Will This Summer Be The Time To Re-Evaluate Mike Ashley?


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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7 Responses

  1. George Bainbridge says:

    You must live in dreamland or are very financially naive.

    Any money Ashley has put in to the club he will get back when he sells it.
    Ambition is everythng if you are to keep good players and buy better ones
    Once a player has proved his worth then he should reward them to keep them at the club.

    Mike Ashley treat two of NUFC’s all time heroes KK and Shearer dispicably.
    Ashley needs to deliver trophies under his ownership to win my respect

    Also if hehad true ambition he would increase the capacity of St.James Park to 60,000 plus

    George Bainbridge

  2. Ian says:

    Personally, I remain inclined to think that Shearer should never have been given that job at that time, and that decisions such as that (as well as the decision to sack Chris Hughton when he did) call his judgement into serious question.

  3. Garry says:

    Ashley has done well for Newcastle financially but as far as taking the team forward and winning things he is falling well short. Give him time though as he should have given to past managers and tehn we can judge him on the field aswell. My view for what it is worth, he will fail miserably when clubs come calling and offer stupid money for our better players and he accetps!!

  4. Roger says:

    To steal shamelessly from a popular NUFC fanzine (link above), do you thank the arsonist for ringing the fire brigade?

    The reason he continues to prop up the club with financial support was because of two factors:

    1) He failed to do any due diligence when spending the thick end of £150m to buy the club in the first place and so was not aware of the extent of the financial issues faced by NUFC after the stewardship of Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall.

    2) A spectacular series of terrible decisions (starting with the appointment of Dennis Wise) led to NUFC getting relegated from the Premier League.

    Yes he’s pumping cash in and yes he’s taking a step in the right direction in terms of costs and wages etc, but no Newcastle fans will ever shake his hand and buy him a pint for “rescuing” us from a situation which he instigated.

  5. Mark Brophy says:

    George – You say I am either living in dreamland or very financially naive – then you say Ashley should put another tier on the stand to make the capacity 60000. What for? We don’t fill the ground now. Your idea of financial wisdom seems very similar to Freddie Shepherd’s, and look where that ended up. I do agree that we are now at the stage where we need to hang onto our best players though. Rewarding them for good performances etc seems sensible.

    Of course Ashley’s made horrendous errors, and his tendency to accept a tempting offer for a player after the start of the season (Milner, Given, Carroll) without replacing them and just write off the season still irritates. Imagine buying a set of tickets for say, the National Theatre’s autumn line-up with a series of performances by Sir Ian McKellen the big draw, and then receiving word that the production company had agreed to let him go and perform somewhere else after receiving financial compensation. They do have Ross Kemp to fulfil the performances however. The first thought in my head would be “Can I have a refund?” I agree his judgement is hugely questionable. If he learned from his mistakes that would be something, but there’s no sign of it so far.

    Roger, to suggest that he is entirely to blame for the financial situation the club found itself in is unfair, and neither you nor I are doing that. Whether he did due diligence or not makes no difference, the club’s debt would have been the same, £80m to various financial institutions with instalments due on numerous transfers. The previous incumbents have a lot to answer for, as you say. I agree he didn’t help himself with decisions which got Newcastle relegated and made the situation worse. Maybe he is just trying to get back his money. We’ll find out for sure in the summer. That was the main point of the article.

    I have severe doubts that all will come good in the summer. I was just pointing out that it’s a possibility, and if it does happen it casts new light on his time here retrospectively. Don’t hold your breath.

  6. Roger says:

    Fair point Mark. The Shepherds and Halls were the architects of our demise without question but Ashley really hit the accelerator with his shotgun thinking.

    One of the main oddities of Mike Ashley is what he actually gets out of owning NUFC. Shirt and season ticket sales aren’t where the big money is, the corporate demand has slowed as a result of relegation and economic climate, and we’re probably not a big-ticket draw for the allegedly lucrative Asian / American markets until we actually win something.

    Judging by the accounts all the money he pumps in is repayable at his discretion – something I have no arguments with as it’s his cash – so he could either sell up or pass the day-to-day running on to somebody competent yet still recoup his money at some point but avoid getting his helicopter from Berkshire to Newcastle every other Saturday to have 50,000 people shouting abuse at him whilst simultaneously being a nationwide laughing stock.

    Indeed some of his efforts to reduce the wagebill and transfer spending have been potentially laudable, and I am all for some sort of policy of steadying the ship and consolidating our financial position for a few years. The “make it look easy” promotion season was wholly unexpected as was our decent start to the Premier League season under Hughton.

    However Ashley’s incessant knack for shooting himself in the foot took over and he yet again decided to get rid of a popular manager (again), install one of his mates from the casino (again) the proceed to undermine him in public by selling Carroll – all conducted in a cack-handed fashion with that farrago over transfer requests submitted at 5pm with Ashley’s helicopter sat mysteriously waiting on the training ground (presumably it’s there every Monday afternoon…).

    With Ashley it’s always one constant skin-of-the-teeth gamble whereas a morsel of structured thinking and communication of this with the fans would go a long way. What does he get out of it?

  1. May 24, 2012

    […] I’m wondering whether, with the team back in the Premier League and comfortable in mid-table, this summer might be a chance to re-evaluate the club’s owner, Mike Ashley. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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