The Stark Truth About Mike Ashley


Football pundit Paul Merson put it politely but bluntly when he was talking about Newcastle owner Mike Ashley on TV yesterday.

mike Ashley smiling

Has Mike just sold his manager for £4M?

Paul Merson was appearing on Sky Sports’ Gillette Soccer Saturday show and the discussion centered on how poorly Newcastle have done under his stewardship since the summer of 2007.

Newcastle have  one finish in the top nine in the Premier League in those eight seasons.

It’s simply not good enough for a club with the fans fervour and the great history of a Newcastle United.

Paul was asked if Mike Ashley would be pleased enough if Newcastle finished 4th bottom and therefore stayed in the Premier League.

This is how he responded:

“Yeah, yeah, he is a businessman, isn’t he?” “I don’t know the man, but he cannot sit down with me and say: ‘I am here to take the team forward and get them into the top four’.”

“Of course, he doesn’t. He named the stadium after his company. Why would he do that? This club has been going for a gillion years.”

Newcastle will probably finish 12th top or worse this season – and we suppose it’s another successful season in Ashley’s eyes – if only because we will still be around next season in the Premier League to pick up that big check in May next year from the Premier League.

We have held out hope for a long time over the eight years of this blog, that the owner would spend money to build up the Newcastle squad, especially with the big profits we will now be getting in future seasons.

But that’s just not going to happen.

That’s unless Mike Ashley changes his ways and starts to put the playing squad as a higher priority than just making money.

Football clubs exist to be successful on the playing field for their fans – not just to make money – and my son Neil said it perfectly yesterday:

“What’s the point of just making money at Newcastle?”

If Ashley doesn’t change his ways then we will continue to be a mediocre side and lucky to finish in the top half of the Premier League in future seasons.

That’s the reality.

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118 comments so far

  • dexter53

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #1

    As if we didnt know this already. Not even worth debating.

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  • dalton7675

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #2

    Do you know im fuming with all our fans who didnt support AP,my my isnt he doing well at palace! Hes no tatical master mind but jesus christ people atleast we would of won some games if he was still here and with the current owner do you honestly think we can do better coach wise? Who in the right mind with any credability would take a job where you dont have a transfer budget abd a player could be sold at any moment pardew was the best we were ever gonna get and certain fans made his life hard i wish him thd best of luck oh and our doomed club

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  • banjax

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #3

    Newcastle’s problems haven’t been a result of failures in January 2015. You have to go back to when Mike Ashley bought the club for the start of the problems, because M A was and is the problem then and now. Crazy appointments when Keegan left, and the likes of Dennis Wise, Derek Lambezi and Joe Kinnear were brought in along with a transfer policy that everyone including the seagulls swirling around St James’s new was cheapskate and doomed to fail. But probably the worst of all was renaming the stadium and a bunch of loan sharks played hero to ‘buy it back’ – now that was a big mistake by Mike Ashley. The very act of changing the sacred name of our stadium was unforgivable and will never be forgotten. The ideal solution would be for Mike Ashley to move on but that is not going to happen soon, so the next best is a heavy investment in a quality squad of players, and excellent coach and the ambition the win the league, get into Europe, win the F A Cup and anything else which has silverware attached to it. Nothing more nothing less !

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  • lesh

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #4

    Well, well no surprises there then.

    If Ashley’s raison d’être is to make money out of Newcastle United and its long suffering fans, then two can play at that game.

    If fans were to unite and just hang on until they decide whether or not to renew their season tickets and boycott or walk out of the last home games of the season, then Ashley and the media might just sense a message –

    Ashley’s approach to the club is just not acceptable!

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #5

    What are the chances of Skrtel being banned for our game?

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  • croftus5678

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #6

    @2 dalton

    pards did very well with us also for the first 2 seasons !

    look at his record for every club he’s been at buddy he does well at the start then it goes downhill.

    he’s avg and carver is avg just without the inspiration a new manager normally has.

    keegan wasnt good at tactics either but he could get the best out of players and knew we couldnt defend for toffee so would play to our strength’s which was attack.

    we now have a very very poor defence an ok attack a good cm and an avg wing play ! not even i know where our strength’s lay in our current team !

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  • Magpie Myles

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #7

    Dalton

    I could not agree more! I was saying this for ages!
    If pardew had been backed with the players he wanted we could have been pushing so much further up the table! Look at Palace! They look like a great confident team pushing for top 10 when they looked down and out!

    Can’t do much about it now, but I can honestly tell you I would take him back, no one else will work under fat mikes conditions!

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Carver being sh1te is no justification for keeping a stagnating manager out of ideas for our squad

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #9

    Was glad Pardew left, still am, will be even happier when his backroom staff are off as well

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  • AndyMac

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #10

    “If Ashley doesn’t change his ways then we will continue to be a mediocre side and lucky to finish in the top half of the Premier League in future seasons”

    That’s the glass half empty view. The opposing one is that we all a band together, forget the internecine rivalry, and kick the Fatman’s R’s outta Toon.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #11

    One might well wonder if it is a question here of being penny wise and pound foolish?

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  • Moonraker15

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #12

    Dalton
    “Who in his right mind would take a job…..”

    The answer is that Pardew did and was supporting the regime knowing there was no ambition. That’s why he didn’t buckle under the fan pressure because he knew Ashley wouldn’t sack him! Then first opportunity of another job he’s off and even gets compo for Ashley!
    Watch Palace results in future; they will fade! All his clubs do!

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  • BandB

    Mar 22, 2015 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #13

    The fact that Pardew was able to make Ashley’s system work to Ashley’s satisfaction was precisely why we needed him to leave.

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #14

    Took Chelsea long that…

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #15

    Hull two down after 10 minutes.

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #16

    Incredible! 2-2

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #17

    Wow

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  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #18

    Damn – I missed the blog “Question Time” earlier on. Annoyed as I do like to contribute to questions and try to provide an answer.
    Todays question was as follows:-

    welshgeordie9 // Mar 22, 2015 at 1:45 PM
    Q.Why is it that when i say something on here the complete opposite happens.”

    A. I think it is because you know nowt about football.

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  • Bambams

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #19

    I wonder if by some miracle we have got this all wrong and Ash is actively saving all the profits up to spend loads wisely in the summer.
    We will not break any financial fair play rules this way….
    No …..
    Just wondering.
    Pigs might fly

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  • Ibizatoon

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #20

    Tuff…Is there a way of contacting you outside of the blog? For blog reasons I should add, don’t be getting worried 🙂

    Perhaps you could drop me a line to ibizatoon2015@gmail.com. Feel free to make up a new email address…as you can see, I have.

    BandB…Nice to see you’re still on. Not sure if you’re up for it or not, but like wise, I’d like to discuss something with you off of the blog.

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  • 9

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #21

    Bambams,
    Call me naive, but I agree with you in spirit. Even our owner must recognise he has sold himself short this January by actively weakening the squad. He is not a man accustomed to being associated with failure, so I guess (and it is a pure guess, but then again, so is eveeybody else’s view) we may see a change in tune this summer – by which I mean, I believe it is possible NUFC may spend big. Goodness knows he can afford it. I feel a lot depends on how his Rangers enterprise fares, because I’m not sure the Glasgow charlatan King, now of S Africa, will ultimately outsmart our owner. What I’m trying to do here is see things through the lens of our owner. I reckon he thought he could buy Rangers for absolute peanuts, sell us, and invest enough in Rangers to get them in the Champions League which, you have to admit, is a lot easier than getting NUFC there, even from Rangers current duff position. He has met a setback in Rangers, which could impact on us. Whether he wants to keep us or sell us, he will do better for himself by improving our playing strength very considerably. He is in a position of massive financial strength, and, everyone sensible (which excludes some, I admit) must agree he can’t be happy with the current state of affairs.

    I repeat, I could be incredibly naive here, I don’t need telling, but these are my current thoughts on our possible future.

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  • scout

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #22

    Whats the point in just making money at Newcastle?
    Stupidest thing in the world to say, money makes the world go round. He has no interest just wants to turn a profit. Its pretty obvious by the way we have a paper thin squad and every team in the league has better centre backs.

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  • scout

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #23

    I disagree that clubs exist to be successful on the pitch, we are living proof of the opposite.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Mar 22, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #24

    9…I really do see the sense in that scenario.

    What I can’t get my head around, based on Ashleys actions to date, is why anyone thinks he actually wants us to push for European football. If we’re not shooting for that, then that really only leaves mid-table, which is the status quo.

    So, back on Europe, we keep getting told how the CL club is simply too hard and risky to shoot for. They may have a point given the spending power of others. The next group are the EL contenders. The club have also told us that the EL really isn’t financially viable and just puts the clubs squad under too much pressure in the PL.

    Therefore, are they not saying the only European football they’re interested in is CL, but then we can’t realistically expect to get there?

    Once we accept that, what’s left? Mid-table, which Ashley has shown you don’t need much investment to achieve, so why spend it? There’s no reward for the outlay, as quite clearly, what fans think or local pride seem to not even register with the man.

    Now you’ve mentioned Rangers, that’s all gone pretty quiet lately, has there been any interesting info come out? I seem to remember King saying one of his first jobs was to try and re-negotiate the SD contracts? Bless him.

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  • Bambams

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #25

    9
    Cheers for that.
    I just sometimes think ash cannot be this ‘blind’ in running a premier league football team and there must be some kind of plan.
    Carver came out the other week stating ‘long term situation’ and we are all involved. He has also stated something Pards never did and admitted we will be signing players in the summer.
    Have we all got this wrong….
    I bloody hope so.
    Cheers for the craic

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #26

    Whatever Ashley’s intentions it’s a sad state of affairs when i think that most fans would agree it would be a vast improvement if we got to a stage where we didn’t think we were going to get turned over every game we go in to!

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  • chuck

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #27

    I find it difficult to believe there are still those who believe Pardew was a decent manager.

    A man who rivals BSA in playing a controlled defensive game and was fired more often than not from previous clubs.

    At least Carver has allowed the side to play, resulting in yesterdays effort, where we played an attacking game, dominating the second half and deserving more.

    Plus it was the first game to get some positive reaction from the fans in quite a while and rightly so.

    It’s doubtful if Pardew had much impact on signings, with any flair players expected to commit to his defensive game, ergo players like HBA and Marveaux spent more time watching from the bench.

    To begin with that defensive style will never find a welcome (except among those who have no clue) at St. James’ Park, where flair and entertainment is expected.

    Unfortunately Aghley allowed this dispute between Carr (providing the best sell on bodies) and Pardew (I ain’t gonna play flair players, I only play a controlled defensive game) to the detriment of all.

    Thank goodness he’s gone and it’s about time Ashley learned a bit more about the game, he making all of the decisions in conjunction with Carr.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #28

    scout…I am just not sure what he is saving for? Is that profit meant for nothing. It’s not like he can just spend it on himself 😉

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  • Ibizatoon

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #29

    Bambams…Pardew constantly said the club would be looking to bring in players. I have no idea what you’re talking about. He also spoke about the plan and Ashleys intentions and having to build slowly.

    I really don’t think Carver has said anything new.

    The major difference is this time, with players contracts running out is that we will have to bring in some players this summer. That’s not a plan though, it’s damage control.

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  • Bambams

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #30

    So add to this Remi Garde and his “I have a contractual agreement with Newcastle United to say nothing at this time”
    ……or have I dreamt this ?
    I am sure I read this somewhere
    Bit of coin under fat ash mattress…current coach stating we will sign players….Remi hinting at something…
    Christ I have a nose bleed !

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  • 9

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #31

    Can’t we leave our opinions of Pardew? It is clearly of no relevance whatsoever to the future of NUFC. Let’s not look backwards, there is absolutely no point. banging on about water under the bridge re a person no longer involved in our club.

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  • scout

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #32

    Please take down that smug looking MA Picture it makes me wanna smash the tele in.

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  • Bambams

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #33

    Ibiza
    Sorry fella I might be splitting hairs here.
    I can always recall Pards stating we are looking to bring in….
    Carver has said we are signing players.
    Fella I may be looking at this through ‘non Pardew spin’ I must admit I never took to the bloke -ever.
    Carver may end up exactly the same. ..time will tell

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #34

    Chuck
    Carver hasn’t allowed the team to do f**k all

    45 minutes of attacking football in 12 games come off it

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  • wardy06

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #35

    I’ve just seen how well St Etienne are doing in ligue 1, I can’t help but think he is who we’ll go all out for. I know the subject is becoming tiresome, just thought I’d throw my 2pence worth in..

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  • Bambams

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #36

    9
    I agree. …won’t mention him again
    ????

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #37

    Scout…what the goodwife spares the cat eats!

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  • Bambams

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #38

    ???? = smiley face on my mobile

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  • welshgeordie9

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #39

    What ever you say mrs tuff.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Mar 22, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #40

    What a cracking match this is, I wonder if hull will nick it.

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