More Questions Than Answers

by • September 4, 2013 • UncategorizedComments (11)1153

Newcastle United supporters now need grown- up questions for Mike Ashley to answer or the press to cconduct some proper Ashley3investigative journalism rather than aping gobshite fanzines with angry rhetoric and lists. We really need far more from our press, the locally-based lot in particular and the quality of coverage has to become far more professional, forensic and searching because quite simply the level of concern at how badly the club s being run, the suspicion about how the club’s resources are being managed are reaching a point where a complete breakdown of trust between the support and those running Newcastle United isn’t far away and that could have disastrous consequences for the club. We need facts and where these aren’t available, professional judgements from accountants and other professionals should be sort.

No-one here is alleging anything illegal is going on at Newcastle United with regards to the money but there is alarm at how lines are being blurred between Mike Ashley, Newcastle United and Sports Direct.

However, although nothing illegal may be going on that does not mean the club is being run correctly. It isn’t good enough for a phone-call to be made to the club about the £18m earmarked to go out of NUFC  to Ashley in the period ending June 13 and for it to be left hanging wit the answer “it hasn’t gone out yet”.

The local press frequently paints itself as a guardian of public interests, holding local institutions to account. Those claims are often met with hoots of derision and it is difficult to remember the last time this claim was backed up by evidence but now is the time for the local media to arrange its resources and to analyse the information out there and do a proper journalists job rather than simply reporting inanities about injuries and transfer tittle-tattle and having an easy ride.

For the good of Newcastle United, get out and do a proper bloody job.

Some Grown Up Questions

The Newcastle United company accounts state £11m was taken off the debt up to June 12 with an £18m forecast to be taken up until June 13. A spokesperson for Newcastle United has stated that the money has not been taken from the club and made payable to you. What is the plan for this money?

The next Newcastle United accounts should be published in January 14. How much will they calculate you will be taking out of Newcastle United up to June 14?

Thereafter can you calculate at what rate you will take money from the club to repay your loan?

Do you accept that Newcastle United can operate to its full potential whilst you are taking such large sums out of the club to meet repayments of a loan you made to the club following your disastrous mismanagement and the financial costs they incurred?

Given the astonishing success of your other businesses, why are you taking such large amounts of money out of Newcastle United now when you cannot NEED this money right now?

Sports Direct have widespread advertising across St James’ Park, Darsley Park and on club merchandise. Rather than Newcastle United being paid for this advertising, it has been reported that the Sports Direct PLC board will pay you directly in recognition for the coverage obtained across a global audience.

Would you care to explain why Newcastle United’s commercial revenue has reduced each year of your ownership of the club, when it has grown at many other clubs?

How does the staffing, experience and strategy for Newcastle United’s commercial team compare with other similarly sized clubs?

What strategy is there to grow the Newcastle United commercial income at home and abroad in the next 24 months?

Can you explain where cash spent in Newcastle United club shops ends up as all tills and receipts appear to be wired up to Sports Direct? Is money spent by Newcastle United supporters in Newcastle United club shops syphoned off to Sports Direct and this represent money lost to the club.

Other than provide the most basic of support to the Newcastle United Foundation in the form of premises and payroll what financial support does the club provide to the Foundation as say, compared to Sunderland AFC?

What were the causes and consequences of the Newcastle United Academy failing to achieve Cat A status following the first round of independent inspections in 2012?

What was the selection process for the appointment of a Director of Football at Newcastle United?

Why did you decide to give Joe Kinnear a 3-year contract?

What plans are there to reconfigure the executive team at Newcastle United following Derek Llambias’ resignation?

Why did you decide to give Alan Pardew an eight-year contract?

What are your intentions regards your share-holding in Glasgow Rangers Football Club?

Given the global nature of the Premier League, why did you reduce the budget of the Newcastle United media team in the summer of 2013 and continue to make long-serving club employees redundant given the relatively small numbers involved?

Earlier in your ownership of Newcastle United your senior executive employees made statements claiming there were 5-year plans in place to take the club forward. Where is our position and place within any earlier plans and corporate objectives?

Why is Newcastle United selling match-day tickets at a lower unit price for games than the average cost of season tickets, this reducing the financial attractiveness of a season ticket for supporters and for the club in having its cash up front from its most loyal “customers” (sic)?

That is all.   TF_INITIALS_LOGO


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11 Responses to More Questions Than Answers

  1. Manwithnoname says:

    It’s my opinion that the reason Ashley has been ‘allowed’ to run NUFC the way he has is because the local press (one journalist in particular) has been happy to spin a positive propaganda on behalf of the owner. Ludicrous headlines like “hey big spender” aswell as a constant drip, drip, drip of “Ashley continues to bankroll the club”, “Ashley will dig deep for new signings” and “Ashley will continue to pour millions into the club from his own pocket” have given him breathing space from fans willing to believe he’s actually the clubs’ saviour. The journalist has zero credibility as far as I’m concerned.

    • Alex says:

      Would i be correct in saying that the one journalist that you are talking about has the initials LR?, it really is ludicrous that the paper in question isn’t representing the views of its readers, much like the shields gazette does (albeit in slightly different circumstances)

  2. east stand exile says:

    Thanks for this, should be required reading for ALL Toon fans, as well as the media. Excellent summary of the issues and the questions which should be answered (but won’t be). The real victory is in getting these questions across to even the ‘casual’ (in the true sense!) fans so that everyone understands the direction of travel MA has us on.
    The tide is turning, but there’s a long way to go. Keep up the good work TF.

  3. Matt Flynn says:

    The local press are in a difficult position. Football coverage is a vital component of their content and the benefits of maintaining a good relationship with the club are obvious. They have to strike a balancing act between constructive criticism and supporting the incumbent regime – and as Luke Edwards would testify it doesn’t take much to get banned since Mr Ashley bumbled into town. That said Thomson House need to decide if they are supporters of the club and the community it represents, or just another business exploiting football supporters.

    There’s been a noticeable shift from the local media since JFK came back, but I except this has more to do with him calling most of them cunts than anything else. His appointment has only really served to draw the media’s attention away from the real villain of the piece. Right now the transfer window is all the media have to blart on about and the non events at NUFC are an easy subject to focus on. In a couple of week’s time the hacks will have forgotten all about the financial back-story at SJP.

    We can’t rely on the press to defend the best interests of NUFC. It’s down to us, the supporters to put and end to this situation. We might not succeed but that’s no excuse for not even trying.

    • An Excellent article … shame it had be be written exposing the malaise we , the toon, is embroiled in. Also some vary valid replies from Matt and the other contributors , most notably Matts last paragraph. Yes we desperately need answers and more imput from our loyal fans.

  4. Mick Dixon says:

    Waste of time he or anyone else wont answer any questions.
    This is a Sports direct biz and if what is being said on the Wonga shirt sale being the 3rd largest ever seller then that just about sums it all up.
    Dont complain if you are wearing SD gear, buying in the shops, bars, paying for tickets etc.
    You get wot you pay for, and you ARE supporting the regime.
    Grow some balls and stay away from the con. It will kill you but this setup is only interested in profit milking us all dry.


  5. David Chapman says:

    This article is a complete waste of time as is financially supporting Newcastle United under this regime, sorry to sound so defeatist but its true.
    As said above its time true Newcastle supporters grew some balls and stopped financially supporting this shower of utter shit, unless this happens nothings going to change.

  6. It's not rocket science says:

    A start could be to cancel season ticket DD’s for 2014/15 season. Should you want to, you can still pay by game and save some money in meantime. At moment, there are ~35k season tickets, presumably with the bulk on the 10-year deal. He will then need to work to get people through the gate, rather than rely on a captive audience. How many games last season was St James’ full? So little risk not getting in.
    As has been said so many times, if we all keep turning up, he’ll never go. Why would he leave with a guaranteed income – in his shoes, I wouldn’t.

  7. Drew Murty says:

    Leave wor Mikey alone

  8. Ian Summers says:

    Mike Ashley could not make his intentions about our club any clearer. Our biggest response comes in February when Direct debits are cancelled. Having already paid for most of this season already most of us will still attend matches but if Joke Kinnear is ever on the bench I won’t be at St James anymore. At least boycott Sports Direct as owning NUFC is his vehicle to promote Sports Direct, the more controversy he creates the more free publicity he gains. Ashley behaves like a spoilt child and all he would respond to is being ignored. To boycott him and all he owns is our only possible reaction.

  9. Chris Toon says:

    I think the following story and case says it all:

    “In a piece printed in the Chronicle tonight as a reaction to the recent transfer window, the question is asked of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley “how much do you pay the North East Press pack to write nice things about you?” The answer, in Wonga’s case, appears to be £30,000, the amount they provided for the Chronicle’s Wish Sport fund.”