How far can we go?

Mike Ashley

Ashley looking to the future?
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?

259 thoughts on “How far can we go?

  1. Anyway how many of us haven’t been desperate to buy a car ‘before the other guy’ or a house or a used whatever only to find there is something the seller didn’t mention that will need fixing afterwards. This just shows how keen Ashley was to buy the club IMO. If it was Blacks leisure or whatever he would probably do all the check ect. but this was a ‘hobby’ he didn’t have his business head on for the first couple of years, then realised he had cocked up and now we are getting the full MA experience, serious business style.


  2. POOTLE@224, you go on about me twisting things and you are doing exactly that.

    You twist it all to suit yourself as well, so who’s right or wrong here?

    You wrote this……..It’s pleasing to know that you think Xisco and particularly Nacho were the type of deals the club needed to be doing.
    It’s good to know that you think YouTube scouting is in the best interests of the club.
    It’s good to know you care about South American agents whose palms need greasing.

    What the hell are you taking about, I’ve said no such thing. πŸ˜†


  3. Yes. I was being sarcastic. Because you’ll bottle the question about whether the Wise method was good for the club.
    Because despite your nonsensical hero worshipping bluster you can’t possibly believe that the appointment of Wise, or the YouTube scouting, or the crappy dealings with agents for Nacho, or the wasted money on Xisco were good moves.
    If they weren’t then Keegans stance was completely justified as they breached his contract and the agreements he had reached regarding his job.
    You should be grateful to Keegan. The aftermath of him leaving appears to be what prompted your fat hero to finally start learning from his numerous mistakes.


  4. POOTLE, Keegan wasn’t happy about a few signings and he made it plain and simple he wasn’t because as Xisco said, “Keegan blanked me”

    So If Keegan blanked him , then he wasn’t going to play him and could have took that stance and just worked with the players he had and carried on but he didn’t because even after being out of touch with football for a while, he still thought he was calling all the shots.

    Granted as a manager he gets to identify signings but lets not forget that he also has to rely on people to identify them for him as Carr does for us.

    Wise was identifying players some good and some not and that was that.

    Did you also know that Keegan wanted to offload Andy Carroll for peanuts and Wise wasn’t having any of it because he said Carroll was the future of the club.

    So the question is this…. who was best for the club, Keegan? Wise?

    We will never know will we because they clashed and the fans already hated Wise anyway.
    Keegan was out of his depth and should never have came back and without a shed load of cash he would have struggled to do anything.

    Just remember…when he came to Newcastle the first time..everybody knew him and many idolised him all over the country.
    The best players wanted to play for HIM not Newcastle United at the time.

    I’d even hazard a guess that Alan Shearer would have joined Man Utd if Keegan wasn’t in charge.

    Basically, Newcastle came calling for the messiah and the messiah came back thinking everything would resume from his last tenure where he could buy who he wanted and carry on where he left off..


  5. Dennis Wise quote.

    “People don’t understand what really went on at the club,” added Wise, defending his time at Newcastle. “People surmise what happened, but they don’t know what happened.”

    He’s right of course because we ALL can only go on hearsay and what we perceive that goes on within the club.
    Gonzalas wasn’t a Dennis Wise signing so Wise says.

    Is Wise a Cockney liar?
    Has Keegan sugar coated some of what he’s led us to believe about him?

    I’ll guarantee you one thing.. It will all come out in the wash sooner or later and we can then all see what really went on.


  6. “If it was Blacks leisure or whatever he would probably do all the check etc.”

    He bought Lillywhites in a day without doing due diligence.

    “but this was a hobby”

    It may have, in part, been a rich man’s vanity, but his stated reason for buying the club was a kind of marketing tool to help his other business break into markets like the Far East, not a hobby.

    “He didn’t have his business head on for a couple of years”

    What is he – Worzel Gummidge? Totally true though. He stumbled from one bad decision to another. Proving that, despite the claims he is really intelligent and shouldn’t be questioned, he is in fact fallible and entirely capable of getting things wrong – especially in a field he is not familiar with.

    “Now we are getting the full MA experience”

    Let’s hope that’s a good thing then. Things are definitely improving but I won’t start hanging out the bunting until I see his intentions in the summer.
    We have a pretty good starting eleven and now they’ve figured out that we were playing a bad formation for the players we have it seems we may get attractive football too.
    But our squad is thin on quality when we should have done something about it in January and we have no idea what their intentions are with trying to retain our best players in the summer.
    So I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


  7. Wolfie I KNEW you would some how find it in your heart to see Wise as the good guy.
    Ashley signed him, after all.

    I assume that ‘what went on’ must have been been very, very secret for Wise not to present it as a convincing counter claim when Keegan took them to court.


  8. “My biggest disappointment was Dennis Wise, a director of football who was hardly seen at the ground, and who brought in players who were neither suitable, nor right, for Newcastle United. I forgive most people, but I am not sure I can forgive Wise for what he did to my club”

    Think I’ll leave you with the words of Sir Bobby Robson.
    It seems he can answer the question you seem so keen to dodge.


  9. The keegan debate has been done to death and shows no signs of being solved, just like the Ashley debate.People just need to step the fuck back.

    Ashley is a prick, made some horrendous decisions, has by and large gone down the route of correcting those although he still comes out with clangers-nevertheless we’re on the upwards path and things are looking relatively rosey.

    Keegan? Got us close to huge success and had us playing some of the best ever football and undoubtedly got shafted the second time round with us by Ashley, who made a mistake in employing him in the first place imo.
    However-he’s a walker, he’s done it all through his life, and quite frankly his ego is clearly bruised by the whole affair hence why he constantly comes out slating the ownership. Deserved? Maybe. Professional? Not at all…didn’t hear a peep after we signed cisse with the Carroll money that we weren’t getting apparently……..Plus the guy arguably threw away the league once upon a time………..Anyyyyway. Neither are angels, lets just chill.


  10. I will have a comment about this in Summer, rumours are hitting that Ba wants to go to PSG again and Ben Arfa is wanting to go back to France so its not looking good if we lose these 2 players, its going backwards but again it is a rumour…. Anyone remember Berbatov apparently coming to us in Summer? thats another rumour rubbed off and laughed about so hopefully its the same about these 2.


  11. Don’t waste ur time with every rumour u hear or read – ask yourself whether the source is credible or not

    Things are going rather well at the mo. Chelsea will endure further fixture congestion in the CL, Everton made sure the mackems can’t nick our Euro spot and Spurs got thru to the FA Cup semis

    so…..avoid defeat in the next 2 games + Liverpool beat Everton in the Cup = European footy for the toon! (probably)


  12. Keith

    No, you don’t need to apologise. It just seemed that you were more concerned informing everyone about how many games you go/went to than to read everyones comments properly (or at least only picking up on certain points). The same goes for Wolfie, sometimes he’s missed out on a few points you’ve raised also.

    This is the way I see it:

    I’ll take yourself and Wolfie as an example as your both people on here that come across as completely opposite ends of the spektrum…..

    The fact of the matter is – You’re not opposite ends of the spektrum. You’re both in the middle, you failed to see (or ignore) that Wolfie DOES see the bad that Ashley has done. And Wolfie failed to see (or ignore) that you DO see the good that Ashley has done.

    The difference between you both is that Wolfie tends to put a ‘positive’ spin on it, whilst you tend to put a ‘negative’ spin on exactly the same information. Neither are right, neither are wrong.

    As for my whole opinion on the article matter. I’m not the type of person that bears a grudge. I conceed that Ashley and partners have made some obvious mistakes, ones that at the time i was super pissed off at. But I don’t see the need to incessently dwell on the matter. I’d rather take it on the chin and move on.

    I understand your point of view though… of course I do. It’s your god-given right not to forgive the board.

    For me though – life’s too short. πŸ˜‰


  13. Also on Keegan – He never should have come back in the first place. Especially after the first time he walked. That was a mistake by Ashley in that he made the decision to bring him whilst he used to sit with the fans at matches…. a case of Ashley trying to keep sweet with the fans rather than listen to his own business acumin.


  14. For the first few years Ashley made a complete balls up with everything at the Toon.

    Last season and this season he seems to have his head screwed on, and we are making progress.

    It astounds me the lengths some people will go to just to protect him when he has made some horrific decisions and also caused some of the darkest times in the history of NUFC.

    Everyone can see the good he has done, but only some people can see the bad as well.


  15. @ nobby , ow but I do read it and I do listen and again would a good business man wait 9 months to replace a forward ! Or a similair amount of time to replace a centre half ! When european qualification would have paid for it ten times over ! And the manager made it clear that’s what he needed !
    For the record I don’t hate mikey and can see the good but (and its a big but) the best he has managed as our owner is 12th and the worst is relagation that is his cv in 5 years so he is not “great” or “revolutionary” and to say he is would be idiotic , he may become “great” and if he does wooopydo (don’t hold your breath kids) and that’s were me and wolfie differ he thinks and dreams and fantasises nice cuddly things and I prefer to look at the facts and be realistic !
    If we keep our players that will be good !
    If we are consistant in the league that will be good!
    If aall the sports direct crap and name change bring us money that would be good !
    If our scouts can get cheap replacements for our better players every couple of years that would be good !
    If we win the league that would be good!
    But so far 12th is the best he has managed πŸ˜‰


  16. @northernpaul , its really disturbing isn’t it ? But I’m sure most fans are not of the above opinions .


  17. As I’ve stated before, Ashley has made some bad mistakes and I’m sure in time he will come out and tell us all how he messed it all up.
    I’m under no illusions about him being naive and distorting the truth and employing the wrong people to take this club forward.

    That was then and in my article I said I didn’t want to go over the saga that was basically his downfall at first but as debates do, they get dragged out I suppose.

    I might be guilty of not replying to posts but it’s not out of ignorance, it’s because I read them all and reply to ones aimed at me and also reply to ones where I agree or disagree and get ahead of myself and miss replies.

    I won’t do dodge a reply, just merely miss it whilst replying to another and as you see, my replies are usually long so my mind is focused on that.

    To be fair, my article wasn’t on Keegan and wasn’t based on the immediate mistakes, it was based on the learning curve AFTER those initial mistakes were made.

    I’m by no means always correct and I don’t profess to be always correct.
    What I do, is, I counter argue/debate anything that doesn’t sit right.

    Some say I can’t be debated with because I always lick Ashley’s arse but that’s stupid as I’ve never met the man and I’m not on his pay roll, so therefore what other reason could I have for praising him?

    The answer is, I look at the bigger picture of what he’s done to rectify his bad mistakes
    I didn’t create this bigger picture, I sat back and thought about it all from the off.

    When he first bought this club, he came in buzzing and I suppose things were said that the fans held onto.
    Things he should have (in hindsight) said nothing about as in pumping 20 million a time into transfers e.t.c because when things don’t go well, fans use that as a crucifying tool.

    I look at the mess he first walked into regardless of how and why he walked into the mess…the fact is , he bought into a white Elephant sort of and once the realisation hit him with the enormity of the rebuild he took some badly advised decisions and very nearly paid the price for it.

    Any lesser man for e.g (Barry Moat), basically a multimillionaire, would have bailed out in an instant because millionaires cannot run football clubs that were in the state we were in.
    Ashley tried a quick fix option with his initial buys which weren’t cheap considering the mess he bought into and it was a MESS.

    Those were all mistakes at the time because the players bought, some are still here flourishing.
    The problem was…those players that were initially bought, walked straight into a boiling pot and suffered for it and it affected their game when everything went tits up.

    It’s stuff like that and the fact he learned from them, slowly but surely to get us where we are now, is the reason why I admire the man because I chose to wait before I started making my noose and I never got as far as buying the rope because I could see that his intentions although naive and flawed at the time, were to get this club financially stable and with it, build a strong structure throughout from top to bottom and we are now seeing the fruits of that.

    To drag a club this size out of the shit , in the time he has done it and amid all the controversy, is a miracle in itself.

    I support anyone who plays for and runs this club at any time if I can see the good they’re doing and what I see right now and since all the turmoil is a club, whose staff from top to bottom are giving 100% to the cause and an owner and board who are working tirelessly to make sure that we continue moving forward no matter what set backs bestow us in between.

    Newcastle United is MY club and anyone who slags it off or decides to take it to court for unreasonable amounts of money for their own ends becomes a nothing in my eyes and that’s just the way it is with me. πŸ˜€


  18. Also, bleating on about… ‘not getting a defender in’ or other infinitesimally small subjects in the grand scheme of things is not worth my time.

    Like I said before.

    I build a bridge….. AND GET OVER IT.

    I’ll some up what I think this article is trying to acheive.

    It’s on about where we could be (with a bit of effort and tweaking) in 5 years time.

    How Ashley looks like he’s learned and we’re moving forward as a club.

    How we’re moving forward IS ‘the grand scheme of things’. Not petty isolated incidents. πŸ˜‰


  19. Keegan is just a petty little bottler that had complete arseholes as his boss. None of them came out of the saga looking rosy.
    Yes “the board may have promised things”, but I’m sure the previous board promised Shearer that if he stuck with us we’d challenge for the title, you never saw him walking out on us when it was never true.

    I think many anti-Ashley people are still hung up on things over the last year that have been proved untrue, Carroll’s “forced sale” to the scousers, Barton/Nolan/Enrique claims that we had no ambition πŸ™„ , and for god sake man Ashley didn’t buy us a number 9 in the summer transfer window!!!!

    I personally don’t care about the past too much now, football is too rotten a sport to hold grudges against someone on your own side. I bloody hate Carroll now, but if one day he returned I wouldn’t stick with the grudge forever.
    Take Man City fans, obviously Tevez was an utter tw@t, but they gain nothing from holding that against him if he is genuinely trying to make amends.

    And that what I think Ashley is trying to do, make amends, as long as this means we are improving each year and leading to me enjoying being a fan, I’m happy.


  20. @239 Northern Paul, and many other similar posts

    I have a friend that is a Chelsea fan that actually hopes they miss out on Europe, I know this always seems like a daft thing but bear with me;

    I fully believe we will look back in history as the relegation being the pivotal turning point in our football club. Sure Ashley didn’t mean for it to have that effect, but what you call “the darkest times”, I see as the most important, necessary times.

    If we hadn’t have got relegated, we would have stuttered around mid-table, as we had been for years, with a team of over priced, over hyped, under performing, should be Europe players. The fact that this is only the 3rd time we have hit 50 points in the last decade sums up the rot this club was in.l
    Relegation forced us to wipe the slate, for the first time in years our team wasn’t built one expensive buys, but team spirit and dedicated performances.

    If Ashley has caused the “darkest times NUFC history” then I can’t wait for the good ones. I absolutely loved the Championship season and every season since. One horrible season of disappointment for 3 awesome ones, it certainly beats the Post Sir Bobby years we endured.

    HWTL and well done Mike Ashley, for stopping the rot and inadvertadly reigniting this football club.


  21. Well said wolfie long may the miracle continue πŸ˜‰

    Well said nobb why should we let petty things like players get in the way of us supporting mikeys empire moving forward , we COULD be somewhere in 5 years ( dident I hear that 5 years ago πŸ˜‰ )


  22. I think there is fans that are like abused wives no matter what they get threw at them by their partner ( Jabba) they will always defend him and tryto convince others that he is a good man, and he is doing this and that and we should all get behind him.
    But there is some that talk about what good he has done but turn a blind eye to all the shit he has caused, becausethey believe he is making the club a better club.
    But some of the same people are abusing KK even after what he has done for our club, which he has done more for our club than what Jabba could ever wish to do. I say for them fans they should hang their heads in shame because without a doubt without KK we would never have had the Entertainers, CL footie, Shearer etc etc and the chances are we would maybe never have even been in the prem.
    Yeah KK has done some things wrong but has done alot more good.


  23. SOLANOSTRUMPET@247&248, good posts.

    Keith @250, you have just answered your own question.


    I don’t think anybody, including myself could argue what Keegan done for us in the past and I thank him for that.

    The point is though if you employed a workman to work on your house for 3 months because you had him in the past and he made a great job of doing it up for you and he starts work on it again because it’s deteriorated over the years and sets about doing some jobs and then you give him a pot of paint that he doesn’t like and he turns round and says” nah I’m not working with that, I’m off and I’m gonna take you to court for trying to make me work with that paint when I wanted to use my own”

    He goes to court, asking for 10 grand compensation….5 for the 3 months work and another 5 because he feels you have hampered his abilities to get more work…
    The court rule in his favour but only offer him the 5 grand as he was contracted by you to do the job but they don;t feel that it’s hampered his ability to find work.

    Tell me BIGDAVE…what would you think of that bloke ?


  24. Wolfie in life you get some people that have balls to stand up and say no im not taking this shit because its not part of the job.
    Then you get others that just take what ever shit thats is threw at you and generally they are often thought of as door mats.
    The only job I ever had that involved taking all sorts of shit was in the Army, after that I would never let someone walk over me, because I would rather have no money and keep my dignity than have lots of money and no dignity.

    So basically what your saying is that KK should have just accepted all the shit and the players that were being forced on him by Wise and co and just got on with the job ??? that did Hooters a lot of good because Jabba fuked him over too even though he just done what he was told and took the shit.
    Wolfie I take it then that you just muddle through life taking what ever shit someone throws at you, and just get on with it ??
    as for your point about giving someone a pot of paint πŸ˜† do you really expect me to take that serious ❓


  25. Yeah Wolfie I usually like your analogies but don’t think the paint one is the best lol. I think it would have worked better if you’d noted that the paint the boss had decided you had to use would make your job MUCH harder than it was under the previous agreement.

    Dave on the other hand to the people forgiving Ashley too easily, you have people that will never forgive Barton or whoever for misdemeanors they have paid their dues for.
    I think Ashley has had more than enough stick from the fans, much of it justified. Do i think it’s fair to continue to dish it out when he is trying to change things for the better? No. He did the ‘crime’, did the ‘time’ and now it’s time for Newcastle fans to give him a chance to reform.


  26. ST I don’t have that much of a prob with Jabba because he is trying to right the wrongs, I just dont understand when people will try tell you that he is the best thing since sliced bread and will try to dirty KK’s Big Als name etc because to admit that they were right and were treated like shite would be admitting that Jabba was the one that done them wrong.
    As I’ve said many time I will admit the good that Jabba has done but I wont turn a blind eye to what he has done wrong, which imo is what Wolfie and a couple of others try to do only in reverse.


  27. Dave to compare petty things that have happened to the club to a wife getting abused is, well, incomparable (for want of a better phrase) and quite frankly offensive.

    I do not love Ashley – to be honest i sit on the fence. (not his face πŸ˜† ) But i honestly think life is too short bear a grudge for things. I’ll admit the one thing that pisses me off that he did was change the name of sjp to shit direct. But I just get over it (although i do get a bit mad when the press use the name that must not be spoke). He didn’t do it for shits and giggles, he did it for a reason – money and I can totally by that. I loved keegan so much, i was a teenager whilst he was around and he made me proud to support nufc. Jesus, my profile message on twitter is his quote of ‘i’d love it if we beat them’ speech.

    I felt hurt when he left though (the first time) as he just looked to me like a quitter. If he stayed that extra season i think we would of done it.

    Ashley should have never have hired him… you never go back – just look at the bindippers now… they’re shit.

    I’m going to get off this ashley/keegan topic now anyway, i hate debating about as no one can change anyones mind. everyones very head strong.

    Nee grudges with Dave and Keith – i love you both really πŸ˜‰ :mrgreen:

    Let’s look forward to sunday and doing the smelly bastards πŸ˜†


  28. I think wolfie was the one who said we would spend 25 million in January. He is the embodiment of the stereotypical deluded Geordie, which I thought was a myth as NO-ONE I know who I go to SJP with is as outrageous πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Wolfie, in a way I admire your optimism but it’s a bit over the top, like your stories!


  29. Soooo….getting back to “how far can we go?”

    It depends really… way or another, we seem to have assembled a squad that can do stuff – albeit, short of a quality left-back and centre-half… OMG where would we be now if we’d invested in those in either the summer or January?

    Up to you Mikey-babe……we’ve got a cracking squad – first, hold onto what we’ve got …. then some special signings…….

    Then you can get your red and blue graffiti covering our hallowed ground beamed all over Europe


  30. Nobby my sister lived with a wife abuser for a longtime and I heard similar shit from her about all the bad that he done wasn’t really his fault etc etc and how he really did love her and he was going to change, she was a door mat that let that c@nt walk all over her. If you find that offensive well sorry there is nowt I can do about that
    Yeah he did change in the end, cause the bastad had no choice πŸ‘Ώ


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