The end of the “Cockney Mafia” at NUFC?

The end of an era?
Let me first start by saying that this article was inspired by one of our readers, AndrewT.

In truth when it was first suggested it didn’t really “grab” me, but the more I thought about it the more intrigued I became.

In a nutshell he pondered whether or not the club was, to quote a song, “kicking of it’s boots, going back to it’s roots, yeah” with the way things are going at the moment.

After much pondering, there is a case for suggesting that it could well be.

The Cockney Mafia have become famous for all of the wrong reasons at St James’ Park. It’s something I’m not overly keen on, solely because it’s wrong and they aren’t Cockneys, but it was brought about by the bumbling acts of our owner and his propensity to bring in his Southern friends to do various jobs at the club.



How times change though, and while there is a decidedly Gallic flair to Newcastle United these days on the playing front, I do believe that now we are starting to see a new, and I cringe whenever I see these words, but a new “Geordie Nation” take on an even more important role at the club.

John Carver has returned, Peter Beardsley and Steven Stone are coaching at the club they supported as boys. We even have adopted Geordie, Nobby Solano, coming in and coaching the kids when he isn’t playing for the monkey hangers.

These are all people who know about football from their careers, plus they know the area, the club, the fans from being around the place. In short, they know what the score is when it comes to Newcastle.

A look at the first team will only yield Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi as Geordies, but if you scratch a bit deeper you will see that there is yet more local talent in the reserves, like Michael Richardson and Sammy Ameobi whilst a delve into the youth setup will bring you people like Remi Street and Adam Campbell.

There is a nucleus of local talent at the club, right from top to bottom. They all know what the club is about as they are all fans, even the ones who went and played football elsewhere. I just can’t help but think that it’s a good thing to have a round the place. It gives the players that local connection even if they are French, Argentinian, Italian or whatever.

Not only that but there is a greater sense of pride to see one of your own do well. Now being from the area myself they are all “one of my own”, but even for honorary Geordies dotted throughout the globe it can give a greater sense of pride to see them succeed.

It’s a far cry from a Cockney Mafia these days and instead what we are seeing is a shift in emphasis at the club. There is a balance occurring, at all levels, between getting the right people in to do the jobs on the football side but also getting people in who know the club and can relate to the area, which is nice to see.

Are we heading from the “Cockney Mafia” to the “Geordie Nation” via France?

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.

47 thoughts on “The end of the “Cockney Mafia” at NUFC?

  1. A good article. There really is no Cockney Mafia anymore….primarily since the demise of Wise I would suggest.

    In addition to your Geordie core we have Graham Carr as the Chief Scout who clearly has a huge affinity with the area and what playing for the Toon is all about.

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  2. Would like to agree with you but do not forget that in the past, Mike Ashley has a nasty habit of destabilising the club when things are going well.
    It’s all a matter of trust and I’m afraid that due to their past history, I find it very difficult to trust Mike and his obnoxious sidekick Derek.

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  3. Theres a feel good factor and long may it last the coaches are doing a fab job and as you say are in touch with the peaple and the area its great to see .
    The great big fat problem however is still there and i believe we can never truley relax as he doesent understand the club the fans the area and doesent have the clubs best interests at heart its inevitable that he will screw us up again its just a matter of when . In my opinion ofcourse .

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  4. Really good article, I think that it may be out but we never know with a club like newcastle. Ashley is still there but I was talking to someone at the open day I went to yesterday and he rated that ashley had turned us around in some sense and really rated Pardew as manager. Saying that he was very shrewd and knows how to deal with him.

    Toonsy: Have an article idea but will do it when I get back from footy

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  5. Regional pride is one reason I admire Barcelona, because despite the globalisation of the sport, the emphasis is on Catalonia, the local youth, and the academy setup.

    Newcastle is similar in that the club carries the identity of the city, unlike ManU and the London clubs. I’ve lived in Nottingham, Surrey, and Kent, and see the red AON shirts everywhere and think “What link do these kids have with Manchester?!”
    I didnt see a single red shirt whilst in Newcastle, and I hope it stays that way.
    I want nufc to keep it’s local identity and not become a big brand to generate revenue in asia (sorry if it’s racist, but I’m asian too, and sick of the glory hunters down there). I want it to focus on youth development with a balanced focus on the NE and europe. I want it to be a point of common pride for the Geordies, a source of inspiration for local youngsters who know that they have a chance if they work hard enough…

    as long as sammy, henderson, and others are coming through the ranks, there is hope… πŸ˜€

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  6. The “football side” was never the big issue. The cockney mafia sat (and still sit) at Board level – owning and running the club. A good start to this season on the “football side” hardly makes up for the crap these people have dished out in the past to geordie legends and fans in equal measure, and their total inability in the world of football business.

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  7. Hmm…. It was ultimately results on the football side that got us relegated though. You can blame as much of that as you want on the board. All of it if you choose. However if you’re going to do that then you also need to have the balls to admit that its decisions in the board room that have helped get results on the football side. Or does it only work one way?

    Just playing devils advocate here πŸ™‚

    Oh and Sunday working should be outlawed. Roll on 19:30 😑

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  8. Indian Ocean ToonArmy said…

    Regional pride is one reason I admire Barcelona, because despite the globalisation of the sport, the emphasis is on Catalonia, the local youth, and the academy setup.

    Indian….you may find the Catalonian thing goes much further and deeper than you believe…look into the history books mate….

    Same with the basques in Spain…I believe that until recently Athletico Bilbao only allowed Basques in there line up….

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  9. They wernt even Cockneys in the 1st place! Haha hate that song we sing about Ashley. Starting to hear it less and less now.

    Toonsy, i reckon you have given me a lift a few times on that mega bus! Whenever its too late to book a cheap train i jump on the mega bus :mrgreen:

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  10. I hope the Cockney mafia shit is over as IMO it made us look thick as shit, evenmore so the FCB get out of our Club, considering he isn’t even a Cockney.
    Also on the FCB song it was catchy but I often thought how did families with Kids at the game feel having their Kids listening to that the whole game, I know there is lots of swearing goes on at games, but a song that is so catchy and song endlessly wasn’t right. I even caught my 8yr old sing it only he thought it was ‘ you fat cocky bastad get out of our club πŸ˜₯

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  11. hope you didnt tell your 8 year old of dave ,just because your an ashley arse licker dusent meen your wee lad has too be πŸ˜†

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  12. Batty you think because you lick his arse everyone else should, Not me mate, but I have to admit that I didn’t tell him off because as soon as we looked at him he knew what he had done. I’m just glad I didn’t laugh.
    Richie he did say the Bastard part right I just dont like writing it on here πŸ˜† as Bastad doesn’t look as bad πŸ˜‰ it was only the Cocky part he got wrong

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  13. Glad this idea sparked a bit of conversation.
    Toonsy, u did a much better job of writing this up than I would. Well written, as always

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  14. Toonsy, i normally get the London to Preston route! Or Preston to London route. It goes through birmingham but never seems to stop there.

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  15. @toonsy

    “Its what getting up a 4am does to you”

    Once the bairn arrives you’ll class that as a lie-in πŸ™‚

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  16. Indian Ocean Toon Army,

    It is not fair to call Asian fans glory hunters. Only top teams and top players got coverages in Asia (and Europe in some extent) and what do you expeCT them to do? Happen to spell wrong when goggling and find toonsy’s blog and fall in love with the club?

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  17. The “cockney mafia” was mainly a figment of the imagination, generated by a regional bias against those old enemies, the suthern press etc., that and an old provincial inferiority complex.
    Hell we still refer to Ashley as that cocknet …….. !
    But any of the above does’nt change the fact that we still have the likes of Llambias & Pardew whom i regard as “kna nowts” one a manager who is not exactly regarded in footballing circles as someone you would hire, unless you wanted a “yes man”, who’s history in the game is not exactly something most managers would want on their resume.
    As for Llambias, exactly what does this man do ?
    Apart from deflecting the heat from Ashley, I suppose you could call him the designated “fall guy”
    As for jobs for the boys, seems Carr and Carver are doing a decent job, but i have heard Pedro was’nt exactly up to par, great player though he was.
    So until we get a real manager and a top money man, (every top club has)
    we may never achieve that top spot, but of course that’s up to Ashley, it’s his toy !

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  18. I am delighted there are Geordies at the club, I think it is important. However, it is the old sing while your winning routine, people are happy they look at the table and much to everyone’s surprise we are riding high in 4th place with 15 points. When we start to slide and we will because we are yet to play the top teams and we haven’y picked up any serious injuries people will start shouting about the cockney mafia. There may be no cockney mafia as such but ashley and llambias are disliked hugely and will be despised if we end up in the bottom half. This is because once again they have not done their jobs properly. Most of you lot have short memories, the lies spun out of the club on keegan, the getting shot of houghton the we won;t sell carrol incident, the we want to keep barton/nolan/enrique. Cockneys or no cockneys they are both second rate, the only thing that matters to them is the bottom line, the profit column and if that means selling any player to make a few quid they will.

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  19. couldent agree more chuck it would be easy to say lets move on and tell ourselves everything is hunky dorey but its not and we wont however a lot of fans have and it boils my piss there a bunch of shithouses and history has proved to us many times that they wont and dont want to change . Pardew is doing well and proving me wrong so far and long may it last but hes there to do what hes told when hes told even if that means lisleading us at times . I havent heard anything bad about pedro apart from the bullying thing ages ago but i think the coaches are doing a great job on a tiny budget ,

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  20. yep Ian y spot on the keegan lies hacked me of the most but that cost his lying arse 2 mill theres to many others to mention and they wont stop i am happy with things on the pitch at the minute but i wont forget will never trust them and defo wont start kissing his arse saying how he saved us from bankrupcy and turned us around , total bollocks . 😳

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  21. @ Ian Y

    Would a bottom half finish be that awfull that they get despised? For me if we end 11th-5th and have a comfortable season away from the relegation places i wont be too upset with that. Its only our second season back in the premiership, Ashley is helping this club. Without him, Freddie would still be in charge, we would have turned into the modern day leeds. He was spending money he and the club didnt have.

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  22. @ keith

    He did save us from bankrupcy. He put his own money into the club, Newcastle United still owe him

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  23. in my opinion ofcoarse , we owe him nowt he dident do his homework for what he was buying and hes doing more than ok financially from the club and if ashley had not of bought the club or put the money in when he did do you think that would of been it board up the doors and windows no more toon , i dont think so some one else would have come in . the 59 sound do you think he has done or is doing a good job as owner of newcastle united ?

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  24. Haha no Toonsy, wernt on it today. When i do book one will let you know :mrgreen:

    Yeah you make a good point, if Ashley didnt come in then we might have had some man city or even richer owners.

    Its a hard question to answer if i think he is doing a good job or not. For me at the moment he is doing a okay job. He has made mistakes (relegation and sacking Hughton comes to mind) but we got out a tough championship in 1 season and last year never really looked in any danger of going down. Pardrew has come in and done well and this year we brought and sold well in the transfer window and have had a very solid start to the season.

    The test comes in January, he has to keep hold of our top players unless another silly money bid comes in like the Carroll one.

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  25. Time to forget all this cockney mafia stuff, the main offender has gone. the club looks to be more stable and the 5 year plan does have some merit and is working so far. Sure it has been bad at times but the bad stuff seems to be nearly over and I expect greater stability is ahead of us. We are headed in the right diection, financially stable, top ten side with expectations of doing better and a good youth policy.

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  26. just putting out there…. what will happen if we win the carling cup… will all be forgiven on tyneside?? ❓ ❓ ❓

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  27. Ashley isn’t a numpty, he was just given bad advice when he first bought the club.
    Numpties can be millionaires with the buying of a lottery ticket, numpties don’t become billionaires, without being shrewd and upsetting people sometimes.
    The bloke has made mistakes, getting Wise in for a kick off… but he has put right those mistakes in turns of the staffing.
    I don’t believe Ashley wants to ruin our club, partly because it’s not in his best interest and partly because everything he is doing at the moment is trying to improve how the club is ran
    O.K so we are not signing the marquee players for 20+ mill anymore but so what?!! the quality of football hasnt changed.
    Ashley also took over a club with debt and a squad full of overpaid players who didn’t give a fuck about the club, our new French boys rave about Newcastle .. Owen only even spoke about England.
    Finally the threats and abuse he got when Keegan left was disgraceful, Protesting is one thing but threatening to kill him and his family isn’t something any Geordie should defend, my 9yr old godson heard some pretty horrick things that day.
    Defence over, he has made some stupid decisions and his latest is slapping fucking Sports Direct.com all over our sacred ground.

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  28. Ashley (whilst doing a decent job of getting us out of the crap) is NOT a saviour to the club as he and some others would imply.He cocked up and put HIMSELF in the crap-he had no intentions of `saving`the club-this is by default and not design,we the fans owe him nothing as it was a financial cock up that put him at NUFCnand not a game plan…That said i agree in principal with his ideas if not his methods. We are on the up-yes but how much is by pure luck? are we a `good` team? a very lucky team i believe though it`s about time we had some luck though-to leave the club without a striker is criminal,stupid or at least naive-yes the 35mil for Carroll was obsene and had to be taken but we could have demanded a make weight even if just on loan to tide us over,would any other`good team` leave themself in such a position-I THINK NOT!!!-to start another season without a striker is pathetic-the bull about “we tried so hard”is embarrassing but Pardew was left in the lurch by the lies of the board as much as we the fans were-you could see it on the blokes face,i reckon Pards is a decent bloke who`s bee shafted and left to pick up the pieces by derek the liar,he`ll try his best but my advice to him and the board is if “free transfers are so expensive”pay a fee instead!!! I the excuses given were a pesh take-we are not stupid and dont deserve that-have no problem with `free`s`but if we need to pay for a striker,pay what the selling club demands-these are footballers and not used cars,don’t go around the block then come back and barter-yes get value for money but buy a bloody striker and have done with it.WE NEED 1…..That said-the past is gone-look to the future… πŸ˜‰
    I personally would not tolerate anybody threatening him or especially his family,,I would have no issues at all about reporting to the police any person who threatens a kid etc-NONE,if fans feel that strongly about ashley protest by not turning up-not by abuse,we the real fans (not the peshed up numpty`s should never accept that never! Whilst i`m o my soap box-any chance the`their not cockney,their just southerners` mob can shut the hell up also? your getting as tedious as the FCB mob,half the Toon supporters couldn’t`t be called Geordies if you want to go down that tedious avenue as i know LOADS from all over the Tyneside area and Northumberland,should they be excluded?, what shall we sing? “TOON-TOON and people who come from surrounding areas BLACK `N` WHITE ARMY” πŸ˜† I hope we continue our upwards drive and think we will as long as we stay injury free but i`m still worried as our squad is tiny and lacking in quality,but i`ll enjoy the ride as long as it continues as it`s been a bumpy 1 for the last 40yrs i`v been a supporter 23 as ticket holder so a little sunshine is very welcome. Keep up the good work Pards-against the odds and interference from the board your doing a cracking job.I still think we will be sold as soon as it is financialy viable for the fat lad-he`s no mug and wont lose money but at least it will be on a solid footing and the future will be bright..

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  29. yeh the 59 sound hes made mistakes
    1 not doing due dilligence .
    2 employing dennis wise.
    3 treating keegan like shit and lying to him .
    4appointing joe kinnear.
    5 relegation after 16 years at the top level .
    6 lying about the carroll money being reinvested.(and it still hasent)
    7 selling our top two leading goalscorers from last season and not buying a goalscorer.
    8 sacking hughton.
    9 making 100 % promises to our current manager and not keeping them.
    10 making sjp look like a cheap charva sportswear shop .
    and many more…..
    I dont think hes doing a good job however i will add i dont agree with any threats on him or others and dont think any sound minded person would .
    fatash the 5 year plan thats working which one its changed more times than i can remember and thats the problem it will change again when he needs to cash in on a player goes in another huff or makes more crazy decisions , thats not stability .
    big al totally agree .

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  30. I think Ashley is doing a good job now, he started badly and got worse Allerdyce was not good enough,Keegan spat his dummy, Kinnear wasn’t good enough, Shearer wasn’t good enough and shouldn’t have taken the job on with no managment experience. Wise was a self inflicted problem as was Lambias who is actually now improving but silence from the managment is still the rule at St James Park. The club was in a poor state when Ashley bought it but despite making som errors he is turning it around. I don’t see anything wrong with Ashley promoting his business interests through advertising at st James do other clubs not do this?
    He came he said with a 5 year plan time will tell if he is right but give the guy his due he did put the money in when no one else would, I don’t remember there being a queue to buy NUFC we should be grateful he did as we probab;y would have gone into administration without him so stop bellyaching and get behid the club. I would rather have Ashley than a foreign owner, I would rather have Pardew than a foreign manager.
    Spending money is not the answer as Sunderland are proving think yourself lucky we didn’t get any of the players they got.

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  31. what i cant understand,is why people say the club is ashleys toy, and he has no interest in it, the man is a billionaire and still turns up to watch his team.im sure if he didnt have any feelings for the club, he could find a lot better things to keep him occupied at weekends

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  32. I think ba we will see back at the club before the end of the comp, however i think ivory coast might win, so we wont see mr.T until February.

    Does this mean Mr.T wont be moving clubs in January, only i no what mr.Arse is like πŸ˜›

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  33. “keegan spat his dummy” so the tribunerals decition was wrong and the email evidence they used to prove ashleys lies was made up , nah keegan dident spit his dummy out . “Lambias is improving” in what sighning strikers hes a 100% sure he will get by a certain date or maybe its his public relation and communication skills you see improving WOW .I thought the whole point of advertising was to sell advertising space to lots of different companys to create revenue for the club but ashley cant do that because no one will do business with him so he fills the stadium with chatty sports direct bumf, there wasent a “queue” because he owns it you dont give money to other people to help them out ! And we would not have gone into administration the only reason the club hasent been sold on the numerous occasions ashley has put it up for sale is because he was trying to sell it at double what its worth .”get behind the club” by that do you mean support the team no matter what be a season ticket holder for 15 years go to lots of away games in the league and travelled most of europe following the toon then i think i do a good job of getting behind them thanks . But history has proved time and time again he hasent and wont change so i wont let myself get sucked in to thinking ashley is the dogs bollocks because the team are on a good run im not that gullable . Your right its not money we need but i never said it was its stability and gradual progress and ashley never has and never will give us those .So thanks anyway but ill keep bellyaching and sumhow i dont think im on my own .

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  34. Yes Keagan spat his dummy he had a contract and walked away no agument, he was a paid employee and ultimatley this meams doing what the bosses tell you to do, Keagan couldn’t do that so left. Lambias is improving I didn’t say he is perfect but he has signed some players, did the rest really want to come? were they really for sale or were they over priced? You can not buy players who are not for sale and don’t want to come! Sure we need a striker what premier team says they don’t, the question there is do you buy at inflated prices, would you have taken Crouch, Bedneter or any of the others that moved? tell me what available No9 would you have signed, by available I mean the ones who did actually move.
    Why should Ashley use his space to advertise other manufacturers products dont be daft he owns the club and is quite right to use whatever advertising space he has to his companies advatanges, NUFC are a good advertising platform why should he pay for another?
    If the goods are “chattyΒ£ they will not sell the fact is that they do sell people do come back for more, you do not get repeat sales with inferior products. Perhaps I have misunderstood the meaning of chatty?

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  35. “there wasnt a β€œqueue” because he owns it you dont give money to other people to help them out” ❓

    Why would he give money when he is trying to sell to get money? when you sell you go for the best price how can that be achieved by giving money away? he had already put a lot of money into the club even if it was on loan.

    Back to Keagan the man who walks away “when the going gets tough walk away” and cries about it Keegan has a history of walking away this was at the time of the Milner sale and was his direct response on the same day I think. I wonder had he cooled off and thought about it would he have walked but I think he probably would.

    Ashley has done some things wrong but rthe good the good out weighs the bad.

    End of the Cockney Mafia yes, continue to like or dislike Ashley its your choice, not may club supporters “Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal ” are fans of the owners , I go back to the Westwood era the **** with big black patch I think Ashley is as good as we can get bearing in mind nobody else was interested enough to put their money into the club so yes Ashley is a saviour in that we still have a club and Lambias is also due credit in this. It may have been different if Wise was still there but he isn’t!

    Time to get behind the club who are at last showing signs of being a decent side and worthy of our support.

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  36. Yes Ashley made a lot of mistakes but mainly in the days Wise was advising him, We don’t know for certain that the money wasn’t available to buy a striker we do know he wouldn’t pay an inflated price. So who would you have bought? Pardew has proved to know what he is doing, what Hughton proving now( i admit I did not like the way he was dismissed but I nor you know what went on behind closed doors.
    Nolan, Barton are not really missed we are doing fine withiut them Enrique wanted to go. I like all the replacements better.The Carrol money is better in the bank than being wasted on over priced players who are at their sell by date, who would you have bought out of what was available?

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  37. So the tribunaral was wrong then , those employment tribunrals what they like !!!
    There are hundreds of young talented strikers out there and he has had 9 months man !!!!!
    Obviously a keegan hater and can i ask why dident he serve the club well enough for you with promotion and second in the prem and the best football to watch !!
    ” THE CARROLL MONEY IS BETTER OF IN THE BANK ” are you mike ashley ? personally i would rather have a talented geordie lad up front banging in the goals or a replacment but silly old me eh ,,,
    And please could you explain how me not liking mike ashley or his ownership of newcastle is not getting behind the club ? is the only way you can support the toon to agree with everything they do and pucker up and kiss ashleys arse ? NO thanks.

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  38. Read my comments I have never said I liked Ashley but i still maintain he is doing a good job now, far better than anyone expected. The Carroll money is better in the bank because there was no one available at a sensible price. Spending momey for the sake of spending is no the answer. WHO WOULD YOU HAVE BOUGHT FROM WHAT WAS AVAILABLE?

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  39. “is the only way you can support the toon to agree with everything they do and pucker up and kiss ashleys arse ? NO thanks”

    Time to take your head out of your own and see some of the good things he has achieved.
    We are better off than we were 3 years a go and that is fact!

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