Newcastle’s Decline To Continue Under Ashley – Here’s Why

Over here on NBC Sports on Monday afternoon was an hour-long lead in to the game between Stoke City and Newcastle United, and during that time the two NBC analysts Robbie Mustow, the former Middlesbrough midfielder and Robbie Earle, the former Wimbledon midfielder explained to the American audience just how big a club Newcastle are.

mike ashley glum

Mike Ashley – Newcastle’s decline to continue

With Newcastle’s magnificent 52,000 capacity St. James’ Park Stadium and their legendary fan support, both analysts said the fans deserved a lot better than what they were getting under owner Mike Ashley, who runs Newcastle as through it was purely a business enterprise.

Robbie Earle said there was a big difference in running a football club than running a business, and while Mike Ashley may have been immensely successful in running his Sport Direct business, he has not been successful at all in running Newcastle United.

We’re not sure why Ashley even felt inclined to buy Newcastle back in 2007, when he was flush with money after taking Sports Direct public.

But his view of the club hardly matches that of the fans – who want and expect Newcastle United to be pushing for a top six spot in the Premier League – but all we are being told by the current manager Alan Pardew is that ¨reasonable¨ Newcastle fans know that’s not a reality these days.

We haven’t met too many of those reasonable Newcastle fans.

In short, this seems to be Mike Ashley’s policy of running Newcastle:

  • Buy young players cheaply from places like France and Holland, so they have sell-on value
  • If and when any player become really good, sell them at a huge profit – examples Andy Carroll, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy
  • Sell a player at any time if a club comes in and matches the price the owner has placed on the player
  • At all costs keep Newcastle in the Premier League so that the global advertising vehicle for Sports Direct – which is Newcastle United Football Club – is seen by the largest world-wide audience possible
  • Have the team be good enough so that we don’t have to fight relegation
  • Ensure the financial records of the club as good as they can be, and notice that every one of the points above help that goal

But the best players at Newcastle have already realized the club will be going nowhere with Mike Ashley in charge, and they want out – and that’s happened with Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy and the most recent seems to be Cheick Tiote – who has said yesterday he wants a new challenge away from Newcastle but wants to remain in England – that’s code for he wants a move to Arsenal.

So maybe Newcastle will continue to get in players who become gems – like Yohan Cabaye – but we will sell them pretty quickly, and until Mike Ashley put some priority on building a good team, Newcastle will be going nowhere – other than further into mediocrity.

And if Adam Armstrong fulfills his enormous  potential within the next couple of years, does anybody really believe he will be a Newcastle player when he turns 20 in February of 2017?

The only way out we can see out of this predicament with Ashley, is if a consortium comes in with an unsolicited offer, and offers Ashley a decent profit on Newcastle.

Even if the fans get him to agree to try to sell the club again, that will not be easy,  and he’s already put Newcastle up for sale twice – with no buyers – and we notice that Randy Lerner is having difficulty flogging Aston Villa – even at a loss on what he paid for the club.

Lerner has put around £250M into the club in total since he bought it eight years ago, and he wanted to sell it for £200M in May – but that figure is thought to have been reduced to around £100M – there’s just no way Mike Ashley would take a similar loss on Newcastle United.

The best chance we have of Mike Ashley leaving Newcastle is if an unsolicited bid comes in from a consortium (who want to restore Newcastle to their former greatness), and it gives Mike a handy profit – then he would sell Newcastle for the money.

After all, that’s how he runs Newcastle – for the money.

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18 comments so far

  • andrew84

    Oct 1, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #1

    Well Ed, looks like our great leader is losing his touch, because the team’s certainly not good enough to avoid the drop based on current performances, and we can blame Ashley and King Pardew for that.

    It’s the young fans I feel most sorry for…the club they love being unable to compete due to the agenda of an overweight, greedy businessman – nothing to do with football. At least the older ones among us can at least try and be cynical about it and find some gallows humour in the situation…

  • Thump

    Oct 1, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #2

    Eh, Demba had a release clause that was activated by Chelsea. It’s not like we were actively trying to offload him. If anything it was Ashley’s unwillingness to pay larger wages.

  • kimbo

    Oct 1, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #3

    With relegation now a certainty under the present management team Ashley will have to accept a lot less money for NUFC and hopefully somebody makes him an offer and he goes otherwise we are stuffed.

  • Rotonda heights

    Oct 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #4


    those magnificent 52000 sheep will keep ashley here too.

    I don’t really have a problem with buying young and selling them at their peak, plenty of clubs successfully do that.

    However, we don’t have the coaching and management personnel to develop them to their full potential.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Oct 1, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #5

    I hate Ashley for his greed and lack of ambition and I hate Pardew for being delusional and tactically inept. They are both egocentric maniacs we should do everything in our power to rid from our club before it’s too late and we forever become a myth, that we were once a great club.

  • Graeme

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #6

    NUFC is now run as an Advertising Outlet for FCB’s main commercial interest – his tat shop SD. As long as he continues to receive the World Wide exposure the Premier League gives him, he is happy.

    He even advertises on the BBC every MOTD and all the repeats, plus he has all the Sky exposure almost 7 days a week.

    It seems he is quite content to milk the current situation for all its worth as the exposure for SD is huge. As long as we are far enough away from relegation problems, FCB is happy. If we are hovering on the brink, he will spend some of the club’s profits to ensure we stay in the Division.

  • posada

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #7

    We bought Cabaye for 4m and sold him for 20m.
    That was the worst thing that could have happened for NUFC.
    Ashley has surrounded himself with fools.
    They have told him they can keep doing it.
    Wrong they can’t.
    Trust us Mike we will find you the players for 3-4m, they will keep us in the premiership and then we can sell them for 20m.
    When it goes wrong they will not care a jot. They will disappear with a big pay off.

    The King was in the all together the all together, but preened himself at his fine clothes.

    How can this man be so stupid.

  • toonking

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #8

    what you saying there is spot on, i’ve been saying this for months myself but some still insist it will only take a good manager to change things.

    over the last couple of months i’ve seen a large number of posts from people who say the reason the good players like cabaye, debuchy and Ba all left because of pardews awful tactics. that begs the question why then would a great manager want to come to a club who is run in as bad a state as we are.

    maybe they do get treated badly in european leagues but most of those league have got great academies so they don’t need to spend money, this league on the other hand has sh1t academies in most clubs including ours.

  • BeeGuy

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #9

    Keep in mind NUFC stole some of the imports by discovering their buy out clauses. That trick is now exhausted. Players & agents will look at AP, see his resultsd and team selection and say, “Sorry, we will go elsewhere.” So, for the good of the club, AP should leave, or move into a non-coaching role.

  • gazzaforever

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #10

    ED really pissed me off stating that Carver would be the best option to replace Pardew , that s so dumb and wrong.

  • Sivarese

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #11

    Given that £5 million (what it would cost to sack Pardew) is roughly equivalent to 4 places higher up in the Premier League, I doubt that is a worry for MA. If a new manager improves by this number of places from the current 19th spot, we avoid relegation and get rid of Pardew without a noticeable financial loss.

  • MonkseatonMag

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #12


    An important item missed from the policy: “Under no circumstances may we fluke a few results, over achieve and accidentally get into the Europa League.” There is no monetary reason to do this and it would be a a drain on resources.

    This would necessitate the purchase of more players

  • Douglas

    Oct 1, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #13


    I think FMA will also sell if we go down and have no chance of getting straight back up. Which we will and which we havnt.

  • lesh

    Oct 1, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Ashley, when he first arrived said he wanted to run the club following the Arsenal model – buy low and sell high. Fair enough if he did follow it!

    However, he won’t pay massive fees for players to add quality to the squad.

    He sells at the first sniff of a profit on a player and shows no interest in challenging for trophies.

    Now if we look at Debuchy and Tiote – he bought them at low prices and sold them at big big profits.

    The irony is that he’s sold/ will sell to Arsenal – the club whose financial model he says he wants to follow.

    Surely the clown must see that Arsenal do make money but not at the expense of maintaining its position as a major, world football club!

  • headtheball

    Oct 1, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #15

    Heard a rumour that our ‘ professional football manager ‘ has seen the writing on the wall and has his cv in circulation again. One vacancy he may have a shot at is
    Village Idiot in a Carry On movie.

  • N1CK06

    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    Comment #16

    Anyone want to make a website to follow up from!

  • mecannylad

    Oct 2, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Comment #17

    Much as I would like to ignore this website; I just can’t resist it.
    It’s not particularly because the editorial is incisive … or the fact that Ed Harrison is a superb wordsmith (he’s far from that !)
    …. it’s because I am suffering like most of the posters on here, and get a weird feeling of relief knowing that I am not the only one in this awful situation.
    Let’s be United and rid our beloved club of this Black Death we are currently suffering from.

  • arpeco19

    Oct 2, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #18

    Just a quick comment…. All the players, with the exception of Debuchy weren’t and aren’t getting first team football… Carroll moved to Liverpool and very rarely played, then to West Ham, where he very rarely plays, (due to drink related issues) Cabaye moved to PSG and very rarely plays…. Demba Ba moved to Chelsea and very rarely played, now at Besiktas gets a start. All the above left Nufc because as they got a bit better, they had the chance to earn more money…. Simple as that. Demba Ba is the classic example of a mercenary footballer… Why else have a release clause for £7m. Debuchy left because his best pal had left the club… Although what Mustoe and Earle is saying is correct. I think as retired professionals they could of also highlighted that to the American public.


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