfamily

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #15

    nothing childish about it to be fair. I back the team always have, but to say Ashley never got the team relegated, no he didnt but he was a major factor. I am one of the most realstic down to earth people you could ever meet which is why I refuse to let people pull the wool over my eyes.

    It frustrates the hell out of me when I see Derek Lambias and Ashley coming public the second we look like being promoted, shame Lambias couldnt have been more public when we actually needed him to say something, like what was happening to our club, but no he stayed in hiding then.

    Im not going to get into an argument, thats not why im here but at the end of the day its a comments box, Ive put my comment, and whilst most of you have forgiven Mike, I have not, though I am grateful we arent Portsmouth!

    I didn’t realise this was a pro-ashley box so I’ll take my opinion and leave it lol

  • Solaidback

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #16

    Its not a pro-Ashley blog & no one has forgiven him, we just say its about time the fans got behind the team as a whole & start looking to the future, & that same old analogy, better the devil you know or the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, basically saying why change what we have for something that may end up us going the way Pompey have done!!

  • coxonfamily

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #17

    And as I said I have’nt forgiven him but get on with things as a fan….

    for someone called solaidback your very defensive mate 🙂

  • Solaidback

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #18

    Well I use to be Solaidback until Ashley took over, now I’m just Notlaidback at all.. lol 😉

  • coxonfamily

    Mar 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #19

    lol, the one thing I never want is super rich arabs coming in, the likes of man city etc. I always think these people will get bored eventually and implode, I’d rather build up slowly and enjoy the success when it eventually comes, just hope I’m still around to see it! I still remember seeing us play PSV in my first game and god how I miss those days!! The atmosphere used to be electric!

  • Solaidback

    Mar 12, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #20

    Yeah those were the days, I don’t get to watch many matches live anymore, well its hard when you’re living 2000 miles away, so I have to grab every chance to watch the boys on TV if/when possible 🙁


    Mar 12, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #21

    mistakes were made for sure;

    #1; getting rid of fatsam. he is a proven manager and we would’ve never been relegated. he got Bolton into Europe with that budget for F sakes.

    #2; hiring Keegan; we all knew it was gona end in tears

    #3; hiring Wise behind Keegans back

    #4; not getting rid of Wise to keep Keegan from walking out. were was the priority? rid the manager to keep the scout?

    the truth is, fat-ash will not invest the kind of money we need to challenge the top again. at best, we’ll be a mid table team and once in a while flirt with the Europa league spots. at worst, we’ll be relegated again, but we do have enough to go back up. i have a feeling we’re gona be the next yo-yo club, and i’m ok with that. i just hope CH gets at least a whole season.

    and yes, it’s quite disgusting that our chairman suddenly have all these things to say when things are going well on the field.

  • Bucks mag

    Mar 12, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #22

    Can I just say as THE Bucks mag, there is absolutely no pride in him coming from Buckinghamshire. We’re not like him.

  • greekgeordie

    Mar 12, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #23

    I agree with the majority of the blogers, I will never forgive MA for the mistakes that he made but I will thank him for sticking with the club this season and give us a chance to get back to PL and not ending up as another Portsmouth.
    Of course we are not fools and we kmow that to allow NUFC to administration meant that he was going to accept a big financial hit, and the man is not stupid.
    So lets work togrther be fully behind the team and CH, stop insulting MA, and if Ashley feels that he wants to get out of our club let him do it in a manner that will be acceptable to him and the club, and by this I mean, let him build a reasonably succesful club and then go into the market at the right time to look for a wealthy individual or group of people that are prepared to put their money into the club for elavating it to new levels.
    As for tomorrow 3-1 to the Geordies

  • OHurley

    Mar 12, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #24


    MA didn’t cause our relegation, m8. If anybody did it was Fat Freddy. MA inherited a pile of crap, a la Michael “Ow My Poor Fragile Knee” Owen, Obafemi “Can’t Hit the Broadside of a Barn” Martins, Charles “I’m Better Than Newcastle” N’Zogbia, Mark “I’m So Old” Viduka, etc etc etc.

  • BeeGuy

    Mar 12, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #25

    It wasn’t MA or DL on the pitch that got NUFC relegated, it was the roster of injured, disinterested and overwhelmed that produced the results. And if you think they should have opened the wallet & bought a goal scoring savior, tell us who was available that would walk into the maelstrom of late last year?

    Actually, I’m enjoying a season with over 20 wins, a handful of losses, and seeing some youngsters getting their tune up for the big time.

    And I’m fully confident that the roster will improve with summer purchases as MA will not want to go back down again-he cannot afford it.

    As far as CH being the true savior, the whole of NUFC management saw him at work last year and I must say they saw a heck of a lot more than most of us did. I had a feeling he was “the man” during pre-season – but now I know he can handle the reins in a good manner based on what is available for him to use. He has kept the vets working, brought on the young talent and helped find bodies on-loan and in the transfer window. Not much bad to be said about that. While he is a laid back type of guy, he has shown lots of energy in improving this team.

  • Sav

    Mar 13, 2010 at 4:11 AM

    Comment #26

    Well I can’t wait for the geezer to sling his hook and that’s the truth. He probably has done the club a good service, financially, but only by default. as for this stuff in the papers about wage cut-backs, its all sparked by Llambiarse’s clumsy attempts to curry favour with the fans while the team is winning and while Pompey are hurting (financially).
    I’ll be surprised if the pair of them are not back to Bucks permanently as soon as a half-decent offer comes in.
    Incidentally, I’ve no doubt either that if MA COULD have hocked us in mortgage, he would have. But with no takers at 80 million, who’d lend more in this day and age?


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