Monday, October 19, 2009

Mike Ashley Soopafan

Another batch of quotes from Mike Ashley appeared over the weekend. Once again they're embarrasing half truths and misrepresentations the club would call 'public relations' but the rest of us call 'horseshit'.

First of all he said:
“Barry Moat has been driving me mad for two years. If he wants to buy the club, he’s got a one-off opportunity to come up with the cash — £80m upfront.”

This has led to a rush of headlines across the sporting media:

"Mike Ashley cuts price of Newcastle United" - The Times

"Ashley reduces asking price" - Sky Sports

"Ashley puts £80m price on Newcastle" - The Independent

I'm sure i'm not the only one that will be questioning the leap of logic in these reports. Mike Ashley has said he wants £80m up-front. Not £80m. There is no doubt in my mind his asking price includes future payments. The portrayal from todays press of Ashley as a man willing to haggle down to a more realistic price gives him undue credit.

He went on:
“I have to put £20m a year into the club — I spend more than every other fan put together puts into the club each year. If you can’t pay upfront to buy the club, you can’t afford it.”

We'll have to wait a few more months for the accounts to be released to see if there's any truth in the £20m every year claim. The last set of accounts did say £20m was pumped in during his first season. It came in the form of a loan, which is STILL outstanding to be repaid to him. I don't think I'm due back any of the money I've ploughed into the club.

More importantly, it's an outright lie that it's more than the fans "put together" (I refuse to say "other fans" like Mike has presumed to). Before you get into pies and pints and strips (3 new this season) and stadium tours and cup games and a host of other ways we invest, just on match tickets alone we're only slightly short of overshadowing his yearly 'investment'. Our average attendance is 40,801 at the moment. Estimating conservatively at an average of £20 a ticket over 23 games, that's over £18.75million of income per season.

Strange also that he derides buyers who "can't afford it". This is the man who has reiterated with every public utterance since he arrived the financial cost of taking on the club. He's constantly moaned about the level of investment required, he's already taken it down to a championship level of investment and seems to be determined to go further (see below) and he has the gall to complain that it's other people that can't afford it. If anyone can't afford this club, it's demonstrably Mike Ashley.

The most frightening thing about Ashley's delusion though is how it is going to go on hurting the club. In one breath he says:
"I never said I was an expert in football clubs. I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short."

And with the next:
"if I keep the club I will have the final say on players."

A self confessed dunce when it comes to football matters, who's shown over two years that all he can do is take us on a downward spiral, is still insisting he's the one to identify which players we need.

Get out of our club
Get out of our club
You fat cockney bastard
Get out of our club