I’ve been having a good deep think lately about how far this club can go under this regime and I have come to the conclusion that if it continues to progress, however slow, I think we can actually legitimately challenge up top, bordering on a flirt with the title within another five years or less.
Call me crazy, which I’m sure many will with this bold statement, but I’m being serious and I’ll explain why.
Let’s concentrate on Ashley’s business plan first and foremost. Naturally as I’ve said, many fans will not see anything positive in what he’s doing and will dine on the negatives or any mistakes he makes and will refuse to accept any good that he’s trying to achieve based on the fact that he’s a Cockney and stuff he’s done in the past that they won’t forgive him for. You all know what I’m on about so I won’t dig up old ground.
Now getting back to why I think we can actually progress and keep progressing in a steady form.
First of all, try looking at Ashley first and foremost as a businessman and then a club owner and then a NUFC supporter, and then lastly a football fan and this is important to distinguish the two. Fan/supporter.
For NUFC to survive and move on, we have to have advertisements in place and also sponsors, plus TV revenue and paying fans at the turnstiles. How we gain the sponsors or advertising is irrelevant as long as it pays the way for the club.
Now Mike Ashley has many business interests and his biggest is Sports Direct which is directly linked with the club now as in advertising and the naming rights of the ground. Every fan is proud of the stadium and many don’t want to see it covered in what they class as tacky adverts. The problem here is, what is deemed less tacky and is everything black and white?
It stands to reason that Ashley’s goal is to expand his empire, (Sports Direct) as we can see it literally from the rooftops. So we know his goal is to create more wealth for himself and also make Sports Direct a more global name which then makes that company worth more and in doing so, it makes it more successful in being able to compete against bigger markets out there, including global ones.
Now he knows that this is achievable but he also knows that wise men sing and only fools rush in. So even he has to sit back and look at the bigger picture and progress it carefully across the globe and one major benefit he has is that he owns a football club, and not just an ordinary football club.
Newcastle United are known worldwide but just knowing of this club, doesn’t help Ashley’s other brand unless it’s put more in the face of people, which naturally comes via TV sports and such. Now for all this to come to fruition, he also knows that his other interest (NUFC) needs to become as successful as is humanly possible and to achieve that, it has to be managed carefully and correctly with the same wise men sing, only fools rush in mentality.
What appears to be a slow burner to some fans is actually a fast track compared to how we have laboured for years and years and never quite gained much high ground because for every action we took in those days, there was ultimately a reaction which kept us dangling constantly.
We know we are making progress because fans are actually bemoaning drawing with certain teams or losing against certain teams that a few years back would have meant certain defeat, especially our London headaches in always coming away with nothing.
Things have changed, and have changed for the better but the arguments still burn that we will lose all our players and not replace. But we are replacing and we are replacing with better quality each time but we admittedly do not have a massive squad of quality.
The fact is though, in this transitional period, we are also bearing some of the fruits of our academies and are looking to add some more quality to the squad very soon. Up to now, we keep moving forward and it’s testament that we are when fans are calling this latter part of the year a disaster, when we are sitting in 6th place with an eight point cushion from 7thand level on points with 5th placed Chelsea.
Ashley had a five year plan to put this club back on it’s feet and progress from there and if you check your calenders, he is ahead of schedule after a nasty start, a setback but he rode it and we are still on track.
We are also on track to carry on from here in a richer vein, not just on the pitch but in the transfer coffers as I’m sure we are in a position to actually make that next prudent step up.
It’s realistic for me to think and believe that if this carries on and Ashley is allowed to pursue the clever avenue he’s taking , it will ultimately catapult us into what will be known as one of the top six by word of every fans mouths and I don’t just mean NUFC fans either.
It will mean we are finally on the map and can then challenge at the top for the ultimate prize of being top and it can be done in the next five years going at this current rate.
I may be called delusional and in cuckoo land but if anyone cares to open up their mind and take a massive step back and weigh it all up, then some might see that Ashley has concocted a recipe for success and with a few more ingredients and some careful mixing, his recipe will become a hit ‘globally’ and NUFC and Sports Direct will walk hand in hand into the future as a marriage made in heaven.
Ashley is a buisnessman first, as it should be and he is a NUFC supporter second (collateral wise) and lastly he is a fan and that’s why his plan will work because if he was a fan first, then he would think like a fan and act like a fan and give the fans what he as a fan wants, which is all the trimmings to make them and him happy at any cost, which ultimately cannot be sustained.
So how far can we really go in the next five years under this regime?