Ever since Mike Ashley joined Newcastle and had his fingers burned by paying huge wages out for mediocre players who didn’t perform – he has a business strategy at the club which is bring players in on the cheap, develop them and then in a year or two sell them off at a huge profit.
And to be honest, that’s worked very well and puts an emphasis on good scouring and Graham Carr has done a good job of bringing some good young players – who are cheap and Newcastle have signed them.
Mike Ashley – he owns a money-making machine – called Newcastle United
And indeed if you look ate out financial figures we have done very well, since we were promoted in 2010, and we are now one of the most profitable clubs in England and also therefore one of the most profitable clubs in the world.
So Mike Ashley’s plan is working well on the financial front – but how well we have done on the playing side of things?[table "31" not found /]
In 2009 we were relegated to the Championship, and promoted straight back the next year.
So that’s one top eight finish over the last seven years and this year we will again be in the lower part of the league table – probably between 14th and 16th place – after being 9th at the end of the year.
The real statistic to take out of the eight years on Tyneside is that we have beaten 50 points in the league only once – in 2012.
And that was such a phenomenal achievement at the Ashley-run Newcastle, that Alan Pardew easily won two Manager of the Year awards – and he’s moved onto a more ambitious club, where he can at least build a lasting good team – Crystal Palace- and that was his choice.
With Mike Ashley’s business strategy, young players are only too willing to come to Newcastle, and after improving on Tyneside, they are also only too willing to move onto real football clubs who actually try to – and do win trophies – something Newcastle don’t do.
I explained this to my long-suffering wife (of 43 years) Madeline this morning (it’s only a game Ed), and she knows nothing at all about football (with the emphasis on nothing) but she said something that was very inciteful.
“No wonder players want to come to Newcastle because they see it as a stepping stone to a bigger club” – and that of course is just exactly why players want to still come here.
But it’s not to be successful or win trophies – it’s to improve and get a (big) lift in their careers – that’s why players like Cabaye and Debuchy now speak so well of Newcastle – because we made those players successful.
Examples have been Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy and players in the summer like Moussa Sissoko, Daryl Janmaat and Ayoze Perez may think Newcastle’s usefulness to their careers is over, and they will want to move onto ambitious clubs, real clubs – who win things.
So when we read of players wanting to come to Newcastle this summer – that’s very true – but we have simply become a stepping stone for good players moving to bigger clubs.
Newcastle have done absolutely nothing in the Premier League since 2007, but for one single season under Mike Ashley.
We are really hoping Mike Ashley will change the way he runs the club.
But he’s a self-made Billionaire who has been fantastically successful by doing things his way at Sports Direct – and those people are very unlikely to change their MO, when it’s brought them success in the past, and they tend to be stubborn.
If Mike doesn’t sell the club and mercifully end the suffering of Newcastle fans, that will doom the club to be even less than mediocre in the years ahead.
Mike Ashley isn’t running a football club – he’s running a money-making machine.
Here are two relevant polls to Newcastle’s current predicament.
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