Mike Ashley Irritated By Newcastle Fans

There’s no doubt at all that Newcastle have made massive strides forward since the club was relegated from the Premier League for the first time ever in May of 2009.

Mike Ashley – not on the same wavelength as Newcastle fans

And for most of the time Mike Ashley has made the right decisions since that terrible low point for the club,  starting with loaning the club over £30M during the promotion season, so that Newcastle could keep high wage earners like Coloccini, Barton, Gutierrez, Nolan and others with the club, and have a big edge over the other Championship sides.

That seemed to work like a charm, as Chris Hughton did a wonderful job in having the side amass 102 points with 30 wins and only four defeats,  and winning automatic promotion by 23 points from 3rd placed Nottingham Forest, who were on 79 points.

And Newcastle made a very decent start back in the Premier League last year, although the firing of Chris Hughton and the selling of Andy Carroll were hardly well received by Newcastle fans.

But in retrospect they have not had the negative effect some of us through they would have.

And this season, things are like a dream, with Newcastle 3rd top of the Premier League, and not only has the side amassed 25 points from 11 games, but they are playing well too, and the summer transfer business now seems to have been very good indeed.

The strategy that Mike put in place, bringing in top youngsters, and looking for bargain buys in the transfer market, seems to be working very well, and certainly Chief Scout Graham Carr has done a great job in scouting top talent for Newcastle over the last 18 months or so.

So everything was going well when the International break came along,  but Mike Ashley has always shocked Newcastle fans, and he did it again during by announcing that he was changing the St. James’ Park name to Sports Direct Arena.

And that was supposed to be an interim deal until a new sponsor could be secured to pay for the naming rights of the Stadium – said to be worth up to £10M a year.

And since Northern Rock are pulling out of their shirt sponsor deal early, there is a chance that a single company, maybe some brand like Nike,  could be the sponsor of both the  shirts and training gear, and the stadium.

But Newcastle and St. James’ Park have been indelibly linked for over 120 years, so it’s hardly a surprise that Newcastle fans were upset by the move.

And since  top clubs like Manchester United, and Liverpool have not had to resort to th renaming of their famous stadiums, and since they seem to be doing just fine in terms of generating revenue, surely there are other revenue streams that could have been explored.

Getting back into European competition is a big one of course.

A source said to be close to Ashley – probably Derek LLambias if we were to hazard a guess –  told the People on Sunday:

“Mike understands the massive backlash he has had from the Newcastle supporters. And to tell the truth he is irritated by it all.”

“He cannot understand why some supporters are saying he is trying to destroy the club after all he has done in the past couple of years.”

“He does not mind if those supporters still refer to the stadium as St James’ Park. He would not expect anything else. This is purely a commercial decision – a decision he feels had to be made.”

“Roman Abramovich is a heck of a lot richer than he is yet he is not receiving anywhere near as much flak as Mike in his bid to sell the naming rights at Chelsea.”

“Mike would like the supporters to look at where Newcastle United are compared with a couple of years ago when we were in the Championship with massive debts and too many average players earning massive salaries.”

The fact that Mike Ashley doesn’t understand is hardly surprising, because in truth he has never been on the same wavelength as Newcastle fans, and the fact he never speaks to them is Mike’s single biggest blunder since he bought the club in the summer of 2007.

If Mike wants to get a better rapport going with the Newcastle fans, he should hire a PR company and take their advice, and also stop his top executive at Newcastle, Derek LLambias,  from slagging Newcastle heroes like Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan, which Derek did last week in a foul mouthed tirade.

That was just a daft thing to do, and Derek was asking for trouble.

Some of the mistakes Mike has made are of his own making, and the first step to getting on better terms with Newcastle fans, if that’s what he wants to do,  would be to start talking to them.

And try to better explain what he wants to do with the famous Newcastle United club – that cannot be too hard  – surely.

Comments welcome.

88 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #1

    Mike ash irritated, what abt fans


    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #2

    Glad his irratated by us 🙂

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #3


    Manu and liverpool are mortgaged to the hilt. one bad season and they’re in the proverbial.

  • TS -77

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Derek Llambias should be the one kicked out of the club. All he does is to anger us fans by his stupid rants against our heroes.

    Bring back Chris Mort, good comunicator and a modest man

  • jonnyshaw85

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #5

    tell me if I’m being thick but why are ppl linking the new stadium name and possible shirt sponsor with Nike? I’m sure Puma wouldnt be happy to have Nike sponsor a shirt made by them?!?! (it is only Northern Rock sponsorship which has ended and not Puma too isn’t it?)

  • brownrob

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #6

    I have to say, I see Mikes point.

    Every penny he puts into the club is a penny we have to pay him back when he sells.

    £10m a year is a good injection of cash for us, increasing our income by 10%

    However if we di well, get back into europe etc and ashley sells imagine the PR for the new owners to revert the name back to SJP

  • Mags

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #7

    Do Not believe this garbage of a story however, if it was true then GOOD. Or, to quote his sidekick – “he doesn’t know how f****** horrible we can be. 😀

    What comes around goes around Mike.

  • aussietoonfan

    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #8

    Oh boy here it comes………

    People, people, relax.

    He owns the club (yes,yes WE own it too, and some believe that they own it more) and whether we like it or not there is NO place in sport anymore for sentiment. (OH MY GOD I SAID IT!!!!!!!!)

    You can follow a club your whole life and as fans that is our most important role. Follow the Club.

    I used to follow a rugby league team here in Australia called the Western Suburbs Magpies in the ARL. It was my whole life. EVERYTHING I did, said, spent money on, talked about, read about, breathed, and lived was to the sound of the Magpies.

    I have seen my team and my life’s passion forced into amalgamation with a rival club therefore losing it’s 91 year identity and it literally broke my heart. I bawled for a half-hour when it became official.

    Life goes on and I have found my new love. And having already been there, I never EVER want to see anything destroy or hurt the great NUFC. And if that means that the owner has to make small changes here or there, I’ll live with it.

    Unfortunately, Mike Ashley doesn’t possess the kind of cash that some owners can spend. (enough to buy countries). And besides , look at where we are compared to those other “rich” clubs.

    I think that in my less than two years of supporting the Toon, (yes, if you like, that makes me totally unqualified to speak about anything, for all you diehards who can name every left winger that has ever played for Newcastle, so feel free to insult or trash me. I can take it and I really don’t care anyway about insults) I’m more than happy with what “the fat man” is doing, and if you’re reading this Mike Ashley…………

    Keep going son:)

    I’ll proudly support you!


    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #9

    TS-77 agree with you about Chris Mort – he was a gent.
    I think he saw what Ashley was really like and bailed out early. The thing that really annoys me about Ashley and Lamarse is that they have the uncanny knack of making monumental f~~k ups everytime we are moving forward and have a little stability. I am totally over the moon with the start we have have made (even Pardew is beginning to win me over) however I have a little worry about what the two comedians who run us will do in January. Off to City for the weekend – cannot wait.
    Keep the faith

  • vibroguy

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #10

    its the people, its made-up

  • geoff777

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #11

    It’s his club he can call the stadium whatever he wants.

    I’d prefer it to stay as SJP or be told SD have actually paid NUFC some money, as they are a separate company and Ashley only owns around 70% of the shares.

    Not many business owners would come out and say they were irritated by their customers.

    Unfortunately NUFC customers are mainly season ticket holders and because they are tied into paying for their seats into the future he can treat them with contempt.

  • bambams

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #12

    aussietoonfan……Opinions , opinions we all have our own and i for one will not slag you off for yours. Some i agree with some i dont and i believe thgat would be the general belief amongst most bloggers here.

    The biggest mistake here is Ashley, he did not do his homework before buying the club therefor our foundations were not in place and he put us back two years.

    He has assisted in returning us back where we are by financing the club , however this was “after the horse had bolted” so it should have been avoided. We also hear from “the biggest problem” (Lambias) that Ash was trying to sell to the Arabs in 2009, no wonder the fans do not trust him- we never know from month to month what the next “make money quick” scheme will be.

    I believe (again my opinion) that if ashley is in this for the long run he would not be selling the rights to the club, he would be trying to get us back into Europe for the long term benefit of the club AND the benefit of his loan to the club which he could get back .

    I am happy that we are in a much better financial situation, but believe most is a quick fix until ashley recoups as much as he can then sell to the highest bidder and leave. To back this up ashley has NEVER come out and spoken to anyone about his intentions for the club- that way he can never be questioned later about the statements he made – unlike “lambias”……

    In my opinion

    best wishes

  • aussietoonfan

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #13

    bambams // Nov 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    cheers mate.

  • Jimay

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #14

    I think it is exciting to see how the FFP rules will make with teams like ManU, ManC and Liverpool as examples. Are they on a self financial foot? ManU maybe but what about Liverpool and ManC? Will they be able to play on in Europe in a couple of years time with the FFP rules?

    I think we are in a great position in terms of self financial and sporting results. The rebranding…I f*cking hate it but if it helps us becoming even better financially run then we might see in a couple of years that this decision might be one of the betters. I might be wrong as well but hope that the sacrifies of St James’ Park would serve a good purpose and that is us playing european football in a couple of years time.

    I also would like Chris Mort back, he was a true gent!

  • lordjoesnow

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #15

    aussietoonfan you’ve hit the nail on the head. Players can come and go and in most cases we’re more than happy to see them go. I often look at our team and wonder how the team can be called ‘Newcastle United’ what with all the player changes each season.
    However this is a new era at Newcastle United and perhaps the name ST James Park is too daunting for players due to its history. Clean slate now boys, make the sports direct arena what you want of it! No pressure! (But let’s kick butt!)

  • bambams

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #16

    no worries

  • bambams

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #17

    its last fifty years has not been that historic. I am 42 years old and spent an hour in the ground before the leicester game (7-1) just so i could see us lift a trophy for the first time…..

    we have only ever won “promotions” and io worry i will die before we win anything- not that we have that “right” to win anything there are a lot of clubs similar to us….i am rambling so will shut up

    OH come on you Mags lets win the FA CUP…pleeeeease

    have a nice day everyone!

  • lordjoesnow

    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #18

    I meant its history of expectations 😛

  • stuart no9

    Nov 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #19

    so ash is irritated with us ? bless, just because we dont agree to his disgusting plans to make more money, well! he can always sell up if he aint happy ! ” he cant understant some fans saying he is trying to destroy the club” erm not some mike,…. about 80% thats all. . ” the changing of the name is some thing that had to be done” man u , liverpool . spurs, chelsea havnt, so why us .? basically he talks b????cks . 80% can see through him, the other 20% will in time

  • Jimay

    Nov 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #20

    Or the other 80% will change opinion with time 😉

  • Dax Trajero

    Nov 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #21

    Speaking in general about the EPL, unless you can get players’ wages under control, more and more of the crown jewels, such as the stadium name, will be sold off to subsidise them.

    What’s next Mike? The black and white stripes ?

  • shabunkin

    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #22

    its purely for the olympics , the name of any venue cant be changed now until after the games , therefore mr ashley has his sportswear brand on the global stage , simples

  • liam85

    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #23

    irritated?? maybe if Mr Ashley would talk to the fans at least make it seem he’s interested.. instead he does things without any notice and continues to upset the fans.

    I do look back on how bad we were and Mike has put money into this team but he’s also messed up alot.. like people are saying on here. what goes around comes around.
    To be honest without a good manager/coach and good scouting he’s nothing and we would still be in a big mess..

    I’m happy we are doing well but I don’t think that’s all down to Mike Ashley!

  • Jimay

    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #24

    Liam85@21 Of course it is not only down to Mike Ashley, it’s down to everyone involved in the club. Everyone from MA and down to the tea lady.

    An interesting question is though, how good had we been if not MA had come in and bought the club and we were stuck with the old owner?

  • wynsleap

    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #25

    You are right about Chris Mort. A real gentleman who gave this club an acceptable and credible face unlike that oaf and foul mouthed buffoon who took his place.
    StuartNo9 @17 Totally agree with you.
    We irritate Ashley. He irritates ME. Even the sound of his name sets my teeth on edge and my blood boiling.
    Jimay @18 – dream on fella.

  • wynsleap

    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #26

    Sorry – Stuart@19 and Jimay @ 20
    (Wish these numbers wouldn’t keep changing)

  • stuart no9

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #27

    jimay@ 20 even i will, when and if we win the championsleague untill then , i cant see it happening

  • ardenTOON

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #28

    Arsenal have sold their stadium naming rights, and they are a top 4 club who have won more honours than us and when Highbury no longer suited the club they moved on..Times have changed ppl and when a club like Mancity with endless resources have to resort to naming rights to be in line with the fair play rules where does that leave us. Fans can always refer to it as St. James’..so what’s the hullabloo!!

  • stuart no9

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #29

    wynsleap @26 does it really matter mate? 80%…..60%……90% he is still a hated man by the majority of his customers.

  • cupiddstunt

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #30

    Liam85@ # 23

    So how come he gets the blame for all the wrongs that have happened to the club but rarely gets the credit for any of the good stuff that happens?

    Regardless of what was behind any of MA’s decisions it is those decisions that took us down and then brought us straight back up again, and now has us sitting undefeated in third place (and the reserves and academy teams undefeated and top of their leagues) so to credit him with only the bad decisions is so wrong.

    He appointed that poison dwarf dennis wise he thought he was doing the right thing it proved to be wrong as he was pilloried, fair enough, he appointed Carr and we now have some great players so he should be credited. He appointed AP and regardless of the reason it has turned out to be a brilliant decision so he should get the credit for it.

    All the final decisions are his so we are where we are because of him whether you like it or not, so credit should be given where credit is deserved.

    In my opinion to castigate for bad decisions but not praise for good decisions shows a really immature lopsided view on things.

  • Hebburn Mag

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #31

    I know it was a while back but what happened to Barry Moat.. wasn’t he ment to be making a bid for the club.

    The amount of flack that Ashley gets is at the end of the day a bit harsh considering all that he has done for the club. Even though people will say, well he is the owner so any money he puts in should’nt be told to the fans as if its a debt to the man himself. If he hadn’t put money in when we needed it we may not have got promoted from the Championship back 2 years ago and we may not be in the almost debt free position that we are in now.

    I doubt the fans will ever love him as our owner but if either he or a member of the board came out more often and actually told the fans what was happening with the club then we might understand more about whatis going on. Hopefully he isn’t going to the our long term club owner but the way he is running the club is much better than the way Man Utd or Man City are being run.. Man Utd being in a rediculaus amount of debt and Man City just throwing money around like its nothing.

  • JerseyMag

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #32

    AussieToonFan – got to admit I agree with everything you’re saying.
    I’m grateful to MA for effectively ensuring I’ve still got a club to support. He’s a businessman and will try and maximise revenues but this chest thumping and angst about the ground name is ridiculous – it will always be St James Park – the same way as the Leazes and Gallowgate will always remain (regardless of what the official names are now)

  • JerseyMag

    Nov 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #33

    Barry Moat apparently didn’t have the backing he said he had

  • stuart no9

    Nov 16, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #34

    wynsleap sorry mate got confused , lol my apologies for my comments @29

  • stuart no9

    Nov 16, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #35

    ardentoon arsenal have new stadium , so ofcourse it dosnt matter, however, i doubt they would have changed their name if they were still at highbury. NO premier team have and i dont think a single team in the country have.

  • Krido5

    Nov 16, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #36

    You know what drives me nuts? This club has been run for too long on the historic, emotional crap that apparently makes us, us! Rubbish I grew up in Wallsend and North Shields and have supported the Toon all my life and this mans efforts are the best thing to happen to us. No longer are we spending dumb money on journey men who give us their worst years. We are on the best financial footing since time friggin began, or at least the Premiership. And all we can do is moan about him all the time, stay away from the ground and make ourselves look like the Plankton the press take us for. Honestly the only mistakes he has really made were Keegan back as manager, Shearer as manager and trying too hard. Don’t quote me Kinnear as a mistake because that was punishment like a dad gives his kids! Everytime he does something the press must love to see us hit the destruct button,so that the lazy slack jaw typewriter monkeys have an easy time concocting some drivel about us.

    P.S. If you want him to start speaking to us how about we stop being so F*****G ungrateful.

  • Jimay

    Nov 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #37

    Hebburn Mag@31 I totally agree with you. Well spoken.

    Then to all that say that a new name on a new stadium is different from renaming an old stadium, what the f is that about? Why do you think they move to a new stadium? Not just because they want more people watching there games…they want more people wathcing their games so they get more money in to the club. It is not a charity. So whether they chnage the name of an old stadium or build a new and give it a name they do it in the same interest…MO’ MONEY!

  • Jimay

    Nov 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #38

    Hebburn Mag@31 I am totally agreeing with you. Well spoken.

    Then to all that say that a new name on a new stadium is different from renaming an old stadium, what is that about? Why do you think they move to a new stadium? Not just because they want more people watching there games…they want more people wathcing there games so they get more money in to the club. It is not a charity. So whether they chnage the name of an old stadium or build a new and give it a name they do it in the same interest…MORE MONEY!

  • Rangerman

    Nov 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #39

    The younger fans won’t remember this but it wasn’t that long ago but under Sir John Hall the club wanted to leave St James’ and were attempting to get planning permission on th Leazes Park site, people were happy with that and there was a sense of disappointment when it didn’t come off so I’m not sure why people are playing the tradition card now.

    For what it’s worth I think the club have exhausted all other forms of bringing in revenue so an additional 10% of our income would be a huge boost for the club if we want to cement our place in the top 7 and look to catch Liverpool in terms of squad.

    Someone mentioned other clubs haven’t done it well Man City have done it and the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool all plan on moving so they will sell it then.

    If you want us to kick on then we’re going to need more money for that so I don’t have a problem with it, it will still always be St James’ to me as the Leazes end is the Leazes and not the Sir John Hall stand.

  • stuart no9

    Nov 16, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #40

    hebburnmag@31 you forget! it was all his bad mistakes and bad decisions that put us down in the first place, and you are thanking him for getting us back up????????? rubbish ! if he had listened to people who know just a little bit about football we would never have gone down , another thing,! if he hadnt of bought the club, some one else would have. H e is not our savior . just remember the people who wanted to buy our club got knocked back, then went on to buy man city. It makes me weep


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