Has Ashley stumbled upon the right road?

Mike Ashley
Heading in the right direction?
It’s going to be a tad controversial this, and I understand that I am putting myself up for some criticism on this subject, but I have broad shoulders and can take it. Just hear me out first!

I’ve just read something that Michel Platini was saying yesterday when he reinforced the goal of the new Finanical Fair Play rules to the the European media. The goal is pretty simple really – to make sure clubs can survive financially by only spending what they can afford.

It’s seems like common sense, but it’s common sense that football seems to have lacked for so long. Spending is getting out of control, and limiting spending to only what a club can afford makes sense in the long term.

It should signal the end of the huge spending that is currently being witnessed at Manchester City for example. They are a clear case of a club that is being bankrolled by a very wealthy owner. Under the new rules that won’t, or shouldn’t, be allowed. Any transfer activity will have to be conducted through the books of the club.

Failure to adhere to these rules could end up in clubs facing sanctions from UEFA and for the those clubs to be refused entry into European competition such as the Champions League or Europa League, which will in turn hit the guilty clubs further, or in the pocket should I say, where it will hurt the most.

The success of the new rules depends on how many loopholes there are. One loophole that has been banded around is with regard to advertising revenue. What is to stop these rich owners paying an over the top price for advertising one of their companies? Well, all advertsing deals will have to be market tested to ensure that they are a fair reflection of what could have been achieved in the open market so to speak.

All this talk of clubs being self-sufficient and being able to run as a business sounds familiar though doesn’t it? In fact it sounds remarkably what Mike Ashley and co have said that the are trying to achieve at Newcastle. I don’t really like the man, and I’ll probably never trust him, but he could be on to something with this.

I’ve read the opinions of some fans who want us to go out and spend money that we, apparently, don’t have on transfers. The feeling from some is that Ashley is being tight, but there is another angle that you can look at it from? Is Ashley preparing us for these new rules already?

As of next season, the accounts have to be submitted to UEFA so that they can be given a ‘health-check’. Whilst this only really affects clubs that will be in European competition, a lot of leagues around Europe are also adopting this approach, including the Premier League.

There will be certain clubs who are in for a culture shock when these new rules kick in. Teams like Aston Villa, Sunderland and Bolton would fail these new checks unless they change their ways as they are spending too much of their income on wages, and with Sunderland keen to push on to “the next level” it would be a crying shame if they were to be pegged back because of their own fecklessness πŸ˜€

Teams like Manchester City will struggle to spend as much in the transfer market as they are doing now. The only way they could continue that is if they increase the revenue of the club. Qualifying for the Champions League would help that, but it still wouldn’t cover the Β£100,000,000+ losses that they have been making.

As for us, well this frugality will have come as bit of a culture shock I guess after the days of heavy spending under Freddy Shpeherd. It would appear that we are standing still in the transfer market when in reality we are just searching for quality at a decent price. We are going through this now, but other teams have it all to come.

What do you think?

P.S. Please ignore this technical bit: YUNUDR297YVU

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

98 thoughts on “Has Ashley stumbled upon the right road?

  1. Plus, I’m not saying he is great, more like his tightness has come at a time which is handy πŸ˜†


  2. i agree with toonsy on this one, for all the trouble ashley has caused, he seems to be doing the right things the clubs finances.
    Dont get me worng the bloke is still a c**t but who’s know what finalical trouble we would be in, if shepherd was still wasting big sums of money on crap players.


  3. I don’t think it’s controversial mate, just being objective. If Ashley makes a stupid decision, we’re quick to point it out, and rightly so. However what we’re not quick to point out that Mike Ashley’s not only saved us from possible melt down, but also the business model he has adopted has put us on the path of financial safety and self sufficiency.

    You say “Is Ashley preparing us for these new rules already?” I think he has being doing it since day one – if not intentionally in alignment with these new FIFA rules – the day when the books were laid there in black and white and he could see it needed doing. We were in such a mess, it’s available for anyone to see, and as of next season, he would have turned a business which was making a loss back in to one which is self sufficient and making a profit again.

    Can’t stand/trust the man, however there is no doubting in my mind, NUFC wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him. He has put us on the right path, and no matter what you think of the man or the decisions he has made in the past, I hope we can all be big enough to admit that.


  4. It’s very lengthly. I’ve read that before, and it’s a good read if you have an hour or so πŸ˜†


  5. Is he preparing us for future financial self sufficiency out of the goodness of his own heart? No of course not. Is he doing it because he’s tight? Well, possibly, but you can’t say he’s driving us into the ground financially. Does it make sense? Well we’ll see come the end of the season…if we’re still here then you could argue it did make sense. We only really need a couple of faces in, lets just hope we get the right ones. Still, ❗ I’ll never trust or like the fat c*nt! ❗ πŸ˜†


  6. I know it’s off-topic already, but isn’t The Chronicle becoming shocking these days? They have no decent reporting anymore and it’s all just samitised intervoews with generic questions πŸ˜•


  7. told lee ryder that on twitter over Christmas, don’t think he was happy like, hhahaha, should take it constructively though.
    Said his reporting was very Mail esq, all ‘sources close to the club’ this and ‘sources close to the player’ that, any chance of some real journalism?

    Not holding my breath.


  8. i cant see him selling barton…i know bartons on a higher wage than most ,but that was his contract when he signed for us ,same as colo ,jonas etc and even smith….
    i think he`ll balance the books eventually with some but in all honestly ,barton is an absolute intergral part of this team build ,so in essence i would say he would be last on the list …
    obviously im not inside seeing whats going on of course ,but i believe ashley is building the club ,and i think hes wise enough to take some of the high earning wages on the chin that are already here .


  9. Not bad mate. Busyish πŸ˜•

    Welcome along by the way.

    Everyone, this is Wolfie. He is a Newcastle supporting Monkeyhanger and will talk to anyone forever πŸ˜†


  10. I don’t even think it’s that. Secretly, people love sauces (reggae reggae is mint), but I hate easy interviews like he seems to produce. He is probably scared in case he gets banned from SJP πŸ˜†


  11. I agree, I was just a bit worried when i saw that report in The Guardian, if Barton is hanging out for high wages it could be a problem with only 18 months left.


  12. Just remember though that this place is quiet at the minute as it has only been going something like ten days. Once it cracks on there will be more people around.


  13. I think a lot of it is his agent to be honest. What better time to try for a new deal when your client is the best performer in the team and has a contract that is running out?


  14. Though I do advocate a strong financial underpinning for all clubs HOWEVER this may also secure the largest clubs (at present) who are in Europe forever.

    It will ensure its a long road for them to ever be challenged ever again.

    They have the most money from their Prem League posns and 20m for the Champs league – so the “level playing field” for a newly promoted team is a team that needs ordinary investment whilst being 40m a year behind the big boys.

    For it to be fair it needs to be implemented in a draconian method – not softly softly allow the big boys to change their revenue stream approach.


  15. What I’m hoping is that we can get our revenues back to some kind of level that they have been at. If that can be achieved, with wages under control, then we can spend a bit more hopefully and play a bit more catch up.

    Just wishful thinking maybe.


  16. He has a meeting with Pardew today. Hopefully it will be to sign off some deals, or at least sanction them.

    I was going to write an article about but Ed beat me to it πŸ™‚


  17. toonsy and others know my stance on ashley …..i dont back him in total blindness ,its just that i see past his mistakes ……….
    and im under no illusions about the mistakes hes made ….
    the thing is though ,i dont cloud my own judgement on whats happened in the past ,as its been one hell of a rollercoaster learning curve for him and us ….
    the pleasing thing for me is….hes full on business minded and has learned or learning the ropes of football club ownership …..
    naturally theres still a few things to iron out ,like at any club,but the basics are in motion…
    the fact that he wont be bullied into paying over inflated wages and transfer fees for players doesnt send out any warning signals to me ……
    infact it sends out the opposite …..i believe hes making a stance against mercenaries and prima donnas of the football world and bringing in players that are prepared to pull on that black and white shirt for …in my opinion would be a very very attractive wage packet to anyone who aspires to want to actually play football in front of the best fans and one of the best stadiums……..id do it for nowt …
    we cant live in the past,what is …is now….thats what we have to concentrate on,cos history wins you nowt …….past mistakes can only be rectified ……
    what fans need to look at is ……..if mike ashley isnt your cup of tea….then who is ?….
    because right now i believe we have the pg tips …………do we want to bollox all that up to bring in asda`s own ?

    always remember ,no one has to like ashley…..no one has to forgive him if thats your wish……
    but if you open your eyes ,look at it from a neutral fresh start ,you can see that we are in a very healthy position financially than we were a few years ago….

    freddie shepherd was our santa claus ,he kept pulling the readies from his bag ,and backed any tom **** or harry manager he employed,no matter what they bought….
    look what nearly happened ,until ashley came in and rescued the club….

    forget about keegan,forget about wise ,forget about lies and mistakes…….it dont matter ..what does matter is .hes learning fast from all that and we will imo reap the benefits if he is afforded the time and opportunity to do so…

    we are newcastle fans ,we have to back whats happening,because if we dont,,we will be backing our local football teams on the rec cos we wont have a club…… πŸ™‚


  18. Seems the fun as only just begun from what I understand…. but how many clubs not in the Euopean slots of the league will actually care about what they do or don’t spend… ie clubs below the 10th place…. πŸ™„

    Good criac anyhow fella πŸ˜†


  19. As Stardust says, the big clubs will still be the same old same old. Apart from anything else they will find away around it imo, after all it’s football and money and corruption rules ok! πŸ™


  20. Most of them actually as the PL is also adopting the rules, although to what extent is not yet clear.


  21. When u think how close we came to oblivion under Fat Fred and his regime, I’m all for us living on what we earn rather than rely either on here today – gone tomorrow owners, or ridiculous borrowing levels. In fact, we would surely become a major player again, due to our superior crowds and ability to generate income. Whatever his motives, Ashley is doing us a big favour.


  22. “we are newcastle fans ,we have to back whats happening,because if we dont,,we will be backing our local football teams on the rec cos we wont have a club…… :smile:”

    Not a fan of Hartlepool then? πŸ˜›

    Re-on Ashley though, I actually forgive him about all the keegan/wise saga, even shearer stuff which has recently come to life, and realise what he’s done for our club i.e saving it from mad old fat fred. Still, the underhanded and disgraceful way he dealt with hughton is what annoys me most-I’m 100% behind Pardew and comitted to the club, and I realise everyones saying to move on blah but that was the final break in whatever faith I had in Ashley. Furthermore, it suggests he’s going to be as trigger happy if not more so than Freddy, even if we do, at some point “stabilise”


  23. +1

    This is what I am hoping for. Perhaos I’m being too simplistic πŸ˜› but surely a club that generates more money would be able to spend more??

    We can generate more money, and should be able to spend more comparatively, which will hopefully allow us to claw back up towards the top of the table?

    I mean we earn more than Everton, Villa, Bolton and Sunderland who are above us currently, and three of those potentially have problems with these new rules. Surely we should be able to catch up?


  24. the sooner people open their eyes to that fact ,the sooner some people will be able to enjoy being a fan again instead of harbouring doom and gloom in their heads …
    if he wanted to slaughter this club he could have done it at any time …
    but he isnt actually the devil in a black and white shirt…he is a fan just like us …only he holds all the cards ..


  25. I fail to see how this will have any immeadiate effect on clubs like Manchester City and Sunderland. Surely once they have players in place on the huge contracts, there is then nothing UEFA or the FA can legally do to stop these contracts just because the clubs are paying out more than whats coming in. If anything I can just see this becoming a tax on the rich by the football associations.


  26. Nobody says you have to like the boss, and if he is a good one, he is focused on the long term bottom line which may not suit you to a t, but keeps you in work.

    I’m not sure exactly how these financial tests work, but if you are a big stadium club playing in Europe, you have a bigger revenue stream. That can cement top teams in place, as they can buy to stay up. But teams not in Europe or fall out of Europe have a different set of accounting hurdles. In the first case, how do you get big enough to replace a European team, and second, what can you do if you are dumped out of Europe? The latter problem could be massive if you have long term high fee players that you cannot sell off.


  27. True, but they can stop them competeing in Europe until they sort it…..

    It’s not immediate of course, as the accounts are only starting to be tracked from next season which will give an indication if what is going on. Bottom line is, I guess, that nobody will know how severe things are until it happens.


  28. Wolfie – good post

    I always backed Ashleys long term vision as every decision was consistent – however my feelings towards him changed after the Hughton sacking. He had a man working within his parameters that kept us on an even keel moving forward.

    I still cant understand the logic so now struggle to understand the man or rationale. Thereon I find it tough to see he his longer term ambitions. I understand his success and ours are linked – but I can not comfortably sit where we are as I now have a feeling another bombshell around the corner – he created instability with his last act – it was obviously for a reason we don’t know about


  29. the reality with all clubs within say …the next 10 years ,is either they run on their own steam.ie in house financial management based on what the club earns …..or they cave in and go out of business.
    the only clubs that will not suffer the burden of it all financial wise in the arab run mancitys ,because to them arabs its paper confetti and wont be missed..
    the players of now can count themselves extremely fortunate they got caught up in what was basically a frenzied auction of wages and transfer fees….
    because like i said ,in 10 years ,you wont see that type of money gifetd to players….and if you do ,it will be an elite set few teams playing in a european league while the rest adjust to grass roots football..


  30. Everton are below us and we’d be above Bolton if we win our game in hand(I know “if”) I would want us to cath up and overtake those teams regardless of the new rules the aim ultimately is to win something and champions league football but the big 4/5 will still be the ones doing it and I can’t see the rules changing that at all, hope I’m wrong tho.


  31. ‘True, but they can stop them competeing in Europe until they sort it…..’

    Well it won’t hurt the mackems then… πŸ˜€


  32. yep, financially he was and still is, as far as I can tell doing it the right way. The problem is what shocker of a decision is waiting around the corner, that’s the worry.


  33. see wer after a highly rated 20 year old brazilian Lucas Pacheco Affini a.k.a Sasha.. west ham are leading chase bt wer interested aswel


  34. That depends though Rich. If we can catch up to them and one of those sides has a bad season and we can capitalise then it could open the door. Tottenham gained out of it in much the same way.


  35. right mate…obviously i can understand where your coming from with the hughton carry on……
    but like you said ,you could at first see the long term vision right…

    well think of this …..chris hughton as we all know was a gent…got the team up and running…a dressing room harmony and basically done what arguably most managers at that time would have failed to do….

    now trying to look at it from an owners point of view ,basically having people seeing whats going on from the inside ….which only we can guess at from the outside..here`s a few thoughts on why maybe….

    im not saying these are right ,but in a sensible world of football running ,it could be ,repair the leak before it bursts wide open type of thing…

    now as we know ,our home form is crucial to survival….under hughton we struggled at home and fought away …….

    then we seemed to lose a lot of discipline on the pitch …..

    now maybe thats been seen and the cracks were showing……
    so what needs doing…..?

    well considering the january transfer window was upon us ,and also hughton contract renewal was upon him…..maybe ashley has said …..ok we need to edge forward ,but we need a tad more experience to achieve it and someone who i can trust in the transfer market with my money…

    well as we know hes made his choice ,he looks like hes ready to back him,albeit sensibly….and has quickly started by contracting the youngsters to 5 year deals and ben arfa on a permanent contract…

    but heres where us as fans dont see the real picture ,because like im doing here ,im speculating on what ifs and hows…….

    so if viewed 2 ways ,you can take the first view of …yea but hughton would have kept us up …..he was nice …the players loved him etc…….its true ,but how much of the we want hughton to stay was actually down to the ease of his management ?…..easy street if you like …….it would explain indiscipline,lacklustre displays against teams we imo were of less quality…

    in pardew ,we seem to have a man that is basically an ordinary no frills manager ,comes without any massive big name recognition ,but who can go about shaping this team in his own way ,what can not only stay in the prem ,but also under his 5 year contract ,compete consistently higher up….

    look at the positives ,and only see the negatives when its hitting us in the face…….cos right now we are 8th…….

    whether fans think thats cos of hughton or inspite of pardew or ashley ..it makes no odds ,we are where we are ,and we build from where we are ……….

    oh and one more thing….i dont half go on like an owld nana dont i hahahahahaha


  36. Aye my worry is they’ll still be the ones with the money, then the next thing will be like in in Spain where they negotiate their own tv deals and they’ll be even further ahead…..also we’d need us having a great season to coincide with one of them having a bad one and the rest of the chasing pack having a bad one too. Time will tell I guess, in the meantime beat the scum and get the points to stay up and I’ll be happy ’til at least August. πŸ˜†


  37. I told you. He is cracking for debate πŸ˜†

    His Ashley love is sometimes a bit πŸ˜• but he will debate anything.


  38. i think he might have come with a money grabbing attitude ,and hes been told to sling his hook…
    if it is the case ,then im glad ,cos thats not what i want at this club


  39. Update: The Police were called to stop the press climbing ladders to try and take pictures πŸ™„

    What a sad state of affairs. A few weeks agio Tottenham were known for their great attacking, open play. Now they are known for David Beckham – a player who may never actually play for them πŸ™„


  40. He was a tit on Ed’s who said it was his 1st post etc and that we should sign Dawson who was a local lad, so I politely(no, really I did) that Dawson was from Northallerton which is Yorkshire. He came back calling me a gobby c*nt, a c*ck etc etc…..all of which is true but a bit oot of order I thought πŸ˜‰


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