Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wants Newcastle to finish in the top half of the Premier League table each year, and the reason for that is that the club will then receive over £80M from the Premier League, if we can do that in each of the next three seasons, and it may even go up in the next Premier League TV agreement.
Yohan Cabaye – scoring winner against Manchester United
And the very last thing Mike Ashley wants to happen is a relegation, and you could see that last January when, after we lost 2-1 to Reading, Ashley personally took charge and in the next week brought Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara and Yoan Gouffran to the club, and we had already acquired Mathieu Debuchy from Lille earlier that month.
How much Newcastle paid for those players ranges in estimates from £18M to £33M, but it’s true we paid out £7M in agents’ fees in the last financial year – and those could all have been to get those five players through the door.
Fast track a year to last month, and what did Mike Ashley do?
Thinking only of the finances once again, Mike decided to sell Yohan Cabaye to PSG for a reported £20M, although we suspect that may actually be in euros, so it would be only £16.5M (there are reports in France that Cabaye went for €20M),and there could be some add-on payments of a few million, based on the number of performances Yohan makes.
So it’s clear what Mike Ashley’s priorities are – to stay in the Premier League is number one, and number two is to finish in the top 10 so we get a good payment from the Premier League every year in May, and stay out of having to fight relegation.
And that seems to be where the priorities and ambitions come to a grinding halt.
If Newcastle finish 8th or 9th every season from now on – great – and the money rolls in.
Does anybody think that Mike Ashley would have sold Cabaye if we had been in Sunderland’s position last month?
No he wouldn’t, but once we are doing OK, he will not pay out any money – much like the summer of 2012 after we had finished 5th in the league, and he brought in only Vurnon Anita – even though we had the Europa League coming up.
Most owners build on success by spending even more money, when the team has had some success, but you can never accuse Mike Ashley of doing that.
With his limited ambitions for Newcastle – fans will never be supportive of Mike Ashley running the club - simply because he’s going against the traditions of a great club.
Does anybody think Ashley is concerned how we do until the end of the season, after he has sold our best player?
We were 13 points above 11th placed Hull before the Norwich City game, when Ashley sold Cabaye – so surely we could finish at least in 10th place even without Cabaye – that would have been Mike’s thinking last week.
At least when Freddy Shepherd was running the club he wanted Newcastle to be the best – and while his financial management of the club was dodgy at best – he at least wanted what Newcastle fans wanted – for Newcastle to be a great side again – and he managed to get that when Bobby Robson became manager in August of 1999.
That’s never going to happen under Mike Ashley, where financials are all that matters to the English Billionaire, and he keeps proving that with the actions he has taken since he bought the club six and a half years ago.
We’ve been in decline ever since, and have dropped further and further behind the top six clubs in England.
That’s not good.
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