Friday, March 13, 2009

Lie - Mike Ashley Continues to Invest in Newcastle United

In May 2007 Mike Ashley Bought Newcastle United for £134 million.  At that time he also loaned the club £100 million (interest free) to pay off debts and he subsequently topped up that loan with another £10 million.  £244 million in total.

All brilliant.  Zero interest on those loans.  No repayments until he sells up.  It makes excellent business sense for the club.  And it's been his proudest soundbite ever since.

It started in January 2008, eight months after he arrived when we were told
"To date" suggests more is in the pipeline.  However, when Kevin Keegan later said it wouldn't be enough he got called down to London for a slap on the wrists as a result.

Keegan walked eight months later, prompting Ashley to repeat the figure, it was more of a sob story than a proud boast this time
Glossing over the fact £244 million isn't actually more than a quarter of a billion, it sounds to me like he's suggesting there'd since been a need for more to be invested on top of that.  He'd gone from bragging about the money he'd paid to push for Europe eight months earlier to bemoaning it as the level of investment needed just to start off.  But it warmed my cockles to think that had just been the start and he was ploughing more in to push us on.

Alas it wasn't the case.  Today we're two months shy of Mike's second anniversary and the MD has been on a charm offensive, speaking to anyone who'll ask him a question.  He told Mick Lowes on Radio Newcastle
He told Lee Ryder of the Chronicle
And meeting the NUSC he rather curtly told them to
Which all suggests nothing else has been invested or loaned in almost 2 years since he took control. 

It's a bit disappointing after Ashley said

Update - April 2017
The latest accounts show that Ashley's loan has reached a total of £144m.  With the purchase price of £134m that's a £278m investment.  £28m loaned to the club in 11 years since buying.  Mike Ashley has only increased his loans to the club when in the championship.