Is Ashley about to dig deep?

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley
Time to back the manager, Ash!
This summer has already been earmarked as a watershed moment in the history of Mike Ashley’s tenure at the helm of NUFC.

From here there are only two ways that he can go.

In one direction he can sit on the Carroll cash and find excuses not to invest in the team whilst being safe in the knowledge that he can have his toy in the Premier League that doesn’t cost him a penny to run on a day to day basis. In the other direction he can invest in the squad and try to get his plaything up there with the big boys by allowing funds for Alan Pardew to strengthen the team over the summer.

I think we all want to see the latter to be honest, although many of us have differing views on how it should be achieved. Some want mega-money thrown around, others want sustainable growth. Each to their own, but the end result of both is that we’ll end up with a better team because of it.

As the squad prepare for the final game of the season against West Brom they know that a win will see them more than likely secure a spot in the top ten. Win, lose or draw tomorrow there will be a lap of appreciation from the players to thank the fans for their support throughout the season. The fans have done their part, all season long, but it’s time for those in power to do their bit to.

According to the Daily Mail there has been a meeting between Pardew and Ashley. I suspect that meeting has been one of many that have and will continue to take place going forward, but at least we have some quotes from this one. Here is what Alan Pardew had to say about the meeting

“Mike came and we talked about certain players and values and the strategy and how the summer scouting is going to progress. I felt buoyed by the meeting. As a Premier League manager, I was quite satisfied,” said Pardew. “Now it’s about recruitment and making sure the squads stronger.”

“It’s quite obvious at this time we can’t compete with the likes of Liverpool Tottenham and the top four. We could attract a squad here I know would keep us safe in this division but that’s not what Mike wants and it’s not what I want. We want to try and excel. We have to try and take a few chances with players that will keep us in the division but who might take us on to that next level.”

“That of course becomes fraught with difficulties. He wants to push as high as we can but he knows we can’t compete with the top clubs in terms of the players that they can afford and the money they’re talking about. We’re going to be realistic in our aims but we’re going to aim high within the realism of our situation.”

I don’t think many fans will disagree when Pardew says that we can’t compete with those at the top of the league. It’s common sense really. Can we really compete with Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea? Not on your life! If City and Chelsea didn’t have multi-billionaire owners then maybe, but not now, not at this moment.

All the rest of it is just words at the minute. What Newcastle fans want to see is proof of all this, which is unfortunately going to take time. When Ashley arrived in Toon there was talk of a Geordie Abramovich, which quickly died down in fairness. All we want to see now though are signs of progression and ambition at the club, and this is Mike Ashley’s time to prove it.

Ashley is a well-known gambler, but now it’s the time to see whether or not he’ll stick or twist when it comes to our club. Will he stick with what he’s got? Or will he twist and gamble on a bit of success?

That is the £35 million question.

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.

49 thoughts on “Is Ashley about to dig deep?

  1. Utter fcking garbage! Absolute crap!

    We have £35m in the bank, we’ll have another £10m from Enrique’s sale and I would of hoped Pardew would of got somewhere between £10-15m this summer if we hadn’t have sold Carroll. That’s £60m! Can we really not compete with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs with that sort of kitty?

    Now bear in mind the likes of Campbell, Smith, Xisco, Perch and Routledge are all likely to leave, that will save us about £200k a week in wages! So the money we’ve raiased shouldn’t be used for wages too, becuase the likelyhood is our wage bill will be no higher this time next year than it is today.

    But oh yeah, let’s get back to reality, this is Ashley’s NUFC. There’ll be some excuse or other no doubt which will see us spend circa £15m net. The rest, well that will probably pay the wages and we’ll be left with a profit of about £40m at the end of the season. Fat lot of good that will do us!

    Oh and don’t forget we might be £20m richer from Tiote too.

    Sorry but something doesn’t add up! If we cannot compete with the Liverpools and Spurs with the figures that have been quotes then something really is going wrong!

    Of course I might get a shock and we might actually spend all that money but what are the chances of that happening?


  2. Bris – the economics are there for all to see.

    We just have to wait for Sept 1st to see how good it’s been. But dont be suprised to see our best two players leave. We know we’re going to get bids for them, do you think we will reject them?


  3. Oblong
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Spent in a sustainable way.

    That is possible when you look at the numbers.


  4. bit off topic, but this reminds me of something from the start of the season when Ashley came out with that statement with capital outlay or something along those lines… seem to remember that it was suggested that he should take a page out of westham’s book and look what happened there…
    think it’s a bit early to judge what will happen, he’s a very successfull business man, don’t think he’ll allow the club to go down the toilet…
    actually think the club is being run quite well at the minute, nothing wrong with staying within your means…


  5. i can see wat stuart is saying there should be a decent wedge of cash there. Im hoping this is all an act to stop clubs pushing up prices. Its kinda like going to buy a car , if u walk into a car showroom n tell the car sales man i have 5k to buy a car , you can bet your hole he ( or she for political correctness 🙂 ) will have a car tat is not worth 5k but they want to sell for 5k to u. So hopefully our team of gamblers r good at poker n get some deals. Only time will tell


  6. If everybody reads my comment I don’t actually slaughter the regime or I’m not actually negative. I’m just pointing out that we should in reality have a bloody good wod of cash to allow us to compete with Spurs and Liverpool. Now obviously they have a lot more to offer them but we should still be looking at spending the money on they type of players their looking at too.

    If we don’t do that then there really wasn’t much point in selling Carroll.


  7. Stu – Will we reject bids? I think we’ll handle them the way we handled Carroll’s transfer: reject bids until the player forces the move. Unless the player has already said he wants to leave, of course. As far as I’m aware, nobody has said that yet.


  8. Bris – Well Pardew has admitted that Enrique is refusing to talk about a new contract so I reckon that says it all doesn’t it?


  9. The problem with huge transfer fees is the ongoing cost – presuming that the wages are also high. Two or three 20m type players would send us back to where we were with FFS.


  10. we shouldn’t care about the figures… 35 Mill or 10 Mill. whatever it is… As long as we spend spend wisely on quality players.


  11. Brisvegas
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    I don’t think buying 3 £20m players is realistic for us at the minute, but look at the £200k a week we could save getting rid of the players I mentioned. All in all looking at the economics we should be spending a fair wedge and still be sutainable.


  12. sunlounger
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Agreed, but there aren’t too many Tiote’s about and if we sell him for £20m that says alot about how much it could cost to replace him.

    We’re not the only clubs scouting for bargains.


  13. true.but judging from the past 2 transfer windows… we haven’t done too badly when bargain hunting. 😉

    I think we shouldn’t be too worried…


  14. I think we’ll find it hard to shift Xisco tbh,He’s got the best of both worlds, while on loan he can play regularly in Spain and still get paid prem wages, he can do that for another 2 years and who can blame him really 😥


  15. Stuart said “All in all looking at the economics we should be spending a fair wedge and still be sutainable”

    I agree. I think 25million pounds is a fair wedge. I ‘d be very surprised if we spent over 40m – stunned, in fact.


  16. sunlounger
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    We were in the Championship when we got those supposed ‘bargains’ and I’m not too sure we can say Perch, Routledge, Campbell and Best (as yet) have been a success.

    So that leaves Williamson and Tiote as successes. 2 out of 6.


  17. I honestly don’t care how much we spend, in an ideal world you would sign everyone on free transfers and you wouldn’t have to spend any money on transfers. As long as we have a stronger squad it makes no odds. Plus if there’s money left over from the summer window it could be used in janurary, if we’d had the chance to replace ben arfa/carroll half way through the season we could have been…? Since when is a transfer fee a ltmus test of a players quality? For torress 50 mill you could get hernandez-6,van der varrt-8, tiote-3.5, ben arfa-5,benayoun-5.5, and meirella-11.5 with 10 mill change.


  18. Brisvegas
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    £25m out of £60m? What do we do with the rest? Why not spend it if we find the players who are worth it?


  19. Rorycn – Did you get my email reply from ages ago? If not, check your spam folder as sometimes mail from the site can get sent to there 🙂


  20. Pardew on Enrique: “There’s no point keeping a player who has set his sights on a club he has perceived is bigger”.

    I agree with only 1 year left on his contract he needs to be moved on. Another fck up by the club, why would you let a player get within1 year of the end of his contract?


  21. Stuart79
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    “£25m out of £60m? What do we do with the rest? Why not spend it if we find the players who are worth it?”

    25 man squad?

    To do that we’ll need to shift some of our current players, which isn’t going to be easy, or else we’ll just be paying for players that we can’t actually utilise.


  22. Brisvegas
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:55 AM
    See the previous post by Rorycn

    Slightly skewed view of things. Torres was £50m because of who the buying club were. He’s worth £25-30m max, but he’s a good player and will come good – no doubt about it.

    There’s plenty brilliant players who cost a pretty penny too so that argument can go both ways.

    If it was that easy to buy brilliant players for a bargain fee why isn’t everyone doing it?


  23. No never got anything, just had a look in the spam can’t see anything. Was actually meaning to pull you up on that, Haha.


  24. toonsy
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    My views are based on the likes of Smith, Perch, Routledge and Xisco all leaving, minimum.

    The 25 man squad rule is fine but we do have a lot of young players who we wouldn’t have to put into that squad but could still play.


  25. I am not too concerned about the actual figure we spend. I just want us coming out with a stronger squad.

    It’s inevitably going to cost money to replace players (Enrique is going, prepare yourself now as it will soften the blow) it’s just all about how thrifty and how much preparation the scouting team have put in.

    They could have 10 targets of which none come off, as there are so many hurdles to overcome to get the right signatures. Unless they have quality backup upon quality backup targets we will be left in a panic buy situation with Shefki Kuqi coming back in to fill out the numbers.


  26. Not syaing that though am i stuart? I’m just saying transfer fees do not mean you are guaranteed success. Just because you spend the money doesn’t mean your going to get quality. For me Spending money isn’t the key issue. The quality of players brought in is. For example i’d rather get seb larsson for free than shell out for someone who’ll do the same thing. I just think some people use the transfer fees as a yard stick when it’s the quality that matters.


  27. I feel I must be clear here. If we can get 6 good players who would improve us for £1m each then I’m all for it. I just think when you look at the reality of money in and what should be available it should give us the option of buying quality players if they come available and if they cost a bit more than someone else.


  28. Rorycn
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    I would love to spend a couple of weeks in your head – it would be a great holiday!

    You appear to be living in an idealistic world and we all know that football isn’t idealstic.

    Where are all these good cheap players? Why isn’t every club doing it?

    We don’t have a monopoly on buying good cheap players, there are other clubs looking in the same places.


  29. Bris, both amazing signings, if they were the only two we brought in and the rest of the squad stayed (barring xisco and perch) I would be content.

    Even though I am a betting man, I wouldn’t even waste a penny on it happening though!


  30. Haha, It’s a good place stuart. Many a happy thought. I must be one of those horrible half full glass sort of people. I understand what your saying, i just know that if we’ve brought in 5 good players by the end of summer and only spent say 20mill people on here are going to say well we didn’t spend all the carroll money, what the hells going on? I just don’t get why people are bothered by transfer fees. If they just made them all undisclosed it would make the transfer windows much easier for fans.


  31. I agree, Bris and that will be the test of the ambition of the club.

    When/if players like that come available will we be bidding for them or do we just say “No it too rich for us” even if we have the money?


  32. Can someone clarify something to me?

    Surely you can bid for players now and tie up deals? It’s just they can’t be registered before the window opens? QPR just bid for Graham before the transfer window has opened.

    Why does everyone wait the the window to be open and there be fierce competition? If we have identified signings why not get them tied up now?


  33. I think some of next season’s better players for us will come from the youth ranks. The likes of Vuckic and Ferguson could feature and young Airey is in the wings.

    I don’t think we can afford to spend £60m. Attracting big players to clubs outside of London Manchester and red Liverpool costs a fortune in wages.

    We’re nowhere near ready to compete over the course of a season with the top 6. Certainly on a match day, we’ve proven we can. Frankly, thinking or expecting a £60m spend and a top 6 target is delusional


  34. Shearers Receeding Hairline
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    But £60m could be the figure that has been raised without the club having to borrow any money of anyone. What’s your problem with that?


  35. Spurs don’t actually spend that much, they always seem to sell as well and bring in as much as they’ve spent.


  36. I don’t think its wrong for people to expect 35mil to be spent to be honest, we had a player “worth” that amount and he was sold with the direct promise that the funds would be made avaliable “for transfers and wages.” Which is a tidy little phrase to reduce the amount that will actually be spent on players. Anyway I’m not that fussed if say-we can keep our entire crop of players and maybe spend in the region of 10-15mil just to get a few quality players in and allow us to spend more after next season when we know where we are. I’ve no doubt some people will be pissed if they don’t see 35mil being spent straight away though, but tis up to them I guess.


  37. Stuart79
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Shearers Receeding Hairline
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    But £60m could be the figure that has been raised without the club having to borrow any money of anyone. What’s your problem with that?

    It’s the associate running costs of spending £60m. You really think we will pay £15-£20m for a player and they’d accept our wage cap? Look at the wage bill for any player £15m plus and it doesn’t fit our structure. Even players like Colo would not be taken on based on their current earnings.

    Spending £60m goes against the club ethos, whether you look at it cynically (ie cheapskate owner wanting to maximise his dividend) or pragmatically (self sufficient club which turns an occasional profit on players it develops, but runs in the black each year).

    Pardew stated a couple months ago that some of the funds raised will go towards paying wages. I feel we need to be more realistic in our expectations of summer signings.

    I pesonally have a lot of faith with Mr Ben’s talents in the transfer market. While we cannot compete with London clubs et al, we have earned a growing reputation in Europe with how we’ve looked after Ben Arfa.

    Couple that with our youth policy, our financial prudence and management structure, I think our regime is starting to make sense. We have to have an eye on impending FIFA changes and the imminent implosion of football.

    That said, I do think we should splash out on a proven goal scorer. It’s our weakest link right now.


  38. Shearers Receeding Hairline
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Who mentioned £20m players?

    Don’t forget the wages we’ll be possibly saving from the outgoing players – some of these on high wages.


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