Ashley opens up about NUFC’s transfer funds, sending a message to the frustrated Rafa Benitez

In a rare interview from the Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley has admitted it’s ‘impossible’ to give Rafa Benitez enough money to compete with the biggest clubs in the Premier League.

“I’m nowhere near wealthy enough to compete with clubs like Man City.

I don’t have the ability to write a cheque for £200m.”

“In theory I’m a multi-billionaire, but in reality my wealth is like wallpaper – it’s all in Sports Direct shares.”

Benitez opened up about his transfer frustrations in an interview with Sky Sports earlier this week, and it appears Ashley has now responded in kind, where he tries to explain just why he can not give Benitez the money he would need to compete with the biggest clubs in the country.

One thing that frustrates me here is that it shows just how little Ashley knows about us as fans and Rafa Benitez. We, nor Benitez, expect to be competing with the countries top four, and don’t require a £200m cheque, but if recent reports are anything to go by, he’s struggling to even muster a £13m cheque for Lucas Perez.

Let us know what you make of Mike’s latest comments.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

10 thoughts on “Ashley opens up about NUFC’s transfer funds, sending a message to the frustrated Rafa Benitez

  1. We’ve got 8 games coming on Sky over the next 3 months at £1 million per game. relax your damn financial structure for once and release those funds early so Rafa can get a striker. It’s all in the same financial year!


  2. Rafa must have hit a bit of a nerve there, what with Ashley responding like that – he NEVER responds!
    I would never trust him one bit – unfortunately WE all know him too well and it’s a tragedy HE doesnt know (or care?) about the club, the fans , the city…
    He ONLY cares about a black and white cash cow he owns a.k.a. NUFC!


  3. Its not just about handing over the cash. We have to play by the rules. The club turnover is just not big enough under FFP rules to finance massive fees. Plus its still no guarantee. Look what McClaren spent and we still went down. The club was in dire straights even with Pardew his hands tied by accountants who had to have an assurance of Ashley underwriting £20 million per season for 5 seasons just to keep the club afloat. The EC and some fans should go and check out our accounts for the last few years and just see how close we were to bankruptcy without Ashley. And all this talk of Sky money, its not paid up front. Not long after Ashley took over the Toon we had the worldwide financial crisis which decimated Ashleys wealth such that the club became nearly half his assets and was carrying debt of over £130 million, so some severe budgeting was necessary, like wage caps and alternate income sources like concerts and summer sporting events. The finances now are better, but we still carry that debt and it prevents others from buying into the club. What we need is a period of stability in the PL and to invest more wisely in signings. We were so lucky to get the Spurs and Liverpool money last year to finance our return to the PL after one season. If that had not happened I shudder to think where we would be now. Rafa has a tough job clearing the decks of players signed by Macca et al whilst trying to improve on the squad from last season. I think he has done extremely well thus far. The acid test will be those first few games, but remember many of our players already had PL experience, they just needed a PL manager. They have that now, and with 52000 baying geordies I can only see better times ahead when players will once again want to come to the Toon to win things and be part of the Rafalution regardless of what they think of Ashely et al….


  4. The article is spot on, no NUFC fan l know including myself expects us to be competing with the top clubs.
    We don’t expect £200 million for a player, nor would we expect that a player worth that amount of money (is there one) ? would be rocking up at SJP anytime soon.
    What we did expect though, was a bit more than we have a seen thus far.
    Papertalk is papertalk, but if Rafa really can’t find the money to sign Lucas Perez at £13 million, then something is very wrong.
    It’s the hope that kills us every time. After our promotion l really expected that the feelgood factor and the optimism that surrounded the club would be built on. I didn’t expect everything to drop into place like magic, but l didn’t expect that the doubts and fears would be back either.
    I am sure that Rafa is a realist and l doubt he expected miracles and a bottomless pit of money either. I just feel he expected better than the hand he has been dealt.
    Like we fans, the Club is under the skin and in the blood, hopefully some of that addiction has rubbed off on Rafa, and he like us finds it impossible to walk away.


  5. Ashley says he has all his money in Sports direct shares ,ok so what happened to all the Sky cash and the money that goes through the turnstiles every season.
    Nobody expects 200 millon players but surely if other teams in the premier league (excluding the top 6 teams)are able to buy players for 50million Newcastle must be able to buy the equivilent. If not send sell some shares you mean sod or sell the bloody club to someone who cares.


  6. Ashley is an Asshat!!! His ‘wealth’ is nothing more than accounting fiction, is what he wants us fans to believe. Hmmmm, so does that mean he lives in a cardboard box on some street corner?? NO, of course not! He’s an Asshat of the N’th degree!!!

    No one expects the lads to be top 4. Not this year certainly; though it would be above & beyond if they did find themselves there next spring. But if you are going to compete and be a top ten team then you have to give Rafa the ability to assemble a top 10 squad!! The last damned thing I want to see is the club flailing about like a fish out of water gasping for air. Hoping like hell they somehow manage to flop back above the line avoiding a yet another relegation on Asshat’s watch!

    Simply put, Ashley; either do right by the club, the city and the network of fans on Both sides of the pond; and pony up or piss off!! Shape up and start Investing in the club or sell off and slink back under the slime covered rock you slithered out from under…

    NUFC Rules!!!!!


  7. ” If all of Mike Ashley’s. Money is tied up in Sports Direct shares i.e. £ 3 Billion ..
    Why does he not generate say £ 500 M by selling some of his shares and give the money to Rafa ,now that would be a message of intent to all the Toon fans and all those Ashley knockers !So come on Mike Ashley be a proper business man and not a Cockney Barrow boy you like to I don’t believe a word Ashley says why has in Thames last 10 years he’s never mentioned this before ????
    On the subject of not being able to get in the supposedly targeted players or get rid of some of our fringe player who are costing us a fortune is it not a case that Rafa or Charnley or even Ashley were a bit to hasty in sacking Graham Carr ???
    Graham Carr has gone off with all the transfer information with him and there was nobody else capable of doing the same job cos they didn’t hav Carr’s contacts or list of targets or negotiation information on transfers in or out Carr took all the information with him and I bet he’s laughing his socks off now because we are in so much disarray…TTBWA,HTL,GATSR…


  8. ” In fact MrAshley sell ALL of your shares in SD and give it to Rafa ”
    ” Then you could say to Rafa ” Buy a few players for £ 200m or more
    if you want ” So you see Mr Ashley YOU DO HAVE MORE MONEY THAN
    SAY ” MAN CITY ” etc”…You would be doing what your good at Mr Ashley
    Money Manipulation and Gambling ,remember the Pips market”


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