Ashley then and now

I was looking through my email today and came across a link about a new movie called Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.

It’s about a Yemeni Sheikh who wants to introduce fly fishing to his home country, a country where drinking from a river usually involves ingesting sand.

Not really as daft an idea as it sounds. Its amazing what you can do if you just have the money to throw at it.

In the UAE, until very recently the temperature never got above 49 degrees centigrade. This was because UAE labour law included a clause that said if it got above 49 degrees all outside work had to stop.

As you can no doubt imagine, stopping work on the latest multibillion pound project just because your scaffolders are fainting and emulating the trajectories of the famed Acapulco cliff divers, could be considered a tad inconvenient. So while all meteorological equipment for a hundred miles was heading well into the 50s, the official temperature never made it past 49.

In summer, outside the shopping malls, you have to stand under a palm tree for fifteen minutes waiting for the air conditioning in your car to cool the seats, otherwise you risk leaving your arse cheeks on the hot leather when you get out, but inside the Mall of the Emirates they have a ski centre with real snow falling, ski lifts and as many broken legs as you can throw a medic at.


We thought, a few years ago that Roman Abramovich was rich. He bought Chelsea, bought players, and bought the league title, but then Manchester City happened.

Football moved to a new level of rich.

While I would never even consider suggesting that City are “circumventing” the new regulations with regard to income and expenditure, it has to be more than a handy coincidence that two mega sponsorship deals have been negotiated with companies owned, run, managed or whatever by members of your own family.

OK, I’ve asked my brother for a few quid now and then, but I think this maybe goes a bit beyond that.

Some clubs are not so lucky.

We were shocked with the demise of Leeds not so long ago and Portsmouth also hammered home that there is no such thing as a club “too big to fail”, but Rangers going into administration was one of those WBM moments.


How the hell do a club like Rangers end up facing financial ruin?

It has been suggested that the recklessness of previous owners was responsible. Spending too much on transfer fees and salaries while not planning for the future.

Hang on a minute – does this sound at all familiar? Ring any bells?

Looking at the figures involved, last April Rangers insisted that their debts were only in the region of around 22 million Scottish Pound Euro Lire Sheep livers, or whatever the hell they use for currency up there these days.

Only £22 million? Pocket change, as they say, compared to what is currently owed by Newcastle United.

So apart from owing money to the wrong people (The Taxman?) what went wrong?

No doubt over the next few months the story will unfold, but maybe in the meantime the hardcore of Ashley Haters might want to reconsider their stance towards him and slacken off a little.

It’s no longer about a defender here or a forward there. It’s about continued existence.

I’ve always been of the opinion that I trust Ashley about as far as I could throw him, which appears to be a little further these days judging by his new slimline look, but I have also assumed that he got where he is by being an astute businessman.

Like Ashley, we trimmed our fat a bit, with Carroll, Nolan, Barton and a few others being taken off the payroll. Our debt was significantly reduced and the remainder has been shouldered by Ashley himself.

Add to that the current success of the team, and it looks like that light at the end of the tunnel might not be the 12:30 to Edinburgh after all.

By the way, WBM is Well Bugger Me. A suitable expression of surprise while reading the paper, though possibly not while at the local gym.

Looking at Rangers I cant help thinking “there but for the grace of Ashley…….”


« Flying under the radar?  |  The end of an era @ St James’ Park »  


  1. 1
    Newkie says:

    I have to admit, when I look at that twat “grace” is hardly one of the first words that enters my mind and exits my lips in a discussion about him.

    I think most people have made their mind up on Ashley, the interest free loans are a massive bonus and benefit to the club and yet thanks to Ashley we got relegated….but in turn as a consequence we cleared out the has beens and then brought in some youth…who in turn we sold for massive profit as a cost to the team….

    Ashley the fecking Enigma.

  2. 2
    mark says:

    i see the St James signs are down.. looks like the showcasing worked so well SD have decided to take up the offer

  3. 3
    batty says:

    its abit quiet with out mr stavers :???:

  4. 4
    hydeous says:

    Great article. I think it’s very difficult for fans (of any team / sport) to understand the amounts of money going into a team nowadays. Smaller clubs just cannot survive in the big leagues because they can’t afford to pay the best players. Been reading about too many clubs going bankrupt and falling down the leagues. :(

  5. 5
    mark says:

    Good article Archie.
    Yes me too, I dont entirely trust Ashley, if he’s here in say 2yrs time I might have more trust in him.

    I still have the impression he’ll sell after receiving his money back.

    He’s certainly got the club in good shape and seems to have acted quickly with the new Fifa rules coming in. Hats off to him for that :grin:

  6. 6
    mark says:

    not on .com.. with Mr Stavers :shock:

    shall we plead for his forgiveness and ask him back.. he’s whipping up good debates over there

  7. 7
    georgio says:

    Hydeous – Like Norwich and Swansea you mean?

  8. 8
    mark says:


    It was on TalkSpt this morning that Scottish football or SPL will collapse once Rangers totally falls apart.. loads of clubs are owned money from Rangers.

    Might be another reason Forster said he will wait until the summer b4 deciding his future.

  9. 9
    MDS says:

    Good read.

    Newkie, “enigma” is probably the right word.

    Ashley is a strange owner. On one hand, we are a break even club sitting a point away from the Champions League. 99% of the clubs in England would swap places with us in heartbeat if they could. As has been stated regularly, his interest free loans quite possibly kept us from doing a Leeds.

    On the other hand, he deserves a lot of blame himself for regulation and for failing to properly examine the wretched books that SJH and FFS left him. He paid a lot for the club and would have taken a massive bath had he not kept us afloat and got us right back up to the Prem. So, even though he saved our bacon, it was certainly a personally sound business decision to do so.

    So the way I view him, I’ll support him for now. Despite many mistakes made and a painful couple of years, I don’t think anyone can argue that the club is in better shape than when he bought it. Isn’t that the only standard that matters?

    Still, I will keep a wary eye on him. Such is life with Ashley as owner

  10. 10
    MDS says:

    Mark @6. I think I speak for the silent majority when I say that not many miss him on here.

  11. 11
    Patchty1 says:

    Financial security is important, undoubtably, but with Llambias’s summer claim that this season would see us break even with a top 10 finish, with what could well be better than a top 10 finish and with profits from previous transfer windows still in our pockets surely we can expect a few quid to be spent this summer, without having to worry about our finances, the club themselves have said we are fine, so lets spend accordingly, not £100m like Man City, but surely £25/30m would be within budget

  12. 12
    mark says:


    ok m8, I’ll reluctantly go with the majority then and stay shtum

  13. 13
    mark says:

    or even schtum :grin:

  14. 14
  15. 15
    batty says:

    mark is that where troy has gone :?:

  16. 16
    mark says:

    we can appluade Ashley for a lot of stirling work with the club but I think the re-naming will raise eyebrows again.

    Shouldnt we be keeping it as St.James if nobody comes in for the naming rights?

    It could prove to be another bare-faced lie.. hope not

  17. 17
    mark says:


    aye, new mates already m8, he was searching for a bite before.. a bit too soon if u ask me :lol:

  18. 18
    Rorycn says:

    Glad you explained wbm, was staring at your algebra like formula for ages. Wasn’t a surprise to anyone living in Scotland but it defiantly would have happened to us as we’d been mortgaging against future success which we all know never came. Interested to see how some of the big boys do without champions league money now our top 4 is a 6.

  19. 19

    if hes looking for a bite ive got a nice big rottie here that will give him a bite lmao :lol:

  20. 20
    Stardust says:

    Batty – people arent posting as Troy was ruining the threads not adding to them, so in time theyve made off elsewhere – he is like a locust, he rushed through, destroyed debate and left the blog the worse for it, now he is off to Eds to try the same, love Troy as a bloke, hate what he did to this blog – it was wrong – even worse – he did it for a laugh. :???:

  21. 21
    mark says:

    good words from Colo, I hope we do our best to keep him. he seems to really love being here and even considers himself a northerner :)

  22. 22
    batty says:

    STARDY i remember you did much of the same a bit ago troy gets conversation going as did you ;-)

  23. 23
    mark says:


    u seem a nice m8 :shock: I dont think he was as bad as youre making out m8, he liked a wind-up and upset a few not on his wide-up wave-length but he did contribute to some good articles. :x

  24. 24
    MDS says:

    Interested to see how some of the big boys do without champions league money now our top 4 is a 6.

    Rorycn- I’ve thought about this as well. I think Chelsea and Arsenal would be in real trouble if they missed out on CL for even one year…

  25. 25

    See this so called big team called tottenham on the list of 9 going bust some big team eh lmao :lol:

  26. 26
    MDS says:

    It was on TalkSpt this morning that Scottish football or SPL will collapse once Rangers totally falls apart.. loads of clubs are owned money from Rangers.
    Mark, if that happens you will see Celtic begging to join the Prem

  27. 27

    MDS got to admit rangers was a shock they never really into the real big transfers thats why it surprised me :grin:

  28. 28
    mark says:


    It wouldnt be a bad idea m8. It would make the PL stronger with Celtic in it instead of the likes of Wigan etc

  29. 29
    Stardust says:

    Mark – saying nothing to you I havent said to Troy – he knows my views – and I will slate him for it on here in the hope he gets banned forever – just like he deserves :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Batty – who moi?!!?? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  30. 30
    mark says:


    ah well, who need enemies an al that..

  31. 31
    kimtoon says:

    Looking at Rangers plight it does cause a big intake of breath that’s for sure, who would of thought eh. Have to say i have been saying i can see football going tits up in the PL for ages ,clubs have and are spending silly money .Even now with fifa fair play rules on the horizon they continue to spend recklessly ,where will it all end .Ashley is not someone i warm to ,mainly because he’s a proven liar who treats our legends with no respect but i have to concede he’s got us pretty stable financally and the Carroll deal ,like it or not was a blinder. I would like to think we would be one of the safer clubs in the event of a financal meltdown, which is surely inevitible if clubs continue on theyr’e spendaholic paths.

  32. 32

    STARDUST dint really miss him meself the lads that do the blogs though i dont always agree with it put in a lot of hard work so guys like us and chat and put our thoughts across,dont see why he would spoil all that just for a laugh :evil:

  33. 33
    Stardust says:

    Mark – Troy would do anything in his given power to destroy and ridicule anyone or a laugh – dont feel sorry for him – he wouldnt for you. ;-)

  34. 34

    il add ladies to that also sorry did not see ya there KIMTOON :grin:

  35. 35
    kimtoon says:

    TAE@34- :lol: :lol:

  36. 36
    mark says:


    I’m not saying he would feel sorry for me. But youve been known to go out of your way to wind-up ppl (i.e. BDave).

    I just don’t think he soley came on here for a laugh to destroy it, as I said he did contribute a lot with some cracking points…but lets move on for the sake of the blog ;-)

  37. 37
    A proud Indonesian self adopted Geordie says:

    Hi everyone. First time poster and off topic (doesnt make a good starting post does it? :-D ) I’m using my first chance posting risking being slated hard. Anyway,
    I’ve watched Cisse playing twice, villa home and spurs away. I know i watched those games on tv so i had every chance missing some of his movements. However, watching his play has given me some worries and honestly make me cautiously wonder if he actually worth the money the club spent.
    Against villa, i noticed how poor his passes,pace and first touch were. I admitted that he had some nice flicking and running with the ball upon receiving a pass but overall, he somehow had a bit too heavy touches on the ball (if you understand what i mean) resulting the ball to bounce too far from him to control. About the pace, i noticed a great through pass from ba for him running on the right flank but he just couldnt speed up to what i consider simpson or obertan would have got easily. His legs seemed too heavy to run onto It. His passing was also screwed as more often than not they didn’t find teammates or leaving teammates struggling to receive them. I wasn’t too worried as i thought it was just a debut game but after watching the same cisse in spurs game, i think those are his weaknessess as he continued producing similar stuff.
    Dont get me wrong though i still think hes a very clynical striker in the box. I just dont think he’ll be very useful if theres no ball to feet in the penalty box for him to finish. Hes a natural finisher as showed in villa game but he needs a team working behind him providing services and riped passes if he is to score as i cant see him creating his own chances at all with the lack of attributes i said above. Touch wood he proves me wrong and those were all jetlags ;-)

  38. 38
    MDS says:

    I think we are already seeing clubs tighten their spending. I’m pretty sure this January window was one of the lowest spends in quite awhile. Us spending +9M was sort of the outlier. Teams like city and chelsea have already done their big spending ahead of FFP. From now on I think you’ll see teams fund purchases with sales for the most part.

  39. 39
    Stardust says:

    Thats a fair point mark – it wasnt his sole aim – he is a NUFC fan too. Dont really wind Big D up – he can see the bait a mile off! :lol:

    Batty on the other hand – hasnt a clue :lol: :lol:

  40. 40
    Big Dave says:

    Archie very interesting read, yeah Jabba does deserve some credit, but I wont be kissing his ass anytime soon. Not just because there is no room because Stardy is normally stuck to him like a limpet. But because imo his wrongs still out weigh the good.

  41. 41
    mark says:


    did you see Adebayors rant on Twitter the other day. calling ppl tramps etc :shock:

    I love the fact we have players on good wages, happily making a living while players like Adebayor and Tevez find their next move frustrating as nobody can afford their wages :roll:

    I don’t believe in capping wages but 200k per week is just ridiculous

  42. 42
    mark says:

    @Big Dave

    did you see the signage has been removed from St James.. :cry:

  43. 43
    mark says:

    lol bless the poor workers that had to take the signs down..

    Drivers passing the ground shouted ‘disgrace’ as a shame-faced worker – armed with a crowbar to prise off the letters – said: ‘I don’t want to do this, I should be doing this in the dark.’

    Read more:

  44. 44
    batty says:

    stardy ;-) :lol: billy boy :lol:

  45. 45
    Big Dave says:

    Ah theres Stardy out getting a bit of air and light :lol:
    Mark don’t listen to Stardy as he hates the fact the Troy was 100 times more popular and likeable than the pug ever was.

    Batts hows you me old bean all good I hope.
    Oh just skimming through and I might have missed but I don’t see many of the people that disliked Troy making the most of him not being on anymore ?? Or maybe some of them only came on to have a go at him ?

  46. 46
    Sharpy17 says:

    Like him or hate him as a person, Ashley is a billionaire businessman – with reports today stating that Sports Direct having made a substainal profit over the Xmas period … some much so that 2000 + staff are in line for a bonus.
    NUFC may be our beloved club, one we will support forever, regardless of league position or form. But to Mike Ashley it is a business, and while it is he will try and run it with the same level of business success as Sports Direct. That may mean that we don’t spend a fortune on players and at times have to sell some, but my love is for NUFC not one individual player and as long as NUFC are kept from a similar fate as Leeds, Pompey and Gers then I will ultimately be a happy fan!!!!

  47. 47
    kimtoon says:

    MARK @41- no i never saw it , what was he saying ?. Funny thing is i was talking to my dad earlier about good players stuck at clubs like Citeh who can’t get a game but can’t or won’t go elsewhere as they can’t get the wages. Clubs like City and Chelsea have distorted the game out of all porportion imo.
    APISAG@37 -Welcome to the blog. I’m not too worried about Cisse ,he’s very new to the PL and will take some time to get used to our game. He scored a cracker on his debut ,can’t ask for more than that imo. Also you need a shorter name :lol:

  48. 48

    @A PROUD INDONESIAN SELF ADOPTED GEORDIE im not to worried about cisse meself.To be fair to the lad hes had about a week to train with the team,dont think we will really see what he can do til next season meself.Once hes sussed things out like were the other players like to reciece the ball, whether they left or right footed,once hes sussed everything out i think you will then see what he can do :lol:

  49. 49
    Les Kellets grandson says:


    Introductions may be needed. I’m the grandson of the late great Les Kellet, world wresting champion 1967.

    I used to post on here under the name Troy Stavers.

    I left under unfortunate circumstances recently but the owner, Toonsy, has kindly apologised and I praise him for that.

    Any abuse welcome but make it light hearted please. ;-)

    Stardust you are a disgrace. ! That’s that out the way (anyone who doesn’t know, Stardust lived in the kennel at the back of mine)

    Let’s talk football. Good to be back. :lol:

  50. 50
    batty says:

    aye dave ya right .they maybe will be on lata :???:

  51. 51
    batty says:

    welcome :roll: :lol:

  52. 52
    Stardust says:

    Its the climb down of climb downs – Toonsy had nothing to apologise for you creep!

    Here he comes tail between his stumpy legs – love it – what a snivelling little crawler you are.

    Well at least Big Daves in for a reacharound again :lol: :lol: (with Batty watching) :lol: :lol:

  53. 53
    Stardust says:

    Off out later!

  54. 54
    mark says:


    He was playing the bigshot bragging what he could do with his money etc. Basically belittling ppl with nasty remarks. I thought he must of been hacked. Just looked, he’s deleted them now..

    It was worth of a mention in the papers, surprised it wasnt..

  55. 55
    batty says:

    Them 2 taking the signs down cant be toon fans ,ide tell them to stick there job :evil:

  56. 56

    was something about that on the arsenal blog i noticed this moining didnt he go crying to frimpong or whatever his name is :razz:

  57. 57
    APISAG (Indogeordie) says:

    @kimtoon i decided to change my name mate haha!!
    And i agree with both your opinions @kimtoon and @toonarmyelite. It was just a concern because hes wearing the number and sometimes expectation goes over the line. I still believe he’ll make it as idon’t expect to witness another millions flop which will in the end switch ashleys mind back to “you see??!! Nine millions give you nothing!!” and he starts becoming a stingy slimmer cockney again..

  58. 58
    batty says:

    now now stardy dont be gettin jealous you billy bullshitter you :x

  59. 59
    mark says:

    @Les Kellets grandson

    Has Ed banned you already :shock: ;-)

  60. 60
    andymag says:

    living in Scotland I’m loving this, the majority of footy fans at school are rangers supporters, don’t like any of them, all priks, everytime i tell them I support newcastle they instantly reply “shit”, i say “they’re not that bad”, “shit”, “how are they shit”, “we hammered them in that friendly a year and a bit ago”, “right so we’re the same team as the friendly team that faced you the season we came out of the championship?”, “aye” :roll: . Also to the people saying celtic will want to join the PL, they’ve both asked before, the FA turned them down, and if Scotland was to become an independent country (like hell it will :lol: ) don’t think mr Salmond would be too happy if they weren’t in their own country’s league. :mrgreen:

  61. 61
    Big Dave says:

    Troy good to see you back ;-) maybe now will see the back of stardy as he re attaches himself to Jabba like a big pile.
    APISAG give him a chance will you.

  62. 62
    kimtoon says:

    Mark@54- Just read the link lmao. Love the fact he got Frimpong to dig him out the hole he dug . Just goes to show money don’t buy class :lol:

  63. 63
    batty says:

    mark now be nice to him you know you have missed him :lol:

  64. 64
    mark says:


    aye, the link doesnt show all of the barnies he had.. he was getting a lot of abuse tho..

  65. 65
    mark says:

    @batty I’m always nice to Troy m8 ;-) and aye, I have missed him :cry:

    Where’s Stardy?, has he seen a ghost or summit :lol:

  66. 66
    Les Kellets grandson says:

    Cheers Batts. :razz:

    Get back in the kennel Dusty. (great name for a dog)


    Good article fella. I can’t knock that Ashley has sorted the finances out. I don’t accept that he did it by design. He has bumbled his way through and gambled on unknown players, new managers and bulldozing tactics to combine to work out for the good.

    They certainly have so far and credit to him for that. It could have been a lot less debt if he hadn’t have took us down by restricting the budget so drastically and selling assets do quickly. :shock:

  67. 67
    APISAG (Indogeordie) says:

    @bigdave dont get me wrong though mate. I am one who supports amyone wearing the jersey as long as they mention no good things about the unwashed. All i said were that he needed to fix those areas of his game and he’ll be hell a better player,as i mentioned in my first post,maybe those are just jetlags :-D

  68. 68

    just looked at ya link there same 1 i saw this moining,sounds a bit up himself dont he lmao :grin:

  69. 69
    mark says:


    I’m sure I’d be with 200k per week :lol:

  70. 70


  71. 71
    Big Dave says:

    I dare say we’ll see the Troy out Crew in a bit ranting and raving :lol:
    Mark yeah mateI seen the tweets, but I wasn’t sure if it was him or someone had hacked his. Surly no one can be that far up there on ass ?

  72. 72
    JoeSoap says:

    See they’ve chosen today to take a crowbar to the St James’s sign Ah………… what a shame!

  73. 73
    Pootle says:

    ” Mark – saying nothing to you I havent said to Troy – he knows my views – and I will slate him for it on here in the hope he gets banned forever – just like he deserves

    Batty – who moi?!!??”

    You are a troll of the same or higher order than Troy.
    You just post less.
    At least Troy occasionally added to debates without just trying to wind people up or insult them. Can’t really say the same about you.
    If he deserves banning, so do you. Can’t day I really remember him continually asking for people to be banned whether in jest or not.

    And, yes, I know you are best of friends/the same person.

  74. 74
    mark says:

    @Big Dave

    I don’t think Troys talking to me even tho I held his fort in his absence :lol:

  75. 75
    Les Kellets grandson says:


    I was just finding my feet on .com but I’ve always been loyal to this blog.

    I got a call from Toonsy and I responded.

    To be fair, it wouldn’t have been long before I caused an upset with some of them. :lol:

  76. 76
    Big Dave says:

    Mark is he still tweeting away as he was handing out lots of abuse on tues night ?
    Reet may get ready to head home, catch you’s later.

  77. 77
    TOONARMYELITE says: noticed this 1 as well this moining

  78. 78
    Pootle says:

    Just a small point.
    People often say things like ‘He must know what he’s doing cos he’s a biliionaire businessman, so we shouldn’t question him’.
    This is just appealling to authority.
    He is a successful businessman and some of his decisions for MUDCRABS have worked. Others have not.
    Just because he has been generally successful it does not mean he should not be questioned, and it does not mean he is incapable of making serious errors of judgement.
    Lots of his problems with debt at Newcastle stem from him not doing due diligence. It is not the first time he has done this and things haven’t turned out quite the way he hoped. Read his business history.

    Also, Harold Shipman was a successful GP. I think its fair to say most people would prefer not to go to him for medical advice.

    Having had previous successes in business does not make him immune from criticism, it does not imply every decision he makes is correct, and it does not remove the right of people who are affected by his decisions to question them.

  79. 79
    Pootle says:

    Lol. Why the fuck did Newcastle change to MUDCRABS????
    What the hell is a mudcrab and why is it in my phones dictionary???????

  80. 80

    to be honest most of my anger is towards our prevous owner the only good thing he done was enlarge the ground,nearly turned NUFC into the titanic mate :evil:

  81. 81
    Stardust says:

    Pootle – are you Troys Turtle? With or without shell? :lol:

  82. 82
    NorCal Toonfan says:

    Funny Pootle. I was trying to figure out the relevance of MUDCRABS…and why it was in all caps. Thought maybe it stood for something, but for the life of me i couldn’t figure it out.

  83. 83
    Les Kellets grandson says:


    sorry mate, my phone crashed.

    i was finding my feet on .com and im sure within a short period of time i would have had a hate squad after me. :lol:


    cheers for the back up. noted and appreciated ;-)
    I think everyone knows Stardust is just on the wind up and Toonsy knows to ignore him.

    Regarding the Ashley points, Freddie Shepherd was a multi millionaire but some who criticise Shepherd, praise Ashley cos hes a successful businessman.

    Was Shepherd not?

  84. 84
    Pootle says:

    Assuming that its true that he ‘almost turned us into the titanic’, how do you know that once the recession hit Shepherd wouldn’t have took similar measures as Ashley to deal with finances?

    I think Shepherd was a buffoon and at times made obviously stupid decisions (many of which were echoed by Ashley initially), but saying he did nothing good is as stupid as saying Ashley did nothing good.

  85. 85
    Stardust says:

    Thing is Pittlecrabs most of the regular long time posters on here know my views, no point in saying them over and over.

    Though I do accept newbies like yourself might not know what my views are so I can seem like I don’t have many opinions.

  86. 86
    Les Kellets grandson says:


    Phone died on me.

  87. 87

    if i rember right wernt it shepard got caught by the news of the world on tape taking the piss out of geordies :roll:

  88. 88
    Pootle says:

    Stardust, do you ever actually ever say anything worth listening to?
    I mean, ever?

    You are a worse troll than Troy and yet the people you try to wind up show at least a little bit of dignity in not constantly calling for you to be banned.

  89. 89
    Les Kellets grandson says:


    I wasn’t ignoring you. My phone fell down the bog and landed on a turd. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to retrieve it but in the end I just stuck my heed doon the bog and pulled it oot with my teeth.
    The bloody phone was left in the bog and I was stood with a turn in my gob.
    Not nice like. :shock:


    Thanks for your backing fella. Noted and appreciated. ;-)

    Regards Stardumps, just ignore him. He’s the most irritating weasel there is. He has loads of opinions but they’re are just gash.

    Regards Ashley. I find it ironic that many praise Ashley as an astute businessman and because he’s been successful he must know what he’s doing.
    Was Freddie Shepherd not a successful businessman. Many who praise Ashley scoff at Shepherd.

    Can’t have it both ways . :shock:

  90. 90
    toonsy says:

    Mudcrabs :lol:

    Just twisting my face trying to work out what it was :lol:

  91. 91
    Sharpy17 says:

    Pootle – fair enough he didn’t do his due diligence process properly but the fact is that the debt was there before he came in and he has addressed it.
    I think it’s fair to say that he has made some piss poor decisions, but most of those were when he first took the club over, and I think he simply had some really poor advisors around him at the time. I think he wanted to allow others to run the club whilst he could be a fan. I think since he stopped all that stupidity and took ownership of the running of the we have become so much better.

    With all due respect though mate, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to compare him with or mention Harold Shipman in the same sentence as Mike Ashley – it just pisses on the previous valid comments you made.

  92. 92
    Toon Chicken says:

    Mudcrabs!!?? :lol: Isn’t that what you catch from shagging dorty slappers from Seaburn? :lol:

  93. 93
    Pootle says:

    Im not a Shepherd fan. I thought him to be a crass doltard.
    But he too was a successful businessman Lol.
    He brought in Bobby Robson, and saw us qualifying for Europe.
    I’m just saying that not everything he did was bad.
    Like Ashley, some stuff was good and some stuff was bad.

    Also, this ‘We would have sunk under Shepherd” assumes that he wouldn’t have made changes to the way the club was run once the financial crisis started kicking in.
    No one can know what would have happened, or how Shepherd would have reacted.
    We may well have sunk, but equally he could have taken similar measures as Ashley with regards to wages etc.

  94. 94
    Les Kellets grandson says:

    How do you get a photo on your avatar again? :shock:

  95. 95
    Pootle says:

    TC – LOL.

  96. 96
    mark says:

    “Harold Shipman in the same sentence as Mike Ashley..”

    In a way tho they both require patience :shock: :roll:

  97. 97

    POOTLE and puting harold shipman and ma in the same sentence is border line slander mate :lol:

  98. 98
    Stardust says:

    Pittlecrabs – I tend not to hissyfit like your last post fella, you always seem to see the downside and bad in folks – please feel free to bring out the long list of people I have wrongly had banter with on here – I wait with baited breath – ooh the drama.

    I always see the objective and upside – even in your posts I see the good intentioned negativity you have – I appreciate the fact that you try to make the world a better place and brighten the room up with your arrival – bravo!

  99. 99
    Pootle says:

    For Gods sake Sharpy. I’m not comparing Shipman to Ashley.

    I’m demonstrating that appealing to authority is a bad way to make judgements on the validity of a persons credentials.
    Shipman was a deliberately extreme version of the appeal to authority as it helps highlight why it is a bad way to judge peoples abilities and the trustworthyness of their judgements.

  100. 100
    Pootle says:

    Stardust. Save the planet and stop wasting oxygen.

  101. 101
    Pootle says:


    Now that was quality punnery!

  102. 102
    Big Dave says:

    Just having a look at that pic and must say the FCB has lost a fair bit of weight, I heard a rumor that its all down to Stardy helping him burn the calories.
    Pootle its funny the way some bloggers turn a blind eye to the bad shit that Jabba has done and only see the good, but with FFS they forget about the good and only want to talk about the bad :???:
    Some of them even had a crystal ball that was telling them we WERE going to do a Leeds :lol:

  103. 103
    Pootle says:

    TAE – yes shepherd made a right twat of himself at times.
    Which is unlike Ashley and Llambias, how, exactly?

  104. 104
    Les Kellets grandson says:

    It’s got to be said. Shepherd deserved some criticism but he also deserved a huge amount of credit.

    It throws critics of Shepherd in the air, when you look at Ashley’s original policy of spending big money on Colo, Smith, Xisco when taking over from Shepherd.

    Shepherd may have called the right shots in the relegation season by not selling off assets such as Milner , Zog and Given. That big mistake by Ashley compounded the huge debt situation.

  105. 105

    for a start hes never been caught on tape slaging off the geordie ladies has he name me something ashley has done thats worse than that :evil:

  106. 106
    Pootle says:

    For what it worth Sharpy, for clarity, I think Ashley has made some good decisions and some bad. Much like Shepherd.
    Yes our wages have been cut and financial streamlining has been taking place but most companies are undergoing this process due to the ongoing worldwide financial crisis. Ashley isn’t being unique in this. Shepherd would more than likely have done the same sort of thing – we can never know who would have been more successful at it either.

  107. 107
    Pootle says:

    He got us relegated, bought lots of shit players because Dennis Wise said so, tried to sell us to some Arabs but took the piss out of them in doing it, got the clubs name dragged through the courts where it was proven they deliberately lied to the fans, appointed JFK, treat both CH and AS uneccessarily disrespectfully with regards to the managers job, made Pardew look a right twat on a few occasions regarding transfers etc.

    Didn’t due due diligence and actually increased the debt the club was in.
    Plastered logos all over the stadium for nothing and renamed it for even less.

    That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure I could come up with more.

  108. 108
    Big Dave says:

    TOONARMYELITE do you not think changing the name of SJP is worse than FFS bragging and acting a d1ck while drinking ?

  109. 109
    Big Dave says:

    What about relegation

  110. 110

    dint really like the name change but we wont be the only team doing it :roll:

  111. 111
    Big Dave says:

    TAE actually forget about it if you think what FFS has done is worse then thats your choice

  112. 112
    Big Dave says:

    You didn’t really like the name change :lol: :lol: :lol:
    as for what other clubs do I don’t really give a shit thats up to them. But I would be pretty certain you wont see OT or Klanfield getting thier name changed

  113. 113

    and whos to say we would not have been relegated under ffs :roll:

  114. 114
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    I don’t believe anyone wants Shepherd back.

    The only point that is being made, is that Ashley seems to have plaudits who put trust in him for the sole reason he’s a very successful businessman.
    Many of those same people slag Shepherd off for being clueless.

    Was Shepherd not a successful businessman?

    Answer the point in question and not divert to other issues.

  115. 115
    MDS says:

    It’s fair to say that the previous owners did some good did some good just as it’s fair to say ashley has done some bad. But I think it’s hard to dispute that, depsite the rough times, the club is in better shape today than is was the day Ashley bought it.

  116. 116
    Stardust says:

    Pittlecrabs – sighhhhhhhhhh – as usual your lack of iq shows – I tend not to hissyfit like your last post fella – never post in anger fella or you miss the basics of rationale – its a pre-requisite for debate.

    You always seem to see the downside and bad in folks – please feel free to bring out the long list of people I have wrongly had banter with on here – I feel I know who I can enjoy it with – and never take it personally in return – its called being secure in oneself – I wait with baited breath – ooh the drama.

    I always see the objective and upside – even in your posts I see the good intentioned negativity you have – I appreciate the fact that you try to make the world a better place and brighten the room up with your arrival – so bravo for that!

  117. 117
    mark says:

    tbh I wasnt that bothered about FFS calling the Geordie women slags. I was more pissed off with the NoTW for setting us up because we were doing well..

    FFS was just a mug for letting his lips loose..

    NoTW got their comeuppance tho :grin:

  118. 118
    JJ says:

    Ashley as a businessman is doing a great job.

    And the fact that the football club is a business, it all means well for the future.

    But what I can’t stand about him is the bullshit deceiving manner in which he goes about that business.
    He treats fans like they are idiots by feeding them garbage like “showcaseing the stadium to sponsors” instead of just telling the truth… That he wants to use the stadium to advertise his business.

    He lies so often that not even the manager knows where he really stands, and he could have the rug pulled from him at any time.

    He considers Sports Direct and Newcastle as seperate entities until it suits him… We could get far more corperate sponsorship which would help us greatly financially.

    Hopefully he gets his loan back quickly and then pisses off, handing us over to an owner who has a bit of passion to go along with his business sense…

    People talk about the money he’s put in… But he only did it because he wants to make.the club a more sellable asset.
    He already tried to flight us… But then realised he was stuck with us…

    Personally, I think he could become a great owner… But the passion for the club just isn’t there. And its clear to see…

  119. 119

    as for old trafford wait and see mate will happen sooner or later only a matter of time,man utd struggleing with major depts,think we already seeing the wheels fall off there,cant even keep there star youngters these days,times are change mate :lol:

  120. 120
    Big Dave says:

    TAE @ 111 who’s to say we would have ?? we’re not using crystal balls or playing could have, would have, should have now the fact is we never got relegated under FFS :grin:

  121. 121
    JJ says:


    Couldn’t stay away long could you? :roll:
    Finished your hissy fit yet? :lol:

  122. 122
    Big Dave says:

    TAE who’s the star youngsters they can’t keep hold off ???

  123. 123
    MDS says:

    February 16, 2012 at 18:01
    and whos to say we would not have been relegated under ffs
    Facet is we will never know either way. But one thing is clear- the previous regime would have had to sell and trim the wage bill significantly to keep the club afloat. And by doing that, would have risked relegation. We were in a no win situation really

  124. 124
    Sharpy17 says:

    Pootle – I sort of picked up that was your aim but MA hasn’t killed anyone – I perhaps would have used the gaffers of RBS as an example.

    Big Dave – I dont think MA is s saviour and as I said earlier he made some real stinkers when he first took over, we can discuss them if you wish but I’d sooner focus on the here and now. People can make mistakes, it’s about whether they learn from them.
    Regarding the renaming of the ground, I dont think he’s doing it to piss people off as I’m sure some people believe. We all saw the article posted last week regarding NUFC current financial standing. I’m sure if renaming the ground wasn’t so lucrative it wouldn’t even be considered. I for one hate the idea and it will always be SJP – sign or no sign. But I love the club more and if selling the name of the ground keeps our club competing with the top clubs then so be it.

    On a different note – watching Ajax v Man Utd on channel 5. Both playing really strong teams considering it’s the Europa cup. De Jong and the Belgium lad both playing for Ajax

  125. 125

    he was a bussiness man but ashley is also a biussiness man and in the dog eat dog world ashley has bigger teeth answer ya question mate :roll:

  126. 126
    Archie Brand says:

    Always wondered what the avatar of Les Kellet was all about.

  127. 127
    Big Dave says:

    Sharpy @ 122 hand on your heart do you really believe that anyone is going to buy the name or do you think it will stay as the SDA ??

  128. 128
    mark says:

    @119 the most monumental hissyfit on this blog (that I can recall). :)

    two days!! lol wo ho wo

  129. 129
    Big Dave says:


  130. 130
    Archie Brand says:

    I dont think we shouldn’t question Ashley, just because he’s successful, but we should have had a bit of confidence that when it all goes pear shaped he had the nous to try to put it right.

    Unfortunately we didnt have that confidence, hence the abuse we gave him

    Shit no, he didnt get it right on purpose.

    So, where is Lee Clark going to end up?

  131. 131
    Pootle says:

    I think Shepherd was taking us nowhere. It seemed like he was meddling in buying players leading to us getting people like Owen and Kluivert. It’s like he was trying to get big names to wow the fans but not giving enough regard to the actual quality of the football they brought.

    That said there were LOTS of Newcastle fans who thought paying that much for Owen was a good idea. I just hope they aren’t the ones now vilifying Shepherd for actually doing it!

    At the time Shepherd was just doing what most football clubs and most the country were doing. Embracing the buy now pay later culture promoted by banks and politicians worldwide.

    Ashley is taking us forward now after initially taking us backward quite a bit.
    I will start praising him if he continues to take us forward consistently and steadily. For me, he is currently making ammends for his disastrous first few years here and its too soon to be making any big claims about his ambitions or our potential under him.
    I still think he is as surprised as most fans seem to be with how much Pardew has managed to wring out of our impoverished squad.
    The real proof of his intentions will be laid bare by our dealings in the summer.

  132. 132
    wolfie says:

    The only problem we had with Shepherd was his vision for today mentality and forget about the future until we cross that bridge.
    Ashleys vision is more purse strings but very effective and it’s geared for the future all the way from top to bottom and other clubs will have to fall into line.

    You only have to look at Rangers to see just what reckless spending can do in latter years when your expensively bought players of earlier times have bled you dry and are worthless.

  133. 133
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    So because he’s a more successful businessman than Freddie Shepherd in terms of wealth, that makes him more knowledgeable about running a football club. ?

    The only advantage he does have over Shepherd is that he can delve into his enormous wealth to invest in the best players. We know he won’t do that though don’t we?

  134. 134
    Big Dave says:

    Archie Brand > So, where is Lee Clark going to end up?
    I still can’t work that one out :???:

  135. 135

    @BIG DAVE118 to be honest with the dept the club was in and that aint ashleys fault and even you got to admit that 1, think it would of been the same result mate, but thats just my opion and i can see you probally think otherwise :o

  136. 136
    Archie Brand says:

    Dont think its a case of whether or not we would have gone down.
    More a case of what our financial state would be now. Both FFS and SJH have said the club was F*@ked up financially when they sold.

    Or should I say bailed out (SJH at least)

  137. 137
    wolfie says:

    Make no mistake..We were going downwards under Shepherd and the inevitable would have happened under him simply because the club was pot less and in bad debt and the running could not be sustained with players on the wages they were on.
    Like him or hate him but Ashley has saved this club from sinking like a Mafia grass tied to a massive rock and flung over the end of a pier. :grin:

  138. 138
    Pootle says:

    Lol. Stardust I’ve just realised that you don’t actually know that you’re a classic internet troll.
    Fancy that! An intellect so immense and yet such pitiful self awareness.

    What have you added to the discussion of the topic that hasn’t been related to Troy or you trying to wind people up in your usual ‘hilarious’ fashion?

  139. 139
    Big Dave says:

    TAE how much debt were we in :?:

  140. 140
    Big Dave says:

    Pootle @ 136 your better of ignoring the troll must others do and just throw an odd scrap at him every now and again :lol:

  141. 141
    Pootle says:

    Shepherds vision was the same as most football clubs and many businesses at that time. He would have had to change his vision once the global downturn was underway. Thats all Ashley has done.

  142. 142
    JJ says:

    I think Shepherd was more astute when it came to generating income through the football club through sponsorships and building the Newcastle brand…
    However, it was also a downside as he shouldnt have paid excessive wages to overvalued players.
    The best thing Ashley has done is set up a decent scouting network and not get held to randsom.
    The rest he has been pathetic… IMO

  143. 143
    Archie Brand says:

    Bit of a bizarre time to sack him when Huddersfield were doing so well.

    Is he an option for Wolves, or might we see him turn up here in some capacity??

  144. 144
    Pootle says:

    TAE – Ashley increased the debt through his own bad decision making.
    If Ashley was in charge during the ‘boom’ years of the economy he might well have run things the same way Shepherd did. Banks were encouraging that sort of behaviour, and football clubs weren’t shy in excessive spending.

  145. 145
    MDS says:

    Archie- people were mentioning Leeds as a possibility yesterday

  146. 146
    wolfie says:

    POOTLE@139, It was too late for Shepherd to change any vision mate, the damage was already done.
    The melt down was already in motion….the chain reaction was getting more critical by the second, it was our China syndrome.
    The cure came under the name of Mike Ashley and in time most fans will accept that after seeing the wider screen…the bigger picture…..the light at the end of that dark and long tunnel….the green fields from the barren desert. :grin:

  147. 147
    Big Dave says:

    Archie I was reading he had only lost 3 in 55 games I think it was, and the paper was linking him to Leeds :???: really bizzare one sacking him for a record like that

  148. 148
    Sharpy17 says:

    Mike Ashley may have been in charge when we were relegated but I dont believe it was down to him that we were.
    The vast majority of well overpaid players who didn’t give a shit whether Newcastle won, lost or drew were at the club and sign up on ridiculously lucrative contracts with no relegation clause built in thanks to our previous board.
    Ashley has put his own money into the club and has cleared debt. Debt that we accrued thanks to the previous board favouring loans with huge interest repayments and spending 4 yrs worth of sponpsorship money on one injury prone, self obsessed little prick.

    Ashley isn’t a saviour, he has made some big mistakes. But are we in a better position now then 5yrs ago – yes – and it’s for that reason that the good things he’s done must outweigh the bad.

  149. 149
    wolfie says:

    Correct Sharpy, i agree @146.

  150. 150

    between 120 mil to 150 mil in dept with another lose on top of that of anywere between 40 to 60 mil the dept was about to sprial out of control in my opion

  151. 151
    MDS says:

    I applaud Ashley for getting the books in order. But i also agree with those that say he probably would have run the club like sheppard did if it wasn’t for relegation and the econimic downturn.

    But seriosuly, the previous regime left the club’s finances a shambles. Somebody would have had to eventually pay the piper…

  152. 152
    Pootle says:

    ” Make no mistake..We were going downwards under Shepherd and the inevitable would have happened under him simply because the club was pot less and in bad debt and the running could not be sustained with players on the wages they were on.”

    So Shepherd would have had to sell off some players and sort the finances out. Which is all Ashley did.
    If Shepherd failed to do that we MAY have ended up in trouble but there is no way of knowing that at all. For all we know he might have done it quicker and more efficiently than Ashley did!

    You like Ashley and you don’t like Shepherd. The rest of your argument is just supposition and guesswork to support your belief that Ashley is good and Shepherd is bad.

  153. 153
    wolfie says:

    Sir John hall and Shepherd were not stupid..they sold Ashley a dud, or what they thought was a dud..I hate them for that because they basically sold this club down the river like an unscrupulous car dealer selling a clapped out reliant robin with the mileage on the clock altered.
    They got their nice little earner and sat back laughing at Ashley.
    Ashley is having the last laugh though by proving how clever he really is.

  154. 154

    im sure our wage bill was somewere round the 70 mil mark :shock:

  155. 155
    Archie Brand says:

    Bloody hell Stardust. A bit too cheery for this posting.
    Your not one of the grinning oaf brigade are you?

  156. 156
    Archie Brand says:

    Aye – apparently set the record for teh most consecutive unbeaten games in English soccer.
    Think Leeds would be a good move for him.

  157. 157
    Big Dave says:

    TAE £120 – 150 mil :shock: where did you get that from :?:

  158. 158
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    Have to disagre as it’s been pointed out that it was Ashley who sold off Milner, Zog and Given in the relegation season.

    Big mistake that compounded the situation. You can’t give credit for promotion if you don’t for relegation.

    I couldn’t see Shepherd selling those at that particular time.

    The facts are, only Man City are the only ones living similar to the way we were. No matter who was in charge they would have had to change.

    JJ was right in suggesting Ashley certainly got the scouting system right.
    However that was after being stung by Wise and his video compilation!

  159. 159
    wolfie says:

    POOTLE, @150, Shepherd had no money…Zilch to put into the club..he was potless and selling all the players at the club at that time wouldn’t have made him anything much.
    Shepherd had this club in unreal debt mate and that’s not supposition and hating him and loving Ashley, it’s about seeing what is happening now to what was certain to happen under Shepherd.

    No matter which way you look at it Pootle. there was no way in hell that Shepherd could have got this club out of the mire as it was too far gone cash wise for him to save, even with selling all the players.

  160. 160
    MDS says:

    The debts were 111m when ashley bough the club, supposedly. They are still around that level but now they are interest free to Ashley rather then owed to a bank charging interest.

  161. 161
    Archie Brand says:

    We were screwed under Shepherd and Hall. Thats not supposition or guesswork. They have admitted that their business model was flawed and we were going under.
    I liked Hall and Shepherd, they were local heroes, but as is usually the case , we found out later that all was not as it seemed.

    Time to move on and see what Ashley can do.

  162. 162
    MDS says:

    I actually have to agree with bobby- Ashley’s contribution to relegation was selling those players mid season. He took a big gamble and lost. He should have waited until the end of the season and then remade the squad entirely.

  163. 163
    Les Kellets Grandson says:

    @big Dave

    You must be fizzin watching the tv pictures of the St James Park signs being taken down.

    And for what? Nothing other than to complete the Spotrs Direct Warehouse. I can’t see any club being interested in buying the naming rights knowing that the majority of fans are against it.

    A poisoned chalice, me thinks. :-/

  164. 164
    wolfie says:

    Milner, Zog and Given wanted out, they had no heart, no fight, so why keep them.
    We done right getting shot.

  165. 165
    Big Dave says:

    TAE while your trying to work out the £120 – 150mill debt :grin: who’s the star youngsters Manure can’t keep hold off ???

  166. 166
    Sharpy17 says:

    Big Dave – I honesty believe we will sell the ground name to a big firm … particularly if we get Europe.
    SJP is being used during the Olympics and by then we will know if European footy will be played there next season. If it is then one of the companies involved in sponsoring the Olympics will take it on.
    The purpose of SDA is to allow fans to vent their hatred of the idea on Ashley rather than the new co. taking it on and also to showcase the ground to prospective investors, to kinda say imagine your company name where ours is.

  167. 167
    Les Kellets Grandson says:

    —- can’t see any company being interest rather—-

  168. 168
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    They wanted out because the club were showing no ambition.

    Milner was sold against Keegans wishes. Don’t tell me Milner wanted to leave with KK as manager. ;-/

  169. 169
    Big Dave says:

    Troy I hand on my heart can’t see anyone wanting to be involved in it and I don’t think that is Jabba’s intentions either. It tears me apart seeing it happen but what is even worse is that some of our own fans don’t really give a shit :evil:

  170. 170

    LES KELLETS GRANDSON the thing with man city spending like we used to is they got a 400 million sponser for the next 10 years,so they haveing allready got round the new rules coming in :???: BIG DAVE from various reports at the time just depending on which 1 ya read :lol:

  171. 171
    wolfie says:

    Fans can piss and moan about the signs being taken down and replaced until the cows come home but it will always be St James’ park in every fans mind so I don’t see an issue to be honest.

    How many fans tell you that they are going to St James’ park to watch the game?
    How many fans tell you they are going to watch Newcastle at home?

    Ashley is dragging the club into the new era where advertising and such is king and Ashley is the king of the castle and is doing a fantastic job as far as I’m concerned.

  172. 172
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    Do you really believe a company will put their name to it?

    I believe Richard Bransons reaction to the idea should give you the answer. :-/

  173. 173
    Big Dave says:

    Sharpy17 the name sports direct arena will be beamed all around the world, why would Jabba let someone else have that privilege.
    When his sole reason for buying us was to globally market sports direct :?: :?:
    would that make sense :?:

  174. 174
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    It won’t always be SJP.

    It’s not now and sports pundits are now referring to it as the Sports Direct Arena.

    It would soften the blow if Ashley put £10m into the club per season.

    Do you not find that a disgrace?

  175. 175
    wolfie says:

    LES, no I don’t find it a disgrace because he owns the club so he’s entitled to do as he pleases with signs and stuff if it helps his business, which is both Newcastle united and Sports direct.
    If he’s a success, then ultimately we become a success alongside so everyone’s a winner.

    Sometimes it takes harsh decisions to move forward and only the bravest take them against opposition.

  176. 176

    if you owned 2 bussiness and some1 demand you throw another 10 mil in to advertise ya other bussiness, would you not find that a disgrace.To be honest i cant see the nameing rights to the ground taken til we get into european football meself :grin:

  177. 177
    Big Dave says:

    Les Kellets Grandson your wasting your time lad :grin: you might have more luck with Dusty ;-)

  178. 178
    Les Kellets Grandson says:


    You seem to be under the misconception that the profits of Sports Direct and The Toon are one and the same.

    They aren’t. If SD makes £10m profit, you won’t see that being spent on a player.

    He has his budget based solely on the Toons turnover not SD’s.

    Howay fella, you aren’t that blinkered are you?

  179. 179
    Sharpy17 says:

    Big Dave,

    As a businessman that he is he knows that the sponsorship money is guaranteed.

    For argument sake let’s just say that selling the name for the next 3yrs generates £6m.
    He knows that keeping it as SDA will not raise the profile to such a level whereby SD would make a £6m profit

  180. 180
    3hourswasted says:

    anyone interested in understanding the difference between what Fat Freddy did and what Ashley did regarding the clubs finances should read this:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the club were a disaster waiting to happen while Fat Freddy was in charge. Compare how he mortgaged the club against future sponsorship deals, how much money he took out of the club, how he treated Bobby Robson the list is endless.

    Sure Ashley made some catastrophic mistakes at the start and some will be very hard to forgive but the bottom line is he has stabilised the club’s finances – put over £100 million+ (as an interest free loan) into the club to pay off fat Freddie’s debt mountain and put in a further £40+ million to keep the club afloat and try and get us back to the Premiership (OK he may be protecting his investment but nevertheless it is difficult to see how the club could have survived relegation and the financial crash had Freddy still been in charge – there was nowhere to go for more money and we would have been truly fecked just like Rangers/Portsmouth/Leeds IMO. Here is a quote from the article above:

    “More to the point, Ashley’s loans have been critical to the club’s survival, as it is far from clear that they would have managed to secure refinancing from the debt market. For example, Barclays Bank has insisted on securing its lending on assets and cash from transfer fees, while the last loan obtained by the previous regime under chairman Freddy Shepherd was at the prohibitively expensive interest rate of 11.72%.”……..
    there is no doubt that Mike Ashley has put his hand in his pocket to keep the club going. The unpalatable truth is that Newcastle United are heavily reliant on the support of their charmless owner. In the last two years, he has put in £111 million of new loans, initially to repay £70 million of expensive bank loans, but also providing £41 million of working capital on top of that (plus the £25.5 million subsequent to the books closing). Looking at the 2009 cash flow statement, his backing was required to help fund a £24 million loss from operating activities plus £17 million of net spend on new players, many of which were signed in previous periods, though most of the shortfall was financed by the increase in the overdraft.
    In contrast to Ashley, the former owners did very nicely out of their investment in Newcastle United, thank you very much. In fact, they absolutely coined it with the Halls (Sir John and Douglas) receiving a total of £95 million over the years, while the Shepherds (Freddy and Bruce) had to make do with £55 million. The Halls’ money comprised £55 million from the sale to Ashley, £20 million from previous share sales (to NTL and the club itself), £15 million from dividends and £5 million in salary payments, while the Shepherds’ money came from £38 million Ashley sale, £7 million dividends and £5 million salaries.
    And what was the result of these staggering payments? After years of rank bad management, they left the club in an appalling mess: a £30 million loss; £70 million of debt plus £27 million owing transfer fees; extremely limited borrowing capacity, as all assets and income streams had already been used to secure loans; and a bloated wage bill of aging mercenaries on generous long-term contracts.”

    As it stands Ashley will have already taken back about £40 million of his circa £150 million loans according to the last accounts so he is already getting his money back. Even if he trousered the whole of the £35 million Carroll money on top of that he would still be owed about £55 million. Compare that to what fat Freddy took out of the club above.

    I don’t like Ashley but there is no doubt he has turned the club’s finances round despite relegation – we sit 6th and 1 point off 4th place as we speak and have the nucleus of a very good team I very much doubt that the same would have been achieved under Freddy but of course there is no way of knowing. I know who I would rather have running the club though :smile:

  181. 181
    Big Dave says:

    Sharpy I think SD are allready doing pretty well from they started using us as a giant advertisement hoarding.
    So what your saying is that our clubs history and tradition is worth a mere £2 mill a yr :shock:

  182. 182
    Stardust says:

    Pittle “At the time Shepherd was just doing what most football clubs and most the country were doing. Embracing the buy now pay later culture promoted by banks and politicians worldwide.”

    For gods sake he was front loading income and spreading out payments to produce short term spikes in the accounts to allow the club to be financially raped into his own pocket via dividends and other payments.

    Pittle – you’ve just shown you had no understanding of what really happened.

  183. 183
    Sharpy17 says:

    Wow Davey lad … they’re some words to be putting in my mouth!! … You trying to get me lynched on here or what?! :twisted: :lol:

    Nope, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I used that sum for arguments sake as I didn’t want to use a largely unrealistic figure but even if I had have said £20m a season I still don’t believe that would be worth our history or tradition.

    I’m under the impression that Ashley can only use SD as a show case for so long though, then SD would have to become official sponsors and pay for the advertising rights, which of course would become alot more expensive for SD.

  184. 184
    Big Dave says:

    Sharpy i’ll back you from the lynch mob ;-) :lol:
    “I still don’t believe that would be worth our history or tradition.” now I agree with you there lad ;-)

  185. 185
    Pootle says:

    Sigh. Silly little Stardust. I’m talking about the buying policy of the players, not the various financial shennanigans for increasing his own take.
    You total cock.
    The financial fiddles to benefit his own ends are similar to what Ashley does with screwing the advertising rights to boost his other business.
    Run along now, silly, sad little troll.

  186. 186
    Pootle says:

    I’m not condoning what Fat Fred was doing at all. I have no doubt if things had continued the way they were things would have went tits up. That presupposes that nothing would have changed at all if Ashley had come in then. There are many things that could have changed and been done differently. Saying ‘we definitely would have went under if Shepherd had continued the way we were going’ is plainly ridiculous because we can’t definitely say that things would have continued the way they were. Allsorts of scenarios could have taken place if Shepherd had stayed on longer, including another buyer coming in at some point.

    Archie I haven’t read where SJH and Fat Fred said that the club would have definitely went under if they stayed in charge. Have you got a link or something?

  187. 187
    Archie Brand says:


    Sorry mate, no link – read it months ago.

    Remember Hall particularly was quite adamant that their way of doing business could not have continued for much longer without having serious consequences for the club.

    I’m sure its out there somewhere if you have the desire…..

  188. 188
    Pootle says:

    Yeah Archie but that’s ALL I’m saying.

    If things continued the way they were we would have been in real trouble.
    No one can know if things would have continued the way they were.
    There is absolutely no way of knowing at all.
    Wolfie will argue that Ashley was good because if Shepherd continued we would have went bust.
    You cannot use that as a valid means of argument.
    For all we know once the credit crunch got hold Shepherd could have taken any number of measures – some may have much improved the fortunes of the club, some may have ruined it. We cannot argue that either of those options were certain, because we can never know.

    I’m not arguing that Shepherd was better.

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