Ashley hits the top ten, but does it really matter?

Ashley - The poor rich man?
I have to concede that this article is not going to be to the liking of everyone. It’s about, and I’ll say this quietly, finances.

It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine as I love numbers, and with little football to crack on with it gives me a time to ponder some of the latest financial nuggets that have been published over the last day or so.

Essentially FourFourTwo compiled a list of football owners, players, and managers and ranked their worth. Not surprisingly it was the owners who dominated the list and our very own Mike Ashley made the top ten in this latest edition, but the real question is regarding whether or not it really matters and whether or not the figures really stack up to scrutiny.

I suppose we’d better deal with the figures first and foremost. The Manchester City owner Shiekh Mansour comes out on top with his wealth standing at a cool £20bn. Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov sits in 2nd place with a worth of £12.4bn while QPR’s Lakashmi Mittal rounds off the top three with a wealth of £11.8bn. Despite the wealth of Usmanov and Mittal, neither have a controlling stake in their respective clubs.

Outside of the top three we find Roman Abramovich in 4th place with a worth of £10.3bn before a big drop to the 5th placed Liebherr family who currently own Southampton and have a worth of just £3bn. Joe Lewis, the Tottenham majority shareholder, is worth £2.8bn while former Doncaster director and current Celtic minority shareholder Denis O’Brien sits 7th with a worth of £2.517bn.The man that Arsenal’s Usamanov can’t oust, Stan Kroenke sits in 8th with a fortune of £1.8bn while Manchester United’s oweners, the Glazer family, take the penultimate spot with a paltry £1.64bn. Last but not least is our very own Mike Ashley who concludes the top ten with a fortune of £1.37bn.


Now the first thing to look at is whether or not these fortunes are relevant. In short, not really. For instance I’m worth about £200,000 and 21p. It doesn’t mean to say that I have that swimming around in a bank account somewhere – that is where the 21p comes from! What it does mean is that I’m worth that if you add together the value of my house, car, shares, savings, etc. Essentially it’s the value of my assets.

They may be on a different level, but these billionaire owners have their fortunes counted in much the same way. Just because they are billionaires on paper it doesn’t mean that they are cash rich billionaires. In fact the tax efficient billionaire will have most of his wealth tied up in this that or the other to minimise their exposure to the taxman although I have no doubts that all of them aren’t short of a few bob in cold hard cash and I dare say that the top few have a few billion stuffed away in an accessible tin box somewhere.

The second thing that I notice is that Mike Ashley is small fry in terms of the big boys of the Premier League. It’s a sobering thought for those that would like to see our billionaire owner splash the cash, but the fact remains that he just hasn’t got the cash to compete with the likes of Mansour and Abramovich.

So where do we go from here? Do we hope and pray for a rich oil baron, because that is what it’s going to take to move us towards sustained competition with the top clubs in the short term? Or do we settle with the fact that Mike Ashley just simply hasn’t got the money to throw about to get us up there in the short term? Granted we sit 4th currently, but do you think we’ll end the season there? I don’t…

It seems strange to talk about a billionaire not being able to afford to compete, but the numbers are there in black and white. And when you consider that those numbers include all of their assets (including his £260 million commitment to NUFC) you can perhaps start to appreciate that spending say, £25 million, out of his own pocket is a lot more complex than first thought. Spending money that the club generates though should be an entirely different matter.

So in conclusion I guess the numbers don’t really matter. Not when they are compiled using numbers the really have no relevance to us as football fans. It does perhaps make it a bit clearer why Ashley is not so flash with his own cash though.

What do you make of it?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

136 thoughts on “Ashley hits the top ten, but does it really matter?

  1. Toonsy if your there mate, just wanted to follow up on our convo earlier about the mobile site and my mobile.
    I have a nokia 6700, but not sure what settings to adjust lol 😕

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  2. LOL – if BA had a broken metatersal there is no way he would have played on, bit of bruising at worst – reckon he’ll be fine for spurs

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  3. actually toonsy talking about mobile – my iphone could expand comments on old site but i cant since you migrated, cant turn mobile settings off either.
    anyone else got this problem, might be iOS5 tho as I have this installed tho worked fine on old servers

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  4. Dubtoon @ 76 yeah mate I know I was just checking Toonsy was up to speed, The sooner Worther is away the better he is total shite, and treats the players like Shite.
    Shane is just right because he treated him like shit too, so hopefully Shane keeps the faith with us and once Worther is away we can get someone decent in

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  5. Ah yeah, forgot you’re in NI. You have any idea what what said to fergie or what worthington did to make him not wanna play?

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  6. SteveP – Dunno mate. The only thing I always say is remove cookies and switch it off and on again.

    It’s weird as the mobile site is designed specifically for iPhones 😕

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  7. And yeah i hope he does go back for you, would be a shame from the national teams perspective. Sounds like the Stephen Ireland situation for us and he never came back. That’s because he played a bit of international football mind and realised how bad it was 😛 shane should be more than happy to get a chance when the time comes

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  8. haha well i cud jus tell by the ways yous speak to each other .. you studying economics at notthumb or newc univ? ..

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  9. Dub I dont really know what went on except romours that he belittled him infront of the senior players, who were all joking that young Shane was going to be the next big thing for us and Worthers didn’t like that as he wanted to keep him ‘ grounded’ .
    Even Aaron Huges has been shit on by him after he pulled out of a match through injury now he wont let him play any part in the last game for us before he retires from Int footie, he is a toss pot

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  10. TP 😆 😆 what makes you think that 😆 nah Spence is a good kid and I would look out for him and try and keep him on the straight and narrow, as Batty was becoming a bad influence on him 😀

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  11. Hopefully the IFA/ new manager will sort him out with a testimonial. W’s contract is up after qualifying isn’t it?

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  12. Do I have to explain myself I again, I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of you people, some of my pictures are horrific.

    Also I like to keep my Facebook to personal life.

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  13. SpencerTheToon
    October 6, 2011 at 23:07

    “Also I like to keep my Facebook to personal life.”

    What a nugget. If you’re on about embarrassing pics you want to change your profile pic. You have a tiny head 😛

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  14. I just find it amusing how somebody wants to keep Facebook private. I mean they were caught out the other day for spying. Something to hide I reckon 😉

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  15. Spying? hey?

    And thanks toonsy, I don’t need your judgement on my head size!

    And Big Dave, just my A-levels mate, next year I did next to fu’ck all and failed them hall

    Started a clean plate, and im predicted BB and a distinction in Btec-sport!

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  16. Dave, there’s a difference between adding a football star than someone off a blog! I have you on twitter, is that not enough?

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  17. pizza feet up can of pop and getting paid for the please of reading the blog now this is the life 🙂

    i mean im working my ar$e off here

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  18. I know dave, that’s why im putting 100% in this year. I mean what 2years of hard work could give me a much better life..

    toonsy, yes, but I don’t understand spying.

    Anyway go to bed, good night 😛

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  19. Spence i’ll fuking slap you about with a wet kipper if you speak to me like that again boy, now pick the toys up before your Mum gets in 😆
    Pup its a hard old life mate, but you just have to struggle on the best you can. 😉

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  20. keeping me head down and me powder try onwards and upwards

    ((as the old fella who works here says))

    @toonsy you bullying ppl to add u…. eeeeeeee wat people will do to boost there friend numbers…. i just add random hot girls who make me look wind swept and interesting….. nowt worse when u go into there info and it says there male tho !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O

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  21. Pup if your into chicks with d*c£s your on the wrong blog lad.
    Spence its Friday lad I always get kebabs sure on my way home 😉 will I get you house sauce or garlic ❓

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  22. Garlic and chilli please not to much, you know I don’t like the chilli too strong, it makes my mouth burn.

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  23. Regarding Ba’s apparently injury, the week leading up to the Wolves game he was getting injections in his toe and then obviously he got stamped on in the same area, he played on so didn’t seem too bad.

    We should of just pulled him out of the Senegal squad altogether as ‘precaution’…

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  24. hahah naaaa mate im definatly not hahahaha

    iv got a chick and shes def ermmm got nowt hanging iv checked !!

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  25. Ice, I just think they got bullied at school, so they have to satisfy them self by bullying kids in their mid life crisis 😉

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  26. Balls I give up. Just gonna have to bite the weeny and upgrade to somat better. But what Ha Ha???
    Samsung Galaxy 2 too flimsy for my liking
    HTC Sensation too big
    i phone? well I’ve never bought in to the whole apple thing, but they do look robust, but I bet the new 4s is going to be expensive n all.
    Doh!

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  27. BB- Samsung galaxy s ii’s are class mate!

    Iphones are a scam cause you cant replace the battery!

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  28. @ spence hahahaha u cud be on to something

    @BB id love to help but your guess is as good as mine

    right boys back to work have fun play nice

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  29. Aye spencer, but they are a bit delicate like, not so good for a truck driver perhaps 😕

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  30. BB i heard that they’re cutting the price of 4’s in half so people buy the 4s. Think the only major improvement is a camera upgrade so maybe that’d o you?

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  31. For the record, we don’t care what you think Robbie Savage. You should learn to shut your claptrap and just stay at home washing your hair. Your thoughts should stay in your head and get no further. Next time you have a brain fart keep your month close. Thanking you kindly. xx.

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  32. re. Savage – he’s got something of a problem with the Toon as evidenced by his ‘shit-club, shit-manager’ rant at Souness a few years ago. He’s also a raging f*ckwit – so i wouldn’t bother reading or listening to anything he says

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  33. Just recently I had all my assets valued as I was doing my will. I’m worth $AUS3.2 million. I must be the only man who has benefitted from being twice married and divorced. 😀

    New car, caviar, four star daydream, think I’ll buy me a football team.

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  34. Its scary how much the ordinary person is worth really. Look a someone like Tevez. £1M a month. That is something someone earning the UK salary earns in their entire lifetime. Football hasn’t gone mad at all 😕

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