Mike Ashley – Newcastle Cannot Generate Enough Money For Rafa

Mike Ashley has given one of his rare interviews, and it’s with Sky Sports again as he talks about his wealth – or the lack thereof – compared to individuals and consortiums who run some of the big football clubs in England.

The Sky Sports interview that will air on Sunday as an introduction to Newcastle’s entry back in the Premier League before we take on Tottenham in front of a sold-out St. James’ Park.

Mike also understands that his manager Rafa Benitez is frustrated at not having the money this summer to buy the quality of players he would like to.

But we think it’s a one off, and if we can survive and even do well we’ll be just fine.

Newcastle should be much better off financially next summer and even in January since that windfall from the Premier League of maybe £125M – if we finish mid-table – will be just five months away.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

We all know that Rafa Benitez has been frustrated by the transfer window this summer, but in his press conference yesterday, he seemed to accept it’s the way it is.

This is what Mike has said in his Sky Sports interview:

“If you said to me I am wealthy – in theory, I am a billionaire or maybe a multi-billionaire – but in reality, my wealth is all in Sports Direct shares,”

“As I said the other day, it is like wallpaper. I don’t have that cash in the bank so I don’t have the ability to write a cheque for £200M. I don’t have it, it’s simple.”

“I would have to sell the Sports Direct shares to fund that.”  “The way it is sometimes portrayed in wealth terms is as though it is in the bank, it’s not.”

“And I have to make it clear that I am nowhere near wealthy enough in football now to compete with the likes of Man City and others.”

“Where it is a wealthy individual taking on what is the equivalent of countries.”

“I cannot and I will not.”

“Every penny the club generates he can have, but it won’t generate enough. Newcastle United does not have a £40M-a-year stadium naming rights deal.”

“I don’t want the fans to watch this interview and think ‘that’s great Rafa is getting £150m in the morning’ – he’s not.”

“Rafa has Managing Director Lee Charnley’s help. And Lee Charnley answers to Rafa and not the other way around, let’s make that crystal clear.”

“Rafa makes all the final decisions on players out and players in but he has to do it with the money the club has.”

“The money available is not enough, it’s very simple, it’s not enough. Rafa knows that and it’s not a secret.

Most wealthy people don’t have lots of money in the bank but it’s usually invested in things like stocks and shares where hopefully the money accumulates with some good investments.

So if richer people need to get money they sell some shares and there’s no reason why Mike can’t do that – but he would be investing his own money into the club.

Mike is running Newcastle as a business and we are at a low ebb right now because we have just come back up from the second division and we missed out on the first payout of the new £5.1B three-year Premier League rights deal in May.

As one example Bournemouth received about £125M from the Premier League for finishing in 9th place and that’s just less than £80M more Newcastle got from our parachute payment from the PL (£41M) and £7.1M from the Championship.

That’s an example of why we are at a financial disadvantage this summer and another consequence of being relegated last year.

Comments welcome.

7 comments so far

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 12, 2017 at 7:02 AM

    Comment #1

    Two relegations in a decade. Great stewardship, Ashley!

  • Bambams

    Aug 12, 2017 at 7:02 AM

    Comment #2

    I am no accountant but if he wanted to do something in his life other than just keep reading how much he is ‘worth ‘…..

    After buying a football club by his own choice…..

    I would release some of those shares and fund a manager he brought in……

    Once the club begins challenging at the right end of the table or even champions league I would look to see what the club would now be worth and if money was my be all sell it…..

    You only live once so enjoy, or just be content to be in the PL showcasing his business like the last 10 years with two relegations…..

    Just my opinion

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 12, 2017 at 7:17 AM

    Comment #3

    It’s obvious Ashley only intended to use NUFC. He told Sir John hall the same when he bought the club but bit seemed like that would mean he’d invest in it to grow it along with using it to grow SD’s brand world wide. I just hope he sells up. He’s just prolonging the unhealthy relationship otherwise. He quite simply shouldn’t own this club not even in part.


    Aug 12, 2017 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #4

    What happened with the external investment we were meant to be looking for?

  • peaco1980

    Aug 12, 2017 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #5

    Liar. Where’s the money Gone Ashley? The Sissoko windfall? Wijnaldum? The promotion money? The cut backs on staff? The sale of land for new flats??? I continue to pray for his helicopter to crash in a ball of fire.

  • toonluvva

    Aug 12, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #6

    Pure and simple, NUFC are only an advertising vehicle for SportsDirect.

    He is quite happy for the club to receive the TV rights as it means he is being paid to advertise his wares all around the globe.

    His mismanagement has been astonishing in my opinion, Wise, Llambias, Kinnear et al for example. That is to brush over TWO relegations under his ownership for a decade, or should that be “decayed.”

    In the past I have suggested better the devil you know than being bought out by new, Chinese ?, owners. Now, I can’t wait to see the back of him. any replacement surely cannot be any worse, can they?


    Aug 14, 2017 at 4:41 AM

    Comment #7

    He has lied from day one & continues to do so, if a club can only spend what it makes under those stupid fair play rules it makes no difference if a rich owner takes over, if that is so how do the likes of City & Chelsea spend hundreds of millions & we cant afford 15 mill?


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