The fact Mike Ashley is still unsure about Salomon Rondon is absolutely staggering..

We’re now over a week into the summer transfer window, yet it still seems quite clear that Mike Ashley has serious reservations over a permanent deal for Salomon Rondon.

If I told you this was a Championship player that struggled to score goals for West Brom, then you may just understand his approach, but Ashley’s reluctance to activate his £16.5m release clause is absolutely staggering given the season he’s just had at St James’ Park.

We all know about his tedious transfer policy, with him demanding that Rafa now signs players under the age of 26 with high potential and sell on value, but Rondon must be an exception to that rule.

Here’s a few reasons why Ashley’s reluctance to do a deal is inexcusable this time around:

12 goals and 7 assists

A season-long loan can act as a ‘try before you buy’ and, with 12 goals and 7 assists, Salomon Rondon has passed the initial test for any striker with flying colours.

It’s been his best season in England to date, highlighting how he’s thrived under a top manager like Rafa Benitez, with him not only finishing emphatically more often than not, but also having a knack of setting up others.

Getting into double figures in a struggling Premier League side is impressive as it is, but adding 7 assists to your tally says a lot about his all round play and ability to bring others into play.

Involved in 43% of our Premier League goals

We scored 42 goals in the Premier League across the 2018/19 season, and Salomon Rondon was involved in 18 of them.

Take his 11 Premier League goals and 7 top flight assists away and we’d be relegated.

That should be food for thought for Mike Ashley given the likes of Gayle, Joselu and Muto haven’t scored just 13 Premier League goals between them since we earned promotion back to the big time two years ago.

Our ‘Player of the Season’ – The first striker since Alan Shearer

This award tells you one thing – Salomon Rondon has been our best and most influential player across the 2018/19 season.

If that doesn’t set alarm bells off telling Mike Ashley he’s a player he must sign, I don’t know what will?

Alan Shearer was the last striker to win a Player of the Season award at St James’ Park (2003/04) – and there’s been several good ones since then (Ba, Cisse, Carroll, Remy). That said, Mike Ashley is no doubt totally oblivious to this as he looks for the best online casinos in America!

Only at Mike Ashley’s Newcastle could you see a loan man come in and win the big end of season award, only for us to then opt against signing him.

Offers MUCH more than just goals and assists

Rondon’s goals have been huge this season – and they are undoubtedly the main thing a striker is judged on – but his all round play and overall contribution has been invaluable.

Not only is he the man most likely to pop up with that big goal or vital assist, he’s a constant handful for centre-backs, he battles for every ball, has superb work rate and links the play superbly – with him able to bring the best out of Perez and Almiron.

Ashley may think he can sign some 24-year-old who’s been scoring goals in France, Belgium or Spain, believing they’ll be able to do the same job. Unless he’s prepared to pay huge money, he’s in for a shock.

I’d be shocked if our scouts can find a player available for less than £20m who can contribute to 19 goals over a season (12 goals / 7 assists), all while holding up the ball, running themselves into the ground, being a constant presence and bringing the best out of the players around them.

£16.5m is peanuts…whether he’s approaching 30 or not.

In a world where average strikers who struggle to get into double figures cost £20m, it’s baffling that Ashley can’t see value in a £16.5m deal for a proven Premier League forward in Rondon.

Does Ashley honestly think he’s going to get better for the same price?

Let me run you threw a few example of strikers who’ve cost Premier League sides big money but struggled:

  • Andre Gray – Watford (£18m) – 14 goals in 67 games
  • Cenk Tosun – Everton (£20m) – 9 goals in 43 games
  • Islam Slimani – Leicester (£27m) – 13 goals in 46 games
  • Vincent Janssen – Spurs (£20m) – 6 goals in 42 games
  • Kelechi Iheanacho – Leicester (£25m) – 10 goals in 63 games
  • Christian Benteke – Crystal Palace (£28m) – 21 goals in 90 games
  • Lucas Perez – Arsenal (£18m) – 7 goals in 21 games
  • Ahmed Musa – Leicester (£17.5m) – 5 goals in 33 games
  • Oumar Niasse – Everton (£16m) – 9 goals in 39 games
  • Jurgen Locadia – Brighton (£15m) – 6 goals in 41 games
  • Manolo Gabbiadini – Southampton (£15m) – 12 goals in 60 games

If it were based on sports betting odds, a striker arriving from abroad for big money would be odds on to struggle in their first season.

What’s even more baffling is the Chronicle claim we’re discussing a deal for Hoffenheim’s 22-year-old Brazilian talent Joelinton – a player who’s set to cost double Rondon’s fee despite scoring just 7 goals in Germany last season.

Refusing to sign a player that doesn’t fit in your transfer policy is one thing, but maintaining that stance after he’s just done all of the above is absolutely inexcusable, showing once again how little Mike Ashley knows about the sport he’s invested in.

(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.

68 thoughts on “The fact Mike Ashley is still unsure about Salomon Rondon is absolutely staggering..

  1. Who the hell are this 90min website? Never heard of them. They make up a story and it is repeated in The Chronic, Ed’s, The Mag. Possibly next on here. Shows how desperate people are for news, even if they know it is made up. Danny Mills saying we should sign Lukaku is a story FFS. The headline should have been… “stupid c@nt proves once again he is a stupid c@nt”.


  2. Danny Mills has done some co-commentary over here and he is a bit of an idiot. The worst is Phil Neville. He goes completely over the top and is wrong in most of the things he says. He often corrects himself on air – I am guessing the producers whisper in his earpiece that he has said something stupid again. And yet they still employ him.


  3. I don’t understand this equal pay argument for women’s football. One of the players said the standard must go up in order to make this happen. The standard has nothing to do with it. It is about interest in the game, eyeballs, clicks, bums on seats, sponsorship and above all MONEY. It is like arguing a non league men’s team should have pay parity with the Premier League.


  4. Day of reckoning for the Mackems then. I am sure the 2 Chancers have a buyer lined up but the price will be very different for a League 1 team or a Championship team. I would be very worried anyway because the Pompey home playoff game shows that the Mackem fans do not have endless patience and will not continue to blindly show up if they remain in the 3rd Division.

    The Chancers will be gone either way and their hero worshipers will be left with egg on their faces. There is one parachute payment left but that is owed to Ellis Short and the Mackems now stand alone. I think you get about 3 million from the League in League 1 and 10 million in The Championship. Any PL sponsorship deals will be coming to an end as well, if they haven’t already.

    I posted an article from The Mail last week on here which for a change was in depth and informative. Part of it was that the League wanted to block the Chancers but Ellis Short said it was them or administration. The reason was that they had promised him the parachute payments which was all he had left to claim after writing off 250 million. Better that 50 million in parachute payments than nowt, thought Ellis.

    Now the Chancers are free to make their quick buck after only 1 year.

    It will still not get them out of the weeds because they are still totally skint.


  5. Mackems taking selfies with Stuart Donald in Trafalgar Square. They still don’t get it. He was in it for a quick buck and will be off next week whatever the result. Treasure your selfie.

    Are they staying up all night? I know how much London Hotel rooms cost. I lived there for 3 years and have been back quite a few times in the past 25 years. Maybe Airbnb with 25 Mackems to a room?


  6. So Qatar government enter talks to buy Leeds. I’ve come to the conclusion Jabba really has no interest in selling. Direct action is the only way to rid ourselves of him.


  7. Stuart79:
    So Qatar government enter talks to buy Leeds. I’ve come to the conclusion Jabba really has no interest in selling. Direct action is the only way to rid ourselves of him.

    What a dam shame


  8. Anyone watching the mackem game? Canny match so far… Charlton playing well after that horrible own goal gift to the mackems. 1-1 so far.


  9. Mackems lose… last min goal from Charlton. ????????????????????????????????????



  10. We’ll see how much the 2 Chancers get now but The Mackems are in real trouble. To be sure, they have no debt but they also have very little income to sustain their squad. They will need a buyer desperately and who wants a 3rd Division team. Stuart Donald certainly doesn’t have the cash to keep them going. Hope the Mackems enjoy their Trafalgar Square selfies with him.


  11. The NE “journalists” have ignored Sunderland’s ownership situation all year. Can they finally stop fawning over Stuart Donald and write about what is really going on? Donald even conned their fanzines by doing a podcast with them pretending to be a man of the people. About as sincere as Eton Boy Flouncy Boris!


  12. The 2 Chancers got the club because they were the only ones willing to give Ellis Short the parachute payments as they came in. Now the gamble of immediate promotion has not paid off they will be forced to sell because they do not have enough funds to sustain Sunderland themselves. But who do they sell to? The plan was always to sell a Championship club but now they will be desperate to get out.

    The League let these 2 Chancers take over in the first place because Ellis Short threatened administration if they didn’t agree. Now who steps in?


  13. I know I might be boring some people with this Mackem stuff but they really are in trouble now. Their payroll is 14 million. The payout from the League next year is 1,330,000. That is everything, TV, standing payments, their lot!

    We know that they have closed off the top tiers of the SOL and I am sure there are ticket concessions. They had to give tickets away in the PL so who knows how many they give away in the 3rd division? They couldn’t even sell out the home playoff against Pompey FFS.

    Then, all of the PL sponsors will be gone or in the process of leaving.

    I think they are balanced on a knife edge and need a buyout. However, that didn’t work out that well for Mr. Short who purportedly lost 250 million quid on them. The Chancers supposedly have interested US investors. If you were a US investor would you be clamoring for a piece of SAFC after what happened to Ellis? Thought not.


  14. The bottom line is that Sunderland will be relying on game receipts. Here, I will do a bit of quick maths and I will be VERY generous. Let’s assume they get gates of 20,000 and all are season ticket holders paying 500 a seat. For 20 games that is 10 million pounds. They will get a pittance from away games.

    So with a squad payroll of 14 million they are running at a loss already without things like admin and police. My guess, and I am usually quite good at this, is that they will be running an operating loss of at least 10 million.

    Do they have anybody to sell to cover that? I doubt it because they were desperate to do so last year.


  15. Stuart79:
    Club decling to comment…

    That is unusual Stu. Normally shoot rumours down. May be something in it? Hence Rafa talk going quiet too ?


  16. Sham – Can only say that last week the club cancelled a £300,000 refurb if a suit and with Rafa still not signd up it makes you wonder. Also the number of times I have seen the club knock down rumours it’s odd they haven’t today…


  17. Just as long as we don’t get fckin Pogba as our “statement” signing. Remember it was Robhinho for Man City.


  18. Looks like Olly might be taking a long weekend. Not the best of times for that if the rumours are true 🙂


  19. Be like the “Airplane” movie where Striker has to land the plane and Lloyd Bridges who’s talking him down says “guess I picked the wrong day to give up smoking” then “the wrong day to give up booze” and then “the wrong day to give up crack”.


  20. Interesting that no journo can get anything from the club. Unless they’re on a long weekend too! Bit concerning that the Sun got the story though. Why only them…


  21. According to Eric’s mate, Lee Ryder, they club have confirmed they’re in talks but say there’s some way to go.


  22. Eric Sykes:
    Looks like Olly might be taking a long weekend. Not the best of times for that if the rumours are true ?

    Been away at a wedding all day yesterday in Essex and barely looked at my phone until later on at the night time do!

    Refused to get carried away and I know why based on how Sky / local reporters have responded..


  23. Stories are all over the place. Being reported in Reuters too. It really looks like this could be on. I did see one story about potential ‘conflict of interest’ though with them being half brothers, but money talks in the Prem… I don’t think it will be an issue.

    Could these few days possibly get any better? I think a Carlsburg or 3 is in order!! 😀 😀


  24. Dubai Toon, it will be interesting to see what the reaction is over there. Has there been any rumours? I would have thought it would be big news…If true.


  25. Stuart79:
    Dubai Toon, it will be interesting to see what the reaction is over there. Has there been any rumours? I would have thought it would be big news…If true.

    I’m not seeing anything yet in the local press, Stuart, but they tend to be a little slow sometimes … I’ll keep a watch to see if anything appears..


  26. I don’t think there’s any conflict of interest. I think the rules are that one person can’t hold controlling interests in more than one club.


  27. jim white on sky sports saying its false news,i hope not ime sick of all this every transfer window,jabba pr people are good NOT


  28. Some journalist in Abu Dhabi has Tweeted a pic of the Sheik and a cub badge whilst saying “Welcome to the Premier League…”


  29. conflct interest makes sense to me. Those two are related persons. But how money talks? A law is a law, right? Anyway, it looks like another lie.


  30. I’m still not seeing anything in local press here, so I’m taking this news with a pinch of salt right now. Our hopes have been dashed before…


  31. Quite a few journos in UAE saying it’s done. It wouldn’t surprise if it was done and the club were just keeping everything from the local based journos. Standard NUFC isn’t it…


  32. I am optimistic that the takeover is taking place. Reports that there is someway to go may of course be true but may just include practical tying up loose ends such as getting the approval of the FA.


  33. The problem is that they don’t tell you before you open a Chronic article who has written it.


  34. It’s got to be a matter of interest that the story started in Abu Dhabi … and the club admit talks have taken place. They’d knock it down immediately if it was real fake news!


  35. I have heard that Theresa may is going to make a statement on the possible NUFC takeover to clarify the situation. She has done such a good job at doing the same for brexit over the last 3 years that she is the obvious person for this job.

    Ed Harrison went into meltdown but is now only “cautiously optimistic”. His “reporting” was definitely through the filter of what he wanted rather than rational thought.


  36. Jim White talking to his contacts in the City of London means nothing. What would they know? NUFC is a private company and Middle Eastern businesses are notoriously secretive. There is no money in it for them except perhaps a bet at the local bookies. They are as much in the dark as the rest of us, so best ignore this line of reporting.


  37. And just in case the NUFC possible takeover has obscured another story, Chancer Stewart Donald has been on Talksport blowing smoke up Mackem arses saying that yesterday’s playoff defeat hasn’t changed anything. Says the same parties are still interested. Perhaps so, but the price would be very different. The Mackems are mad to believe a word this man says but he seems to have a hold over them. Also, backing the Manager who has taken them to their WORST EVER league position.

    Donald says they are financially secure. Pull the other one. Their payroll for players alone is 14 million and their prospects for making that in the 3rd division are nil. The league pays them only 1,330,000. They are desperate for cash and Donald does not have deep pockets. The possible investors will know this so he is not in a very good bargaining position. The playoff loss was a disaster, whatever he would have the fans believe.

    A club on good financial footing does not have their fans switch out thousands of seats in return for a couple of bags of crisps and a can of Stalla.


  38. I have two conflicting views on the situation.

    The first one says that it does explain the total silence from both camps on the Rafa contract situation. 11 days now and yet . . . nothing. This is alarmingly unusual in itself. Unless . . .

    The second depressing one is that this morning the story was featured on the BBC Sport site. Great I thought but by noon it had been deleted.


  39. From the last set of accounts NUFC made 24 million from gate receipts in the PL – home and away. That’s from an average crowd of 50k. With an average crowd of less than 20k in the 3rd division what do you think the Mackems would make? 7 million tops, maybe? Chancer Donald really is telling the Mackems some whoppers and for some reason they believe him. There will be a giant shortfall between income and expenses at Sunderland that someone will have to make up.


  40. Chris “the intern” Waugh has obviously learnt a lot at the knee of the Master. He is saying that the club shop and catering deals are a major complication in any takeover. No they are not you idiot. They aren’t even a nuisance.


  41. It’s not the done thing over there to lie about the Royal family so I can only assume they’ve been told by people extremely close to them. Don’t upset Arab royal families or if you do, avoid their embassies.


  42. Sorry to bleat on about The Chronic. It is just that when there is a real story it just highlights their incompetence and really starts to get on my nerves. Little Chris is so desperate to appear knowledgeable that he invents hurdles and Wor Lee tries to bring clarity but sows confusion (because he is a crap writer/reporter).


  43. Stuart79:
    It’s not the done thing over there to lie about the Royal family so I can only assume they’ve been told by people extremely close to them. Don’t upset Arab royal families or if you do, avoid their embassies.

    Maybe they will send a hit squad for Lee and Chris. We can but hope.


  44. Stuart: that statement from The Sun seems pretty emphatic if it is genuine. It feels a bit odd to be relying on The Sun for real quotes and real information.


  45. Mark Douglas: “Chris, Chris. There is now a statement saying the deal is close, we need you to come up with an exclusive that nobody else has. A scoop. Something to set us apart from all of the other reporters and show we have our finger on the pulse of all things NUFC.

    Chris Waugh: what about the club shop and the catering? Won’t that have to be sorted?

    Eric Sykes: FFS


  46. I am not making this up. The club shop and catering were 2 of Chris Waugh’s spanner in the works concerns today.


  47. So Jim White’s contacts in the city saying it is fake news seem to have been wrong as well. Who’d have thunk it. That they had no inside knowledge about a private company? Especially one run by the Fat Lad.


  48. With the Rafa contract situation and club sale, how can Perez to Spurs be a story? Surely that would be on hold if it was even a possibility in the first place?


  49. I am trying not to get ahead of myself but there are some possibilities at the moment because of:

    The Chelsea transfer ban and Abramovich’s disinterest.

    The Spurs stadium is a much bigger short term drag than is being made out. Their press pals are ignoring it. They have also been very lucky in the transfer market and that sort of thing tends to go in cycles.

    Arsenal’s 2 best players have been bought in the past 2 years which shows there are still difference makers out there (same for Liverpool with Salah and a few others).

    Man U will take more than 1 year to fix. They are a total mess and OGS will not help. They will be back to square 1 by Christmas. They have given Young, Smalling, Jones and Martial extensions FFS. Martial has been living on “potential” for the last 3 years at least.


  50. I don’t think financial fair play will be a problem either. I think it is all calculated on like a 3 year running average and we have had pretty high revenue of about 180 million for the past 2 years and due to Fatty have spent virtually nothing. So we have some catch up to do if there is money available. That means the new owners could put in their own money and not run afoul of FFP.

    Same is true of commercial and sponsorship. Ashley has had his freebies and we could probably double what we get now if someone pays the going rate. With even moderate success we could probably double that again and not have to rely too much on dodgy inflated sponsorship from state run airlines etc.

    I mean, if you have a successful NUFC I bet Puma would triple their shirt deal. I don’t know exactly what they pay now but I think it is like a 10th of Arsenal.


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