Why Newcastle Are No Longer A Real Football Club

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

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.

nufc revenues

Newcastle Profits Thru 2014

So Mike Ashley’s plan is working well on the financial front – but how well we have done on the playing side of things?

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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.

Are Newcastle Safe From Relegation Yet?

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Can Carver Get The Points That Will Save Us From Relegation?

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21 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #1

    Well I hope you can get behind these lads as I think if this new campaign falters then this really will be the last chance t do something, even if we can’t force him to sell it will show the footballing world at least that we aren’t happy with our lot and bring the spotlight on him.

  • Average_Contents

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #2

    Hits the nail very firmly on the head.


  • hibbit

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #3

    jail so many people are now having second thoughts including my own brother it took be a long time to give up my tickets maybe this time is the right time as the momentum is building against ashley…….. the only way we can win is together

  • jayphoto

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #4

    Can’t see Carver lasting the season. heavy defeat to Liverpool and then a poor performance against Spurs will see the bottom 3 too close to comfort. Pretty sure in our relegation season we were midtable till april time seemingly out of it and too good to go down…
    MAsh won’t risk falling off the gravy train…
    Shocked kinnear hasn’t come back to help Carver out.
    Id take JFK over Carver. Football weren’t great but the players looked like they were bothered

  • Small World

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #5

    Jail for Ashley // Apr 6, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    If you are referring to ashleyout.com, as I said earlier, if I knew who these people were and why the wanted the money – I’d may be willing to donate, as I suspect would others. Being anonymous is doing them no favours.

    If they came clean – they may even attract larger donations. Some folks can afford splash a bit, and may be inclined to do it.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #6

    Fingers crossed. Will be interesting to see/hear what their plans are, how they will sustain pressure, and the methods they will use.

    I’d like them to target his SD goings on more on the website possibly bring in Rangers issues as well so it gets further expose. I think that the pressure from shareholders, if their unethical practices are highlighted often and well, will have more of an effect.

  • BandB

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #7

    I believe the march was a success,

    A success in the face of the dire predictions of many fans on here who predicted Geordies couldn’t be trusted to stage a peaceful organised demonstration on their own streets without running riot.

    A success in the face of those fans who hugged themselves in pleasure at the thought of Ashley sneering from his eerie in St James’s at their pathetic efforts.

    The police reckoned the numbers taking part rather higher than those put forward by the club and seized on by fans on this blog.

    The coverage of the march dropped the Chronicle in the clarts with the club, and the club in the clarts with the wider press. It created the skeptical conditions the SackPardew campaign was able to exploit.

    That campaign destroyed forever Pardew’s belief that he had the backing of the silent majority, and probably made him realize he couldn’t hack it here for another eight years.

    Ashley will never recover from the loss of Pardew. The reality of club policy, denied by so many for so long, is now exposed.
    And those who argue that it is utterly useless to challenge the Iron Laddie are also exposed as defeatists after he was denied the freedom of Glasgow.

    I think those throwing objections in the face of this new campaign will find their sneering is less tolerated this time around.

  • BandB

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #8

    Small World,

    You save yer money for your new seat.

  • sickandtired

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #9

    Working well? How about asking where 25 million of additional operating costs have suddenly appeared from – depriving the club of the actual profit it should once again have?

    Get behind the ashleyout campaign and save the club

  • BandB

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #10

    Yeah…those £25m million extra operating costs that sprung out of nowhere.

    Nothing to see there. Not even worth talking about. “Wait and see a few days, and the club will explain.”

    I’m not holding my breath.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #11

    Sometimes you have to put faith in something’s or people, I’m sure The Mag would not allow itself to be used by a group of people to extract money from NUFC fans to pi$$ up, the money will be going towards banners, council fees if a march is decided upon etc

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #12

    There’s my money gone where my mouth is

  • BandB

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #13


    About that £25m.

    I’m waiting to see….there’s a guy been killed and raised from the dead since then……

    How long are we waiting to see for?

  • jayphoto

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #14

    Think the spotlight is coming on Ashley increasingly in all his affairs. Hearing more and more people question whats going on at newcastle and the government seem hot on his business practices
    Notice alot of non newcastle fans down here (london) who previously thought he was a good owner are starting to see what we’ve up with all along

  • BandB

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #15


    I don’t think Small World is going to donate……

  • JamesToon

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #16

    I agree, even some of the mackems are saying he’s killing our club

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 6, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #17

    jail – hopefully not just highlight Tubbs tactics to the football world but the business world as well.
    Just made my donation to the new Ashleyout campaign as well – one minute job via paypal.

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 6, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #18

    The new group should contact all NUFC groups, blogs included, asking for their support – if none forthcoming demand they do a poll.
    It would be great if one group could trumpet that they have the support of ALL NUFC groups – would have such a lot more “weight” than a single entity. Others including the southern press would have to sit up and take notice.

  • Average_Contents

    Apr 6, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #19

    From the article I posted earlier.

    Owner and his cronies can scoff at criticism in the media and smirk at supporters who call for them ‘to get out of our club’ but prospect of the Championship does scare them

    Mike Ashley appears to take perverse pleasure from ignoring Newcastle United supporters, so why, in the angry aftermath of another derby defeat by Sunderland, would he start listening to them now?

    Because on Sunday afternoon, as the team’s hapless head coach John Carver tried to explain why Newcastle’s players had once again failed to match Sunderland’s determination, desire and energy in a derby game, he mentioned the one thing Ashley fears.

    Having won only two games this year and with players – for the second year running – spending the second half of the season going through the motions because they have nothing to motivate them in terms of Europe or cup games, Carver warned Newcastle have been dragged into relegation trouble.

    It is only the prospect of relegation that sends a shiver down Ashley’s spine because, as it did last time, it would cripple the club financially. It would mean he would have to spend his own money, rather than the millions handed over by the television companies.

    Carver may have been sending a message to his players, but his words will have reverberated in the St James’ Park boardroom. Ashley will suddenly be listening. He will be alarmed.

    With a nine point cushion between themselves and the drop zone, it seems unlikely Newcastle will fall through the trapdoor this season. But if something does not radically change in the way the club is set up and run, Newcastle could well be propelled into the relegation mire next term.

    It is not scaremongering. If you take a freakish run in the autumn, of five Premier League wins in a row, out of the equation, Newcastle have been dreadful again this season.

    Without that run, picked up under former manager Alan Pardew to save himself from the sack in October and November, Newcastle would be in the bottom three.

    Since beating Chelsea at the start of December, Newcastle have taken 12 points from a possible 42 and have been knocked out of both cup competitions. At the start of the season, it took them eight league games to register a win, as Pardew began the season collecting just four points from a possible 21.

    When that is combined with their miserable form after January last season, in which Newcastle lost 12 of their remaining 16 games, Newcastle have been woeful. They are already displaying relegation form, they just had one prolific point collecting month which has kept them out of trouble.

    Ashley and his cronies can keep telling themselves how great everything is. They can look at their record profits of £18.7m – which may well have been even more impressive had it not been for a mysterious £25m increase in costs for the same period – and congratulate themselves on how clever they are.

    They can scoff at criticism in the media, they can smirk at supporters who call for them “to get out of our club” and they can continue along the same path.

    They can gamble with a small squad, without enough competition for places or cover for injuries and suspensions.

    They can continue to buy cheap, foreign players, luring them to St James’ Park, promising to put them in the Premier League shop window and then sell the best ones on every year to boost their profit margins. ‘Buy cheap, sell, repeat’ is the Newcastle mantra.

    But, the team’s results over the last 18 months should alert them to the dangers of continuing to pursue this policy. You cannot keep selling your best players and replace them with unproven imports and not risk it backfiring.

    You need competition for places, not inadequate squad players. You need players who buy into a long term plan, not a short term aim of earning a move to a better club which actually pursues trophies rather than profits.

    Newcastle are one bad summer of recruitment away from disaster and at best in the last couple of years, chief scout Graham Carr’s record is mixed.

    Graham Carr’s recent recruitment record has been mixed

    There will be mass clear out of players this summer. Some contracts – Ryan Taylor, Sammy Ameobi and Jonás Gutiérrez with not be renewed. Others are keen to leave – goalkeeper Tim Krul, midfielders Cheick Tioté and Moussa Sissoko and striker as well as top goalscorer, Papiss Cissé. The second group make up the spine of Newcastle first-choice XI, the first the bulk of the back-up.

    It looks like a recipe for disaster. The angry, the disillusioned and the disgruntled among Newcastle’s supporters are dismissed as nothing more than a “vocal minority” by Ashley and his cohorts.

    Surrounded by people he employs to run the club in his absence, men and women who owe their living to his patronage and who have never dared tell him he is wrong about anything, Ashley will try to continue as though nothing has changed for the club he pins to the ground with the heel of his discount sport shop boot.

    How can things be bad when St James’ Park is packed for every home game? How can anyone not be satisfied when they remain in the Premier League?

    Why should Ashley change anything about the way the club is run when he is an absolute dictator who cannot be toppled from power unless someone pays him at least £250m to leave?

    He will try hard to cover his ears while whistling merrily to himself as a billionaire who has nothing to fear in this world, at least. Except, he does have something to fear and Carver knows it.

    Newcastle are drifting, they are in danger of sleepwalking towards relegation again. In the two years since Derek Llambias became the first Ashley employee to tell him he had got things wrong, resigning in the aftermath of Joe Kinnear’s employment as director of football in June 2013, Newcastle have gone backwards at alarming speed.

    The man who replaced Llambias as managing director, Lee Charnley, has some explaining to do. Relegation and Newcastle United are starting to appear in sentences again and that will have made Ashley’s ears ring. He can ignore a lot, but not the fear of dropping into the Championship.

  • Lucky Les

    Apr 6, 2015 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #20

    We need our Chief Scout to look for players who can get the job done in the Premier League not people who are easily brushed off the ball and practice step overs.More like Tiote less like Anita.More like Cabaye less like Cabella.
    I remember Nolan saying that we were the hardest team when we won the Championship and we could have certainly done with some toughness yesterday when we looked like a team of wimps out muscled and out fought.

  • mfw13

    Apr 6, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #21

    Ashley is a businessman with no ties to the Northeast. He cares only about using the club to make $$$. So by his standards, the club is very successful, because he’s making $$$ hand over fist.

    Supporters like us may not like that fact, but we don’t own the club, he does.


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