Is Ashley’s plan bearing fruit?

Given the chance, what would you ask this man?

Mike Ashley - Sticking to his guns?
Does anyone remember 2008? You know, when Mike Ashley officially put the club up for sale?

In fairness the club is probably still up for sale. Much like any business, if the price is right then a deal will be done. What I want to focus on in this article is the statement that accompanied the “for sale” announcement. To refresh your memory you can read the full statement here.

Mike Ashley may have informed the world that the club was up for sale officially, but behind that there was a a plan in place. Looking at a few excerpts of that statement has left me wondering whether that is still the original plan, and how far along the road are we in that plan. Let’s take a look.

“We look for young players, for players in foreign leagues who everyone does not know about. We try and stay ahead of the competition. We search high and low looking for value, for potential that we can bring on and for players who will allow Newcastle to compete at the very highest level but who don’t cost the earth.”

It would certainly seem as though that part of the plan is well underway. Most of our signings in the last couple of seasons have come from abroad and have been relatively cheap in comparison to what you would get if you bought English. Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux have all come from abroad and combined cost less than the price of Jordan Henderson. Not bad.

“My investment in the club has extended to time, effort and yet again, money being poured into the Academy. I want Newcastle to be able to create its own legends of the future to rival those of the past. This is a long term plan. A long term plan for the future of the club so that it can flourish.”

This bit seems rather topical given that we’ve just signed another young lad for the future in Mehdi Abeid. He joins a host of young talent that we have at the club currently.

Of course, not all of them will make the step up, but bringing through your own youth players is something that every successful club does and is something that we should be striving to do. It’s early days, and it takes time, but I think it’s pretty clear that we are heading down the right path when it comes to our academy.

“I did not buy Newcastle to make money. I bought Newcastle because I love football. Newcastle does not generate the income of a Manchester United or a Real Madrid. I am Mike Ashley, not Mike Ashley a multi-billionaire with unlimited resources. Newcastle United and I can’t do what other clubs can. We can’t afford it.”

Contentious issue, and no doubt there will be some who suggest that some “cooking” of the books has taken place. However, as most of you know, I like my figures and wade through them each year. I’m not an accountant but I do have a pretty good handle on things. I mean I think I was one of the only ones who was adamant about what “no new capital outlay” actually meant 😆 If all else fails I can call upon my best mate who is a Senior Global Accountant at a worldwide blue chip company.

The last accounts showed that Mike Ashley has not taken a penny out of Newcastle United. This is based on fact through independently audited accounts filed with Companies House. If you don’t believe me, buy them for £1 and have a look for yourself.

The amount owed to Ashley has increased however and now stands at somewhere near £150 million. There was a clutch of incorrect reports linking another company name with the debt at Newcastle not so long back, but that company has been there since day one and is what was used to purchase the club in the first place. That is not working debt. The debt that is the issue is the £150 million.

The next accounts will, or should anyway, show that the level of that debt has decreased due to some repayments scheduled for the start of last season (£12.3 million) and potentially (although not definitely) the start of the new season (£16.5 million). The debt, according to the next accounts anyway, should be coming down.

And finally….

“I have put Newcastle on a sound financial footing. It is reducing its debt. It is spending within itself. It is recruiting exciting new players and bringing in players for the future.”

Mike Ashley is not the favourite of everyone, and probably never will be, but he has stuck to his plan from where I’m sitting. People may not like it, but he’s stuck to the key aspects of the plan in terms of running the club, acquiring players an sorting the infrastructure that he set out way back in 2008.

Food for thought?

80 thoughts on “Is Ashley’s plan bearing fruit?

  1. Haha, off course he doesent make money on NUFC due to his terrible forgot to do due dillegence and the relegation that has left him in huge minus, but he will now have his money back by making a profit every transfer window, and using this and the income from 50 000 supporters to pay back the lown to himself. Can`t blame a businessman for this, but for a football club owner it is recepit to disaster. Never ever win anything and continue being a medicore PL team, somethime in relegation battle. He has no ambition and if NUFC should ever be a success he must SELL us ASAP.


  2. Have to agree with post 76, but the more financially stable we are, the more attractive the club would be become to a potential new owner ❗ ❗


  3. ill be honest not the biggest MA fan but i like what is goin on at the club, were getting value for money on some quality players… I love a marque signing as much as the next guy but as a Newcastle fan i get extremely when i hear we are signing a player for an excess of 10m due to our track record of expensive flops…

    I like the idea of pumping funds into the Academy and like that were are look abroad for young talented players who are cost effective 🙂 …

    some one ask how come the 20m investment per year is a loan .. its not a loan !! when he join before seeing our financial situation he was hoping to invest 20m a year but when he saw the books he invested 100m straight off the bat to pay our and that is the loan… 13.6m reduction last year and possible 16m reduction this year in the debt is part of the 20m investment out of his pocket … or at least that is my understand…


  4. I`m not a particular Ashley-fan, but how is spending several hundreds of million pounds on a football club, trying to make it financial stable and make interest free loans without taking a penny out(so far), asset stripping? Doesn`t make sense to me, but the big lad has def done some mistakes, hence Keegan, wise etc etc


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