It’s about football, not finances!

Good money man, but how has he influenced the football?
The recent article on the man they love to hate seemed to get a good response and sparked some interesting debate among those for and against the current regime.

Although unconvinced as yet to jump the fence by the views of those in opposition, it did present an interesting argument, this being that we are football supporters at the end of the day not business analysts, and that is in fact what Mike Ashley should be judged on, the progression of the team.

A fair point. Debate about the ownership and running of the club naturally takes the route of finances and off the pitch decisions, often ones which do not make reference to the team itself, which is what matters most after all. It is tough to keep the argument on the football when ultimately that comes under the job responsibilities of the manager but I`ll do my best.

The main concern in this regard seems to be the fact that top players have been sold in the past and will continue to be sold in future for profit and not the good of the team. This one has always confused me to be honest. I can understand where it comes from but it is not that black and white.

Since Mike Ashley took over there have been approximately twenty first team players sold. Of that number, and overshooting for the sake of argument, I would say just over half of that were what I would regard as our better players. A decent number admittedly but as I said it`s not black and white.

Lets start in 07/08. The big players who left were Nolberto Solano, Kieron Dyer, Albert Luque and Stephen Carr. Solano requested a move to be closer to his family. Alberto Luque was either injured and besides that was a flop, and Kieron Dyer and Stephen Carr spent more time on the physio table than on the training ground.

In 08/09 the big names who left were Charles N`Zogbia, Shay Given, James Milner and Emre. Again all justifiable sales from an owners point of view. N`Zogbia requested to leave even before falling out with Joe Kinnear. Emre, although a potential great spent three injury ridden seasons at Newcastle before we cut our losses and he was sold to Fenerbache.

After ten odd years between the sticks Shay Given requested a move when the big money of Man City came knocking. Poor aul Shay had been pelted out of it with shots for many a year previous and had been as loyal as they come. The opportunity came for him, or so he thought, to be number one at a club buying some huge stars and he wanted to win a few things before he retired, can`t begrudge him that or blame Ashley for letting him go.

As for James Milner, his Newcastle career was on the rocks long before Ashley when he was dropped and subsequently fell out with Graeme Souness. It was in fact a clause in his contract allowing him to be loaned to Aston Villa due to us signing Solano from them which sent him out the door on loan initially. When he returned, Freddie Shepherd tried to sell him for around £4m but talks broke down but he was eventually sold a year or so later for around £12m after the player handed in a transfer request.

09/10 was our season in the Championship and the summer preceding that brought an expected exodus of players on high wages and those who wanted to remain in top flight football, unwilling to remain at the club for another season to help us return at the first time of asking. We did so anyway and comfortably and I think everyone would agree got rid of an awful lot of deadweight from the squad.

The ones who would have been considered top players of those who left would be Michael Owen, Sebastien Bassong, Obafemi Martins, Habib Beye, Damien Duff and Mark Viduka. I could go through each case individually but I honestly don`t think there is a need. There is not one of those players I would want at the club now with maybe the exception being Duff, but he was brutal in his time here.

Back to the top flight we came in 10/11 and the only sale of note was the infamous Andy Carroll sale in January. Now we could all debate until we are blue in the face about spending the fee but for now that’s not the point. Fact is although he was the main man up front at the time we got an offer we simply could not refuse and anyone who says we should have turned that down is out of their mind.

Completing the recap of sales under current ownership we come to the summer just passed and the sales of Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique and the free transfer of Joey Barton. I covered these in the last article and personally think they were all justifiable. Of course it would have been nice to get something for Barton but they had enough and wanted rid. Enrique wanted to leave and Nolan can`t run, simple as.

So with all that said, what conclusions are there to draw from it? Has the current owner got a history of selling our top talent solely for the purpose of making a profit? I would have to say no. In fact if we had not received a mental offer for Carroll we may not have sold, in which case the only season in which we would have made a profit in the transfer market would have been the season we got relegated, which pretty much comes with the territory.

Now comes the argument of selling top players to replace them with cheap, and worse, replacements. Given the clear evidence of both a stronger team and although limited squad depth, quality within that depth, I find it hard to understand the argument that we replace any players that are sold with cheap knock-offs.

The team we had on paper, note on paper, the season before we were relegated looked considerably better, but as we all know football is not played on paper and that team had about as much togetherness, creativity and fight as… I’m struggling to find a fitting analogy… they just had none of the above. The team we have now is just that, a team and one which is proving their worth every week.

It pleases me when I see some comparing this set of players not to those who contributed to our relegation but to the teams of real quality in our Premier League history. The side under Sir Bobby and of course the Entertainers under Keegan’s first stint. They are not comparable to either in style of play but football has moved on from those times and fact is we are now a side built from the back who can score goals and grind out results.

People like Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez, Danny Guthrie, Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor were all signed in the first couple of years under the current regime. Since the overhaul and more recently we have seen quality such as Cheik Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Gabriel Obertan, Davide Santon and Sylvain Marveaux arrive at the club. With that a prime example of the focus on future in the talented Mehdi Abeid as well as a number of academy prospects making the step up.

I understand the point that we could be doing even better if we splashed out a few times but I also understand that we have done that umpteen times before Ashley and more often than not it has not paid off. Sorry to bring finances into it but they are bound to crop up somewhere. The new transfer policy seems to be working for us and we are getting burned less so I for one support it completely, even if it can be frustrating at times.

Anyway back onto the impact on the football. Why is it that along with a promising looking side we all of a sudden have youth talent coming through the ranks and actually looking like real players for the future? Is it because of financial investment in the academy? Yes, partly, but it is more so a philosophy change as regards how we utilize our academy, and that has come from the owner on down.

The reason Newcastle have not seen potential stars emerge from youth level for a long time was down to our previous owner, and in fact originated with Keegan. It was at that time they made a concious decision to use the transfer market alone to bring quality, not develop it ourselves. It may have worked back then but in modern football unless you have Man City’s money you will never have any real squad depth unless you effectively develop young talent from within. Man Utd are the prime example of this.

So if we are going to try and get the best value for money, keep the purse strings tight and invest in our academy and young talent what do you need? A damn good scouting system and the backing of the board to have them working their socks off to find the next diamond in the rough for next to nothing. I think in Graham Carr and his team of scouting ninjas we have that and they have the full backing of the owner, whether it be financial or otherwise.

Next you need the facilities to develop these players and for those on the fence about signing, you have to impress. We have always been blessed in that regard through passion of fans and a stadium which rivals the top clubs in the country but it is also good to hear that there has been investment in improving training facilities, the academy and even the stadium itself, relaid pitch, undersoil heating etc.

To attract players in the future you also need a team that is performing well and has good togetherness and spirit. To achieve this you need a good manager and coaching staff. Fair enough there have been mistakes made in this regard as I alluded to in the previous article but I think we finally have that in place.

Alan Pardew has surprised nearly everyone in football I think and proved that he has the character, discipline, motivation and tactical prowess to be an extremely good manager. Behind him we have some really good members of staff in John Carver and Steve Stone, and formerly at academy level and now in charge of youth development we have Peter Beardsley.

Beyond that there is very little else an owner can do in terms of the football itself as far as I can see. Well there is one concern among fans and a legitimate one that comes with the policy but before that I think the fans need addressing. Obviously Ashley is not on great terms with many and to be honest I don’t think that will change dramatically.

The fact is he does not speak publicly ever, and that goes outside Newcastle Utd and has been the case long before he was owner. In terms of public opinion with having Derek Llambias as his right hand man and Managing Director. Again we can debate all day about his ability to do the job but in terms of the likeability factor, Derek just does not have it and never will.

So with that being the case and I don’t think either care too much what people think of them anyway, how do they still harness the power of fans to aid performances on the pitch? Basically by filling the stadium every week. With the current state of the economy and less and less people with the spare cash to go to every game this is proving difficult for all clubs.

However in Newcastle’s case there has been a number of positive steps taken by the owner to ensure we are as close to capacity come a Saturday afternoon as possible. The half price season ticket offer looked to be a good promotion and was proven as such with over 5,000 more season tickets being sold in little over a week.

There has just been a new promotion released for those who are not season ticket holders which allows them to bulk buy for a certain amount of games. There are a couple of different tariffs but as far as I know it is pretty much based around getting tickets for twelve games for the price of ten. It may not be a massive gesture but a gesture nonetheless and will help to get those empty seats filled.

The final point I wanted to make was as regards the relatively new wage structure and cap at the club which is a financial thing but does have an impact on the football or team and in turn will concern some fans as to our ability to sign top players but more importantly hang on to our best players.

It is a legitimate concern and a tricky thing to get right. As far as bringing players to the club, chances are it will restrict us from signing a lot of players that play in big enough clubs in England but may want to move on.

They will already be on a considerable wage packet and will not want it to drop given the choice. This means we may have to scour European leagues who pay players less than what they get in England, which is what we have done as of late, mainly cherrypicking from France.

It does make life a bit harder no doubt in terms of signing certain players, and it probably makes for more complex and drawn out negotiations too, but all things considered I think it is a good thing in terms of player acquisition in that we are almost guaranteed that any player coming here is not here solely for the pay packet but for footballing reasons, and in most cases, genuinely wants to play for Newcastle.

In terms of players currently on the books, again a difficult one to balance. Those on the higher end of the pay scale have been recently signed to long contracts with the exception of Coloccini. Obviously we would like to see him signed up soon and hopefully he will but negotiations are ongoing on that one so time will tell. Being that he seems a real man of principle, is happy to play for Newcastle and delighted to have been made captain I am hopeful that it will sort itself out.

As for those on long contracts with big wages, when time comes four or five year down the line to renegotiate we will see how it goes. Our progression as a club, getting into Europe etc will obviously help that cause but all pie in the sky for now. I think peoples main concern is over losing the likes of Cheik Tiote, which I understand completely.

Look having a policy like this will mean you lose the odd player, as we have seen with Jose Enrique in the summer. The only way you can counteract it is to sign up on long deals with no clauses so that player power is at a minimum. You will either get a massive bid mid-contract you can’t refuse or they will be coming to the end of a contract and you may be forced to sell if new terms are not agreed.

Very few clubs give five year deals to players. The reason I think Newcastle have done so is that if we are put in the situation of being forced to sell or lose for free, more often than not these players will have all but passed their peak by then and will be close to if not in their thirties. By then, even if it may not seem like a good thing, it may just be the right time to sell and get good money too.

Arsene Wenger has been the master of this in the past and I’m hoping we can manage to pull off something similar in the future if a big player wants out. As far as the younger players go they are not on big money but are on five year deals. This means we still have the ability to negotiate an improved deal to keep them at the club when the time comes.

So although I understand and have some of the same concerns as others as regards holding on to big players I think we have a system which works best for the club. Yes we will lose the odd player to a big money bid or not be willing to pay them what they want, and for the odd player in our squad such as Tiote that will be a sad day but it falls back on the likes of Carr and our scouting system to make sure we have ready made replacements, and so far so good in that regard.

I will wrap it up there for now but would be interested as to what other people think about the owners impact on direct footballing matters. It`s difficult to separate business and football when talking about the money men but hopefully I’ve done a decent job getting how I see his influence on the football side of things across.

All in all I would say, especially since being relegated, in terms of Mike Ashley’s impact on the football, we are going in the right direction and long may it continue. In Pardew and Co I think we have the people in place to achieve that even if it takes some time.

I’ve been waiting my whole lifetime for a trophy. I can wait a bit longer.

As always, all comments and insight appreciated.

59 thoughts on “It’s about football, not finances!

  1. You don’t half like a longarticle do you?

    The two are inextricably linked.

    Although it’s not just about how much money you spend – it’s a case of if you continue to sell your best players you won’t be successful. I’m not too sure the scouts can keep pulling rabbits from hats.

    We should keep our better players and add to the squad and build it.


  2. The approach our owner is taking will always remain a difficult one. It is very easy to throw big money at players and keep the best while loaning out the rest. That is the Man City, Man U, Chelsea approach. Our approach is to build from within with youth and from without by buying in Europe where players are cheaper to buy and pay. If we make mistakes about who we sign however we will lose our edge and slip down the table. Carr is under huge pressure to make each cheap signing a good to excellent one. So far so good but Pardew is already stretched with just a few injuries and suspensions. Expectations have now also grown significantly. Most of us now expect the team to finish in the top 8. I can’t predict where this approach will take us but the team has been excellent to watch and my support is not short term. I will support through thick and thin. Fans come and go but supporters stay for life.


  3. Excellent article KeithRtoon and I agree with your thoughts as they basically mirror mine.
    Many fans in time who refuse to acknowledge any good any further up that Pardew , will realise at some stage that the bread and butter finance work is done from the top.
    Also, from the top, all decisions are made in who becomes manager, scout, coaches and whatever, right down to buying players.
    An easy going owner will allow a manager to do his job no matter what and base all his trust in that manager.
    I think we have found out that this is not how to do it because first of all, you have to vet the manager and to trust that he’s gonna bring in the quality that is needed without upsetting the balance of the club..
    It’s one hell of a trust versus balancing act I would think.
    A few example of managers being given the funds at the drop of a hat based on this trust is evident with some clubs and the end result is meltdown.

    It’s not really about liking or disliking a regime or management, it’s about what can be achieved with them in charge and I think Newcastle are a clear yardstick on what can be achieved if you start to get the irons in the fire.

    I agree about players sold since Ashley came in and to be fair, we haven’t really got rid of anyone who didn’t hold a desire of some sort , to leave.

    Most notably, those who have left for pastures new, have mostly failed to progress in their careers, so that in itself sends out a message that, we got it right.

    Those who we brought in to replace them have also proved that the club has replaced well and very few who we have bought have failed to come up to scratch, with some even outweighing expectations.

    Keeping the better players I agree with and only stupid offers or a player wishing to leave will only scupper that.

    I don’t think we will sell our better player just to make 2 or 3 million profit unless it was a player that didn’t fit into our style of play. 😀


  4. Said it before, but most of those players wanted to go anyway and more of them wanted to go/had to go due to relegation.

    Besides they were mostly on big money.

    Which brings me to my point about our players now who are affordable and who can be paid from the club income, hence breaking even

    It’s those who we should be trying to keep and add to 🙂


  5. I’m so drunk now, I want to comment but just can’t type. My fingers are too numb… haha. Lets give em a good go tomorrow! Toon Toon!!! 😆


  6. Doesn’t anyone think it’s worth asking the question WHY? So many players ‘want to go’

    Treat your staff right, show ambition and pay them the going rate for top players and surely they won’t be wanting to go?

    Fair enough if a champs league club comes knocking but other than that….


  7. Good article mate

    I do like what Pardrew and Ashley are doing, going in the right direction. If you dont focus on finances then you will turn into portsmouth 😉


  8. Well said stewart and yes keith you do write a lot don’t you , well guess what this keith doesent agree . How does it make you” out of your mind” if you don’t want to sell a talented footballer from newcastle for 35 mill when the said 35 mill doesent get spent on any other footballers ! So nolan” can’t run ” well if he is the clubs leading goalscorer from midfield ! and good footballer I can deal with that ,and let’s not forget we were told nolan was approaching 30 but then gave shola an extension to take him to 106 , as steward said you would be mad to think we can rely on our scouts alone . This is not the arsenal model and under this regime never will be . I will agree with you I don’t mind waiting for a trothy but will say again less than 20 games of ashleys 3 years here has been enjoyable so I will be a little gaurded before I start believing in the great ashley revolution .


  9. Spot on Keith im a Toon fan not a Financial advisor for the Toon, all I want to see is the team do well.
    Moreno a lot of the players that left wanted to leave because they couldn’t see any reason to stay because their was no ambition from the club, or else they left because they were lied too or couldn’t trust the board or owner.


  10. dont know and dont care, sell them all and buy em all new every year if it turns out results like this. the only thing that i just dont get is that we are always being told that we are now stable and going to break even this year etc (and then some), but in dekka’s famous list of ten questions or whatever it was, he said our player salary was now at 65%. the highest it ever went under FF was for one season at 62.5%. any views on this as it has me stumped.


  11. Moreno, i know what your saying and in a way, to keep a top player in most cases, you have to pay the going rate but I think it extends a little bit further than that.
    I think there’s two issues here and the first one is that we have been a club that’s been battered from pillow to post over the time and players have basically rocked the boat in some instances in stalling on deals because they either were greedy or decided to hold the club to ransom and naturally any club that are deemed a big club that come in for them, it will turn heads.

    The other reason I think players want out is, simply, the geographical reason, i.e, the north east of England as opposed to the so called sunny side of the South with all the glitz and bright lights type of clap trap.

    As far as the club goes, I’d say the staff get treated very fairly otherwise no one would sign a contract but as for paying the going rate, that depends on what is the going rate.
    Is is £20,000 a week? 30/40/50/60/100/200/250 ? just what is the going rate…that’s the question.

    I’ve heard the Premiership average rate is 20 grand a week or something and if that’s the case, I’d certainly think that our players are in heaven if that’s how it goes.

    Or…. is the going rate the rate in which Man City deal? If so, I can say with a wry smile that any player at this club using that scheme, can fooooooooooook right off no matter who it is.

    We have been down that path and we haven’t got ourselves out of the red and into the black by handing out confetti wage packets thankfully. 😀


  12. keith, talk like that will get toonchicken ranting at you.. thats just as soon as he gets dekka’s dick out his mouth and ashleys out his arse that is.


  13. Craig I couldn’t work that one out either we got rid of a few top earners including one MO that was on the same as 2 players, and brought in cheaper but the wage bill went up ? strange one that


  14. I do big dave…. over 100 million. thats what they say we owe back to ashley for the loan we got from him. it may be interest free or whatever, but basically we are in the same debt i guess.


  15. We are in debt to no one outside the club and that’s what matters.

    Going by the debt scenario, we could apply that to most clubs because most rich owners actually pay off the CLUBS debts, meaning debts to banks and what not and that includes interest but in actual fact, the club are still in debt to the owner.
    Even if Man City’s owner gives up the club tomorrow, it will still be on the market for whatever he asks regardless of the debts he’s paid off for free, which means that any new owner has to come in and buy the club at the price stated, which means, all the players (assets) costing X amount of millions upon millions will be factored into the sale, meaning no one is gonna buy the club on the cheap….meaning, the club will owe a large debt to any new owner.

    No matter which way you look at it, it’s debt but it’s in house debt instead of at the mercy of banks debt which is a massive issue for a lot of clubs living on it, plus interest.

    We are in a position where everything gets paid on the nose, with no never never payments…

    Very few clubs can match that and going by that, we can definitely say we are in fantastic fettle.


  16. Wolfie I do know a bit about debt and I do know that its ‘in house’.
    It is still debt all the same and I was just asking if anyone knew how much Jabba has loaned the club 😉


  17. Aye I know that Dave and I’m not having a pop mate, I’m basically just thinking out loud 😀

    As far as what he’s loaned the club, apart from obviously buying it, I wouldn’t like to guess but I would imagine it’s a tasty sum and will all come out in the full accounts when they’re due.

    Normally I wouldn’t even mention finances in everyday life but message-boards seem to bring out the financial experts or guess mongers.

    I’m like you in that I couldn’t even begin to calculate what has actually been shelled out to stabalise the club only that you and I and many others know it’s not peanuts but it is without interest.


  18. Dave , cheers
    Craig , te he he
    Wolfie@18 “fantastic fettle” financially but the question was football related and out of ashleys 3 and a half seasons here less than 20 have shown good form that’s a small percentage is it not ?


  19. i think our debt is a bit like that of the humber bridge. the bloody thing makes a fortune and is a mega cash cow for the government but if you try to find out when the debt will be paid back so that the tolls can be reduced they say that nothing has been paid off since the bridge was built and that the debt is still there. its so fuked up that everyone just gets on with it and drives over the bridge. also norwich airport charge every passenger five quid to fly out of the airport and you have to pay it at the airport otherwise you cant get through electronic barriers to the passport control etc. It was meant to be helping towards some airport expansion but everyone knowsthat the airport will now just make everyone pay forever and fob us off with some crap about how they need the money for this and that.
    Our debt will be the same, granted its in house but debt is debt, no matter whaich way you cut it. In ten years time, ashley will still be saying the club has a loan of 100+ million to him. The fact that he has made prob wya more than that out of it is irrelevant as he will still maintain that debt is there. it used to wind me up before but now i see it a different way, its his club, his money, his everything, i am over it as far as getting wound up about him these days.


  20. Craig , spot on he is the master of moving the goalposts .
    Shola , perch , lovenkrands , kuqi ,williamson , guthrie , gonzoles , xisco .
    Is that what you meant !


  21. Keith @ 21-

    In my opinion, the Championship season has to count for at least a little something, so I would put the “good feelings” at more than 20 games. Obviously, none of us were happy that we were down there in the first place, but once we were there, a lot of people thought we’d stay there or even go further down. Granted, all we did was get back to where we belong and never should have left, but the fact that we won promotion so convincingly has to be a positive. But I agree that we should still be on guard. For me, the January window will be big. We could be far stronger, far weaker or anywhere in between by February 1.


  22. Charlie , cheers I get what your saying and it did feel good that season it was 1 of my fave seasons following the toon but my point is the football wasent great , I’m freightened about january but we will see .


  23. 2 lines up possible 2mora

    simpson collo taylor raylor
    obertan cabaye guthrie sammy


    simpson collo taylor raylor
    obertan cabaye guthrie benny
    best ba


  24. I agree with the headline. Ashley and the finances are a boring subject. I’m much more interested in the football on the field.

    I think KeithRToon and Wolfie both have Proust syndrome.


  25. Whoops.

    That is to say: Proust once apologised to a friend for writing a long letter saying he didn’t have enough time to write a short one.


  26. Big Dave,
    How you doing fella? long time no speak!

    Got me hankie ready for the match tomorrow, gonna be very emotional.
    Can’t make the match but will watch it on SKY.
    Will need to man up as the bairn will be watching with me 😳


  27. Keith-

    That’s true, the football wasn’t all that great, just good enough to earn promotion. The one thing that gives me a little bit of hope is that we did go out and get players to ensure promotion that January. I wouldn’t say I’m optimistic necessarily, but maybe if Europe (possibly even Champions League) is still within reach at that point, Ashley would see the financial benefit of spending some money.


  28. Richie,
    Yep mate aware of that, but the minute applause and scarf waving will be awesome and aired across the world 😉
    Hows life in Espania ❓


  29. That’s one hell of a read Keith, but the true is whenever you talk football it always comes back to money and the politics of football because it influences everything that happens within the club.
    From the players you listed who have left under Ashley there is only 2 who I’d have back, Milner and Given. Milner would probably get into our current team and Given would be cover for Krul now I think.
    If you look at the premier league, there is only really Chelsea and manchester utd who have retained players…. The 2 teams, who up until this season have shared the trophies between them.
    I also think the point you make about the Carroll sale is entirely accurate, we weren’t actively looking to sell him, we were offered crazy money for a player who was, at the time, playing out of his skin. You don’t become a shit player over night but the true is that Carroll had half a season playing well for Newcastle and Liverpool have been caught out, Andrew Carroll is not as good as he had convinced everyone during that half season…. fact. It’s fact because not only is he proving it at Liverpool, who are ultimately leaving a £35m player on the bench week in week out, but even the England manager has spoken out against him. That said, I would love Carroll to turn his fortunes around and be a success because when alls said n done he’s a Geordie lad.
    I think it’s fair to say that the size of our club, we should be grouped with Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs, but because of the way our club has been ran, in terms of not focusing on youth development and scouting, and chasing the marquee signing just to make the headlines, we are only now starting to get back onto that branch.
    Some of our best players during the last 25yrs have cost next to nowt. I’m thinking of players like Andy Cole, Rob Lee through to today’s team and the likes of Cabaye and Tiote.
    As a footy fan, I much prefer finding or developing players and turning them into heroes and if you think about it, that was what Keegans first stint in charge was all about in the beginning. Yeah he spent money as well but the heart of the team was the likes of Watson, Howey, Clark, Elliott from within added with the likes of Cole, Lee and Ginola… great teams!!
    I think as a Newcastle footy fan, perhaps the best transfer day in our history was Shearer day, huge money at the time but well well worth it.
    Other than he, I would say all or most other big named players have only came to Newcastle for a bumper pay day and we have wasted so much money on huge wages for undeserving players.

    So, putting money and politics to one side, if newcastles future is all about scouting players and developing youth from within then I’m a happy little toon fan (even if it means selling one or two of them for crazy money now and again).


  30. TGS…except very few will have scarves.

    Spain is good, getting a bit nippy now though and had a canny bit of rain 😯


  31. Agree Sharp17, Milner would be great to have, along with Enrique for me… Given is a legend in my eyes but would rather see him play somewhere else than benchwarm here, Krul is the future, if he can sort his kicking out.. the only other one I would have probably said in the summer I`d love back would be Zog but seeing him at Villa so far this season i`m not so sure… imagine we had stumped up £10m for him?? I wouldn`t be happy.

    I`m with you on Carroll too. I have nothing against the lad and do think in time he will pick up at Liverpool, and best of luck to the lad, but there is no way he is worth £35m, especially when you see Man City spend around that on a player like Aguero and £10m less on David Silva.

    Anyway cheers for the comment lad. As you said all politics aside it`s about what kind of club you want to support I guess. Everyone is not going to agree, would be boring if they did.. i`d be similar to yourself though. A club that finds undiscovered gems and churns out promising young talent is more interesting to me than spending rakes of money, even if it buys you trophies, and thus far that method has us on the right path so can`t complain.


  32. Craig @ 11 – Easy. Its because our income is now lower than it was under Shepherd when we were adorned with big sponsorships and so on.

    So 65% of £100m is actually less than 62% of 130m if you see what I mean? Its all proportional.


  33. Yeah you have to keep an eye on the finances. Least what we have is in house debt. All matters you know. Bet portsmouth fans would love to be in our shoes right now.


  34. toonsy…normally i agree with a fair bit of what you say but our income is not lower as even though our sponsorship deal is less, the tv revenue money has doubled since FF left. The tv money consitutes the main bulk of the revenue with the kit deal way less in comparison and as a matter of fact our anual turnover has gone up, so alas mate, thats not the answer. i do however have an answer for us that is prob much nearer the reason…..its simple… ashley and dekka are blowing smoke up our arses about the whole money thing, creating confussion so that no-one can ever realy fathom out wtf is going on lol lol
    anyway, over it…
    3-1 today.


  35. Craig – I’mjust looking at our total income. Since Ashley took over it’s been less, even with the greater TV money because other areas,like gates, merchandising, corporate,sponsorhip etc etc.


  36. yep i agree toonsy but i think that i am not saying it correctly, what i mean is, all the things you have mentioned have been created by Ashley himself through about a billion fuk ups and poor customer relations and or poor business. In essence he has created his own loss as like you say, the guts of the money has gone up considerably (SKY), its his own doing that the rest has fallen away. It is like my arguement yesterday saying you have to speculate to accumulate. He came in with a huge axe, the place has been like a train wreck for years and is only now starting to get on a level footing in terms of stability and at last the bad press is dying down. If he had acted with a bit more sense and compassion for his clients (us geordie public) instead of acting with sheer arrogance then our turnover would be way way more… thats because the actual major stakeholder in prem footy (the tv) has gone through the roof.
    He created his own vacum and vicious circle in acting the way he did imo. We could have had it all and so could he, he could have been popular with the geordie nation, never got relegated, been able to sustain high end value players if we had wanted and he would still have made more than he does now. Just my thoughts anyway like.


  37. A good try at working out what is going on behind what is effectively, closed doors.
    Whatever is going on, their priority has to be to give Pardew what he wants to continue to build his team because he has enhanced his reputation as a coach and there will be no shortage of takers should he feel he has gone as far as he can here.
    He looks happy enough here but what if he isnt backed in the next window and a big job becomes available in London?
    I believe we are ticking along very nicely team wise and financially but the cynic in me is waiting for the almighty kick in the nutsack.


  38. robert… you mean like if arry takes the england job and the yids come to needing a new manager? thats a fair point, AP has done himself no harm with the brilliant way he has been able to work wonders with us whilst at the same time spend zero money and work with a shit board.


  39. Harry could be managing HMP Acklington FC shortly Craig but Pardew has taken his chance and he has gone from being a bit of a gamble to a major asset and if the results keep going for us, i can see the major clubs looking seriously at both our playing and coaching staff and bearing in mind the board have reinforced the selling club image, can you see them turning down any decent offers?


  40. no of course not rob, everything at newcastle is for sale. all backroom staff from tea lady to AP will be sold if advances are made. every single player is for sale and lets be honest, the club is for sale.


  41. I agree craig its smoke and daggers all the way and everything is for sale .
    Keithrtoon and sharpy17 , what I’m trying to say is this article was about football under ashley not money so how can it be a good thing that we sold a 22 year old talented local striker if we have a strong youth policy and dident replace him !
    And the money did not go back into buying players !
    On a brighter note 1 nill to us today .


  42. toonsy says:
    December 3, 2011 at 05:44
    Craig – I’mjust looking at our total income. Since Ashley took over it’s been less, even with the greater TV money because other areas,like gates, merchandising, corporate,sponsorhip etc etc.

    That’s been Ashley’s biggest failings. While TV money has gone through the roof he has overlooked a reduction of our our overall income. He has concentrated so much on cutting costs he’s forgot to grow the club.


  43. Ashley should think about offering Pards some kind of share deal to keep him interested in staying here as part of the club fabric


  44. Joe…my mate ahs a couple of shares and got a letter off the club asking if he would sell them a week or two back….Xmas present from Ashley to AP maybe? 😉


  45. If you go by ‘official’ attendances in the PL this season….we have had 33,230 empty seats so far.

    If you say that it’s an average of about 35 quid a ticket, you’re looking at us having missed out on £1163050.

    So that’s over a million pounds on gate receipts alone, not including the other revenue that comes in from bums on seats.

    Despite having looked into this, I’m with Dave. I couldn’t give a toss about the finances etc etc, I only care about the club performing well on the field and picking up results.


  46. Keith, eventually we agree on something, I also forecast 1-0 and fancy HBA to score.

    I can understand what youre saying about backing a youth policy then selling Carroll. But I think the problem is that you view Carroll as a talent and I don’t really, or certainly not £35m worth of talent. Yes he was playing well at time but we had only had half a season in the premier league, if you compare that with say Darren Bent who went to Villa for around £10m less than Carroll but has scored 15-20+ goals in the premier league on a regular basis, it made sense. Yes it was horrible to see him go, and the timing meant we couldn’t replace him, but I would have been more worried if we had of been in the bottom 3 and selling him for say £10m.

    Regards replacing him, we had enough to see us through the 2nd half of last season and replaced him with Ba in the summer and we have the likes of Sammy, Campbell and Hooper coming through, though it’s still too early for Campbell and Hooper.
    It’s a bit unfair to say the Carroll money hasn’t been spent yet, they have only had ONE transfer window since Carroll left!!! The money is still there and some of it is to be used in Jan to bring afew players in by all accounts.
    Regarding the football under Ashley, yes we were relegated, but the rot had already set in by then. We had a good clear out of players at the time but let’s not forget, we kept the likes of Colo, jonas, Taylor, enrique, Barton, Nolan, and carroll…. our big players who could and did get us straight back up again. How could we manage that I hear you ask?!… yip, Ashley who put the extra funds into the wage kitty.
    From a footballing point of view since then, well, we won promotion, had a comfortable finish last season, which could have looked alot better had it not been for a shit 2nd half against WBA. Which brings us to this season, where we are going great guns.

    Changed my mind, 1-0 and Ba to score (John (kkk) Terry will fucking hate that).


  47. Very good article KEITHRTOON. that is exactly my thinking. Unfortunately if you really want to understand what is going on at the club and why you also have to understand the finances.The club’s turnover and profit have a direct impact on what happens regarding the buying and selling of players, wage caps, season ticket prices etc. By understanding the finances you stand a better chance of understanding whether what is going on at the club is good or bad. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but you are better informed by knowing.

    As far as the debt is concerned it is all owed to Ashley and currently stands at just over £100 million. Ashley’s loan initially stood at just under £150 million (on top of the price he paid for the club). According to the last accounts he has/is about to take back £41 million of his £150 million loan. This consisted of £12 million in August 2010, £16 million no sooner than August 2011 and a further £13.25 million from money owed on player sales prior to the sale of Carroll. Make no mistake Ashley is getting his loan money back and no doubt when the next accounts are released we will see he has taken or is planning to take more back.

    Ashley made some catastrophic blunders when he first took over and right now the level of debt is roughly what it was when he took over the club. The £41 million he has taken back almost exactly matches the extra money he had to pump into the club in the season we were relegated. The difference now is that the club is no longer losing money, has a team devoid of mercenaries, has not mortgaged it’s future revenues (like fat Freddy did), has a great scouting system and academy, a decent manager and the club are showing clear progress on the pitch which in the end is what it is all about. Whilst not forgetting or forgiving the cock-ups it is also time to recognise the good things that have been going on at the club in the last 2 and a half years and give some credit.

    There is no doubt that we may sell some players in the future – if we get massive to good to turn down offers but the fact that the finances of the club are in better shape make selling them less necessary. We are in better shape to repel a bid for someone like Tiote – having said that no-one is indispensable and even the “big” clubs sometimes lose their better players (Ronaldo at Man U, Nasri, Fabregas and Clichy at Arsenal). Putting players on long contracts also helps protect them and at some point we do have to try and keep our better players. Being on a sound financial footing should make that easier.


  48. Sharpy17, john(kkk) terry good crack ha .
    I agree with you if the money goes into buying players then it is a fantastic sale , so you must agree with me if it doesent or we sell tiote or colo to fund further players then it is a bad sale and bad for the team .


  49. Keith, I fear we are close to finding a common ground, should that happen I truly fear for the blogging site as what would be left to debate!!!

    So with that in mind, how’s about this.

    The Colo one is difficult because he is coming to the end of his contract so I think him staying is heavily dependent on him. I really don’t believe that the club want to sell him but if he does not want to sign the contract we have to cash in because we should not go against the wage structure now in place. Keith, I really hope his contract is sorted and he stays mate, would hate to see him leave.

    Tiote is different, he’s on a long contract so that isn’t an issue. Firstly, I dont believe there is a toon fan anywhere wants to see the back of Tiote, and I am certainly one of those fans.
    Now for the head to do the talking, Tiote has only played 9 times so far this season and had a poor start, so has actually only played well 4-5 times so far.
    Tiote is a very good player, but again if we but a £25m bid into comparison to players bought for that money, your looking at David Villa and Cesc Fabregas to name just 2. Tiote is good but he is not as good as those 2 players, and so for that reason it would have to be a good deal.
    We have had a brilliant start to this season and Tiote hasn’t played a pivotal role in that as much as we would have liked.
    My heart says I don’t want Tiote to leave. My head says, for £25m, back to work Graham Carr we need another defensive midfielder for peanuts.

    That’s nearly agreeing with you isn’t it mate?!

    Fucking come on the toon!!!! SPEEDO SPEEDO SPEEDO !!!!


  50. Ha good lad sharpy you may have a different opinion to me but u make your argument well , I will sound like a stuck record here but 25 mill for tiote IF even half that money goes back in to the first team great. 25 mill for fattys bank account and hope car can find more gems very bad but where getting there with meeting in the middle I think ?
    Colo will be massive today I think howay the lads …


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