Will Ashley Continue To Run Newcastle On A Shoestring?


The mood of Newcastle fans last night at Steve Harper’s testimonial match were in stark contrast to how the fans feel about how the club is bring run by owner Mike Ashley at the moment – seemingly on a shoestring.

mike ashley 987

Mike Ashley – why did he buy Newcastle?

And for the second summer transfer window running Newcastle have made no real investment in the playing squad at Newcastle, with the result that most Newcatsle fans expect a lower half finish in the Premier League this season.

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The expectations are not high, to say the least.

But when you saw the turnout last night of over 50,000 at St James’ Park, it brings into stark perspective how Newcastle could (should) be challenging for a top four position in the Premier League, if only the owner would agree to spend the profits the club are now starting to make.

Each PL club will now get between £60M and £100M each season for the next three years, compared to £40M to £60M with the previous three-year TV deal.

And we saw a number of smaller clubs spend big money in the summer because of this coming windfall – but not Newcastle.

The powers that be at Newcastle (or in short Mike Ashley), must raise their ambitions for the club, and at the very least agree to spend the profits on new players and facilities,  so we can get back to being a top team in England again.

If Mike Ashley doesn’t want to do that – then a very good question is why did he buy Newcastle in the first place?

Are there any Geordie Billionaires around these days? 😀

Comments welcome.

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212 comments so far

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #1

    I remember reading some people on this blog slagging off Harper last season because he was (according to them) happy sitting on the bench all his career and taking home £40kpw. They called him unambitious, overrated and many other things.

    I wish I had a record of those people so they could be named and shamed. His love for the club is obvious.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #2

    Should be challenging for a top four position Ed? Behave!

    Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool are simply much bigger clubs that us on the basis of being run well for decades, Man City and Chelsea are much bigger clubs that us because they have been artificially inflated by hundreds of millions of point of investment and Spurs are also bigger than us now due to being run very well for the last 10 or 15 years.

    The rot started before MA took over and I hope everyone acknowledges that.

    No point in looking backward, so looking from this point, there are only 2 realistic ways that we can be regularly challenging the top 4:
    1 – a multi-billionaire owner bankrolls us like City or Chelsea (is this even realistic any more with FFP?)
    2 – Gradual improvement in all areas of a very well run club (like Spurs) for at least 5 years

    We’re always going to be fighting an uphill battle because we’re not based in London or Manchester and we don’t have a name like Liverpool.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #3

    I’m really enjoying this conversation with myself.

    Well done ToonDarn Sarf, I couldn’t have put it better myself! You truly are a wonderfully insightful and articulate Toon fan. I wish you were the Chairman of NUFC. And you’re also handsome and witty, I wish we could all be like you…

    🙂

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #4

    I can’t even type my own name correctly though…

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #5

    If I was one of those “first” muppets, then I’d probably have to disappear off for a few minutes with a box of tissues…

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  • Mr Robson

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #6

    Was Cashley there last night?

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #7

    TDS….I think it’s these extremes that come out that cloud this whole issue.

    Of course fans would love to be challenging the top 4, but without some serious investment that will always be a challenge.

    I think most just want to see some actual intent to challenge something other than survival to top 10…which looking at recent seasons, is the relegation battle for the majority of the season.

    We just want to see some spirit, some pride, can you tell me where we get to see that these days?

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #8

    be really interesting to see what Pardew says actually today… I hope the journalists haven’t quite forgotten about Joe Kinnear or the transfer window just yet and raise the issue!
    Would love to see us go 4-3-3 vs Villa and play sissoko, cabaye and anita in midfield and HBA, cisse and Remy up front, got this awful idea that w’re going to see 4-4-2 with a mid of Sissoko, tiote, cabaye and jonas with Remy and Cisse upfront!
    The only other possible formation I wouldn’t mind as we’re away from home would be 4-4-1-1 with Sissoko, tiote, cabaye and jonas in the mid and HBA just behind Remy. Think Cisse has played for far too long without fear of the drop!

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  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #9

    TDS

    We should be competing with spurs really, they have been consistent top ten but only looked to kick on around 6 years ago.

    When we got 5th we should have kicked on as spurs did, we failed to kick on. So although we could be a couple years behind them we shouldn’t be standing still as much as we are.

    I think we just dont employ people like spurs who have the intelligence to take us forward, they seem to just want to sustain league status.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #10

    TDsarf,
    You are worse than one of those first muppets.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #11

    ibiza

    spurs showed by buying and SELLING well, then you can compete for top 4 with the bigger boys. We should be doing that, thats the main thing….or at least progressing in that direction.

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #12

    @Ibiza @TDS – to be honest, i’m not massively annoyed that we don’t spend money, and I’m realistic enough not to expect us to challenge at the top! I’d happily watch a predominantly geordie team made up of passionate local lads play football in the right way, attacking and committed for an honest manager and battle their way to midtable with every point! The massive question for me from the ashley reigime would be why we rarely produce top talent for the first team! I know theres a few decent lads coming through but the north east is football mad, surely we should be producing Waddles, Shearers, Gascoignes and beardsleys? at least one or 2! we used to produce players with pace and skill…. nowadays its big carthorses like ameobi, taylor and carroll

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  • fatman

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #13

    just posted this a couple of thread back i seem to be on another planet today.

    What was annoying last night over a thousand people were turned away and there was over 1000 empty seats, over £10,000 lost to the likes of cancer research, it would be ironic if Ashley got it one day. but anyone who did not go can still donate £10 to the Bobby Robson trust or even £1 one day someone will give the £1 that cures cancer. unfortunately most of us now someone that’s been struck down by this awful disease.and noticed many toon fans that could not go to the game have paid the ten pound, don’t be a tight *rse you never know it could be your own life your £1 saves so come on get it done. that 9 bar was charging £20 entry but not sure who pocketed the cash, might moan on to the chronicle and shame them to donate the money collected.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #14

    Ibizatoon

    I think 50,000 people saw it last night mate…

    When we finished 5th, I didn’t think that we played amazing football and often our goals relied on a moment of genius or a mistake. But what we did have was fantastic spirit and all the players pulled together. The same the 2 seasons beforehand really, but we added a little extra class that season that took us to 5th place.

    Last season that was missing. I want to see the players absolutely bust a gut assuring that we do NOT finish in the bottom half. That we may be struggling against the top 6 so that 7th place is ours and we’re ready to capitalise if a top 6 club slips up. I also want to see proper teams in the cups. I want the players to be inspired by the passion of last night and be desperate to be the next set of legends for actually bringing a trophy back home.

    That has bugger all to do with Ashley. He can run the club on a shoestring as much as he wants, that’s down the spirit of the players and how much the manager and the fans can bring it out of them.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #15

    TS

    Even when we finished in 5th, that was an overachievement mate. The quality of the squad, the infrastructure, the global revenue, they kick our arse in all counts sadly, and then did when we finished 5th too. They’ve finished in the top 10 virtually every year for a decade. That’s what we need to attract more global fans, top players, sponsors etc.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #16

    JfA

    Thanks for your constructive comments. I always know I can rely on your and your insight…

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  • Spoof

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #17

    TDS

    1 – a multi-billionaire owner bankrolls us like City or Chelsea (is this even realistic any more with FFP?)
    2 – Gradual improvement in all areas of a very well run club (like Spurs) for at least 5 years

    the first option is hit and miss, no one has control over that possibly happening, option number 2 is controlable and it is the option which we hope to be on, however with a team which came 5th just 2 seasons ago with last years £13m operating profit combined with the extra Sky revenue we should be progressing, which is what you call for with gradual improvement, however can you honestly say that we have improved from 2 seasons ago, the truth is we have gone backwards and not forwards, granted we might have over achieved 2 years ago but not to the extent which see’s us where we are, what you ask for sounds fine, but honestly, it looks very much as if we are in reverse, and that is why there is so much hostility, ecspecially when you take the finance into concideration.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #18

    TDS

    I think not bringing in signings a manager says he needs to help the team (if he says it to the media he must say it to the squad, either that or they see the papers as well) and then these players dont arrive I think it makes them disheartened, same with the manager.

    Not a total excuse as they are paid well and should work their socks off, some of them dont do that often enough. So it still comes down to the players motivating themselves but some factors will effect them.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #19

    jayphoto

    Hardly any clubs in the country are producing players like that though. That’s more a flaw with the whole football structure, not just at Newcastle. And considering MA has only been there for 6 years, he can’t be blamed for that surely?

    It’s nice to see Geordies in the team but Asprilla, Lee, Barton (even though I dislike him), Ginola and many other players have showed fantastic passion for this club despite not being local. We just need some of that.

    Of the non-Geordies, who obviously shows passion out of the current players? I’d go with Krul, Colo and Raylor, maybe Ben Arfa too. But not sure about the rest.

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  • low fell mag

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #20

    Spurs will never be top 4, totally out classed by the Arsenal, so don’t kid yourself.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #21

    TDS

    we have a damn site more global fans than spurs do. Their revneue was simply higher due to the 20+mil from champs league revenue that year.

    We get very similar TV money (they’ll have a bit more prize money) and we’ll have higher gates.

    Would like to know both clubs turnover for the past 4 years, each year.

    But when you go around europe, not sure how much this is an indication, but all markets/shops/etc what sell football stuff always have so much more newcastle than spurs, I would say we have more global fans.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #22

    low fell

    maybe, but they do compete and have finished 4th twice in the last 4 season

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #23

    Spoof

    I don’t think we’re in reverse at all, I think our squad is significantly better, we have increased the size of the first team squad, our players should be still improving to their peak and we have some youngsters breaking through. One problem is clearly that the clubs that should be below us have improved at a quicker rate than us. I don’t believe that signing 2 or 3 decent players means that they have caught us but they have closed the gap, whereas I don’t think we’ve closed the gap on the top 6 in the slightest, in fact it’s grown.

    I think the reputation between MA and the fans is broken (despite what Harper says) so I don’t see 2 happening until we get a new owner or a miracle happens between the fans and MA.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #24

    TDSarf…Everyone has their own theories as to what caused that loss of belief.

    Truth is, with these players and manager we got that 5th placed finish and did show those spirited performances…why has it stopped?

    Is it simply they’ve been Pardewed?
    Has Pardew Pardewed himself?
    Or is something happening upstairs that has deflated them? Left them feeling what the point is?

    There will always be part of it down to the manager and players, I just can’t help but feel that after working so hard, achieving the impossible and then getting no support from the owner a clear indication of the aspirations / ambitions of the man they simply dropped their heads. That doesn’t absolve them of blame, but surely we have to look at the root issue here?

    I have no problem being self sufficient, but that shouldn’t deter away from pushing forward, as pointed out by TS. There are still ways to push on, show some ambition and give the fans some excitement.

    Why aren’t we getting it? If it is the manager, then why is he still here?

    Jayphoto…All we can ever ask is that those who represent us give their best. From top to bottom, I don’t feel that is what we’re getting. It’s a sorry state of affairs. However, on the playing side of things, I am intrigued to see how we approach Aston Villa. There were some promising signs in the Fulham game.

    fatman…Were they turning people away? On what grounds?

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #25

    @TS To be fair to Ashley, he’s kept our prices well under spurs for everything, shirts, pies, drinks, tickets etc Spurs’ revenue is alot higher than ours, and their owners alot richer!
    Think though we should be ahead of evertons’ norwichs and southamptons! Personally think we should be spending 25m each transfer window! Club seems obsessed with finding a bargain, thats fair enough but our greatest players have been either locally produced or players we’ve payed the going rate for! We didn’t get shearer, Bellamy, Rob Lee etc on the cheap! we paid the market value for them as other clubs were interested! Surely we could have bargains by paying the market value and then developing that player into a more valuable asset?
    For example – Gareth Bale cost near on 15m for Spurs from a championship bottom club at the time! We would have never been interested in him because he wasn’t value for money, but spurs developed him and now look! same as ronaldo from sporting lisbon! wenger said he wasn’t worth 10m… Wish the club would try harder to increase a players value through coaching rather than buying players with a year to go on their contract or with a release clause

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  • Belfast

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #26

    Yes he will.
    The sooner he leaves the better

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #27

    TS

    Man Utd, Arsenal and others didn’t bring in enough players either. Sure Ozil is a real boost for Arsenal but they expected several signings. Man Utd just signed Fellaini when they were calling out for an Ozil type player.

    I don’t think it should matter to he players that we only brought in Remy. That’s an opportunity for players to prove that we didn’t need to sign anyone.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #28

    I’m off guys, catch you later

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  • low fell mag

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #29

    Transfer ,not any more

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #30

    TDsarf,
    Granted, we over achieved in a season that saw Chelsea have a poor league finish and Lpool going through a transition but with the correct investment we could have instilled the confidence in the players that might have kept up hopeof a European finish, I’m not talking massive investment, the 19M that was spent in January would have bought the RB, CB and striker we desperately needed with just those three extra players those key injuries might not have been so crucial, and imo opinion it was more to do with the message that window sent to the players that crippled moral tban the injuries and Pardews ineptitude.

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  • low fell mag

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #31

    TDS @ 24 well said,

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  • jayphoto

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #32

    @TDS Passion in the lads we’ve got now, i wouldn’t add ben arfa into that! He plays for himself and himself only! Great talent, but he would leave in a heartbeat if the right offer came in! It won;t though as he’s far too selfish to play for a top team and his stats don’t lie! Hes fantastic going past people, but his short passing can be woeful! He has zero vision and widely lashes at chances! Some go into the top corner granted but more often than not they fly out of play!
    I’d add Cisse into the lads with passion! Met him a while back and the lads truly in love with the club! he speaks like a newcastle fan! He’s a really open guy! Doesn’t get on with our fearless leader Pardew at all though, seemed to really dislike him

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #33

    TS

    I don’t know how global fans are measured but I’ve seen the figures for Spurs revenue and it’s still about 50% higher than ours fairy consistently. The sad fact is that the latest year that is looked at (2012) when Spurs had £140M odd compared to out £90M odd, theirs was actually down about £20M from the previous season.

    So our finances are nowhere near sadly.

    We need to compete despite the financial situation and if the club is well run then we will get the money from new sponsors, prize money and global merchandising.

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  • Spoof

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #34

    TDS

    you say we aren’t in reverse but you then say that we have not closed the gap to the top 6, in fact you yourself have said it is growing, but some of those below us have closed the gap on us, the truth is I couldn’t have put it better myself as what you have just described is us going backwards.

    If those around you are improving at a greater rate than yourself, you are going backwards.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #35

    Ibizatoon

    I simply put it down to bad judgement and then bad luck. The powers that be should have realised that we achieved 5th place IN SPITE of our small squad, not because of it. Look at how often and how well the spine of Krul, Colo, Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Ba/Cisse played that season. They played virtually every game and played well. That gave confidence.

    Look at the contributions from that lot last season and pretty much every one is woeful due to injuries and lack of form.

    It’s that simple for me.

    And we know the fans live on a knife edge because we are so desperate for success. Last season tipped many over that edge because they were so hopeful from the 5th place finish.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #36

    JfA

    Like I said in post 35, I’m in agreement with you there. Once a couple of key players were not playing or not playing well, I think the feeling must have spread to the rest of the squad that we were short and confidence would have dropped.

    The biggest mistake we made was not signing a CB in the summer. We could have been ok with Simpson at RB and we had Ba and Cisse up front for us. We needed that CB so we weren’t playing Saylor and Willo (or worse – Simpson and Perch at CB!) regularly.

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #37

    Spoof@34
    Absolutely spot on

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #38

    Also
    Not thinking team morale being on the gutter has anything to do with Ashley?
    Fcuking behave

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #39

    Jayphoto,
    Last time I looked Spurs tickets were a fiver dearer on cat A, B and C games, I’m not sure what they charge for lager but it can’t be much more than £ 4:10 for a plastic bottle and besides I think it was you that suggested that particular revenue is diverted from the club.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #40

    TDS

    really? i wouldn’t have thought it was that much difference. Don’t see how it can be? where do they get it from as they wont have more world wide fans (and merchandise isn’t even a high earner unless your a super club like man utd or madrid). I’ll take your word though pal.

    Jay

    spurs’s owner, joe lewis, isn’t richer than ashley..very similar actually

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