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This Would Be A Good Time For Mike Ashley To Sell Newcastle

We don’t know that much at all about what the investigations by HMRC personnel are completely about, but what we do know is that Newcastle have been charged with some illegal transfer(s) of players (to and) from France – that’s about it.

But the worrying thing is that this is yet another shock to Newcastle fans coming from the club that has been woefully controlled by Mike Ashley as the owner over the last ten years.

It’s another embarrassment for Newcastle United – and is being reported around the world.

During Ashley’s reign we have seen stupid moves like appointing a completely unqualified Joe Kinnear right out of the blue as the Director of Football and even banning local journalists from the press conferences.

Ridiculous and uncalled for.

Mike Ashley – his time could be up at Newcastle

During the ten years of Ashley’s ownership we have finished in the top nine in the Premier League once and been relegated twice.

Only once in that time did we get into European competition in 2012, but the owner refused to spend much money that summer and we only just avoided relegation the next season.

Not exactly a great period in Newcastle’s recent history.

Managing Director Lee Charnley was arrested early this morning and maybe it’s just an individual transgression, but the fact that HMRC official took financial documents from both St. James’ Park and Benton early this morning suggests it’s what Newcastle as a club have done which is the problem.

In any organization in a time of crisis you always look to leadership from the very top to give some sort of message of stability to prevent things spiraling out of control.

And in the case of Newcastle United that’s Mike Ashley.

He may know nothing at all about what’s happened, but it’s his responsibility to speak for the club in this time of yet another crisis.

We’ve heard absolutely nothing at all today from anybody at Newcastle – not even to say they are cooperating with HMRC agents – something West Ham put out today, who have also been charged with fraud along with Chelsea.

That’s not unusual at Newcastle, because we hardly ever hear from the owner, which is why nobody knows exactly what he may do next.

Mike Ashley has hardly respected some of the greats of Newcastle United such as Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan and he’s simply ignored the fans.

Newcastle United could be a very good buy for some ambitious owners this summer and Mike should fairly easily be able to get the £270M back he has invested in the club – and maybe even make a profit if there are several potential buyers pushing up the price.

The huge advantage Newcastle now have is one of the best managers in the world in charge in Rafa Benitez – and Rafa seems (seemed?) keen to stay as long as he is fully supported by those  at the top.

And that didn’t seem to be happening during the January transfer window.

And while Mike Ashley was the antipathy of what fans want at Newcastle, Rafa is the exact opposite.

The 57 year-old knows just exactly what fans want – a very good team that can start to win trophies again for the first time since 1969.

Owners who are able to match the uninhibited ambitions of Mr. Rafa Benitez, whose team next season will play in front of sell-out crowds at St. James’ Park.

And exceed the average of 51,000 fans we have has this season in the English second division – a modern day record.

A new ambitious owner and Rafa in complete control of the club from a football viewpoint will be a match made in heaven – just like Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle fans are already a match made in heaven.

This is nothing personal against Mike Ashley – we don’t know the man – it’s based completely on his running of our club over the last 10 years.

Do the right thing Mike and sell up, but first make sure Rafa has his £100M for the summer transfer market.

Comments welcome.

44 comments so far

  • Jib

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #2

    Ed you say
    “banning local journalists from the press conferences.Ridiculous and uncalled for.”

    I’m not so sure after the Mirror Groups performance today that you are right !
    John Gibsons wrinkled old visage being interviewed at the entrance to SJP giving a fair impression of Fraser from Dads Army
    “we’re doomed I tell ye – DOOMED”

    You have been doing a fair bit of hand wringing yersel – calm the f@ck down !

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #3

    If ever a game had 0-0 written all over it, it’s the derby tonight. Boro can’t score and the mackems scored for the first time in God knows how many hours last week. Defoe hasn’t scored for eight games. But then, does it matter? Both clubs are going down regardless of tonight’s score. This is simply to confirm which is the worst team in the north east. What a lovely situation!

  • Jib

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #4

    I’d still like the Smogmonsters to win tho’ but

  • lesh

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #5


    Aren’t you being premature? Has the Club been charged?? Has Charnley been charged?

    And these investigations – whilst HMRC will have grounds for their raid – are not complete. Furthermore, we have no idea how long it’ll take HMRC to prepare its case against Newcastle United – AND the other 11 or so clubs under investigation.

    By all accounts, the total amount that HMRC are interested in is about £5m over all clubs and that’s not a lot in these days of massive income for clubs.

    Whilst the FA, the Premier League or the EFL cannot enforce any punishment until the cases have been tried and proven, I believe and hope that we won’t be affected in the near future but the big question is how Ashley’ll react to the matter. He could conceivably limit contract commitments so activity in the transfer market could be limited.

    And leads us to another question – is Charnley going to be around to act as MD and deal with transfers?
    And, these investigations could hamper any interest from potential buyers.

    All in all, it’s a real mess.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #6

    Jib, agree mate. They beat them earlier in the season as well. Just because a game has nil nil written all over it, football has a way of biting your ass. 🙂 Probably finish 5-4 or some equally bizarre result.

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #7

    It’s as good a time as any, no hurry, next 24hrs will be fine.

  • Our Toon

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #8


    Not sure why you had a rant at me mate, I merely pointed out how lenient the FA have been on racism and on biting with bans less than 10 games so for Barton to get 18 months for betting in games is excessive.

    The only point of that directed at you was the Barton mug bit which I pointed out he at least stood up to Ashley unlike most of the mugs we’ve had since and before.

    The whole thing wasn’t meant for you, that’s how things can get misconstrued online on a blog like this. Hopefully that explains I have nothing in my bonnet apart from a little sun burn!! 🙂

  • mactoon

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #9

    I can’t understand the logic of this article. Why would anyone be interested in buying a club under investigation of tax fraud which could potentially end up in massive sanctions including points deduction and/or further HMRC and FA action, the outcome of which could devastate the club?

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #10


    The Desperation Derby

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #11

    On another note, Messi just scored his 49th of the season

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #12

    Our Toon, maybe because it had my name on it? Not important anyway, I thought it was a dig but if it wasn’t fair do’s

    Boro have scored lmao. So much for nil nil. 🙂

  • beautifulmind

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #13

    Generally if an employee of the club breaks the law without the knowledge of the club then the club normally goes unpunished. Eg. Johnson and mackams.
    Charney will most probably be out and Wel carry on to win the premier league next season?

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #14

    Op, 🙂 🙂

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #15

    Well, looks like I’m watching Palace v Spurs tonight. Should be a decent game anyway, both clubs needing points for differing reasons. Bet hippo heed is happy – a financial scandal on football without him being involved for once! 🙂

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #16

    Real have made 9 changes from the classico, no Ronaldo!

  • lochinvar

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #17

    Bobbybee – Hippoheid is hardly clear of this mess as he has history with both Newcastle, West Ham and the FA.
    I doubt he’s sleeping like a baby

  • Thump

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #18

    @beautifulmind: The galling thing about that is that the club did know, or at least the Club’s secretary, anyway. I think she stepped down before any action could be taken against SAFC, though.

  • lochinvar

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #19

    According to the Evening Standard ” About 50 officers raided West Ham’s London Stadium in Stratford, while staff at St James’ Park in Newcastle were told not to come into work after about 10 HMRC officials arrived at the ground.”

    So that’s 60 out of the 180 reported to be involved in the “raids”

    Bollocks – what appear as to be the case is that someone in the HMRC media department has bigged up the event for PR effect.

    Bet the staff in France weren’t HMRC but French authorities and that’s where the arrests are reported as having been made.

    Don’t be surprised if Donald Trump, Diane Abbot , Jeremy Corbyn and Jeremy Kyle get a mention tomorrow – just hope we didn’t sign any of them , much more West Ham types.

  • lochinvar

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #20

    And now for something complete different

    Video referees will be used at next year’s World Cup in Russia for the first time, the head of FIFA, Gianni Infantino has said.

    Speaking in Chile, he said they were being introduced “because we’ve had nothing but positive feedback so far”.

    “In 2017, when everyone in the stadium or at home can see within seconds if the referee made a mistake, we can’t have a situation where the only one who can’t see it is the referee,” Mr Infantino said.

  • Jib

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #21

    Hey Mr Tuff says it was
    “an internationally co-ordinated series of raids and arrest(s) involving a couple of hundred officers”

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #22

    Corbyn’s a Gooner, he’s swapping jobs with Wenger after the election.

  • stjamess

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #23

    who is up for an aggressive takeover of sportsdirect? valued at 800 mil today, tomorrow will be less, lets buy him out of his own company and buy newcastle United at the same time. buying power of the fans is massive.

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #24

    Just saw this advert in the Sunderland papers:
    Employment opportunity: SAFC are seeking a witless, chubby dimwit who has prior experience in a senior football position such as Managing Director. Experience with tax evasion principles and procedures a must. We are a football club in serious decline and seek immediate help sliding further down the football leagues. “

  • Sazzer

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #25

    I have been aware of the mondial connection since at least 2012 because of someone on this blog pointed it out back then.

    Here’s an old transfermarkt list:

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #26

    The SAFC position is one Charnley should not refuse. It’s perfect for him.

  • Sazzer

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #27

    This is possibly the last list of players attached to them before they disappeared from transfermarkt in October.


  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #28

    Of course Lee will have many, many job offers to consider throughout football so the Sunderland position may have to go unfilled. Sad really. Would love to see him help take them further down. Possibly Ashley could sell us and buy Sunderland and work his magic with them at the same time. The old team back together. Beautiful. Possibly even bring LameArse back as well.

  • Jib

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #29

    Sports Direct was valued at 1.72 billion at close of business today – even if Ashley wanted to give NUFC away and take the 2 valuations up to about 2 Billion.
    It would cost 55,000 fans over £36,000 each !

    You got a spare £36000 ?


    I thought not.
    me neither

    Go back to your FIFA game sonny.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #30

    G2, Mmm, you could even say it was made for him – if you get my point. 🙂

    Spurs game a bit scrappy, but plenty of action. Townsend having a good game and causing Spurs plenty problems. Still nil nil – maybe I called the wrong game? Fancy someone to make a breakthrough second half, but couldn’t say which side. If it stays like this Palace will be virtually safe and Chelsea out of sight. Spurs need to improve second half if they want to put pressure on Chelski. Got the mackem game on the radio ad well. Boro one up and Sunlun pants. No change there then. 🙂

  • lochinvar

    Apr 26, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #31

    GeordieTwo @28
    Couldn’t help thinking that when Moyes resigns to take on the bigger job at Hartlepool that Denis Wise must be waiting in the wings to rush to be the Mackems saviour

  • Sazzer

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #32

    And you now find most of their players on this “without agent list”:

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #33

    Jib, let me just check down the back of the sofa… No, me neither. Damn, could’ve sworn I dropped 36g down there last week.

    Oh well, second half.

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #34

    I like your thinking lads. Let’s see: a Dennis Wise/Derek LameArse/Lee Charnley team working for Sunderland in Division Three? I can see it now. It cheers me up a bit after watching Charnley try to sneak unnoticed into his house after being released by the police today. Well done Lee. Another spectacular piece of PR work for us!

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #35

    Eee well, what a day eh. Struggled to keep up with the comments the day.

    Mainemagpie posted an interesting comment at the bottom oft the precious thread, stands out to me as being the most likely scenario for what’s gone on. Particularly with the (relatively) nominal fee of £5million bandied around.

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #36

    If the comment does have some truth in it, the two questions posed would be

    1. What is seen as the reasonable balance between pay and image rights?
    2. Why would the club/players/agents not disclose the information to HMRC?

  • SuperShearer

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #37

    @LewSpi v2.0 – reading that made me breath a sigh of releif. I sincerely hope you and Mainemagpie are correct and that it is a focus on inviduals NOT the club. It would break my heart if this is club related and we, the fans who pay good money to support this team, are punished by watching our beloved club unravel before our eyes thanks to the corruption of a few individuals. Crucially at no point, that I am aware and correct me if I am wrong, has it been stated that NUFC are under investigation. It’s the hope that kills you.

  • Sazzer

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #38

    Colback’s representatives MUP soccer consulting seem to be gone as well.

  • Mag52

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #39

    What’s the betting that Ashley is involved in this up to his chubby chin.
    Could this be why he insists on paying cash upfront for players rather than employing a HP arrangement as most clubs seem to do ?
    If he is found to be involved, it’ll be one more chapter to add to the saga of hurt and humiliation he has brought to the club ever since the day he set foot in the North East.

  • welshgeordie9

    Apr 26, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #40

    As i have been out all day and it’s only now I’ve found out what’s been going on at the club, what’s the latest news and are we in the clear.


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