Newcastle’s Future Vision – In Mike Ashley’s Own Words

After seeing that Bobby Moncur today  has called for Mike Ashley to tell the Newcastle fans what his five year plan is for the club – we’ve found the things Mike talked about two years ago.

Mike Ashley – his vision for the club

That’s when Mike first put the club up for sale, and shortly after Kevin Keegan had left the club.

And we’ve left in his statement, which was issued on 14th September, 2008,  only those bits that are relevant to how he saw taking Newcastle United forward as a club – so here it is – in Mike’s own words – and of course it’s in the context  of him selling up.

” I hope the fans get what they want and the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club the fans want.'”‘I am still a fan of Newcastle.”

“My kids and I have loved standing on the terraces, loved traveling with the away fans and have met so many whose company we have enjoyed.”  ‘We have loved it but it is not safe anymore as a family.’

“‘Arsenal is the shining example of a sustainable business model,’ ‘It takes time. It can’t be done overnight.”

“‘One of the reasons the club was so in debt was because every time there was a change in manager millions would be spent on new players and millions would be lost. 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 players and bringing in players for the future.'”

“I am very conscious of the responsibility 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 would not expect all fans to agree with me but if I can’t sell the club to someone who will give the fans what they want, then I shall continue to ensure 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 listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do.'”

“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.”

“Everyone in England knows Newcastle has the best fans in the world.”

Even though these words were spoken when Mike was going to free himself of owning Newcastle United over two years ago, you can still get a good idea of what his vision was and presumably still is for the Tyneside club.

Maybe Alan Pardew can have a read of it too – and see if  it  jibes with what Mike explained to him the week before last, when Alan was in discussions on becoming the new manager of  Newcastle United.

We have to believe  it did.

Comments always welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Solaidback

    Dec 20, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #1

    Well there you have it in B&W as they say.. 😉

  • chuck

    Dec 20, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Maybe someone should inform him were in the EPL now, with loads `a dosh, how bout springing for a coupla new faces if you care that much !

  • Davies

    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #3

    We were in the EPL now, and just about on a stable financial footing. How about a little patience.

    Please don’t tell me we’ve all been patient for four years, all I’ve heard since the owner came in is calls for new players and demands for the owner to spend his cash.

    Am I the only one that sees the idea of a cub that funds itself as a good thing?

    Sooner or later, everyone’s going to have to do the same thing and we’ll have a head start because our idiot owner was ahead of the game.

    In a few years, we might just be ahead of most other EPL teams because the club has taken the time to balance the books.


    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #4

    “Everyone in England knows Newcastle has the worst owner in the world.” added Mike Ashley at the end of the interview.

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #5

    I wonder will the Qatar group put in a bid to buy Newcastle and put Ashley out of his misery. Personally, I don’t care who takes over as long as it’s someone who cares for us and not someone who just wants to spend, spend, spend like the owner of Man City.

  • Stuart

    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #6

    I’d be happy with left back cover, we’d be pretty screwed if the bull got a longterm injury atm.

    Also, a left winger so we can switch jonas to the right wing so he can actually cross the ball in rather than cutting inside and running into trouble all the time.

    Lastly a new striker as its the same situation as with left back. Although we have ranger, he’s still young and still hasnt scored that many goals. I won’t even mention Strola.

    3 additions with the possible sales of Smith, Guthrie and unfortunately Lovencrands shouldnt come to too much.

  • Thump

    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #7

    At LB we have Kadar and Ferguson who can play there, they’ll obviously not do the same job, but I’m sure they can do a job.

  • Stuart

    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #8


    I’d much rather play ferguson in LW, i don’t think he has enough physical strength to play LB, at least not at the minute.

  • Thump

    Dec 20, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #9

    @Magpies-till-d3ath: I have a very, very big problem with owners buying a club and spunking money into the coffers like Arab Citeh. Certainly, throw it into the debts and get the club not only into the black, but completely safe from financial worries but doing what Citeh did? Big names, high wages etc., is not what we need. Look at QPR, rich beyond belief and spending just enough to get by – perfect.

  • MacToon

    Dec 20, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #10

    “‘One of the reasons the club was so in debt was because every time there was a change in manager millions would be spent on new players and millions would be lost. It is just madness.”

    Ha ha, in his own words, well done Ashley learning from other people’s mistakes 😆

  • balubas1

    Dec 20, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #11

    I dunno guys… you will probably hate me and slate me for this but:

    I’ve never really had a huge problem with Mike Ashley… (yes yes I’m stupid… spit in my face)

    He got the club in financial stability. He has had big problems in how to manage the administration (the Keegan, Wise saga), but I never thought his intention was to fail miserably for that period. He wanted to appoint Keegan for OUR sake. Keegan is a legend, but he is also a primadonna who will take “guidelines” from no-one. It crashed… just as much Keegans fault as Mike Ashley’s.

    I think he has guts. He does what he thinks is the best for the club, even though about a million people will absolitely hate his guts. (sacking of CH)

    He is taking a big risk.. because he wants the club to move forward. It might be a success, but it might also be a major downfall. He is a businessman.. he takes risks for a living.

    Can someone here make a list ( 1..2..3..4) of things that Mike Ashley has done totally wrong that has been totally on his own account?
    My list would be the sacking of CH, even though we don’t know how that strategic move from MA will play out yet, and of course that he messed up by thinking Keegan would take “orders”..

    I’m just being objective.. and I won’t even think about posting this on the blog.. that blog is infested with idiots.

  • bib60

    Dec 20, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #12

    The Royals are now in year 25 of the 5 year plan.What a joke ! I live in Missouri and want to care but it’s always the same old line.(Prospects are coming ! ,Be patient ) The list of prospects was listed in the article.Sell the team to someone who cares. It’s not like the guy who owns the team needs more money,he’s one of the main Wal-mart guys. Here we go again !

    It seems the same the world over,

  • Charlietoon

    Dec 20, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #13

    His first sentance says it all for me. He thinks we are a bunch of greedy fans who just want to see ‘lavish’ money spent on players. Not well spent on money or intelligent buys but ‘lavish’ amounts of money spent is what he thinks we want.

    I would have though he enjoyed spending lavish amounts of money considering how he goes through managers and their compo packets

  • chuck

    Dec 20, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #14

    I see a lotta Ashley apologists on the blog, spouting rubbish about saving his dosh, c`mon the guys earning plenty in this league.
    This guy is waiting for the right price and he`s outta here, see what you say about him then.
    You are easily convinced, what have you got to say about his cold blooded firing of the guy who made it all possible, who worked on a shoestring budget, revitalised a side in chaos and steered them back to the EPL breaking records on the way.
    Dont be so naive !

  • sirjasontoon

    Dec 20, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #15

    He’s a 1st Class Prick.
    End Of.

  • balubas1

    Dec 20, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #16

    still waiting for something solid here… sacking of CH.. I agree with that one. anything else?

    Like I said, he has made some errors, but I would never HATE someone for doing something wrong when the intentions are opposite. Dislike maybe, want out maybe, but not hate like it is the man who killed my mother.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Dec 20, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #17

    Balubas, ditch the rose tints! Ashley single handedly threw the club into disarray by not taking charge when Keegan walked. Whatever the rights of wrongs of KK’s departure, Ashley effectively vanished into thin air as he gambled the club was about to be sold so failed to bring in a manager immediately, and when he did we got the temporary foul mouth of JFK who insisted when he arrived that Alan Shearer and a new owner was “…parked around the corner”.

    It was an utter shambles which was 100% Ashley’s fault, and thus we went spiralling out of control with no leadership, no managerial control, no vision and no squad unity.

    Worst of all, we easily could have avoided relegation if action had been swift but Ashley gambled with the club – and it is that tendency to gamble which is his biggest flaw. We have seen it again in the sacking of Hughton. His words are one thing, his actions speak very differently.

    I backed him and tried to take as many positives as possible last season, but in the light of still more gambling I am stating quite simply this man is not fit to own a football club of any size.

    It was noticeable that he felt less confident in the Fizzy as he was clearly out of his depth, and just let Hoots run things. Back in the Prem he is Mr Big again, and throwing his weight around.

    The only way is down with this guy.

  • baro

    Dec 20, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #18

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  • baro

    Dec 20, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #19


  • balubas1

    Dec 20, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #20

    Squad unity? Apart from after CH patched us together I haven’t seen squad unity for 10 years.

    As for gambling with the club: We had the squad we had… som individual decent players, but no unity as a team. We also did not have the capital to invest in any signings that could really give the team a lift to survive in the Premier League that season.

    1. MA wanted to establish a strong administration in NUFC by appointing people with previous experience from the game (such as Wise, Keegan and so on) His plan failed miserably, but I can see what he was thinking… Good intention only it all went wrong..

    2) When the Keegan saga or drama whatever you may call it had ripped us apart, he appointed SHEARER to rescue us.. IT ALSO was like a dream come true, only that ALSO failed miserably.

    3) When we go down, the fans scream hatred towards Ashley to make him sell the club, and HE DOES the fans ask of him and put the club officially up for sale. That also fails.

    4) what then happens is that MA appoints CH as caretaker and CH and his team pickes out some decent signings enough to get us straight back up. Then we are back with unity and with a winning team thanks to CH, but also to MA(!) who did care enough for the club to invest clevery and keep the club in a balanced financial state.

    5) As we are to bounce back up, Mike Ashley provides funds for Hatem Ben Arfa and Tiote that has been nothing but a wet dream since they arrived. We would not have expected players of that caliber to arrive at St.James.

    6) Then after a rollercoaster season, with decent performances after all, CH gets the sack. This might have been planned for some time, that is my guess anyways. But MA clearly did not look at CH as the man to take us up to another level like we used to be. This is a big risk again. We could settle in to being a midtable struggler, but MA want’s it different. If he fails and we go back in to the slump I will join the choirs of hatred, but he is taking a risk again.. hoping to succeed. I hope we do to.

  • The Eternal Optimist

    Dec 21, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #21

    balubas it is so refreshing to hear someone (you’re a toon fan right?) speaking so sensibily about what has transpired since Ashley took over. We were utterly screwed before he came in and though he has been a PR disaster behind the scenes and on the pitch we feel like a team developing, moving forward- sustainably.

    The ridiculous commets about ashley on this site and loads of others are from the thickest of newcastle fans whod rather we were sold abroad to become some sheikhs plaything like a FM2011 team.

    Ashley oot, F*** the cockneys. same idiots who’ll be cheering cockney nile ranger or cockney les ferdinand previously.

    We should try tp present the toon as a place filled with sensible people- hell some people might want to sign for us and without 60k wages- rather than the xenephobic morons who make the “best fans in the world” tag difficult for the rest of the country to understand.

  • Bao Zheng

    Dec 21, 2010 at 4:44 AM

    Comment #22

    Balu, Optimist, thank you for that moment of clarity. So basically most of MA’s disasters have their roots in listening to the fans. And since he stopped doing that things are moving along nicely. As for CH, the only reason we were not in relegation zone was because of some massive away results, and we can’t expect to win at Arsenal every week. Something needed to change.


    Dec 21, 2010 at 5:40 AM

    Comment #23

    I happen to think, and don,t start hating me too!

    Ashley is actually trying to do the right thing, and apart from two or three really bad decisions, his PR policy has been a disaster over the years.

    Pardew appears to know what he is doing, but he will only have to lose two or three in a row to be sent packing like Hughton. Ashley would , i believe, sell all of the players for as much as he could get given the chance, i don,t really trust him.
    Stability is a hell of a long way away as far as regards Ashley! I still think he uses the club as if it is his “plaything”. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next six months,
    and to see exactly where we are in relation to league position and going forwards.

    There are too many supporters who keep screaming : ÄSHLEY OUT”, without thinking about who or what would come in his place!

  • Spotlight Kid

    Dec 21, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #24

    Truth is, there are many supporters who HAVE given Ashley a chance in spite of his mistakes, and are now wondering whether he deserved it.

    Not many here were screaming for his head last season, and the vast majority knew this was going to be a difficult season, made worse by a very disappointing close season in which we conspicuously failed to effectively strengthen the Fizzy squad.

    In fact most supporters (grudgingly) were prepared to let bygones be bygones with Ashley until he refused to back Hoots with a No2 and then replaced this very balanced & experienced guy used to success at all levels with a dodgy league 1 manager conspicuous with failure.

    Too many on here just see black and white in everything issue, where the truth is in myriad shades of grey – and like it or not Ashley remains a chancer who cheerfully gambles with this club.

  • balubas1

    Dec 21, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    Comment #25

    The Eternal Optimist:

    Am I a Toon..? You should have seen me when Barton put 2-1 behind Reina. Would have saved you for a silly question;)

  • Lew Davies

    Dec 21, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #26

    Ashley’s biggest problem, is that he doesn’t put his brain into gear before making big decisions.
    But make no bones about this, the very clever sir john hall knew exactly what he was doing when he offered this new billionaire chancer, a once in a lifetime offer to buy a football club. And as usual, Ashley fell for it hook line and sinker.
    SJH knew the club was going to the wall and that he would likely walk away with nothing within 12 months or so. Had Ashley used his brain and done due diligence, I’m sure he would have run a mile from NUFC.
    As it turns out sjh walked away with millions, laughing all the way to the bank.
    And that fat crook shepherd didn’t do too badly either, having already screwed the club into the ground and lining his pockets at the same time.
    So Ashley has been bitten on the ass too many times and is now finally using his brain to put things right and undo all the damage done. I think he has a point to prove to his fellow business cronies, that he can make a success from NUFC.
    I dont see him selling out to anyone in the near future.
    I cant stand the bloke, but for the sake of NUFC i hope he succeeds.


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