Is it time to lay off Ashley?

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley
Time to give Ash a chance? Or not?
This is likely to be a controversial subject as I pose the question of whether or not it’s time that we, collectively, stop giving grief to Mike Ashley.

This has been prompted by Harry Redknapp and his insistence that enough is enough when it comes to Mike Ashley and the grief he has been on the end of since his NUFC tenure.

Perhaps it’s easy for Redknapp to say such a thing when he is not really involved in it all. It either allows him to be objective from a distance as he can see some form of bigger picture, or it means that the distance he is away from what has happened at St James’ Park is too great for him to actually grasp what fans are unhappy about.

Without further delay let’s hear what Redknapp has had to say about it all.

“Their chairman has taken some serious grief up there – and he’s put millions and ­millions of pounds into the club,” said Redknapp in quotes that are widely available although I nabbed these ones from The Star.

He continued: “Mike Ashley has put fortunes into Newcastle and they’re still shouting and moaning at him. He’s probably spent about £100m and yet they still call him all sorts and give him loads of abuse.”

I don’t think the amount of money that Ashley has put into the club has ever been denied, even by the staunchest opposition to Mike Ashley. What does rile people is that not too much of it, if any, has actually gone into strengthening the team where it matters – on the pitch – and has instead been used to exchange debt from the club owing to the banks to instead owing it to Ashley. Yes it will save the club money in the long run, but it’s also saving Ashley money in the long run even without the added tax avoidance benefits that having his fortune tied up in an asset brings about.

Now it’s all fine and dandy at the moment as we sit 4th in the league which is serving as somewhat of a justification for the parsimonious approach, but imagine what it would be like if we’d have spent a bit of cash. Nothing outlandish, just a bit more than nothing. Imagine that eh?

Then there are the controversial signs at St James’ Park, the shocking decisions like sacking Chris Hughton and so on. Granted the last one seems to have paid off in hindsight, but it was a very unpopular decision at the time.

However there are two sides to the story and it isn’t all bad news. We seem to be getting the finances in order although I’ll wait to see what the accounts say before I get too carried away with that notion. We’ve signed good players on cracking deals thanks to careful scouting, and we have a youth academy that is starting to look as though it is bearing fruit with players like Haris Vuckic and Shane Ferguson knocking on the door of the first team.

So what do you reckon? Is it time do as Redknapp says and lay off our illustrious owner and give him the benefit of the doubt? Or does Ashley deserve a rough time thanks to his past mistakes? Has he done enough to atone for the disasters of the last few years? Or has it gone too far for you?

As ever, it’s over to you.

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 “Is it time to lay off Ashley?

  1. Although it grieves me to say I think we should give the guy credit an back off. I think he meant well from the begining but made some extremelly bad mistakes ( biggest was employee Wise) but over his tenure we are financially better off. Ok no bidg signings but how many of our big signings since 2000 have been a success? (re Micheal “loads of money” Owen). Fans favourites have gone (Nolan, Barton) and we still march on! On Barton & Nolan I think there’s more to their exits than the club will say!!!!!!!

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  2. Yeah i think Ashley has finally got it right at newcastle. No one can deny he has put loads of money into the club to help us out. Everything is smooth at the moment, even if we lose today and the next few games we still stand in a strong position. If we had spent more cash in the window whos to say we would be any higher than we are? For me we did it perfect in the window and it has shown with our solid start to the season.

    A loss today wont be in the end of the world, still be going great in the league.

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  3. ‘Arry has an opinion on everything. It is none of his business how NUFC is run, but the man cannot shut up. If you look at it, his managerial record is not that great and yet the media have annointed him as next England manager. I think I will give up on England at that point because having to endure cr*p football AND ‘Arry’s blatherings would be too much.

    I hope we stuff Spurs today, maybe that’ll shut his gob.

    Sorry, that was a bit off topic, but ‘Arry gets on my t*ts.

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  4. All will be forgiven if we win a trophy this season or finish in the top 6. Other than that, I do not see most of the fans getting off Mike’s back. Credit is given where credit is due. Ashley has done a stellar job so far, in terns of balancing the clubs and making some crucial decisions(selling nolan and joey). I still think he will spend money when the fans stop abusing him and instead show some appreciation for his contributions to the club.

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  5. Good article with balanced views toonsey , there i said it ha . 😉
    It is exacly what u said an individuals decision and for me at the moment i just dont know , what he did to keegan and employing wise above him as well as the lies about the carroll money (still not spent ) are in my opinion unforgivable .
    And the sale of astablished players while bringing in unknowns is a big risk where as like you said for just a little investment we could have the young stars we have now with some proven players and have more squad to choose from .
    But credit is due to to the setup there at the moment especially the scouts and youth team and ashley being owner takes some of that credit .
    As for pardew im not a fan however at the moment we are flying so some credit to the owner and manager there however it is early days a good example is mclaren won a cup with boro (lucky)and moyes has won nothing (unlucky)but if u had to choose one as the toons next manager ?
    I dislike ashley to say the least and my biggest concern is that history will repeat itself again ie in january we may see a skriker but at the cost of tiote or krul or please not colo ! and in my opinion thats not progress its stagnation or worse , so if i had to decide id say no its not time to lay of ashley .

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  6. Maybe if we won the triple I’d lay off Ashley for good. Bar that he’ll always get stick from me, although obviously its relatively light hearted stuff at the moment. I’m just waiting for the next massive **** up in store along the road really. Like you said Toonsy, the money he loaned us has never been in question, the fact we’ve sold so many of our best players and brought in unknown qualities-even if its working well now, as well as a calamitous relegation season and manager merry-go-round are the reasons he gets scorn.

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  7. Most of Ashley’s problems with the fans were caused by Ashley.

    He made some stupid mistakes.

    He got us relegated. Tried to jump ship.
    He baled us out … propped up his investment before it went right down the toilet.

    He’s lied to his managers, made promises to Pardew on February 1st 2011 he certainly hasn’t kept.

    No doubt the club is more efficiently run now.
    Good people appointed throughout the club. (bar Llambias)
    Great signings in the summer.
    Good youth system.
    Sensible transfer policy with regard to age.

    I guess we’ve now paid back the loans from relegation, we’ll have to wait on the accounts for confirmation.

    I like the way the club is going, so hats off to Mr Ashley for that.
    I hope we get paid properly for all the SD advertising.

    I don’t like the lies and lack of communication.
    Probably wouldn’t like him as a person.

    Stop lying and treating the fans as mugs, then he might begin to earn some respect for his achievements with the club.

    btw Redknapp can f off.

    Just love it if we beat them … 🙂

    HWTL

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  8. Don’t like him and winning the league and cups wouldn’t change that, I Don’t let it blind me to some of the good he’s done, and he had done quite a bit but some of the goings on in the past I won’t/can’t forgive him for. That’s my opinion and he certainly isn’t the worst chairmen we’ve had in my time but **** them all, it’s the team on the pitch I love, nowt else and we’re doing well….Bring on Spurs, HTL 😀

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  9. I think he has made some mistakes but I think he has made us stable and I think Pardew is his manager and they both get on.

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  10. Geoff777 Ashley did not get us relegated. We were heading for relegation 3 years before it happened. Most people who were unfortunate to witness the lackluster performances during this period would accept that.

    I personally want a well run club and a good team that at least tries. I think we now have that and we can not continue to blame Ashley for things that go wrong but give him no credit when things go right. That is not fair in my view.

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  11. Harry you old slobber chops…you cannot invest “fortunes”, fortune is singular.

    I also recall that didn’t Ashley approach Redknapp to take over at the toon, but after the interview Harry realised that he didn’t have the cahoneys to take over at the toon ?…

    Lay off Ashley…cannot and will not happen. This kind of grief goes with the job, is part of the deal. Plus a lot of it is self inflicted. The grief will lessen, depending upon how he himself goes about the job, but will never disappear completely.

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  12. Groucho@14….spot on there about the relegation bit. The club was starting to fall apart at the seams before Ashley’s arrival.

    In fact, CH should be awarded Geordie legend status, cos things could have gone SO WRONG for the club hadn’t we bounced straight back up… 🙄 🙄 ohhh…err…then Ashley toasted him…

    What was the question again…should we lay off Ashley ?…. 😆

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  13. Been supportive of him from the start – absolutley time that anyone who still complains gives it a rest + gets on with putting their energy into supporting the team. As have said before, anyone doing differentyl is as an ass in my opinion.

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  14. @groucho

    The team Keegan sent out looked pretty good.
    If Keegan had been left alone, no way would we have been relegated.

    I don’t accept your point.

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  15. Difficult to like Ashley, whenever things start to look stable he pulls the rabbit out of the hat (usually around the transfer window) out of the hat that gets the fans against him….

    If nothing catastrophic happens I hope Ashley stays in the background and support Pardew and the team

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  16. Agree with richie @ 12.

    Having grown up during the Westwood era I have an aversion to all chairmen and owners. Ashley is just another one of the buggers who have run the club and feathered their nests at the expense of the fans.

    The players on the field for any given game is the only thing that matters. Howay the lads.

    Besides, I wasn’t aware that he was the butt of criticism these days. Certainly as far as this blog is concerned, his critics have gone into hiding – especially those who were hoping we’d be relegated. 🙄 .

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  17. Yep time to leave him alone he is no better and no worse than the rest of the owners and chairnen we have had in my 55 years of supporting NUFC. I dislike them all but would never use the word hate I don’t think your need to like them just suffer them.

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  18. I neither like or loath the bloke at the moment, he has divided fans since he took over. I think at the moment we are on the crest of a wave so let’s ride it and put the fat Cnut at the back of minds.
    It only takes seven games to make a saint????

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  19. well for me he could put his entire fortune in the club and id have no time for him

    the difference between laying off a man for money is a differenet matter for me

    i dont like him as a man…. as a owner….. full stop the other issues put aside so for me id be happy to see the back of the man…..

    like keane or le tissier…… they could $hit us a trophy but it dosent escape from the fact the pricks as ppl go regardless of there achivements or failings

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  20. Obviously we were on a bit of a downwards spiral ever since Robson left, but relegation unavoidable? Don’t buy that whatsoever. Worse case scenario we’d keep Big Sam, ****e yes but we’d never have got relegated.Hiring keegan? Bad idea, ****ing him over with Wise-absolutely ridiculous idea. As others have said keeping keegan happy would have kept us up. Although i’d also add hiring keegan in the first place as a mistake, an emotional rather than logical choice.

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  21. It’ll be time to “lay off Ashley” when we manage to go two seasons in a row without him making profits in the transfer window. If we keep all the decent players we have, and invest more this January I may start half not minding him too much.

    Fk me, just watching SJP on Sky Sports, he’s well and truly bummed the stadium with his Sports Direct ****e. Talk about overkill. He might as well paint all the seats blue and the pitch red. Good thick white pitch markings should tie up his corporate colours quite nicely.

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  22. Gawd I hate ‘Arry. Has any manager ever been more overrated? He always wants to spout off about every subject to his media buddies and in exchange they rarely criticize him. Why would I care what he has to say about Ashley?

    As for the man himself we really don’t have an option to “lay” him off but at the moment he finally seems to have made some decent decisions. Though they are always accompanied by awful ones (rebranding the stadium etc).

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  23. Toon release mission satement today. Haven’t seen it but here are some tweets from Lee Ryder:

    lee_ryder Lee Ryder
    #nufc board statement: “We have a strict spending policy and will not take a reckless approach which permits spending beyond our means.”
    6 minutes ago
    Lee Ryder
    lee_ryder Lee Ryder

    Lee Ryder
    lee_ryder Lee Ryder
    #nufc Accounts for 2010/11 expected to show operating loss of £4.7m but club hope to break even next year
    10 minutes ago
    Lee Ryder
    lee_ryder Lee Ryder
    Mission statement reveals aim for season is top 10 finish, club wage bill has risen by 7% #nufc
    17 minutes ago
    »
    Lee Ryder
    lee_ryder Lee Ryder
    Newcastle United release mission statement today #nufc
    20 minutes ago

    If we made a loss last season it has to exclude the Carroll money – maybe transfers are excluded from day to day operating profit – anyone know?

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  24. 3hourswasted, fk nahs mate.

    …hahaha, I actually find it quite funny, bizarre actually. Don’t think I’ve ever known any fans from any clubs spend so much time discussing their team’s finances, as if doing their monthly budget from their wage slips. Most fans just watch players come and go without question. I guess most fans don’t have a tosspot for an owner. 😆

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  25. zebra dosent change its stripes they recon…………. reet back to graft phew iv not stopped for a minute 😉

    stick with me batty i wont steer ya wrong :mrgreen:

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  26. I think its about ****ing time Ash laid Lambs-arse off, then I might lay off him a bit 😆 .
    Anyway I think a lot of Fans have laid off him as you dont here him getting asmuch stick anymore, you dont even hear the FCB song 😀

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  27. Dave, I think the fans just realised the ole FCB ditty wasn’t doing anyone any favours. If anything it made things worse. I’m sure it’ll pick up again when we sell Tiote and Colo in January 😮

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  28. Batty boy you dont need to ask me that question as you know the answer to that 😉
    After the way he treated 2 of my Toon Idols I will always hold it against him, doesn’t mean I wont admit that he has got 1 or 2 things right, but I will never forgive him.

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  29. Rod yer right that the ditty done us more harm than good, as I always imagined that while he was sitting listening to the fans sing you FCB get out of our club, he was laughing to himsel thinking i’ll teach these bastads a lesson when their wanting me to buy them players 👿
    And your right about the singing section being the primary reason for the song not being sung 😉

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  30. haha Simon, yeah Ed will be creaming. The man is/was obsessed with Larsson. I’ve never been as sick of hearing a player’s name linked to us, as with Seb fkn Larsson. I think it went on for about 3 years.

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  31. Oh the Boy part sorry Batts that was just a Freudian slip I didn’t mean it in that way 😉 , as for twitter i’m hardly on that now it full of ****ing muppets with massive egos 👿
    Ice I just read that 😉

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  32. …you been tempted by the 2/1 Bats? Well overpriced I reckon, given our record against them at ours, and current form.

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  33. Ice, that link is just a load of old waffling flannel *******. Doesn’t really say anything (apart from how much they’ve lost).

    Personally, I’d like them to expand on the important bit:

    ….”We have a realistic view of what we can achieve at Newcastle and the time frame required to achieve it.”

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  34. Bats, we were 2/1 yesterday on Bet365 but hit 15/8 by the time I got my arse in gear.

    Yeah I used to be like that, not betting on us. I think it changed a few years ago when I had a cheeky punt on us to win the FA Cup, then it developed to backing us only in cup games. Nowadays I back us to win nearly all the time 😆

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  35. Agreed Rodz, other than this part the rest seems unnecessary as it’s been said several times before:

    “When Mike Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007 he arrived with a clear five year plan to get Newcastle on a sound financial footing and the club is now in a better shape financially that it has been for many years.

    “Our aim is to make Newcastle United self-financing.

    “We can’t continue to acquire debt year after year and rely on additional financial support from the owner.”

    “In 2008/09 we reported an operating loss of £37.7m.
    “In 2009/10 that loss was £33.5m.

    “Once audited our accounts for 2010/11 are expected to show an operating loss of £4.7m.

    “And this year we hope to break even.”

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