The new issue of true faith (TF107) is now happily complete and on its way to our printers. It will be available at the usual outlets by Friday and the weekend at the latest. All subscriptions will be posted by Thursday, the moment we get them back from the printers. Our Digital version of true faith will be available on Thursday too.
I think its fair to say, there has been more research and analysis gone into this issue of true faith than any other of the previous 106 issues. It has not been an easy issue(none of them are to be honest) to put together but the clarion call made to accountancy professionals who support our club has been answered and we hope we are providing as much light as heat into the manner in which Mike Ashley is running our club.
Ashley’s acolytes, particularly Llambias but now also Alan “we just want to grow the club” Pardew and hilariously, Joe Kinnear as well as Finance Director, John Irving have claimed Newcastle United is being run in an astute and responsible manner. This issue of true faith, challenges those claims.
We have four pieces in the next issue which we hope you will look closely at and respond to with opinions and questions of your own. Obviously, we are not privy to club spreadsheets etc but the pieces assembled in this issue have been drafted by accountancy professionals all looking at the available accounts. We aren’t claiming these pieces as the definitive position on Newcastle United’s financial operations but we do feel they offer a starting point for questions.
Til Debt Do Us Part – Accountant, James Oliver analyses the debt the club has to Mike Ashley, what it is made up of, how it has developed and the strategy for reducing it.
The Man Who Betrayed Us – It would be wrong to leave out the legacy of Sir John Hall and the impact his and Freddie Shepherd’s management of the club had upon what Mike Ashley inherited when he bought the club in 2007. Finance professional, Chris Betts goes through everything Hall put into the club but more importantly what he took out.
Well Run Club – Another regular true faith writer and professional bean counter, Andrew Trobe addresses the question that Newcastle United cannot compete financially with “the top six” clubs in the Premier League. Andrew looks at how the finances of some of those clubs have faired against Newcastle United’s since Ashley took over the club.
Where Does The Money Go? – Another accountant, Lee Watson provides a close analysis of Newcastle United’s income streams – ghate money, TV, Commercial etc since Ashley took over the club and what this says about Alan Pardew’s claim the current incumbents want to “grow the club”.
Those are our four key finance pieces and we really hope you give them the attention they deserve. Supporting United in the modern era requires more than an opinion on Hatem Ben Arfa’s work-rate but if we want to have a real insight on what is going on at our club, we have to get a bit speccy on yo ass and provide you with the numbers we can look at and provide some opinions.
This won’t be the end of these pieces and we really do encourage you to look closely at these pieces, come up with your own conclusions, drop us a line and suggest to us what questions we should be asking.
If you have the expertise to answer those questions, we’d be delighted if you were to join us.
I think you’ll be aware now that our editorial position on Ashley is that he is a disaster for the club, using it as a bill-board for his businesses and content to be a nothing club just so long as it stays in the Premier League and on the TV money train. He is bad for the profile of the club, bad for the heritage and class of Newcastle United and basically, bad for business.
If you have a contrary opinion and think Ashley has done a good job for the club, on or off the park, then drop us a line and we’ll talk about how you can make your argument in a following issue of the fanzine.
But TF107 isn’t just about the club’s finances.
We have a superb, bumper feature on the legend that is Colin Veitch, possibly the greatest servant in the history of Newcastle United FC. Written by Veitch devotee and academic, Chris Goulding, this is a must-read for those of you who want to understand the true history of Newcastle United.
Back to the present however and we have an excellent piece about Loic Remy, his talents, what he’s bringing to the team and the chances we have of signing him up on a permanent deal.
As you would expect, we have a great piece about the club’s decision to expel the Newcastle United Supporters Trust from the Fans Forum.
Similarly, our Deputy Ed, young Mr Harrison, gives an extensive analysis of the club’s decision to ban three local newspapers from covering our club – the background, the decision and the opportunity Thomson House’s titles now have.
Graeme Cansdale, leading light of the new and growing Time 4 Change protest group, gives us his two pennorth on marches, protests and how we can continue to press for change at Newcastle United.
On the back of two great wins over Chelsea and Spurs, it might be unusual to ask the question, how well Pardew is doing but Neil Huitson has assembled all of Pardew’s results as well as those of every United manager of the last twenty years and compares them. Interesting verdict.
Regular scribbler, Alex Hurst casts a weathered eye over our Academy and what it is producing or otherwise.
Mark Brophy makes a return to form with an in-depth analysis of Ashley’s chequered history at the club and looks at the blunders he has made while supposedly providing stewardship of our most beloved institution.
We also welcome back, one of our most respected writers, Wallace Wilson, who reflects upon the visit of Leeds United in the League Cup and the colourful history we have with the West Yorkshire club. An excellent nostalgia piece.
Have you clocked the jail time some of the “soccer hooligans” are getting for the carry-on back in April after the Derby. James Pearson smells a rat.
He had to be poked with a stun gun, but our man, Ted Edwards, had to do it, a reflection upon the latest visit to Chicken Town and the fall-out from a derby defeat. Not to be read late at night as it will give you nightmares.
And of course we have all of the usual features you have come to expect:
Thru Black & White Eyes
Feel Every Beat
Postcards From The Edge
Drums & Wires
And a none too shabby poster from Marc Jennings one of our illustrators.
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You can get a copy of this issue here
If you have any queries at all, just drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org