Ashley hits the top ten, but does it really matter?

Ashley - The poor rich man?
I have to concede that this article is not going to be to the liking of everyone. It’s about, and I’ll say this quietly, finances.

It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine as I love numbers, and with little football to crack on with it gives me a time to ponder some of the latest financial nuggets that have been published over the last day or so.

Essentially FourFourTwo compiled a list of football owners, players, and managers and ranked their worth. Not surprisingly it was the owners who dominated the list and our very own Mike Ashley made the top ten in this latest edition, but the real question is regarding whether or not it really matters and whether or not the figures really stack up to scrutiny.

I suppose we’d better deal with the figures first and foremost. The Manchester City owner Shiekh Mansour comes out on top with his wealth standing at a cool £20bn. Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov sits in 2nd place with a worth of £12.4bn while QPR’s Lakashmi Mittal rounds off the top three with a wealth of £11.8bn. Despite the wealth of Usmanov and Mittal, neither have a controlling stake in their respective clubs.

Outside of the top three we find Roman Abramovich in 4th place with a worth of £10.3bn before a big drop to the 5th placed Liebherr family who currently own Southampton and have a worth of just £3bn. Joe Lewis, the Tottenham majority shareholder, is worth £2.8bn while former Doncaster director and current Celtic minority shareholder Denis O’Brien sits 7th with a worth of £2.517bn.The man that Arsenal’s Usamanov can’t oust, Stan Kroenke sits in 8th with a fortune of £1.8bn while Manchester United’s oweners, the Glazer family, take the penultimate spot with a paltry £1.64bn. Last but not least is our very own Mike Ashley who concludes the top ten with a fortune of £1.37bn.

Now the first thing to look at is whether or not these fortunes are relevant. In short, not really. For instance I’m worth about £200,000 and 21p. It doesn’t mean to say that I have that swimming around in a bank account somewhere – that is where the 21p comes from! What it does mean is that I’m worth that if you add together the value of my house, car, shares, savings, etc. Essentially it’s the value of my assets.

They may be on a different level, but these billionaire owners have their fortunes counted in much the same way. Just because they are billionaires on paper it doesn’t mean that they are cash rich billionaires. In fact the tax efficient billionaire will have most of his wealth tied up in this that or the other to minimise their exposure to the taxman although I have no doubts that all of them aren’t short of a few bob in cold hard cash and I dare say that the top few have a few billion stuffed away in an accessible tin box somewhere.

The second thing that I notice is that Mike Ashley is small fry in terms of the big boys of the Premier League. It’s a sobering thought for those that would like to see our billionaire owner splash the cash, but the fact remains that he just hasn’t got the cash to compete with the likes of Mansour and Abramovich.

So where do we go from here? Do we hope and pray for a rich oil baron, because that is what it’s going to take to move us towards sustained competition with the top clubs in the short term? Or do we settle with the fact that Mike Ashley just simply hasn’t got the money to throw about to get us up there in the short term? Granted we sit 4th currently, but do you think we’ll end the season there? I don’t…

It seems strange to talk about a billionaire not being able to afford to compete, but the numbers are there in black and white. And when you consider that those numbers include all of their assets (including his £260 million commitment to NUFC) you can perhaps start to appreciate that spending say, £25 million, out of his own pocket is a lot more complex than first thought. Spending money that the club generates though should be an entirely different matter.

So in conclusion I guess the numbers don’t really matter. Not when they are compiled using numbers the really have no relevance to us as football fans. It does perhaps make it a bit clearer why Ashley is not so flash with his own cash though.

What do you make of it?

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.

136 thoughts on “Ashley hits the top ten, but does it really matter?

  1. For me it’s sustainability whilst remaining competitive…it’s all well & good having Russians & Arabs but they will fcuk off & the respective teams will be fcuked themselves.

    No amount of trophies & CL football could sustain the wages these clubs pay out.

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  2. 100% agree witters…in fact as awful as Ashley seems his model could just be exactly what long term sustainability is all about for football in general

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  3. Joesoap – seriously, what is awful about what has been achieved so far? you cant knock he guy for the negatives without praising him for the positives and we are doing well …. Also, wouldnt call MA small fry – dont see many other prem teams owners mentioned in the list and considering a couple of those mentioned are the wealthiest in the world, should probably discount them … as ive said from the very beginning we should all be pleased we have MA.

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  4. @pipes…..nothing wrong, in fact I’ve supported the actions of the owner on here since I first started posting, but he does come across as a bit of a tw@t , not that previous owners have been any better like!

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  5. I think the model he’s set up is sustainable especially with the decoders maybe having an effect on massive tv income. Possibly ashleys frugality with our large crowds/young talented team(Assets) could be a recipe for succsess? Who knows..

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  6. TP is that not what he just did? Yes he didn’t kiss ashleys nether regions, which is understandable and not worth getting into, but did he not just say that maybe heis model is the right way to go and thus compliment him?

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  7. Time will tell I guess. The thing is that it depends on so many factors. Our league position now is great, but ultimately it’s the one at the end that counts. If it’s decent then there are grounds to back up the claim that his philosophy may just be the right one.

    Then we have the accounts. At the minute it looks as though they are being sorted but there is no definitive proof until the accounts are released and we can see just where things are standing on that front.

    A lot ifs and buts, but we’re doing well thus far.

    Ashley has made some horrendous decisions, but he has also done some good things. It’s arguably a bitter tonic that we’ve had to swallow but if it works out well in the end then you’ll hear no complaints from me.

    My big question is the debt. As you know I like to look at the accounts. What I don;t get is that there is a plan in black and white to take the money back, but only to the level in which it was before we were relegated. Why not go further? Are we perpetually going to be in £111 million worth of debt?

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  8. When are the financials normally published toonsy? march/april? A while to wait to see the impact our promotion had.
    I’m not sure quite what 111m your referring to but is it the interest free loans in favour of himself? I assumed they were just there until he sold the club and at that stage they’d be part of the negotiations and be either written down or paid off at a discount by the buyer?

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  9. That might be Roman’s “stated income”, but i have a feeling his income from “other sources” is much more

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  10. Anyone see the hubbub Shane Ferguson has caused by just ignoring his international call up to the Northern Ireland squad?

    Not very professional of him really.

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  11. True FJ but the club seem to be aiding and abetting whatever reason and not for the first time if memory serves. Wonder what the problem is, seems like he wants to play for NI but is avoiding it for some reason. Worthington?
    Would be well chuffed if he switched allegiances to the ROI like but cant see it happening. Maybe if we wrap up qualification this week…..

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  12. Worthington had a go at Fergie some years ago apparently. Maybe this is why he doesn;t want to play for him?

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  13. well i think that list will change soon especially with the monet Mike Ashley is making on the outgoing players at Newcastle…he’ll soon be in the top 3

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  14. Interesting about Fergie. He seems like a good lad so there must be a reason for it.

    I wonder if worthington is just trying to get him capped to lock him down for life.

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  15. On another note did anyone see the robbie savage interview? He comes across a bit full of himself. However he did say something that made me think, someone had asked him if he thought newcastle would be in the top 6 at the end of the season, he said absolutely not! I thought after that, why can’t we be in the top 6 come May? I know I may sound very optimistic, even nieve, but I reckon we could actually finish 5th or 6th. My top 4: Man U, Man C, Chelsea, Tottenham.
    My 5-8: Newcastle U, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton/Aston Villa. Happy to have opinions on this. :mrgreen:

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  16. Scottoon. The simple reason is finances. Liverpool and arsenal are prepared to outspend us in order to achieve “success”. If they fail, as arsenal are then come the next window the buy another player. We have to grow our income in order to grow our expenditure.

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  17. Interesting that prem and up…. at this present time who would we have

    Carroll/ Ba
    Suarez / Ben Arfa
    Downing / Jonas
    Adam / Cabaye
    Henderson / Tiote
    Kuyt / Obertan

    Liverpool: circa £100m
    Newcastle circa £20m

    Interesting I wouldnt say for the investment they have paid they are any better off.
    Damn toonsy should have done article on that!

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  18. Ice – I’m still waiting for news of this apparent injury to Demba Ba that hasn’t been reported yet 😉

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  19. Scottoon, I am actually in agreement with you! I really think that 5th place is attainable as this squad is actually going to get better as the season goes on. We might even be able to nick a draw from one of the Manchester clubs later on.

    And premandup, I understand what you’re saying about those clubs spending money for new players, but I can’t help but think about that 30 million that’s just sitting around somewhere at the club

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  20. I know that I’ll probably get disappointed due to DL’s incompetence, but a couple defenders and a different kind of striker could help this team out a lot!

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  21. BTW; villas boas has actually said to quote ”newcastle have hit top form AGAIN” – maybe he is crazy :mrgreen:

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  22. Villas Boas seems a cracking lad. Think he may have a soft spot for us because of Sir Bobby. Shame he choose that horrible team though! Also saw a demba ba injury article on .org the other day from a french website. Not one of the big ones though so i don’t think there is much in it tbh. Internationals 👿 i hate them!

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  23. Spence how accurate is that though?
    Dunno about you guys but do not tire of looking at that premier league table……… 😎

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  24. LST- It’s not very accurate with the return date, but it is normally fairly accurate when a player has picked up an injury

    Ba has picked one up, but its nothing serious.

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  25. premandup
    I understand what your saying, but just cause they throw money around doesn’t mean they’ll get better players e.g Cabaye=£4.5m or Henderson=£20m. Also I agree with AndrewT that we could invest in Jan aswell. I also think we could sneak a draw against man u, and possibly a win against chelsea.

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  26. LST, that comparison with Liverpool is pretty thought-provoking. As the season started, I remember talking to my brother-in-law, whose a Liverpool fan, about how good our midfield may be, and possibly the best out of the top 4. He disagreed, citing Gerrard and Downing, while I replied with Cheik, Ben Arfa, and what I had heard about Cabaye.

    7 games in, seeing what our new boys have to offer, we may well prove to have a top midfield with Ben arfa and Marveaux getting some time in soon! 😯

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  27. Just asked Mark Douglas about an injury to Ba. He replied

    MsiDouglas Mark Douglas
    @
    @NUFCblogcouk What injury? None reported today
    1 minute ago

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  28. Interesting looking at that and seeing we have five injuries (excl donaldson). I had just been thinking a major reason for our strong bench was a lack of injuries, but in our last match we had neither gosling nor fergie (i think) on the bench and that’s with five players out. Now i know we’ll get more and the a big part of the problem is where we have stil cover but still 😯

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  29. It’s a bit of a shock Rooneys dad being arrested 😉 I mean what are those scousers like they would rob their own grandma ,but at least rooney would sha£ her first 🙂 🙂

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  30. It always amuses me when i see these estimates of peoples worth.

    They multiply Ashley’s holdings of various shares by their current market value and come up with ludicrous figures.

    He’d get the current market value for a few % of his shares, if he was lucky.
    Then the share price would drop dramatically as the city got wind of the majority share holder selling large chunks of his holdings.

    In reality he probably isn’t worth anywhere near the figures quoted.
    Probably why he cheated us out of the 35M?
    Poor Mike.

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  31. Well someone came down hard right on top of Ba’s foot in the last game, I was relieved to see him play on. So he probably has a sore foot like, and bruising, but IMO could easily have got a broken metatarsal in that incident, but I think if it was serious we’d have heard about it so I think we’re lucky!

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  32. my first post on here, but have read it on many occasions,re original post ashley hits top ten.in the past ive been one of ashleys biggest critics,although i agree with his wage policys,and buying young players,iv’e been as guilty of other fans wanting big signings,but i have to eat humble pie,because the quality of signings in the last window seem very good,add to this the young players coming through look an excellent bunch, and all bodes well for the future,would be nice if the powers that be would communicate more with the fans,so maybe a bit more trust could be placed in them,ie let the fans know that we will keep our best players,and be in the market in january to boulster the squad in certain positions.

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  33. MG Man – Welcome along buddy.

    I dunno about saying that we’re going to be active in January. It just creates pressure IMO.

    Agree about communication in general though 🙂

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  34. MG welcome to the mad house, on the Jan window I wouldn’t hold out much hope as Lambs-arse has stated before about players prices being sky high and they represent value for money, they are more use to things being cheaper in Jan with the SD jan sales 😆
    Communication has always been ****e, until Pards came in

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  35. We r f u cking sweet with MA at the top .. its when he goes and has had enuf of the wisecracks that im worried about .. any case .. ba bas deffo got a bruised foot but cuz he is playin mauritius in the ancq he will get some beach life and will be back to scsare te s hit out of the spudz .. who wud go with ba + hba or ba + best …. i recks he will start with ba + best with hba to get a good 30 mins or even 45 mins if necessary … BELTANG

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  36. WE DIVENT NEED COMMUNICATION WE NEED ACTION COMMUNICATION GIVES JOURNOS ROOM TO SPIN A STORY AND COMPETITION TO KNOW WHATS GANNIN ON .. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS AND ON PITCH IS WHERE WE ARE YACKETY YACK YACK … WE WANT HUSH + GRAFT FROM THE TOP

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  37. Dave mort seemed to do a good job but then again he was chairman when the ashley era had just begun and we were filled with hope and blissfully ignorant of the troubles to come so maybe we just liked him more

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  38. shane_fergie shane ferguson
    Some of these comments make me lol there’s two sides to every story that’s all am saying
    3 minutes ago

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  39. No just the prats that are lurking about mate!

    I’m actually doing my Economics homework hoooo deee dooo deee darrr!

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  40. DUBTOON IM NOT IN CHARGE OF THE CLUB SO I CAN ONLY SHOUT AND CAPS LOCK IT UP WHAT DO YOU WANT A NEW BLOG ENTITLED ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, NOT POSSIBLE MON AMIGO, SO RESIGNED TO SHOUTING .. MA DONT NEED TO DO THAT …. PEACE NICE MONIKER .. WHEN YOU SAY DUB .. WHAT STYLE WHO YOU LIKE?

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  41. Cant understand what you’re saying 😆

    i agree that what’s happening on the pitch is most important anyway, only pulling your leg 😉

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  42. i have cousins in Dublin .. right bunch of loonz .. good laugh but its a bit tough at the moment isnt it …. that where you from?

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  43. Yeah, not the best but same story everywhere i suppose could be worse, one of my own cousins has been out of work for a long while there and just got a job so maybe things starting to look up

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