The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Ashley Has Kept His Promise – It’s So Far So Good

8:27 am, Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 29 Comments

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has so far kept his promise made on Sky Sports an hour before our last game kicked off against West Ham on May 24th, when we could have been relegated having taken only one point from the previous ten games played.

Ashley said that we would make our luck from now on, and since then the club have fired John Carver and Steve Stone and hired in Steve McClaren who has brought in a very good coaching staff.

We have also spent big money on bringing in three very good players a defender, a creative midfielder and a striker.

Mike Ashley Sky Sports West Ham Match May 2015

Mike Ashley – during Sky Sports Interview

Newcastle have spent a cool £35M on top talent Gini Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba  and even though hopefully the spending is not yet finished, that’s the most we have spent in any transfer window since Ashley arrived in the summer of 2007.

And how do we feel right now about the upcoming season?


It seems we still need a defender, midfielder and another striker bought in and we have 26 days left to do that.

But it’s a case of so far so good with the transfers.

This is how Stan Collymore recently summed things up:

“Signings, intent, a feel-good factor, Hallelujah! It looks like Mike Ashley’s few words on TV at the end of last season actually carried some truth behind them.”

“Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum offer no guarantees – players can be hit or miss – so it’s vital that the Geordie public stick with them.”

“After such a long time without anything to crow about, I’m sure the Gallowgate is delighted with the potential quality and the sums involved.”

“Investment into a club that was hemorrhaging talent has been sadly lacking.” “Comfortably safe. “But little more unless that wallet opens further.”

The other thing we don’t know yet is which players will leave.

So even though big money has been spent so far – there’s still work to do to ensure the squad is good enough to finish comfortably in the top half  of the table.

If we can get three  more good players in then this could be a water-shed transfer window for Newcastle.

And we need it after the disasters of the second half of last season, when we were the worst performing side in the whole of the Premier League.

Here’s hoping.

Here’s exactly what Mike Ashley said back on May 24th when we were in the grips of possible relegation from the Premier League.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Financial Fair Play · Financials · Newcastle News · Pre-season · Premier League · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sparky55 // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    that’s the thing about ashley…he hasn’t sold anyone yet so we don’t know what the nett result of all the activity will be.

    The only good thing is he hasn’t sold anyone yet before bringing in a replacement so at least he’s doing it the right way.

    IMO Sissoko, Cisse, Colo and Tiote will go

  • 2 Santon03 // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:37 AM


    it says Aug 9, which is Sunday. Mitro said want to play this Sunday, so yes it should be Sunday.
    Unless the game was on Saturday and the team turn up on Sunday, that will be funny lol

  • 3 robmefirst // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Anyone think that we should sign up Ron Vlaar? He’s a free agent, and 30 but will be a very decent starter/backup for 2 seasons?

  • 4 Santon03 // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:47 AM


    I’m not sure if Vlaar is better than Colo.

  • 5 magpiesi // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Vlaar is out until new year with a knee injury.

  • 6 geordiemark // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    has Ashley kept his promise hmm don’t think so myself, that defence is the worst ive ever seen yet why hasn’t it not been sorted out, 1 defender isn’t enough taylor and Williamson are not good enough simple as that, they had 36 million in the bank anyways and that’s what they have spent so to me Ashley has failed big time yet again

  • 7 expatmag // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:49 AM


    Not all this window mate.

    There would be rioting in the streets if he weakened us to that extent.

  • 8 Santon03 // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    I think Colo is still one of the best cb, he was just unhappy these few years maybe personal life or with previous management. He was in EPL 11 when we finished 5th, so he couldn’t be as bad as others said.
    I hope everything is good with him now.

  • 9 hibbit // Aug 5, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    expat 2 of that 4 will go

  • 10 Santon03 // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    I think MA meant what he said about not getting involved how SM manage his team. If SM thinks he can make these players play better then he should be given a chance.
    Probably more transfer activities in January.

  • 11 geordiemark // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:05 AM


    I agree with you the manager should be given time to sort this rabble out but the club still hasn’t bought enough players to help him along which is a big worry

  • 12 JamesToon // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    Have a really bad feeling that it will be a partnership of Williamson and Taylor on Sunday….

  • 13 magpiesi // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    Smc was a good listen on Bbc newcastle last night the way he talked and what has been seen in pre season I think he will start 4123 formation.
    Lb-Haidara just because he hasn’t seen Dummet yet just back training.
    Rw-Sissoko wants to use him in final third.
    Lw-Obertan as he said Arrons exciting but will need to learn his role.

    He was talking about playing a style to get a foot hold of the game first then later on change it when needing a goal etc which he said he did against Gladbach when he put De jong up behind Mitrovic.

    He said hasn’t seen all the players yet but give him 10 games then he will know what he has.

  • 14 mickalfas // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    Fatty hasn’t broken any promises or stuck to them,as he didn’t actually make any !

  • 15 Bobbybee // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    It was good to hear that Macca knows where the problem is and that they’re looking for further signings. Not having seen Collo play in the flesh hasn’t helped, but Collo can partner Mbemba until we find the right signings. Just because he’s club captain doesn’t mean he’ll be guaranteed to play of course. I like the look of Jesse Lingaard as a winger and the price is ludicrously cheap for all that potential. I’d even settle for him and another CB to be honest. What impressed me is that Macca has got the lads playing a better brand of football and is allowing them to express themselves. Colback’s range of passing from deep midfield was a pleasure to watch last Saturday. Much better season ahead.

  • 16 firebug666 // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:08 AM

    So we are on the right track with signings, but a lot more needs to be done if were going to challenge for eighth spot and have a cup run.

    For me…. So far we have an ass bolted to the cart instead of the horse, it seems Charnley is pulling it himself, but is tiring now.

    Great signings so far, but we are still in desperate need of quality at the back to go with Mbemba.

    As for our saviour Ashley, he is nothing more than a parasite he will sanction only what is needed to protect his investment in SD through advertising and merchandising nothing more.

    The changes in staff is excellent, the changes in playing squad is only half done (sounds familiar). I still think we are here to survive in the premiership, nothing more.

  • 17 Derek // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:08 AM

    How people can be convinced Ashley has kept him promise is beyond me. The season hasn’t even started yet. We still haven’t sufficiently improved out back line. There is still plenty of time to sell players and not replace them.

    Is 3 young non-EPL, potential profit-making signings and a new management team really enough have some convinced we are on the road to the Champions League?!

    Those who think so must be so gullible, hopeful and impatient.

    Wait and see what happens before making such ridiculous assumptions.

  • 18 geordiemark // Aug 5, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    if Ashley had of spent say 80 million then id say hes kept his word but hes only spent the money that we had in the bank

  • 19 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 5, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Derek@17. Have to say I agree. Although I would feel happy just to believe we are not going to be in the the relegation mix. CL is light years away, but I can cope with that. Another season down in the docks though is a bloody painful thought, and I just don’t see that we have improved the squad enough to banish that possibility. People seem to have forgotten just how bad we were last season. A handful in, a handful out is not the rejuvenation this squad needed. Ashley out. Maintain the rage. Stay strong.

  • 20 lesh // Aug 5, 2015 at 10:31 AM


    My take on spending is that as £34m was recently banked (last accounts), and that’ll be the nett spend Charnley referred to.

    We’ve spent that so far and any more spend’ll be financed by player sales or offloading dead-wood from the payroll.

    I don’t think this window’s dealings are finished yet and if we sell say Obertan or Willo, the money raised’ll pay for Messi!

  • 21 lesh // Aug 5, 2015 at 10:34 AM


    Spend £80m? You’re being a wee bit ambitious methinks – where’s it to come from?

    You know Ashley doesn’t speculate with money that may or may not arrive as next season’s prize money.

  • 22 OneAlanShearer // Aug 5, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    Vlaar is recovering from an Op and is 30 so no.

    Ashley has not gone back on what he said as he never actually really committed to anything. However any normal person should read what he said as meaning I’m turning the club around. If he doesn’t buy 3 more players he has changed nothing as every season he leaves us short of quality. That is the scandalous thing here. He has the opportunity to turn the club around….Some elements have changed…He’s bought at a better level if quality so less risk of players failing and so far not sold anyone key. It’s not enough though.

  • 23 bobby mango // Aug 5, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Considering how badly we struggled last year and both with quality and quantity I don’t see three decent signings redeeming Ashley.

    The squad is imbalanced – heavy on some areas, desparately thin on others.

    Add to this all other teams around us have continued to push forward with their own decent signings I don’t feel very encouraged at all.
    We have a very tough start and if most of those games go with recent form then we’ll be near the bottom with quarter of the season gone. By that time any optimism and new found confidence will be obliterated.

    Not saying we’re far off but I would like at least one proper wide forward. The idea of play Sissiko wide right again makes me sad. Him in the middle with Wijni and Colback/Tiote looks very solid.

    Then there’s the defence – I don’t think a better lb is coming. Whilst we need a better cb to replace Colo is obvious that’s not coming. That leaves rb cover, we have none.

  • 24 mactoon // Aug 5, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    He didn’t actually promise anything, he said we would be making our own luck, it souldn’t be down to luck, bad choice of words. He also said he would continue the policy of investing in the football club. That policy to date has resulted in profits for transfer windows so it will be interesting during the next couple of weeks. Here’s hoping it heralds a change in approach..

  • 25 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 5, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    The thing that I constantly struggle to come to grips with is why doesn’t Ashley protect this investment? 80 mill spent on the squad would effectively insure it against relegation and that money would be returned in a couple of years by simply staying in the PL. Reading a recent article in Forbes, Ashley is valued at $US 5.5 billion. Why does he continue to run this club like a school tuck-shop that has to pay its own way? Is he doing it to perversely prove a point? Bizarre. Troubling .

  • 26 kenzie // Aug 5, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    pre season has shown that we can’t defend and can’t score (aside from the 3 against a reserve timbers). Worst defence we have ever seen here and we only sigh Mbemba, can’t score a goal and we sign mitrovic. Steve mc saying that we will start season with what we have….what? We are still crap and we have signed only 3, we NEED a defence, where is it? Mitrovic will take a while and cisse is too busy bed hopping to care anymore while Perez can’t guarantee many goals. Ash has spent 30+ million, and now he is done, I once loved this team, thanks for killing that ash

  • 27 rwpoynter // Aug 5, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    There is still some way to go but I think the signs are good. We do need a centreback and a winger, and we don’t need to ship out Colo, Tiote, Sissoko or Cisse. Some players need to go to free up the wage bill and that is a concern with todays wages for any club. This is not Ashley’s fault, it should be a concern for any Premier League owner. It would seem that as Ashley prefers to withdraw from the publicity, he has happily let Steve McLaren take on this role, which is good as he knows more about football. I genuinely think Ashley has learnt from the mistakes from the past and there have been some, and is now going to let the football minds run the football club. I hope I am proved right.

  • 28 Sivarese // Aug 5, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    The players coming in look good, yes, but they are only three when we need at least six.

    Wijnaldum should’ve been bought when we’d lost Cabaye not 18 months later when Cabaye has (as we all predicted) failed at PSG. Mbemba should have arrived when we shipped out Yanga-Mbiwa (I know Alderweireld was snatched by Soton at the last minute) and when we sold Ba he wasn’t adequately replaced, so there’s Mitrovic at last to do that. I only count the new three as overdue, not as squad improvement.

    I’ll start dancing in the street when we start to see results. I’d be surprised if we didn’t lose a player in the next three weeks. I’m glad the money’s being spent, but it needs to continue if we are going to win anything or finish in the top ten.

  • 29 roadhog2k // Aug 5, 2015 at 7:35 PM

    35 million is a drop in the ocean now compared to the millions Ashley is making from the new Sky deal. If this was 10 years ago I would be jumping for joy!. What we need to be looking at is how much % of total revenue is spent on transfers compared to seasons before. Then we can judge if he is true to his word and investing in the club.

previous post: Mitrovic – I’ve Always Loved Newcastle – Shearer One Of The Best Ever

next post: Steve McClaren’s Call In – Full Audio