THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Business As Usual  – 6/Jul/14

by • July 6, 2014 • TBAWEComments (6)765

By a rough guess, the start of the Premier League season is around 6-weeks away as I typeDebuchyNU1 this. In that time (though the transfer window doesn’t close until the end of August) United has an incredible amount of business to get through. The transfer window hasn’t run away from the club just yet but by any stretch Ashley, Charnley, Carr and Pardew need to significantly up their game if United is to make any kind of impact next season.

We know the club wants to get shot of HBA, Marveaux, Obertan, Mbwia and would likely listen to offers for Santon and S. Taylor. Those unwanted players from the first team squad could likely be joined by Debuchy (whose transfer to Arsenal will likely happen very soon), Tim Krul (where the whispers have already started of him being unsettled) and Chieck Tiote (who I have a hunch may be wanted in Manchester as a bench-warmer next season). Then of course there is Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic and Gael Bigigrama who I would guess United would like to move out of the club as per Mehdi Abeid and James Tavernier. More young players failing to flourish at the Academy of Doom.

It is the received wisdom that United needs two strikers, another creative midfielder, a winger and a central defender. That’s before any more leave the club.

On the strikers’ front the players the club has been scouting for some time are beginning to get moves elsewhere. Gomis has joined Swansea City and Lassonga has moved to SV Hamburg. Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund) might be on the list but you have to give United credit for a completely left-field bit of business as they completed with Cisse from Freiburg with no-one getting a sniff of it before the deal was done. There were rumours linking Demba Ba to a return to United a few weeks ago (as well as Sunderland) but I don’t think he fits our profile of young players with a sell-on value. At the moment though, nothing looks like close to being completed, though I say that hoping to be proven wrong with a Cisse pulled from a hat by the club.

So, basically an awful lot of business to get through both in and out if the squad is going to be one the club, let alone the supporters, can have any confidence in.

So far, it looks like the same old story. The club has completed what might be a decent piece of business with the arrival of Siem De Jong (a player quoted as saying he hopes to have a good two years at United despite signing a six-year deal, hmm, wonder, what that means?) though Pardew’s drum-banging for him makes you wonder why PSG didn’t just sign our new Dutchman for a lot less dough rather than Yohan Cabaye for rather more doesn’t it? Of course De Jong’s arrival had a large part of its shine taken off it by Mathieu Debuchy’s less than subtle eye-lash fluttering in the direction of Arsenal. Debuchy’s departure for North London was all but rubber-stamped when Pardew was quoted as saying the French full-back was going nowhere. Nothing Alan Pardew EVER says EVER happens.

So, what we are looking at is what was widely predicted at the end of the season, the start of some player trading which I expect will amount to little more than rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. We’ve signed a player with promise but we are on the point of selling a proven Premier League player. As B&W comrades have wryly observed, last season our three best players were Cabaye, Remy and Debuchy. All three will have left the club by the time the new season kicks off.

I really can’t blame Mathieu Debuchy for wanting to leave Newcastle United and join Arsenal. Our Managing Director, Lee Charnley no less, has made explicit statements that the Cups are a distant priority. Well, he’s done more than that, he has submitted evidence (of a highly dubious nature) that Cup competitions can have a negative impact upon those clubs outside the golden circle of the top 6 who commit to them.

Further, the manager, Alan Pardew, has made his distaste for the Europa League abundantly plain and the inference I am taking from that is United would be as keen to qualify for Europe as you would be to get on the Cheesy Chips and Blue Pop.

I think by now, even the most optimistic amongst our support is well aware, Mike Ashley is not about to start investing in a squad to have a crack at qualifying for the Champions League.

So, why would Mathieu Debuchy want to stay with a club that doesn’t want to win a Cup, doesn’t want to qualify for the Europa League and isn’t interested in building a squad to get into the Champions League, as difficult as that might be?

Debuchy owes us nothing. In fact, if United doubles its money after only one full season from him it is United that is in debt to him. Debuchy has no long term emotional or community attachment to United and the reason he came to our club was to advance his career. I don’t doubt in negotiations, the scenario he is now in was the one that was pitched to him. By Newcastle United. Play in the Premier League, prove your talent and then move onto a bigger club to win something. It worked for his best mate Yohan didn’t it?

I don’t doubt for one moment Tim Krul, Moussa Sissoko and Chieck Tiote don’t have exactly the same motivation. I don’t blame them. It is the modern duty of every footballer to achieve as much as they can with their talent – professionally and financially. You would want to play at the highest level you possibly can – the most competitive domestic league, Europa League, Champions League, international tournaments and win trophies. No serious professional footballer having proven their talent could take them further and with a willing suitor would want to stay tied to Mike Ashley’s cold business plan.

I don’t doubt for one second we will be having the same conversations about Siem De Jong if he lives up to his billing and shows himself to be capable of performing at a higher level. Debuchy, Cabaye, Ba, whoever … are no different to Waddle, Beardsley and Gascoigne almost thirty years ago who left a club with no ambition to fulfil their potential elsewhere.

The task for any football club in so far as supporters such as us are interested in, is to make it as competitive as it possibly can be. Newcastle United is a very, very easy football club to leave if you are an ambitious footballer. The club has a manager, not really worthy of the description with little credibility as a man or a coach with a large swathe of the support. The owner has little interest in the club and would like it to manage itself without any input from him in terms of his towering business acumen or from his massive wealth.

The statement – Newcastle United has no ambition isn’t so much a revelation but more an epitaph.

Why, if you could go somewhere to achieve your ambitions, your goals, your dreams and be paid more, would you stay?

Now, given where Newcastle United is in the pecking order of football clubs we have to accept we can’t compete financially with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal because they have a rich tradition we simply do not possess. We can’t compete with financially doped clubs like Chelsea and Man City either. But we should be punching our weight along with Everton, Spurs and building a squad that can bloody a few noses from time to time as well as doing everything we can to upset the status quo. To do that requires leadership, determination and commitment from the top and that is something we just don’t have.

Ashley is simply indifferent to Newcastle United and in business terms at least has far bigger fish to fry than a football club at the other end of the country he likely considers something of a distraction to his main business interests. United’s vision doesn’t extend beyond an EXCEL spreadsheet.

Yet so many areas of the club’s operations under-perform and undermine that self sufficiency model – we are losing money commercially, on the corporate and on the gate (not to mention the Academy of Doom) because the club has no vision.

While Newcastle United continues to operate to narrow measures of key-performance indicators, it will go on losing credibility and support.


Despite the World Cup taking up our attentions at the moment, I’m delighted so many of tf112_mirandinha_ipad
you have and are continuing to take out subscriptions to the fanzine which is now available in DIGITAL format. This is the future for football fanzines and whilst some have an understandable nostalgia for hard-copy paper versions, I’m afraid that world is dying. From August we will be publishing 10 issues per season and each issue will have 100 pages. That means more coverage of the club we all love as well as other areas of football at home and abroad from a B&W perspective. The DIGITAL format allows us to publish more issues and for those issues to be bigger and better. It also allows us to be cheaper. The costs to our readers have plummeted. The service is also improved massively. We have subscribers all over the world and to be honest I often winced at the costs of postage we had to pass on to readers as well as the knowledge that it could be weeks before they would arrive at their destination in every far flung corner of the globe. Now, everyone gets their copy at the same time. None are getting lost in the post, envelopes aren’t arriving having been ripped open and requiring replacements. Closer to home I’m not being pulled in the boozer before matches and being asked why TF isn’t on sale at ASDA in Benton or Morrisson’s on Shields Road or any other some such. If you want it, you’ll get it and you’ll receive it the moment it’s ready.

You can take out a subscription now and you’ll have instant access to the SUMMER SPECIAL and 30 back copies of true faith. You will also get 10 copies of the fanzine next season. It could not be easier.

Click here to get your subscription sorted.

We can also offer more opportunities for more of you to get your views published in one of the best known, most widely read and respected fanzines in the country. That is ultimately what we exist for. You don’t have to agree with TF to write for it (to be honest, we would prefer it if you didn’t).

All you need to do to get started writing for true faith is to drop us a line of and we’ll get you set off with something. People like you write for true faith.


We were absolutely overwhelmed by how quickly we sold out of the true faith designed SONY DSCcity crest pin badge we put on sale on Saturday. All of them were gone in just over two hours, which proves our readers have refined tastes and appreciate a piece of quality schmutter.

We will have more pin-badges for sale very soon which we hope you will agree are something of a cut above.

Next week (with exact details to be confirmed) we’ll have a brilliant Kelly bucket hat on sale, again featuring the true faith designed city crest and we reckon it will be just as popular as the pin badge. So, if you want one keep your eyes peeled so you know the crack and don’t end up disappointed.

It will be sold via the true faith shop. Just click here.


Anyway, Van Gaal has to pick Krul for the semi now, surely?

Have a great week.


Keep On, Keepin’ On … TF_INITIALS_LOGO

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6 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Business As Usual  – 6/Jul/14

  1. Chris Baldwin says:

    For those of us not enamoured with the digital age, is there any chance of a ‘one-off’ digital copy of the fanzine to see if we can make the transition? Some of us long term readers miss our fix but are not use about this online edition…

  2. Rowla says:

    Glad to hear digital subscriptions are going well – I’m similar to Chris Baldwin by the sounds of it – thanks for the link – it looks great.
    Quick question on how it works- when you subscribe do you get a log in that’s valid for the period of your subscription?

  3. Joe says:

    I think Newcastle’s ambition is exactly the same as it was when we were promoted; to scout Europe for young hungry talent that, if things worked out, we couldn’t possibly hope to keep for more than a season or two, either for financial reasons or, just as likely, our inability to break into the Champions League places.
    You can’t see Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea slipping out of those top four places ever again if we are honest, and even hanging on to our so-called star players of players will not do a lot to help us break the top four either. The Cabayes, Carrols, Debuchys that we see leaving as symbolic of the lack of ambition, are hardly going to set the world alight, even at a succesful club. They may seem priceless to us, but they’re just handy squad players at that level.

    There is nowhere else for Newcastle to go until the non-existant sheik buys the club, and I think I’d rather we saw some of this talent pass through Newcastle, than pass it by.

    • Mark says:

      Man Utd slipped out of the CL last season Joe – and we were still able to make it with one game to go just 2 years ago. I think with good management, smart transfer policy, intelligent coaching of senior and young players, and an ambitious vision that all are working towards it is still possible. Unfortunately none of the last sentence describes NUFC atm.

  4. Joe says:

    ps. A boycott of the matches would be detrimental to the only sales-pitch we have of attracting these ‘stars-in-waiting’.
    If Pardew or whoever, can’t even say “Well, you’ll be playing in front of 50,000 passionate fans every other week”, then what else can they entice them to Newcastle with? It’s the first thing any player mentions when they sign.