Newcastle United supporters now need grown- up questions for Mike Ashley to answer or the press to cconduct some proper investigative 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)?