Ashley needs to find the balance between finance and football

Time for a change of plan?

Money or football, Mike?
One thing struck me earlier while I was writing about our international players and how they’d got along during this international break.

It was also a point which was touched upon by regular commenter Craig Chisholm. That point being that we do seem to have a lot of good players at the club. Good young players as well.

I happen to agree with that. You can see that we are getting more and more players called up for their respective countries. From the Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland to Holland, France and Argentina there is undoubtedly some talent in our squad which will hopefully stand us in good stead as we try and progress in the Premier League.

Unfortunately it wasn’t all sweetness and light and Craig went on to say that it doesn’t really matter as any player who pricks the interest of another club enough for them to roll up with a fistful of dollars will likely be sold. I happen to agree with this also.

Look at the form book. It doesn’t make for good reading does it?

However I don’t really mind this as such. If players are attracting the interest of other clubs then it means that they are producing the business for us. It’s a shame that it’s unlikely that we’ll keep them though, which leaves us in a bit of dilemma really.

We’ve been told that we are susceptible to big money bids. In a sense many teams outside the top couple of clubs are susceptible to big money bids. Nature of the beast and all that. It will carry on like that in fairness which is why many NUFC fans wince when a transfer window comes around. The fear of not selling anyone meaningful is at least equal to the fear of not buying anyone.

However there is a balance to be struck between cashing in your chips or staying in the hand. At what point do we say enough is enough and actually try to build a team around the players that we have rather than selling them on for a meaty profit? And why can’t we actually see some of the money brought in from said meaty profit?

You see again I’m getting back to this money thing. The sale of Andy Carroll should have brought about a decent enough summer budget. In the end we spent £600,000 all-in. Why? Could there not have been some form of balance struck somewhere along the line?

I’ve yet to meet one Newcastle fan who really expected the whole £35 million (£45 million if you consider the money received for Jose Enrique and Kevin Nolan) to be reinvested in the team. The general consensus, going off memory alone, was that about £20 million would be reasonable. Actually all of the money reinvested would be reasonable in my eyes, but that is just me talking as a fan.

Anyway, I’m getting off track here a bit so I’ll take it back to what I’m trying to say. Whether it be player sales or player purchases there needs to be a balance. That balance needs to address the debt as, quite simply, the sooner it is gone the sooner we don’t have it hanging over us (or thrown in our faces: “Sir Michael has put in xx amount of millions” blah blah). It also needs to address the fact that there is a football team out there that needs money spent on it frequently.

My primary concern is that the main priority is to the accounts and not to the team on the pitch. I’m not knocking it as we’ve got some potentially fantastic players for very reasonable prices, but there are still some glaring holes in our squad. This is where the balance needs to come into the equation.

I don’t buy this notion that the cash has been spent on wages for new players, or undersoil heating, new signs, lightbulbs or whatever. I really don’t buy that at all. To me wages are a running cost and shouldn’t be paid from one-off cash injections. The only sense I can make of that one is that the year one wages have been paid from the Carroll money and the rest will be absorbed once the likes of Alan Smith move on, but even then I still say that wages are running costs.

In the interest of balance I also don’t buy this notion that Ashley has pocketed the cash. Not directly anyway. I fail to see how he can pocket anything given the amount of money he is owed. At worst it has partially been used to pay him back a little bit, and we know he is taking some money back as I wrote about it not so long back. You can read it here.

Somewhere between those last two paragraphs there is a balance to be had. Things need repaying but the team needs improving. The fans aren’t stupid and they know this is the case. Does it really have to be tipped so heavily in the balance of the finances? And is it to the detriment of the potential of the team?

Hopefully you’ll find this a balanced article about, well, er, balance…

41 thoughts on “Ashley needs to find the balance between finance and football

  1. maybe if fatty didnt have so many fans like bigdave and stardust that keep telling him hes doing a good job he might wake up and spend a little lolol


  2. andybrassell Andy Brassell
    by Shilts84
    NUFC fans might be interested to know L’Equipe full of praise for Yohan Cabaye’s first competitive start for France v Romania last night.


  3. i agree @1 lol dont expect any signing in jan,owl heed always said prices are inflated and not the time to buy,what would that dick know


  4. You reminded me of a headline in today’s Guadian……

    ‘Vicente can sprinkle some stardust for Brighton……’

    I wonder if Stardust’s happy at the prospect of a trip to Brighton?

    He’d better be quick though, the folk are building barriers on the main roads into it and the law’s already positioned at the station!


  5. Balance is the key to everything in life. Too much of anything is bad for you. Same with football. Under fat freddie we spent too much and if had continued the club it prob would of ended up in adminastration. Under Ashley we dont spend enough ( from the outside looking in ) and will prob not compete for a long time in the business end of trophies etc etc. I do agree with the long term ambition of Ashley ie making is self suffient and porducing our own talent etc etc. If we struck a happy meduim between the two previous owners it would be in mind perfect. But this world aint perfect , and I would rather go with the ashley way of running the club than Shepards.


  6. With any other owner, balance is achievable. With MA, that notion went out the window with the turmoil and fans’ protests and his own incompetence. Now it looks like it’s all about raking back the money lost, making the club squeaky clean and self-sufficent (which means maintaining a decent position in the league, whatever that is), so that someone will come in and buy it.

    MA isnt here for the long run anymore, so he doesnt really care about balance. It’s all about the money, for now anyway…


  7. Toonsy,
    LEquipe only said Cabaye was useful in mid-play. Considering that the article was pretty downbeat, guess that’s a big complement… 😀


  8. “MA isnt here for the long run anymore, so he doesnt really care about balance. It’s all about the money, for now anyway…”\

    I beg to differ, Ashley is here for the long run, because otherwise he wouldn’t be changing the signage all over the ground to Sports Direct. The bench seats, the stands, the billboards outside. All that costs money that if he was gonna sell he wouldn’t bother with.

    Also all the French targets to advertise Sports Direct in France.

    He sees us as one big advertisement, and even Sir John Hall stated that was Ashley’s reasoning for buying the club in the first place. Now that we’re solidly back in the Prem, he can put more money into doing that…


  9. Money or football? Come on now Toonsy that’s an unfair question for our Mikey, its like asking him to choose between a deep fried eel and a lettuce.


  10. I wouldn’t care about the advertising if we were actually getting money for it, or if it was chipping say £10 million a season off the debt 😕


  11. JJ
    good point, never saw it that way. But we’ll catch up in a couple of years and see who’s right, eh? 😉


  12. But on topic, surely every club is susceptible to big money bids? Perhaps Real, Barca, Chelski and Man City aside. Look at Manu with Ronaldo…I don’t have a problem with player sales at extortionate amounts, its when its not reinvested that I get hissy.


  13. @toonsy

    You say;

    I wouldn’t care about the advertising if we were actually getting money for it, or if it was chipping say £10 million a season .

    Can you see any major company dare put their name on the Toons stands whilst there is potential turmoil round every corner. 


  14. Troy – I meant SportsDirect. If he wants to plaster the name all over the place then fair enough, but he should pay for the privilege of it IMO.


  15. Toonsy, that Tiote link on the other thread is absolutely bizarre, moreso for a Man U forum – but quite funny. I actually felt quite flattered by it. His reasons for it were….

    ……”Why did I pick Tiote? We do it with anyone really, past people have been Bllotelli (Photoshopoteli), Fabregas, Fergie, Avram Grant the mutant, Robben etc. People who have funny qualities to them, like Tiote, and his dolphin head. It’s not a slant on the player, or an obsession with him, although I do believe he is an excellent player who has a bright future ahead of him.'”

    …hahahaha, quality. For anyone who missed the link:


  16. toonsy @13 – i said on an earlier article that i was talking with one of lambarse’s bum chums last weekend & was quizzing him about the way the club was being run. when i asked about the sports direct signage around the ground he said it was there to show potential companies what they would get for £5million/year but to date – there had been little or no interest shown.

    tho he did confirm that SD are currently paying the asking price until another company is found.


  17. I see Pardew has been on a scouting mission ,apparently it included how to tie a sheepshank how to light a fire without matches and how to bed a girl guide.


  18. 5M a year Roy, jeeziz. I’m sure we’d attract more interest if we were on TV more, I.E. playing in Europe. Are they actively trying to find a buyer then? I wish they’d stick their signs up their arse to be honest. Only one I want to see starts with the letter ‘N’ and ends in ‘D’.


  19. rod when i said that no company would want to be associated with ash for 5 quid never mind 5 mil – he just laughed it off & said they have put it down to the current economic climate.

    i say they should wake up & sniff the old coffee like – coz there f@cking clueless.


  20. I don’t think fatty and owl-heed have a sense of smell Roy, guess that’s how they can sit next to each other.


  21. Roy, I’d partially agree with JJ, but I don’t believe fatty is here for the long haul. I think all the signage is there, as you mention @21, to demonstrate potential advertising revenue to a buyer.

    ….I’m probably completely wrong there like. There’s a decent argument on both sides of the fence though.


  22. Goodarticle.Echos my thoughts on balancing income and debt and against the long term viability of the club as an ongoing concern.

    Does anyone actually know any figures about the current running costs or the current debt level compared to pre Ashley? It would be interesting to see what is happening.


  23. @rodz

    You ever sleep? 
    You are up all night posting and during the day. 

    Your blog account must be sky high. Last I looked I had earned £28 this month. 

    You must be ahead now. 


  24. Troy, haha, yeah my bodyclock is a bit fekd at the moment, been out of work for the last few weeks and currently finding bedtime difficult 🙂


  25. With luck and a fair breeze, NUFC will have a better season than last year. Moreover, MA’s glass is moving towards being half full rather than half empty. By and large, I think it’s a fairly good balance and one which should improve on both fronts as we move forward.


  26. I think they are close to getting the balance right- 2 more starting quality players at RB and Striker would have done it for me.


  27. “tho he did confirm that SD are currently paying the asking price until another company is found.”

    Dont believe a word that comes out of Lambias or any bumchum of his mouth. Proven liar.


  28. This looks dangerously like a balanced article to me…

    I think we had a good transfer window, bar a strange last day, and Cabaye, Santon and Ba will all come good. With Ben Arfa and Gosling to come in as well, I think we can build on our excellent start.

    Nobody has ever put more money into NUFC than Mike Ashley, regardless if he is a plum. To say that you disagree with one off cash injections financing running costs is a bit strange as Ashley has been putting in regular one off injections to pay Alan Smith’s wages every few months for quite some time.

    It could even be that we end up being ahead of the game if Platini works out a way to force clubs to be more financially viable in the next few years.


  29. “September 7, 2011 at 12:41


    Troy – I meant SportsDirect. If he wants to plaster the name all over the place then fair enough, but he should pay for the privilege of it IMO”

    Perhaps the interest free loan is payment in kind? Though Roy C offers another alternative – either way its good for NUFC 🙂


  30. If Ashley keeps running NUFC the way he has since buying us, there is no way he will balance things on and off the pitch, personally I don’t think he gives a shit about his paying customers as long as he can turn a profit.


  31. I think if Ashley is to find a balance then can we as fans also find a balance between our expectations and what we can afford? Surely if Ashley is to make a compromise then we can also make one of our own, we cannot expect Ashley to be the only one making compromises.


  32. More often, you will only need to fill-in the loan application form provided Online and
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