Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Commited To The Future, Selling Our History

As predicted, Mike Ashley has announced he's not selling Newcastle United and is "totally committed". This is the second time he's made this announcement in less than one year so don't hold your breath that it's permanent. Promotion back to the Premier League would no doubt see the club back on ebay with a starting price far greater than the £80m - £100m touted over the last four months.

The NUFC website says:

The Club had been trying to broker a deal with a number of prospective buyers in recent months however none of those deals came to fruition. With regard to the possible sale of the Club to Barry Moat, that particular bid has now fallen through due to the cash price of £80m not being met.
This confirms what we already knew. The statements from the club stating categorically that the asking price had been met by several groups and that a deal was days away can now be officially added to the growing list of examples of the club ‘repeatedly and intentionally misleading the press, public and the fans of Newcastle United’. The whole embarrassing process has been an exercise in 'public relations' which only serves to cast entirely warranted doubt on the rest of the claims made today:
In confirming the news, Mike Ashley stated that he is totally committed to the future success of Newcastle United and will be focussing on gaining promotion back to the Premier League. Mike will put a further £20m into the Club this week.

Unless evidence of this investment is seen in January (or sooner) we should assume it’s completely false.

"We are delighted that Chris has accepted the post of full time manager. He has done a terrific job this season and we wish him every success for the rest of this season and beyond. He will continue to receive our full backing and support."

Continue to receive their full backing? Pre-season Hughton was allowed to bring in three loan players no-one else wanted and a free transfer we let go last season who couldn’t find another club in the meantime. To suggest the owner has done anything whatsoever to assist the new manager is ridiculous in the extreme. He has done nothing but hinder the manager by depleting the squad to maximise income.

Whilst confirming these two matters, Newcastle United now aims to move forward on and off the pitch. The Club aims to maximise its commercial revenues; this includes renegotiating its Club sponsor and kit deal, which expire at the end of this season, as well as welcoming offers for the stadium naming rights for next season.

This is the killer paragraph, the one that Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias would have had a good old chuckle at while they composed it. This is a disgusting move on behalf of an owner twisting the knife having stabbed the fans in the back repeatedly. Lip service is paid to moving forward on the pitch, but we will see no action whatsoever on this front. They are bereft of ideas. They do not know football. They refuse to improve the squad and will use any income the club has to satisfy their own debts. It’s only off the pitch where they have a plan. That plan is to sell our heritage to the highest bidder without any consultation with the fans whatsoever.