Shepherd And Ashley Opposites – We Need Somebody In The Middle

Mike Ashley seems almost the polar opposite to former Chairman Freddy Shepherd.

Mike Ashley – wont spend money Newcastle has

Freddy Shepherd was a football man but not a good business man, and Mike Ashley is a good business man but not a football man.

Freddy Shepherd was always willing to pay out big bucks for players and a lot of those players turned out to be mediocre at Newcastle, but once the club found that out, the players were on big wages and the club had often paid massive transfer fees for them.

Freddy spent money the club didn’t have, and when Mike Ashley bought the club four years ago he found out Newcastle were over £100M in debt.

Freddy Shepherd – spent money Newcastle didn’t have

And also the funds coming in from Northern Rock over the next few years had already been set aside to pay for a certain Michael Owen.

Compare that to Mike Ashley, who will not pay out big bucks for any player , and of course the difference is that Newcastle now have big money to spend, but won’t spend it.

Freddy paid out big money the club didn’t have, and Ashley will not pay out big money when the club has it to spend, and even said in February they would spend it.

Neither Freddy nor Mike is what the Newcastle club needs, but somebody somewhere in the middle, a person who has a decent business brain, and wants to build Newcastle into a top team again, but is also a football person.

That’s what Newcastle need, but how long Mike Ashley will be on Tyneside, we have no idea, but why did he ever buy Newcastle in the first place?

Comments welcome.

83 comments so far

  • Dannyo

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #1

    Not sure if there’s room for someone in the middle of those two 😉

  • dave 1961

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #2

    you fat cockney liar get out of our club.

  • Geordie_In_Elmpt

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #3

    Both fat w@nkers!!!! who know how to make themselves money from our club, FFS can’t really say a word against cAshley

  • GeordieToon89

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #4

    we need someone like Man Citys owner(money wise) only with the mindset of buying young and talented players not overpaid superstars

  • WesJameson

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #5

    Whats the latest on the sign inside St James’s lads?

    Couldn’t agree more, with your article Ed……there must surely be someone in this vast world of ours that fancies NUFC….surely ffs

  • ardenTOON

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #6

    @4: John Henry fits your criteria

  • dannyhunt

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #7

    wats the latest with ranger going?

  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #8

    @4 the man city owners met Ashley if you remember but his overvaluation of our club presumably put them off buying us. Yet again Ashley’s greed ruins our chances of success. Cheers you bloated-face fat fuuk

  • tommyL

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #9

    Arsenal haven’t done badly with running a tight ship…

  • dannyhunt, transfer window is closed.

  • SuperShearer

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #11

    Ed it’s a bit of a contradiction to say that when Ashley bought the club it was £100 Million in debt and that it now has lots to spend. That debt still exists. I’m not defending MA, he’s let us down again, but the fact is the debt is still there. Therefore we don’t have lots to spend. He could easily claim the Carrol money went into paying off the debt.

  • dannyhunt

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #12

    @10 i know, but cant he be loaned out to a cham club, like birmingham?

  • SuperShearer

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #13

    The fact is that football is very broken at the moment. The likes of Chelsea and Man City have damaged the transfer market. Stoke paid way over the odds for Crouch. In fact most clubs spent over the odds on players besides us and maybe Man Utd. Even FIFA’s new rules of living within your means is going to be impossible as has been seen with City’s new ‘Sponsorship’ deal. Clubs will find ways of injecting money into the club that will allow them to ‘live within their means’. Asheley’s plan is actually a good one but he’s failing at delivering it by not bringing in MUCH needed players, AND by not keeping the main income of the club, the fans, satisfied. Be honest none of us new much about Maiga but we would have been happy had he been the only striker bought. Simple business, get your customers through the door and the money rolls in.

  • dannyhunt, sorry just got up. forgot about loans still being possible with championship and below.

  • Daft_lad

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #15

    Im not an Ashley lover and nor am I a so called ‘negger’
    but those that know the background to the finances at SJP will know that Ashley has put the club on a finacial platform to allow us to move forward….love him or hate him it makes no difference….the facts are there….personally i cant stand the bloke and ditto for Llambias.

    He bought the club in over 100m worth of debt before we ended up relegated with a team of mercenaries….after a restructure in the Championship we made a loss of
    just -17.1m which is remarkable compared to EPL teams Bolton -32m or amusingly the mackems at -27m. Our wage bill represented a massive 90.6% of turnover even after a 23.6m reduction in payroll since 2008; with a turnover of only 53m in the Championship. Looking ahead; we have a massive EPL Sky tv revenue injection to account for, a further estimated 2.5m reduction in wages and a 25m transfer surplus to factor in which will give NUFC its first annual profit in years. In summary we simply had to cut our cloth after years of over-spending

    Too many lies and no communication. Why doesnt he just tell the fans what he’s doing and what the plans are for the club? Selling the crown jewels and no reasoning with the supporters, its like 2 fingers every time. Broken promises and deceit has led to major unrest amongst players too….the man’s a PR disaster and doesn’t share the fans’ love for the club. He’s making too many deep financial cuts too fast at the risk of our EPL status…. if he had even the most modest of ambition and the future interests of the clubs standing at heart, these cuts could be phased more gradually over time to a structured plan. Bottom line; if you had the means, a little ambition and cared about the progress of the team you’d have signed a striker this summer.

    My theory is that MA could well be priming the club to sell at the earliest possible opportunity; fattening the balance sheet and streamlining costs to make it more appealing whilst recouping the money introduced following his initial investment. If Ashley had sanctioned the purchase of a striker this summer then that outlay would show on this years accounts….if we were to buy in the January window then that outlay would NOT show on this years accounts….coincidence or method? N.b. we have a net transfer surplus of 500k from this summer alone. Take into consideration the financial advances (outlined above) during this last 12 months to make us a viable purcahse…..and i ask; is this MA’s last year at NUFC???

  • danielgwkent

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #16

    Sticking my head above the parapet here, but I really am not that dissatisfied with this summer’s business. Quality, young players brought in, on fair money for a mid-table side – WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE – to GROW a team, rather than try and buy it ready to order. Keeping the club completely financially solvent and self-sustainable, letting go players who were less technically gifted/didn’t want to be here/kept spouting inflammatory nonsense on twitter. Look at our start to the season – still not completely gelled as a unit, stilted at times, but playing with PASSION and hunger, and a point to prove from everyone, without the arrogance/delusion that we’re a Europe side yet. This is a work in progress, yes we need a striker, and we’ll get one in January, who is the right player for the right money, and will no doubt settle in a lot easier given the supply – Cbaye, Benny, Obertan, Marveaux will have had half a season to form up. Unfortunately most fans seem to be blinded by impotent self-righteousness and indignation – reminds me a lot of the angry mobs in South Park – ‘RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. We’re unbeaten this season, 7 points from 9 – chin up lads.

  • Kurt

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #17

    I hope so Daft_lad

  • SuperShearer

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #18

    @Daft_Lad spot on in every way mate. You got a business degree or something 🙂

  • Paul141726

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #19

    As much as we would like him gone I think most of us are resigned to the fact that Ashley is here for the foreseeable future. However I hope with the failure in the transfer market just passed he kicks Llambias out on his fat ass. I dont care if the owner is not much of a football man but his number 2 should be. There should be someone out there who can balance the need of Ashley to keep costs down but still get players on terms that are attractive but not inflated, I know this will not occur but David Dien would be ideal. Are there any others out there that anyone can think of to do this job? I think if someone like that could be found we would not let someone like Shane Long get away. I was surprised that we apparently were not in for him.

  • ochytoon

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #20

    I hope we go back in for Pappis Cisse in January, I kmow its very unlikely but a man can dream

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #21


    Seems you’re not so daft haha. Very good points there.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #22

    Nice article from Ed; this is what I have been saying for ages, but the problem is where do you find such a bloke. It not like we can choose is it?

  • dannyhunt

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #23

    @15 lets all hope your ideas dont match your name lol

  • kierran

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #24

    I’m not a massive fan of ashley and I’m as pissed off as everyone that we haven’t signed a top striker. but at the end of the day MA inherited over 100 million in debt from shepperd. Im actually glad as a Newcastle fan that we now have a stable club looking to grow year by year. unless you have a billionaire Arab pumping money into your club then you HAVE to live within your means. I’d much rather we took our time and pay money out realistically rather than paying inflated sums to satisfy the fans (temporarily) ala Owen, luque… are we going to stay in the premier this season? Absolutely! so stop whining and be patient 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #25


    I think exactly that is what Mike is doing…

    I 2 years time I think he’s gone, and hopefully we’re in a much better place financially; but then what?

    Will some other smuck buy the club and run it like he’s own little playground or will we have one of those American sport franchises what’s out to make a quick buck.

  • Daft_lad

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #26

    I have an honours degree in the pain of being a Newcastle fan SuperShearer lol.

    I hope so too Kurt, we can’t be a football club again until the man at the top has at least some footballing ambition…I understand what he’s done financially, I just don’t see why he’s done it the way he has

  • Widowmaker

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #27

    Don’t like both, but I would personally dislike the fool less than a liar.

  • dave 1961

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #28

    jesperfuglsang @ 25 I hope you mean one or two and not twelve.

  • woodsee

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #29

    All this boycotting crap gets right on my tits.
    I was at the fulham game and any more empty seats could really effect the team.
    Until we get a definite buyer,some of you lot on here should be careful what you wish for.

  • tommyL

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #30

    Can you be ambitious whilst getting the books balanced?

  • Conan The Destroyer

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #31

    Totally agree Daft lad. I have a hunch that he is setting up for a sale. I reckon he had good intentions the start, but after stuffing up with wise and keegan he lost interest and tried to sell at a bad time (gfc). so the next option is to balance the books, wait a while and make some of the money back. And sell when a good buyer comes in.

  • Daft_lad

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #32


    Couldn’t agree more….’be careful what you wish for’….i remember a time back in 2007 that I wished for a billionaire owner…

  • Mo Drysdale

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #33

    Lads, not bad.






  • woodsee

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #34

    Hey lads someone in between ashley and sheperd would have to be rich cos the poor sod must be a right ugly ******

  • Slank Loogan

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #35

    ‘….Freddy Shepherd was a football man but not a good business man, and Mike Ashley is a good business man but not a football man…’

    Far too simplistic statement Ed.

    When was Freddy ever a football man? Did he play professionally? Was he ever a football manager? Was he ever a scout or trainer?

    Could the difference between Shepherd and Ashley be:
    (to quote Wiki) ‘…Since 1997, the Shepherds have made ?8,351,298 from Newcastle United, ?5,489,239 in share dividends and ?2,862,059 in salaries. In 2005, Shepherd’s annual salary from the club was £552,954…’

    How much as Ashley taken out of the club?

  • Daft_lad

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #36

    @ Conan The Destryer
    Spot on there mate……

    Absolutely….ambition doesn’t necessarily mean spending loads of money, can be recruiting just 1 player in the right area, doing the right job ie., a striker. Ambition can also be about retaining key player(s) ie., Joey Barton; love him or hate him he was a key player for us….ambition is about moving forward

  • Davies

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #37

    I don’t really mind the way the club’s being run at the moment. I don’t care that the owner and his chairman are “proven liars”, because as long as I have a good starting eleven to watch, which I feel we have, I’m pretty much a happy man.

    I would’ve liked another striker in the last transfer window, but I’m otherwise happy with the comings and goings. We are, in my opinion, improved. Time will tell.

    Gotta say, there are no guarantees that the next owner will be any better than the one we have now, or the one we had before. Have a look at the lads who bought Blackburn/the Glazers/Hicks & Gillet etc… I’d like the owner that Ed describes in his article, but until he miraculously appears, it may be a case of better the devil you know.


    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #38

    I wish mr A SHEARER could get a consortium tagether like niall quinn has done,as much as i hate sunderland i am very jealous of how good therr club is run from the boardroom

  • redondo77

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #39

    How much did MA valued? is it include or exclude the money he paid for the debt?

  • magpiebop

    Sep 3, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #40

    Lets all have a stand up protest for the rest of the season. Make sure the ground is full to capacity and back the team wii 100% vocal support. They can’t kick us all out and safety in numbers. The chant of STAND UP IF YOU LOVE THE TOON at the next game will be the start of it but no one sits back down!



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