Charnley named as Managing Director, Ashley joins United board.

by • April 8, 2014 • UncategorizedComments (21)1744

This is the official club statement made yesterday regarding Lee Charnley’s appointment NUClubcrestas Managing Director and the news Mike Ashley has also joined the Newcastle United board.

Please have a read of the statement in full as below and let us have your thoughts on the news from United in the comment spaces below.

Newcastle United has today announced the appointment of Lee Charnley as the club’s new Managing Director.

Lee, who previously held the position of Football Secretary and has been a director at the club since 2008, has taken up his new role with immediate effect.

Owner Mike Ashley will also be formally appointed to the club’s Board of Directors, joining Lee and Finance Director John Irving.

Speaking after his appointment, Lee outlined the Board’s plans and expectations for the club:

“It is a real honour to be confirmed as Managing Director. I have been with the club for almost 15 years and have seen a great many changes in my time here. The club has never been in such a stable and healthy financial position, which gives us the best possible platform from which to grow. I am confident that with our dedicated, hardworking and loyal employees, together with Alan Pardew and his backroom staff, we will progress the club, both on and off the field over the coming years.

“Our immediate priority of course is to finish this season as strongly as possible. Our minimum target for this campaign was a top ten finish, but I can assure our supporters that everyone at Newcastle United will do their utmost to ensure the club finishes in the highest league position it can. At the beginning of the season all our staff and players were incentivised should we finish in 10th position and above and our commitment to achieving this will continue right up until the final whistle on the 11th May. To their credit the players, led by the captain, agreed to this incentive scheme despite our 16th place finish last season.

“Looking ahead to future seasons, our primary focus will remain the Premier League.

“Our preparations for the summer transfer window have already begun of course, and our challenge is to make sure we spend the funds we have available in a careful and considered way in order to ensure that we get the maximum benefit from every pound we invest in the squad.

“We will continue to operate in a financially responsible manner and live within our means. This club is financially strong and there is money to spend if the deal is right and we are confident a player can add quality to the squad. That said, we will not pay over the odds or make knee-jerk decisions. Every player we sign represents a major investment and mistakes are costly which is why we will continue to be prudent in our transfer dealings. This is the reality of a well-run football club like ours.

“We can be proud that we already meet, and in fact exceed, the requirements of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and in our latest set of published accounts we recorded a profit for our third consecutive year. We will continue to manage our finances in this sustainable manner and will not accrue debt in order to achieve short-term gains.

“It is also important that we don’t over-promise and under-deliver for our supporters, players and staff. False expectations lead to disappointment and frustration, hence why we will keep our transfer business confidential and will not be drawn into commenting on the media speculation and rumour that exists in this digital world.

“As a Board we will continue to make the final decisions on all player transfers. Clearly however the manager and his team have a very significant involvement in such decisions and will be instrumental in making recommendations in relation to the squad.

“Our transfer policy and strategy is very clear and will remain unchanged. We will focus on identifying and recruiting young players whose best years are ahead of them, which in nearly all cases means players in their early to mid-20s and not beyond.

“We don’t look at transfer windows in isolation, but rather as a full trading year and our intention for the first team is to sign one or two players per year to strengthen the squad. In addition, we aim to strengthen the squad underneath the first team in order to make sure we have a strong group of players pushing our regular first team for a starting place each week. This is essential to bring out the best in everyone and provide an important element of continuity to the squad for the longer term.

“To achieve that it is crucial that we have a youth development strategy that is producing home grown talent who can develop and feed into the system, thereby contributing to the depth within our squad. Our Academy’s Category One status gives us an excellent platform for maximising the potential of the region’s young footballing talent and providing the best possible opportunities for local youngsters.

“We have invested heavily in our Academy to achieve Category One status and have made significant improvements in terms of staffing, infrastructure and facilities. Our aim is to be the best Academy in the region by a considerable distance, ensuring that the most talented local players end up at Newcastle United, not elsewhere. This is why it is important that we grow and strengthen our links with the local community. A strong relationship between the football club and the region is of great mutual benefit and it is something we are committed to. Some fantastic work is already undertaken by the Newcastle United Foundation, as well as by our Academy staff, reaching out to local boys clubs, engaging with schools and community groups and providing Soccer School coaching programmes around the region.

“The club has long been focused on keeping football affordable for our supporters and that will remain a priority for us. Our average attendance for league games so far this season has been over 50,000, making us the third best supported club in England. We want to see St James’ Park full throughout the season and we will continue to operate a ticketing policy and pricing structure that keeps Newcastle United one of the most affordable clubs in the Premier League, encouraging family attendance and rewarding our most loyal supporters with long-term price guarantees.

“We are also committed to our current strategy in relation to communication between the club and its supporters. At the beginning of the season we launched a new Fans Forum, with members representing our diverse fanbase. It has been an open, honest and productive forum and it will continue to be our primary means of direct supporter communication and engagement.

“The commercial side of our business will also be an important priority for us moving forward. Whilst at the moment we can’t compete with the commercial strength of the top six, whose income from sponsorship and advertising deals dwarfs other clubs in the Premier League, we will work hard to drive up our commercial income to give ourselves the best possible chance of competing on the field with those wealthier clubs.

“Of our three core income streams – Broadcast, Matchday and Commercial – it is only our commercial income that we are able to affect to any great degree, especially given our commitment to keeping ticket prices affordable for our fans. We have made great strides in this respect recently, having secured the most lucrative sponsorship deal in the club’s history, with Wonga. We are delighted to have them as a partner from a commercial perspective but also because of their desire to work closely with our supporters and in our local community. There is however still a lot of work to be done to ensure we are maximising every commercial opportunity available to us. Our plans to host the stadium’s first music concert since 2007 this summer, together with our participation in a high profile pre-season tournament this August in Germany, are evidence of the type of commercial opportunities we are pursuing.

“The extra revenue we are able to generate from commercial deals translates ultimately to the amount of money we have available to invest in the club. We will look where possible to use this revenue to invest not just in the squad, but into improving other areas of the business, including the stadium and its facilities, the Academy, the first team training centre and more. Supporters will be aware that we have recently announced plans to build a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art training complex which we hope will be completed in early 2016.

“This is our vision and strategy for the years ahead. The purpose of this statement is to communicate with our supporters in an open and transparent manner and we hope that it provides a clear outline of our intentions. We all want to see Newcastle United improve, but we are convinced that the best route to achieving this is to do so sustainably, building each season without risking the financial health and stability of the club. I can assure supporters that the Board and everyone associated with the club aim to make Newcastle United the best it can be, pound for pound.”

 

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21 Responses to Charnley named as Managing Director, Ashley joins United board.

  1. Ivan Malley says:

    One or two players per year? We are going to need 8+ players THIS year alone just to be in with a chance of a top 10 finish next time.

    The only way this clown is going to get the message is by “Affecting the match day income stream” as they put it. In other words don’t go on match days.

    We will be joining the mackems in the championship soon if something isn’t done now.

    The time for apathy is over.

  2. Vin Crockwell says:

    What a load of fucking shite. Unfortunately there will be many that will fall for it Is this the start of another five year plan? Who are we modelling ourselves on now? – it was Arsenal then Everton and probably now a club like Hull. You can have the best players and the best young talent but when the manager and coaches are shite it doesn’t matter one iota. Krul, Saylor, Colo, M’biwa, Haidara, Santon, Anita, Tiote, Sissoko, Gouffran, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Sameobi, Ferguson, Vuckic, Mbeid, Amilfitano, Gosling, Obertan, Vuckic, Dummett – is anybody actually improving?

  3. Alex Hurst says:

    Forget about the fact we need to replace players etc

    Two players a year does absolutley nothing to promote competition for places. In the past two seasons we have seen major dips in form for the likes of Remy, Cisse, Cabaye, Tiote, Anita, Krul, Colo and Sissoko.

    None of them have ever been replaced while playing terribly.

    Lack of competition for places = runs like we’re on at the moment.

  4. john says:

    A plan like that is all well and good if you are building upon firm foundations. At the moment we are crying out for a leader of men off but especially on the pitch, you do not get a leader aged early twenties, what you need is an experienced professional like a Nolan type player who inspires all around him when you go 1-0 down, or in our case at the moment, 1, 2 ,3, 4, or 5 nil down ! The transfer policy as stated does not stand up to scrutiny and I for one am hoping that there will be at least 3 teams worse than us next season, after recent performances though I somehow doubt it, a poorer NUFC team I haven’t seen in a long long time !

  5. ArmyKev says:

    That is by far the most depressing thing I have ever read from Newcastle. Reading between the lines:
    1) Lee Charnley is as weak and spinless as Pardew and all the other muppets Ashley has working for him, and hey do you think a man who was basically a tea boy two years ago and now is MD is going to look a gift horse in the mouth?
    2) Along with Ashley they have absolutly no clue about football and if they believe 1-2 players signed in the summer will have us in the top ten come next May they are living in a dream world. We need more than 1-2 Strikers alone next season.
    3) They are backing Pardew because they realise they couldnt get Whitley Bays manager in at the minute because NO ONE involved in football is as pathetic, weak, shamless, spinless and dilusional as Pardew and would put up with the shite that he puts up with to take the job.
    4) They are not going to raise fans expectations – basically if they cant get a Frenchman in for half his actual worth we wont even get the 1-2 players in this summer.

    There is absolutly no doubt whats so ever that unless Newcastle break the bank this summer, the total neglect of team improvement which has been going on since the summer of 2011 will end up with relegation next May……Only this time we dont have the characters in the team to drag us straight back up!

    Absolute disgrace Charnley didnt think anyone was as spinless and just eager to have a job that they where blatently not qualified for as much as Pardew…but you might just have him beat there.

  6. Simon O'Connor says:

    In all the years I’ve supported this club I don’t think I have ever felt as downbeat about our future prospects as I do now. Not even in the relegation season.

    The club is rotten from nose to tail, it has been for years and this latest epistle from Mordor merely rubs our noses in it. Once you remove ambition, and hope from a football club it ceases to be, it no longer serves any purpose. Does this manifestation of NUFC represent the aspirations or the values of the fans on any level? Awful ethics, horrendous ownership, ignorant, antediluvian management and worse football than
    I can remember in many years. The club is dying, make no mistake about it, yet still people drift along, like a blind man falling off a cliff. “It doesn’t feel right just now, but it might get better”. It won’t and they have pretty much set out their stall to say as much. Pardew was assured of his job security today by Charmless. Another year of this and we might as well pull the shutters down.

  7. Milo Slim says:

    One or two players? Ba ha hah. I wonder if Remy will be one and De Jong the other.

  8. Chris Nappin says:

    ‘The club has never been in such a stable and healthy financial position’ – the club has never been so indebted in it’s history mate. That’s not an opinion, it’s an objective fact. Fuck loads more debt in fact.

    ‘This is the reality of a well-run football club like ours’ – the club receiving a net profit on transfer dealings, dwarfing any other club in the league in the last 5 years (bar Everton) is our reality. We don’t have a healthy financial position and we don’t have any investment in the squad – the worst of both worlds.

    ‘The club has long been focused on keeping football affordable for our supporters and that will remain a priority for us’ – the only reason the match day tickets are affordable now is due to the demand reducing because of the club’s actions. That’s your fault Lee, and your dickhead boss/colleagues, it’s got nothing to do with providing affordable football to the region, it’s because you can’t sell tickets at the original prices.

    ‘It has been an open, honest and productive forum and it will continue to be our primary means of direct supporter communication and engagement’ – open and honest? Why do your answers change every time then? NUST’s ‘breach of protocol’? That was very honest wasn’t it?

    ‘…it is only our commercial income that we are able to affect to any great degree’ – you’re correct Lee, so how come it’s less than when Ashley took over? Incompetence? Your incompetence? Lack of resource? Lack of advertising payments from Sports Direct? Fucking the Adidas deal up by getting relegated through the board’s arrogance/stupidity?

    ‘Supporters will be aware that we have recently announced plans to build a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art training complex which we hope will be completed in early 2016’ – this state-of-the-art one Lee? http://www.nufc.co.uk/articles/20131130/united-announce-new-training-ground-plans_2281670_3555556 You might want to check the dimensions of a football pitch before giving the go ahead on that one you utter moron.

    An admitedly well-written piece of propaganda that is fooling no one. Why would anyone believe any of the content? I read anything from the club with suspicion and contempt. Charnley has been a part of everything that has gone on in the last decade… his work is cut out for him like

  9. Charles Scott says:

    MFA

  10. KenBrown says:

    If in fact Lee Charnley wrote the garbage reproduced above announcing his appointment as a United director then he is surely wasted as an employee of NUFC. He should be snapped up by any political party to write their manifesto – you know the sort of thing – where they promise you everything you wish for until they are elected and then tell you to f**k off when you remind them of why you voted for them.
    It is a classic piece of claptrap in the hope that we will fall for it and similar to the garbage Pinochio Llambias used to come out with. It is worthy of study at any University that teaches Politics. God only knows where we go from here but the second division surely beckons at the end of next season.

  11. Alan says:

    Two words would’ve been sufficient to replace that meandering load of drivel. in fact no make it three for effect. . . . NO FUCKING AMBITION.

  12. Chris Porter says:

    After reading that “statement” I feel ive been reading the bull straight from fat Ashleys mouth. 2 players a year is a joke, you cant get competition of places from 2 buys a year, that alone equals 1 player per window. We don’t need 2 players we need an entire new squad. Our so called star players are either under performing or are being played out of position by Alan Pardew.
    This statement feels like a kick in the balls. Talk about our great youth academy, I forgot the great youth players that have come through since Pardew and Ashley took over, must have been outstanding players. The up and coming youth players have been a giant let down in all areas concerning playing football.
    I fear that we will be looking at the bottom of the premier league next season, relegation fights are what we looking at and im sick of it. Nothing positive comes from the board or Ashley, players sold none brought. Loaned players are a waste of time and as such are a waste on our wage structure which could be used for a quality player.
    Times need to change and this includes the age old “ASHLEY OUT”, Pardew gone (Tactical nounce) and the entire squad as none are capable of wearing that shirt with pride

  13. David says:

    Replace submissive Stepford Wives with submissive NUFC Muppets.
    Charnley the latest member to have Ashleys hand shoved up his arse.

  14. bob says:

    We need two players just to replace Remy, who won’t re-sign and de Jong who, I hope, they won’t sign. Then it’s replacing other players who will be sold for big bucks (at least one of Krul, Tiote??) and then the likes of Colo (probably), Shola, Gosling, etc. So at least 6 just to stand still which as we know aint good enough unless there’s a vast improvement in coaching and/or performance -LOL.

  15. marc corby says:

    I left on Saturday at 0-3. I missed Palace & Everton due to being on my honeymoon. I miss Swansea as i’m at a good friends wedding. I cancelled Liverpool away in the Newcastle Arms after the match.

    Not interested. Not bothered at not being there.

    26 years attending, 22 years a season ticket holder, I’m paying for next year as it’s out of habit and the direct debit is convenient. Not even sure if I’m going to go back in August.

    But quite frankly, i’m at the point where I haven’t got the energy to even take in and analyze the statement above.

    Ashley, Pardew, Carver, Beardsley, Moncur, the team, the bench and so on…they don’t care about us so any affinity I had for those in black & white dissapeared a long time ago.

    The ONLY thing keeping me going is seeing mates and drinking in a fantastic city.

    That’s all I have and I don’t think it’s enough.

    • Gareth Harrison says:

      Summed my position and thoughts up perfectly. I’m almost looking forward to the day when my mates turn round at 2:45pm and say, aah howay lads let’s just fuck this off and stop out for a few pints eh?

  16. John Milton says:

    This Ashley bloke’s just making it up as he goes along, isn’t he?

    Also, any fucker who uses ‘incentivise’, in any situation, wants a bloody good hiding.

  17. Chris C says:

    Same people in charge, nothing new here except new titles being dished out. This is a non story, absolutely nothing will change, no ambition at all.

    “Looking ahead to future seasons, our primary focus will remain the Premier League.” = Forget the cups boys and girls, you can look forward to staying up at best.

    “our intention for the first team is to sign one or two players per year” = We usually sell more players than we buy (and always our best players) so expect the entertainment to get worse before we get lucky with our transfer dealings.

    “Our aim is to be the best Academy in the region by a considerable distance” = We only have one other local academy to compete with, don’t expect us to invest enough to make ours the best in the country.

    “Our average attendance for league games so far this season has been over 50,000, making us the third best supported club in England.” = Thank you for being stupid enough to believe all the rubbish we spout, it’s a miracle you keep turning up despite the god awful performances we produce.

    The forum “will continue to be our primary means of direct supporter communication and engagement.” = Don’t expect us to engage with you, we’ll do this our way and continue to ban anyone who’s got any real opinions.

    “This is our vision and strategy for the years ahead.” = Just to be clear we’ll continue to fool you into thinking things might improve but absolutely nothing is changing, in fact Mike’s coming onto the board to keep a closer eye on things and make sure we don’t let slip any more of the truth like the slip ups about not competing for cups or charging proper commercial fees for millions and millions of pounds of advertising.

    • John Milton says:

      “Looking ahead to future seasons, our primary focus will remain the Premier League.” = Forget the cups boys and girls, you can look forward to staying up at best.

      I think he meant to say, “Looking ahead to future seasons, our primary focus will BE TO remain IN the Premier League. AND NO MORE.”

  18. David Rutherford says:

    According to Bob Moncur, with regards to signings ‘the hard work has already started’, and ‘if the current policy is to repeat itself there could be happier times ahead’. I assume that would be the ‘current policy’ of not signing anyone, you shameless arse-licking cretin?
    When we get relegated I hope every fan has it burnt onto their memory which side of the fence weasily sycophantic ‘club legends’ such as Moncur and Beardsley were on.

  19. Craig Hunn says:

    I guess that most of what I have to say has been written by others but I’m going to chip in anyway. Just when I thought this shower of shite couldn’t depress me any further, it surpasses itself. As a statement of intent for a club like ours, this is lamentable.

    Let me deal with the points raised in turn.

    Lee Charnley is a 36 year old man who previously held the position of Football Secretary. Unlike others, I have no difficulty with his age. The fact that he is 36 is neither here nor there. To borrow some other football parlance, if he’s good enough, he’s old enough. However, what I do have a problem with is his complete lack of credentials for the job. He has never operated at a similar level at any other club/institution and he finds himself appointed the MD of the third biggest supported side in the country! Just like the appointment of Pardew, Ashley has given someone a lottery win of a job knowing that in return, he will get complete loyalty from someone eager to do his bidding, whatever that may be. Pardew knows this is the biggest job he’ll have in his career and I suspect that Mr Charnley knows the same.

    Mike Ashley has also be formally appointed to the club’s Board of Directors, joining Lee Charnley and Finance Director John Irving. Mike Ashley as far as I can see, spends as little time as he can having anything to do with Newcastle United. Sports Direct is his baby and that is where his focus is.

    He is not the only owner who operates in this way, Liverpool for example have ‘absent landlords’ and they’re cracking along at a canny rate. The obvious difference being that Liverpool have appointed a number of experienced and capable executives to run every aspect of the club on a day to day basis. We have two men who, forgive me, don’t appear to have any credentials at all to justify the positions they have been appointed to.

    Turning to ‘Mr Charnley’s’ quote let us examine exactly what he is saying.

    “…The club has never been in such a stable and healthy financial position.”

    The only aspects of Newcastle’s business that the board have any control over is overheads, commercial income and although he apparently doesn’t realise it, match day income. I’ll come to match day income later.

    Commercial income has absolutely collapsed since Ashley took over, that fact is there for everyone to see. The only income stream which has increased is that paid to the club by broadcasters. The administration at NUFC had NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT AT ALL. It was negotiated by the premier league as a group and Richard Scudemore specifically.

    To be balanced, the club have done some good work on controlling costs and I think that we all agree that the days of paying massive salaries to players who hunger has long gone, should not be revisited. However cutting costs also leads to, amongst other things, good young players going elsewhere for more money, decent long serving staff losing their jobs and contributes to a number of PR disasters which are too numerous to mention.

    “We have the best possible platform from which to grow.”

    No we don’t. We would have a much better platform from which to grow if we were allowed to offer prime advertising space to companies who would pay for the privilege. Of course we are not so obliged. The explanation as to why we are lumbered with Sports Direct advertising seems to change depending on which way the wind blows.

    We would also have a better platform from which to grow if we had a commercial team packed with people at the top of their profession, chasing down opportunities to grow our income, as we must with FFP now almost a reality. I am not privy to the number or quality of the staff in our marketing department. However, flat-lining of commercial income at a time when the league has never been more popular globally tells its own tale. If you are judged by results in football, our commercial team have just been hammered at home as well!

    “I am confident that with our dedicated, hardworking and loyal employees, together with Alan Pardew and his backroom staff, we will progress the club, both on and off the field over the coming years.”

    On what possible basis could such confidence be based? Recent history proves that those with stewardship of the club both on and off the pitch are causing it to regress, not progress.

    “At the beginning of the season all our staff and players were incentivised should we finish in 10th position”

    Maybe that’s one of the principal reasons they all obviously decided to knock off in February?

    “Looking ahead to future seasons, our primary focus will remain the Premier League.”

    We will be sacrificing competitions we can win for a one that we can’t. We will be doing this because the competition we can’t win provides far more money and exposure for Sports Direct than the FA or League Cup ever could. That is an appalling basis upon which to run a sporting club. What is the point of the club?

    “Our preparations for the summer transfer window have already begun”

    Let’s put that quote in our back pocket and return to it at the end of August. At which time I predict the world cup, agents, other clubs, players, science, the situation in Crimea and/or the fact the player was working class and lacked intelligence means we haven’t got anyone “over the line”

    “We will continue to operate in a financially responsible manner and live within our means.”

    Wouldn’t the means within which we have to operate be greater if the clubs commercial operation was prioritised over the interests of Sports Direct?

    “We can be proud that we already meet, and in fact exceed, the requirements of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and in our latest set of published accounts we recorded a profit for our third consecutive year. We will continue to manage our finances in this sustainable manner and will not accrue debt in order to achieve short-term gains.

    We keep recording profits because we keep selling our best players and failing to replace them. That is not something to brag about.

    “It is also important that we don’t over-promise and under-deliver for our supporters, players and staff.” “False expectations lead to disappointment and frustration”

    What, like Alan Pardew has done in almost every single transfer window since he came to the club?

    “we will keep our transfer business confidential and will not be drawn into commenting on the media speculation and rumour that exists in this digital world.

    Unless we feel the need to put a few tit bits about to boost flagging ticket sales. You know, the way the club have done forever and a day.

    “As a Board we will continue to make the final decisions on all player transfers. Clearly however the manager and his team have a very significant involvement in such decisions and will be instrumental in making recommendations in relation to the squad.

    The final decision on football matter will be made by people who are not experts in football players, building football teams, squads or anything else football related basically. The manager can contribute to discussion, but Finance Directors and former Club Secretaries make the decisions. You will then put your manager, who did not make that decision, in front of the camera to justify your decision. He will happily try and come up with some explanation because he knows where his bread is buttered.

    “Our transfer policy and strategy is very clear and will remain unchanged. We will focus on identifying and recruiting young players whose best years are ahead of them, which in nearly all cases means players in their early to mid-20s and not beyond.

    Generally a very good policy. But, like any other ‘policy’ it requires flexibility to operate in the real world. People in their mid-twenties and below who can offer real leadership on a football pitch when things are going against a team are very few and far between. We have no leaders on the field and haven’t had since the departure of Nolan. We need to take that into consideration.

    “We don’t look at transfer windows in isolation, but rather as a full trading year and our intention for the first team is to sign one or two players per year to strengthen the squad.

    As others have pointed out, that policy is fine if you were strengthening an already excellent squad. It is policy doomed to fail when your squad requires a significant rebuild as ours does.

    “In addition, we aim to strengthen the squad underneath the first team in order to make sure we have a strong group of players pushing our regular first team for a starting place each week. This is essential to bring out the best in everyone and provide an important element of continuity to the squad for the longer term.”

    This has been being pursued for a number of years now and has been an abject failure. None of the players from that pool who have been given a chance have stepped up to the mark. Vucic, Ameobi, Bigirimana, Fergusson and Campbell have talent, but nobody can say they have consistently threatened the first team. In fact Pardew has given them various ultimatums on that score.

    “To achieve that it is crucial that we have a youth development strategy that is producing home grown talent who can develop and feed into the system, thereby contributing to the depth within our squad. Our Academy’s Category One status gives us an excellent platform for maximising the potential of the region’s young footballing talent and providing the best possible opportunities for local youngsters.

    Great in theory but it took far too long to achieve Cat 1 status and you can have all of the talented kids you like, if they never get a chance in the first team, they regress and fail to achieve potential.

    “This is why it is important that we grow and strengthen our links with the local community. A strong relationship between the football club and the region is of great mutual benefit and it is something we are committed to.”

    Is that why you renamed the ground, got in bed with a morally dubious (in my view) sponsor, don’t talk to the local press and excluded NUST from the fans forum. That is a remarkable way to build relationships with the community that sustains the club.

    “The club has long been focused on keeping football affordable for our supporters and that will remain a priority for us. Our average attendance for league games so far this season has been over 50,000, making us the third best supported club in England. We want to see St James’ Park full throughout the season and we will continue to operate a ticketing policy and pricing structure that keeps Newcastle United one of the most affordable clubs in the Premier League, encouraging family attendance and rewarding our most loyal supporters with long-term price guarantees.

    Granted, ticket pricing has been a rare success for this regime, credit where it is due. Bragging about the size of support is a bit rich though. The support is the only thing big about our club these days and that is a fact which should shame the administration of NUFC.

    “We are also committed to our current strategy in relation to communication between the club and its supporters. At the beginning of the season we launched a new Fans Forum, with members representing our diverse fan base. It has been an open, honest and productive forum and it will continue to be our primary means of direct supporter communication and engagement.

    The ‘strategy’ on communication appears to be having employees who you acknowledge don’t make the decisions, pushed before the media to justify those decisions. The fans forum had absolutely NO credibility from the moment it started excluding people for asking questions the club found uncomfortable. The forum is the absolute opposite of open, honest and productive. It is another opportunity missed and has become an utter irrelevance.

    “The commercial side of our business will also be an important priority for us moving forward. Whilst at the moment we can’t compete with the commercial strength of the top six, whose income from sponsorship and advertising deals dwarfs other clubs in the Premier League, we will work hard to drive up our commercial income to give ourselves the best possible chance of competing on the field with those wealthier clubs.

    See above. We were well amongst the top six in terms of commercial income until Ashley came in.

    “Of our three core income streams – Broadcast, Match day and Commercial – it is only our commercial income that we are able to affect to any great degree,

    NO NO NO NO. We could affect match day income. We could have some sporting ambition. We could have a cup run or two. We could get into Europe. That would mean more home games and more match day revenue. Not to mention additional commercial opportunities and exposure.

    “The extra revenue we are able to generate from commercial deals translates ultimately to the amount of money we have available to invest in the club.

    Maybe it does. But our owner won’t let us maximise it because it conflicts directly with his other business interests, you know, the one(s) he actually cares about.

    “We will look where possible to use this revenue to invest not just in the squad, but into improving other areas of the business, including the stadium and its facilities”

    Is that why you are selling the land behind the Gallowgate? Actions speak louder than words!

    “This is our vision and strategy for the years ahead.

    Why should we, the supporters, bother to keep turning up then? When our strategy is to compete to the best of our abilities only in a competition we can’t win as opposed to ones we can? WHAT IS THE POINT OF NUFC from a sporting perspective?

    “The purpose of this statement is to communicate with our supporters in an open and transparent manner”

    This administration lies to the fans whenever the truth is uncomfortable in my view. As much has been proven beyond any dispute by history. In fact, the club accepted as much in Keegan’s tribunal.

    “We hope that it provides a clear outline of our intentions.”

    It does, keep the premier league money and exposure rolling in. Nothing else is a priority.

    “We all want to see Newcastle United improve but we are convinced that the best route to achieving this is to do so sustainably, building each season without risking the financial health and stability of the club.”

    Of course that is correct, but we can’t do that whilst the interests of Sports Direct come first.

    “I can assure supporters that the Board and everyone associated with the club aim to make Newcastle United the best it can be, pound for pound.”

    I just don’t believe that at all I’m afraid. The attitude to the cups proves as much