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The Future of NUFC


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Does anyone think it's going to be bright?

 

We've got an owner who will sell if he gets what he considers to be a 'fair price'. Due to the Credit Crunch this is unlikely to happen for at least two years. He doesn't seem interested in investing in the squad. We will be lucky if we finish mid-table for the foreseeable future.

 

If we aren't relegated this season I'd be surprised if we get 40K turning up to watch games next season.

 

If we get relegated the club will be lucky to get 30K turning up.

 

The likes of Owen, Given and N'Zogbia want to leave. The likes of Ameobi are getting 3 year contracts.

 

Has anyone got any hope for the future?

 

This thread was 'inspired' by reading this: -

http://www.true-faith.co.uk/tf/editorials.nsf/LookupUNID/2E115C310F635F17802575340056A40B?OpenDocument

 

HAPPY HOUSE

Not for the first time under the ownership of Mike Ashley we’re looking at each other and wondering what the fuck is going on?

The squad has been absolutely threadbare all season and it seems Ashley is prepared to allow that position to continue with the club teetering on the brink of a complete meltdown. Am I going over the top? Maybe – but I’d let you consider the evidence.

Michael Owen, bought for £17m in 2005 and our best player, is now on the verge of leaving the club. Noone really believes he will be at NUFC beyond the end of the season and there is substantial reason to believe he may be away by the end of the month.

The statement from Shay Given’s solicitors is an articulation of a man at the complete end of his tether with a club he loves but which is consistently doing everything wrong. We now believe Ashley’s stewardship of our club has created the conditions where a loyal club servant and one of the best goalkeepers in the world wants out, wants to be away from the goons currently running the club into the dirt. Right now, we should all be looking forward to Shay to breaking the all time appearances record for the club and etching his name into club folklore. Right now we should all be looking forward to the club’s testimonial arrangements for Shay Given and a load of dosh being donated to Marie Curie or whichever charity our No.1 nominates for the proceeds to go to. Under Ashley, we are now looking anxiously at the likes of Man City lining up a bid for Given!

We have contract offers made to Nicky Butt, Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi, which remain on the table and unsigned. These were the contracts that the increasingly foolish looking Joe Kinnear, indicated would have been signed weeks ago. What’s going on Joe?

 

We were told - ahead of the transfer window - by Kinnear - there were bids lined up for several players and money would be spent! Now we’re being told the bids lodged are less than what the clubs with those players will accept and he’s now looking elsewhere. Well, I’m not saying there can’t be haggling and bluffing going on but they don’t sound like bids at all to me. We’re now getting the hint that several players will have to leave the club in order to generate funds to purchase new players but they won’t be Given or Owen. Its obvious the club would like to move the likes of Smith, Barton, Cacapa, Geremi, Enrique and Xisco off the wage bill but there are so many holes in that plan as to make it completely unworkable. Smith and Barton are currently injured and no-one wants to pay decent money for Cacapa, Geremi, Xisco and Enrique. Worryingly, one newspaper report on Sunday had the club considering offers for Collocini and Guitterez and they only ‘kin well got here in the bastard summer?

 

Then of course there is the position of the increasingly obnoxious Charles N’Zogbia who appears hell bent on leaving NUFC and isn’t bothered who he tells. N’Zogbia has indicated he has been told by the club he’ll be allowed to leave this month. There were those next to me at Hull who did not believe N’Zogbia was genuinely injured and he was feigning an injury in order to leave the pitch. There were those who were watching him closely and predicting he’s going to go off hurt but it will be a pretence! That was only their opinion of course but when The Chronicle's John Gibson talks about Mark Viduka missing games because of a twisted sock injury then you can see suspicion spreading like a cancer through our club and in the stands. It is indeed a desperate and depressing time to be supporting Newcastle United Football Club and the sense of mis-trust between supporters and those allegedly running our club is becoming poisonous.

 

I am finding it extremely difficult to have any kind of respect for Joe Kinnear, though it does seem to me, and its only my opinion of course, that he is being treated like a fool by Ashley as well. His statements about players incoming and outgoing, available transfer funds etc are so conflicting and contradictory as to be rendered completely worthless. The most scathing criticism I have heard of him is he works for Ashley and not Newcastle United i.e. he is a lap-dog, a poodle, a yes-man so desperate to be in work so as to cash in all dignity and make a twat of himself for the man putting money in his bank account. We all make compromises in life to get by but I’m starting to wonder about Joe Kinnear. Blaming the press for everything has come to wear a bit thin hasn’t it?

 

All of this of course comes on the back of Ashley’s programmes notes ahead of the Liverpool game when the full poverty of our resources on the park and in the dug-out were brutally laid bare. All of this working together to go forward in 2009 nonsense is patronising drivel and as meaningless clap-trap as the nauseating claims to have been heading and kicking every ball whilst watching our games on TV. This is the man who refuses to meet the Newcastle United Supporters Club (NUSC), look them in the eye and answer their questions, What the fuck does he take us for?

 

Whether Ashley knows it or not is open to conjecture but he is facing a mass desertion from the stands come the end of this season. He made a statement back in September about not subsiding Newcastle United – the cheeky bastard – the only people who have ever subsidised our club is us, the supporters , but the truth of the matter is, those same people are concluding that a season ticket for 09/10 is a subsidy for Mike Ashley and not unreasonably, those people are questioning the wisdom of giving the man their money, when they appear to be correct in assuming, it won’t find it’s way into being spent on the team.

 

Hey, we’re still in the Cup though eh?

 

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

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Financial nightmare has disrupted dream of club ownership. Even for millionaire Newcastle fans the climate is too cold for them to dive in and buy out Ashley - David Conn, The Guardian

Whatever 2009 has in store for English football as economic crisis engulfs the world, it is unlikely to include another giddy round of club takeovers, according to the man who engineered a packet of them, Keith Harris. At the turn of the year, when Newcastle United, a club that Harris had been instructed to sell, was withdrawn from the market, the club's owner, Mike Ashley, sought to make a virtue out of necessity, telling somewhat sceptical fans: "2009 will be the year we drive the club forward together."

The fact was that Newcastle, despite all the turmoil, had been considered a prime Premier League club for investors because of St James' Park's 52,000 capacity and the bloody-minded Geordie willingness to fill it but the club was on sale for three months and no buyer bit. Harris said that, despite interest from the US, Middle East and South Africa, a solid offer never arrived.

 

"The problem was not the price being asked but the general climate," he said. "In a way it is a wake-up call: we're in the toughest economic situation anybody has endured in our lifetime and that means we are unlikely to see much activity on the football takeover scene."

 

For Harris, a banker with the firm Seymour Pierce, that negative diagnosis includes Everton, which he remains instructed to sell, and the other Premier League clubs publicly for sale, including Portsmouth and Blackburn. He advised the billionaires who bought Chelsea, Aston Villa, West Ham and, at Manchester City, Thaksin Shinawatra, but now says the party is over and clubs – with Sheikh Mansour's City the exception – should go into 2009 committed to tightening belts, not hoping for a sugar-daddy saviour.

 

"We have been through a time when clubs have been overspending, with very ordinary players commanding huge transfer fees and wages," he said. "The climate has changed and takeovers are not going to be the solution to the woes that they may have been two years ago. That is unequivocal."

 

Harris painted a picture of straitened times even for billionaires, some of whom, like West Ham United's owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, have been seriously damaged by the banking collapse while others have fortunes invested in shares and property whose value is plummeting.

 

In that environment, and with the financial world bracing itself for the inevitable next hideous shock, Harris said those who might have taken a punt on English football's glittering global "brands" have become suddenly more cautious. "You can't force a club down somebody's throat," he said. "They have to really want to buy it. They may expect to make money out of a club ultimately but a football club is a trophy asset, for enjoyment. Confidence is dented everywhere and I do not see much activity on takeovers until we get some form of stability in people's minds."

 

He argues that the club which might prove the exception and find a buyer is the one most afflicted by the banking collapse, West Ham. Harris believes London clubs have a cachet which still appeals to investors even in this market and that a court action brought by a creditor in Iceland against Gudmundsson's holding company, Hansa, laid bare how crucial a sale has become to the former billionaire.

 

Hansa is in administration and argued in court that its best chance of paying off its debts, which amount to £110m, lies in selling West Ham – its "largest and most valuable asset". The club has already been put up for sale.

 

West Ham's vice chairman, Asgeir Fridgeirsson, has said there are several interested parties, although the suggestion that Dubai International Capital are among them was denied by a DIC representative. As reported in the Guardian, in the court action in which Hansa argued for more time to pay its debts, the company's lawyers suggested £250m as a likely price for West Ham. That valuation was based on comparing the club to Manchester City, which the lawyers said Sheikh Mansour took off Thaksin Shinawatra's hands for £230m. Yet that £230m was understood to comprise City's £190m debts, leaving just £40m for the club shares themselves which Thaksin owned almost 100%.

 

In court Hansa put West Ham's current debts at £50m, so a buyer would be expected to take those on plus give Gudmundsson a price for the shares. Hansa's lawyers argue West Ham has an attraction "because of its location in London, its loyal supporters, its greater possibilities for related real estate projects, its proximity to the Olympic Village and the fact that West Ham owns its own stadium which Manchester City does not". However, sources close to Gudmundsson have conceded what many already felt, that it has become unrealistic to think West Ham will attract a total value of £250m.

 

So two years after Gudmundsson's £85m takeover sparked a round of extravagant spending in the transfer market, West Ham have become sellers of players, with Mansour's City the potential buyer, and Gudmundsson is publicly having to sell the club itself. Harris believes their chance of finding a buyer depends "massively" on the price they put on the club and the amount West Ham will ultimately have to pay Sheffield United in compensation for the Carlos Tevez saga.

 

Elsewhere there are mixed signs of clubs' preparedness to face straitened times. Just four Premier League clubs have so far filed recent accounts covering the 2007-08 season; of those Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton increased their income on the strength of the Premier League's booming £2.7bn, three-year TV deal, all three clubs made profits and were carrying debt generally reckoned not to be alarming. However, Middlesbrough's accounts for the year to December 2007 showed that the club turned over £48m, made a loss of £8.3m and had increased bank borrowings from £84m to £93m. Boro's total creditors were £132m.

 

The accounts said the chairman, Steve Gibson, had "undertaken to provide financial support to the extent necessary" but there was no evidence in the accounts that he had in fact put any money in last year. All of that, the overspending on wages, the losses, the debts incurred to stay in the honeypot Premier League, lay behind the manager Gareth Southgate's apocalyptic warning that the English game could face a "Serie A style collapse".

 

Few in the Premier League go along with that and its chief executive, Richard Scudamore, remains confident of securing another TV bonanza, although Football League clubs are not contemplating the oncoming recession with any relish. Harris, advisor to Roman Abramovich's 2003 takeover of Chelsea and the series of other deals which came to represent the boomtime, believes meltdown is a possibility if the clubs making losses do not get a grip of the transfers and wages they pay.

 

"The clubs have been spending too much and the club owners were looking for richer people to buy the clubs and take on the losses," Harris said. "But we are in a different climate now, where the football clubs have to realise it is back to the fundamental basics of managing their costs. The supply of richer people has proved to be finite."

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During the Souness/Roeder era's, I honestly felt that "ah well, we've fucked up but one solid season of rebuilding and we'll be in the top six."

 

Now? The best we can hope for in the short term right now is consolidating as lower-mid table club like Boro or Fulham. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Barring something truly extraordinary, like a billionaire takeover or somehow stumbling upon the next great up-and-coming manager, I simply don't see us breaking into the top half any time in the foreseeable future.

 

DISCLAIMER: No, I don't believe this has anything to do with change in ownership. Don't even try.

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You are right to be concerned - at the moment, the best the fans can hope for is to manage to avoid relegation.

If that doesn't happen, get ready to enjoy trips to those wonderful Fizzy Pop clubs, some of which we last visited 16 years ago - places like Tranmere and Grimsby, both of which I remember fondly because after winning there(esp at Grimsby)in 1993, I knew we were leaving them behind ; hopefully for good.....

 

Still.you won't have problems parking, and at least you'll FEEL as if NUFC are a 'Big' Club because we usually have more fans than the home side....well, it WAS`like that then - I think it might be a bit different this time !!

 

Can't see anything good on the horizon unless a takeover comes out of the blue - but then, we thought that back in 2007 before Ashley took over....!

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To a football fan success is a relative thing.

If, as Gareth Southgate predicts in the article above, the English game faces a "Serie A style collapse" would the true fans who attend the matches be that bothered about it. I don't think so. Most would rather be high up a decent league than at the bottom of the best league in the world.

The standard of player we watch in the English game nowadays is far higher than 10 years ago, which in turn was much higher than 10 years before that. Do we enjoy it more ? Probably not. We prefer to see winning football rather than world class football.

 

If the collapse did happen and the mercenaries flee our shores, those who will be most upset will be the Premier League themselves - who presently have the world's best football product, the club's owners - most of whom are Johnny come lately's - and maybe a few "fashion fans" who have latched on to the product as we signed up all the world's best players.

 

OK we may no longer get 3 English clubs in the Champion's League semis but would many real fans be that bothered ?

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Probably best to ask this at the end of the transfer window.

 

And

 

We'll not get relegated.

I agree to some extent but the noises coming out of the club aren't exactly positive when it comes to transfers in and out. Even if we don't get relegated the future looks mediocre to bleak.

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We'll not get relegated this season, but we're certainly headed in that direction in the medium-term at the moment. We're in decline; a good manager replaced by a poor manager; good players almost certainly set to be replaced by those of a lesser calibre; dwindling support; diminishing leadership from the top... There's no light at the end of the tunnel, just even darker levels of darkness.

 

I'm generally as optimistic as they come as well. But frankly unless there's big changes we're in deep shit over the next few seasons.

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I still don't feel the bone-chilling fear of relegation that I did during the Allardyce era. Not sure if that's justified, but it's how I see things.

 

The future is challenging, but I don't see why we can't turn things around. We saw the quality players that the Ashley regime managed to bring in already. I don't think much will be done in January, but I assume by 'the future' you mean long term rather than the next couple of seasons?

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The future is challenging, but I don't see why we can't turn things around. We saw the quality players that the Ashley regime managed to bring in already. I don't think much will be done in January, but I assume by 'the future' you mean long term rather than the next couple of seasons?

By the future I mean from now onwards. Our short term target is to not to get relegated. Ashley's medium term goal seems to be to sell the club. Long term depends on the short and medium goals.

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The future is challenging, but I don't see why we can't turn things around. We saw the quality players that the Ashley regime managed to bring in already. I don't think much will be done in January, but I assume by 'the future' you mean long term rather than the next couple of seasons?

By the future I mean from now onwards. Our short term target is to not to get relegated. Ashley's medium term goal seems to be to sell the club. Long term depends on the short and medium goals.

 

Well, he said the club's no longer for sale. Whether he'll change his mind when the economy perks up remains to be seen, but that could be another 3-5 years.

 

From now onwards you're right, first thing is to stay up... and that will continue to be the objective in future seasons unless we get a good manager and Ashley is prepared to invest in the squad. Otherwise we will continue to allow other teams to overtake us, sadly.

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With our current set up the future is bleak - someone above mentioning fulham etc and just being midtable would be all we could get. However, I personally dont think the European places are quite as far off as some people think. Aston Villa were what? 16th or thereabouts a couple of years ago? I honestly think that from them downwards all the teams like everton us spurs etc just need a spark to make them stand out from the rest of the shite.

 

The positions in the top half are there for the taking and just waiting for someone to step up and take them.

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During the Souness/Roeder era's, I honestly felt that "ah well, we've fucked up but one solid season of rebuilding and we'll be in the top six."

 

Now? The best we can hope for in the short term right now is consolidating as lower-mid table club like Boro or Fulham. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Barring something truly extraordinary, like a billionaire takeover or somehow stumbling upon the next great up-and-coming manager, I simply don't see us breaking into the top half any time in the foreseeable future.

 

DISCLAIMER: No, I don't believe this has anything to do with change in ownership. Don't even try.

 

well, if you think that, what DO you think is the reason ?

 

Of course its because of the change of ownership.

 

Ambitions and standards have dropped. Nothing else could cause your change of attitude.

 

 

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During the Souness/Roeder era's, I honestly felt that "ah well, we've fucked up but one solid season of rebuilding and we'll be in the top six."

 

Now? The best we can hope for in the short term right now is consolidating as lower-mid table club like Boro or Fulham. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Barring something truly extraordinary, like a billionaire takeover or somehow stumbling upon the next great up-and-coming manager, I simply don't see us breaking into the top half any time in the foreseeable future.

 

DISCLAIMER: No, I don't believe this has anything to do with change in ownership. Don't even try.

 

well, if you think that, what DO you think is the reason ?

 

Of course its because of the change of ownership.

 

Ambitions and standards have dropped. Nothing else could cause your change of attitude.

 

 

 

Because of the change of ownership at other clubs?

 

Unless you think as a PLC we would have been able to compete financially with the Abu Dhabi Group, Drumaville and Randy Lerner?

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The ambition of being a top 6 outfit even died today when we gave Ameobi that new contract, together with the likes of Bramble and Babayaro he should have been let go earlier imo. If this is Ashleys way of breaking in to the top 4 then i dont know anymore  :undecided:

I remember when Ashley first bought the club, all the promises he made, you know the we will challenge in the long term etc etc, but i imagine i remember he said a 5 year period, but soon 2 of those years have gone, and 3 years to build a top 4 is just not enough, history will tell.

It stinks shite over the whole situation, it has developed to a fucking political quest for him or something that has failed totally.

 

You need to brush up on your history.  (not saying it will happen, but recent history actually proves it is possible)

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During the Souness/Roeder era's, I honestly felt that "ah well, we've f***ed up but one solid season of rebuilding and we'll be in the top six."

 

Now? The best we can hope for in the short term right now is consolidating as lower-mid table club like Boro or Fulham. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Barring something truly extraordinary, like a billionaire takeover or somehow stumbling upon the next great up-and-coming manager, I simply don't see us breaking into the top half any time in the foreseeable future.

 

DISCLAIMER: No, I don't believe this has anything to do with change in ownership. Don't even try.

 

well, if you think that, what DO you think is the reason ?

 

Of course its because of the change of ownership.

 

 

Completely agree - I am confused as to who else's fault it could be?  Dreadful leadership consisting of a confused strategy in terms of actual business plan - sell or not to sell? Managerial appointments, transfer authority (or not), miscommunication with fans and blatantly a lack of transfer fund backing to managers - I'm not asking to be the next Man City but our miserly net spend is eventually going to get us in trouble, if it hasn't already.

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Probably best to ask this at the end of the transfer window.

 

And

 

We'll not get relegated.

I agree to some extent but the noises coming out of the club aren't exactly positive when it comes to transfers in and out. Even if we don't get relegated the future looks mediocre to bleak.

 

Players in - We've only really confirmed, or at least JFK has, that we'd enquired about Ferguson at Rangers. While he's not exactly going to set the world on fire I took that as a fact that at least they have identified one of our problem areas and have plans to correct them.

 

If the absolute minimum they do is sort out an adequate A/CM and cover for RB & LB then we'll be sorted for the rest of the season. It'll not be pretty, it'll not get us racing up the league, but we'll do ok. If they get more in then thats a bonus.

 

Players leaving - Given apart, no-one should be too shocked about the prospect of Owen or the Zog leaving. Owen was always going to be a problem. At the very least, unless we're made a really stupid offer, then he'll still be here till the summer. The Zog, he has a regular monthly bumping gums article in the paper about being unhappy, then saying he's enjoying it here the next. Its normal for him. Xisco, he hasn't had a real chance in my eyes, but if they want to move him on then as long as we get an adequate replacement that'll do for me.

 

Manager - still only temporary, not an ideal situation but he's done better than I thought. Verbal diarrhoea apart, I quite like him seems to learn from his mistakes, which isn't always the case with our managers. Hopefully he'll get a permanent job at another club out of this.

 

Owner - i'd still prefer us to have been sold, but since he hasn't at least he's now taken the club off the market and stated that he wants to 'drive the club forward in 2009' or words to that effect. I know, words are cheap, but as he's not exactly prone to saying anything at all, I take this a more positive than negative statement.

 

 

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During the Souness/Roeder era's, I honestly felt that "ah well, we've f***ed up but one solid season of rebuilding and we'll be in the top six."

 

Now? The best we can hope for in the short term right now is consolidating as lower-mid table club like Boro or Fulham. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Barring something truly extraordinary, like a billionaire takeover or somehow stumbling upon the next great up-and-coming manager, I simply don't see us breaking into the top half any time in the foreseeable future.

 

DISCLAIMER: No, I don't believe this has anything to do with change in ownership. Don't even try.

 

well, if you think that, what DO you think is the reason ?

 

Of course its because of the change of ownership.

 

Ambitions and standards have dropped. Nothing else could cause your change of attitude.

 

 

 

The fact that we've festered down here so long that we've used up any sort of good will we amassed during the Keegan and Robson eras. To incoming players, we're no longer a big club that's hit hard times, just another one of them s*** clubs.

 

The fact that the rest of the PL has improved so drastically in the past few years that it's no longer just a matter of throwing together any half-decent squad to become "the best of the rest." We now have to leapfrog the likes of Villa and Everton who have already entrenched themselves as near permanent fixtures in the top six, Man City, who have infinite money, and Tottenham, the greatest fucking club on Earth.

 

The whole Keegan shitfest. I suppose this wouldn't have happened if Ashley wasn't the owner, I'll give you that. Then again, if Shepherd was still hear we probably would've kept Big Sam until at least this season and God knows where we'd be by now. Let's not play the "what if" game.

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