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Running football clubs for dummies

By Lee Ryder on May 31, 09 12:52 PM

If ever you needed even more evidence that Mike Ashley hasn't got a clue how it all works up here on Tyneside - what many hope will be the beginning of the end of the Toon tycoon's ill-fated period in charge via the form of a statement in the Sunday press has rubber stamped it all.

Ashley's admission that he's not an "expert" when it comes to football is at least honest but it's too little, and far, far, far too late.

For crying out loud, we're in the Championship now and every single second tier club already has a one month advantage on us.

And the fact that Ashley and Co have wasted a week of messing around and not appointing Alan Shearer is also likely to count against us.

I'm not an expert myself at running businesses but I tell you what, it surely doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out that the future of the club will be better in the hands of Shearer.

Shearer's presence also makes it a more valuable product in charge in my humble opinion too.

If Ashley's achieved anything so far, it's been a guide book in how not to run Newcastle United.

New owners have a clear insight on what you can and can't get away with.

To be honest, Ashley quite rightly states he's made loads of mistakes.

Yet he should have known this was a special place (maybe he should have listened to the late great Ronnie Lambert's Home Newcastle a few times to work that out) in the world early on and whatever anybody says we're different to any other football backwater or outpost - end of story.

But he was right to get rid of Sam Allardyce and his garbage style of football and over inflated opinion of himself, which was always going to bog United down.

He was right, in my opinion, to get Kevin Keegan back in.

However, he then undone all of that good work by bringing in people who couldn't handle the heat on Tyneside in Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez - who have actually brought nothing to the table at St James's Park.

We were led to believe they were responsible for Sebastien Bassong for a while but it emerged that Wise actually screwed up signing the classy Frenchman and it was Kevin Keegan who delivered the goods much to the frustration of little Dennis.

He was also correct to bring in Shearer - but it was too late in the day with Newcastle staring the second tier of English football in the face.

In between all of that Ashley arrogantly snubbed the local Press and first handed the responsibility of that to Chris Mort.

To be fair to Mort he tried his best and he was quite polite about it all but while he knows his stuff in terms of law he was always a novice football chairman.

And you can put the managing director in that category as well.

He may well know the score when it comes to running a casino and his dealings of late with the local papers have been better.

Much better than when Keegan quit in September and Ashley and Co ran for the hills.

But at the end of the day you need football people in charge of a football club to go with people who know how to run a business.

Newcastle United is more than a business up here; it's a way of life.

For me it's always been the last thing I think of at night and the first thing I think of in the morning.

Last Monday morning for two seconds, I thought it was all a nightmare that we'd been relegated but the reality is the club is in trouble unless major decisions are made this week.

Yes were up for sale for the second time in a year but while Ashley is in charge he has a responsibility to run the club in proper manner and do what's best for the future.

Is he capable of doing that?

I'm not sure, having never had the chance to talk to him during his two years at the club (with bodyguards at his side ready to use physical force to sweep away annoying journalists) his public image is terrible in my opinion.

My feelings of it are that Ashley is just an out of condition bloke who used to sit with the fans.

A bloke in a Toon top who tried to impress us all by necking a point in a oner when we were getting torn to shreds at Arsenal.

That day Keegan and Wise are alleged to have had strong words in the tunnel over transfers.

Days later Ashley backed Wise over KK in a situation that was no brainer - he should have kicked Wise all the way back to the Kings Road.

In a week when Ashley again shunned interviews in the press and wielded the axe with job cuts to genuine local people who care about the club this week, the tycoon then used the Sunday Times to tell his story.

Now I'm not sure about you - but here in North Shields your average guy who enjoys one of the few pleasures in life of having a pint during a recession is not spotted going into the Pow Burn in Shields or the Gunner with the Times under his arm is he?

Not for the first time, they knowingly used the wrong platform to talk to their fans.

People hurled plenty of abuse this way when Llambias broke the club's silence and spoke of his five year plan.

There were accusations that he wasn't pressed over questions that Chronicle readers had the chance to ask at the time.

The cold facts were he was pressed and the home truths are that his answers were simply unconvincing - that was their shot at it and their chance to sell the club.

So there you have it, a collection of thoughts in the aftermath of Ashley's second "I'm selling up" story in less than 10 months.

Whoever takes over now can use this as a guide on how not to run Newcastle United.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?


41 Comments

B.A said:

You're trying to pass off too much hearsay as fact, like the argument with KK and DW and the deal with Bassong which is the first time I've read about Wise messing the deal up.

Ashley's mistakes are as follows -

*Not taking due diligence as he surely wouldn't have bought the club if he knew it was hemoraging money.

*Bringing Keegan back was always going to turn out being a disaster even if the romantic in me had hoped differently.

*Bringing in Wise to do a job he had no previous experience doing.

*And his biggest mistake was leaving the club in limbo after Keegan had walked, if he had just appointed a full time manager like West Ham did then I honestly think we would have been ok.


Fingers crossed whoever comes in has the personal wealth to push this club on because if they haven't then I can't see us ever getting higher than mid table in the Premiership in the next decade.

Ryder's reply: Well the Bassong/Wise story was in the Chronicle on May 22.
And as for the hearsay part of it, I trust the source on both of the queries you've made.

Annelie said:

Blame the players - especially the "Captain" Mr. Michael Owen

Bring a experienced manager in like Sven-Göran Eriksson or some guy like him

keir said:

one last screw job by ashley...we might as well write the coming season off now.
we have 10 players to sell, 10 to buy, a new team to mould and pre season starts in a month.
It takes that amount of time for a takeover!!!
yet again we are a rudderless ship, no manager to get things sorted and like last time ashley wont do jot because hes trying to sell...cheers mike you clown...i hope this bankrupts you!
jermaine beckford has been on transfer list at leeds for a week...there is a guy to get you promoted and we dont even have a manager to sign him!
i sadly dont write off JFK totally yet, i think his mug will come back to haunt us.

stevie said:

The bloke knew what he was doing, he gambled and it failed.
He isn't naieve, he isn't a victim of his employees' incompetence.
He had an agenda, run the club as cheaply as possible, sell off assets and then sell it on.
Get in a manager and team that would work to that agenda.
It failed, and the club and supporters have suffered.

brian from durham said:

Every day another room burns down???Well we are down to ashes now,with players reporting back July 1st,an owner wanting out, no manager and no signings. You have wasted another week Ashley. For God's sake sell quickly, and get the hell out of our lives.

Eldorado Argentina said:

Lee your summary of how not to run a football club makes interesting reading. I hope its writing has been as therapeutic as my own writing has been for me - helping me to get rid of some of the pent up stress that all those with Newcastle city at heart inevitably feel at this time.

But its time now for thinking positively . Let’s grasp the opportunity.


What do we and other lifelong supporters of the club really want from our football team? Want do we mean by good football?


Do we just want to win in black and white, by route one punting followed by confusion and the ball being stuck in the net. Or do we want a flowing match with a careful build up, one touch football and near 100 percent passing efficiency both near and far. In short, as per the likes of Beardsley, Henry, or Messi.

If the latter think how is this is best acheived ? I am sure you agree its not only about physical fitness and skill. It is also about team work, bonding, determination and dedication.


Football is not just about muscle but about vision , brain and “heart” too.

In this light when you have time I hope you and colleagues will have time to reflect on my two previous contributions regarding changing the confusing black and white camouflage strip whilst maintaining the black and white flag.

Don’t be put off by Percy Gonad (not Gomad or Nomad) finding my first contribution “hilarious”. Many a true word etc! And he did want me to write again.

From yesterday I repeat, I hope a local consortium can be found to buy the club and run it for the local people, along the lines of Barcelona.

And my questions for discussion again:


1. Would the chances of Chelsea winning or Messi scoring his fine goal have been less if Chelsea or Van de Saar had been wearing black and white camouflage rather than bright yellow.


2. Why are Lucozade bottles blue with yellow tops? They weren't in Jackie's day.


And two more:


3. Apart from being Swedish why are IKEA shops painted yellow and blue?


4. In this year of Darwin, have the black and white stripes of zebras helped them to survive and is so how ?


All the very best.

pedi said:

Its taken ashley nearly a week to decide he doesn't want to own us anymore. Why couldn't he have said this straight after the villa game? We've lost a week that could've proved more useful instead of him making his mind up!
I think whats caused this is shearer has brought it home to him just exactly how much work and money is needed to rebuild the entire club. He didnt like the sound of it and put us up for sale again. Unless the ownership issue is sorted lightening fast then next season could be even more catastrophic than the last.
If we can't find a buyer within a month we will have major trouble in attracting any new players. The club will spiral even further into the mire. Who will take our pre-season etc etc...
Also who will be our manager??
The money that ashley supposedly paid our debts off with, isn't that just a loan to the club he made? Hope not!
I have a feeling that shepherd could come hobbling over the horizon as some sort of saviour... it looks like being another long summer!

Tardonicus said:

Well, we've got what we wanted... Ashley Out. Especially now, that he's driven us into the Championship.

But this is really bitter and the timing is rotten. An owner who puts the club up for sale after capitulating the season, without a permanent manager or any semblance of team. Why would Alan want the job without knowing who is gonna own the club and how he'll be supported? Who is going tom put up the transfer kitty?

If Ashley is truly selling quickly then he's not going to be putting up ANY money for new players. He doesn't even want to be around next season, why invest in it? We have just been handed back the pride of the North East, rudderless, engineless and heading for the rocks.

I thought the dive to the Championship might have some restorative qualities, purging the club of so many useless players and forming the nucleus of a new TEAM to move forward with. But those hopes are dashed now.

The sad reality is we are looking more and more like Leeds every day. I now do not expect us to compete next season, nor am I sure we can survive there, unless a sale is done TOMORROW. Every day without a real owner is another nail in the coffin.

John said:

You can bet your last pound, that is what happened, as pedi posted, shearer has hit ashley with what is required to rebuild the team, and the fat cockney pig, as fainted of his chair, cue helicopter to fly the fat bast*rd to london.
Its yet another sorry tail in the circus, and another stick for the press to hi us with, i agree a wasted week, lack of response, and after it, where left without a manager, i mean why would shearer take it at the moment, it would be just like before, couldn't guarantee the new owners, would want him, and by what rumour there is, one of the groups, wants an experienced man at the helm.
We are in danger of doing a leeds, if something is not sorted out, cannot let this drag on, i mean who is going to be in charge come July 1st, when all the useless idiots come back for training, the buying and selling? what a painful experience this is.

andy said:

I hear what you say Lee but i am somewhat dissapointed by developments.

MA has made many mistakes - although i disagree with you as to what they were. But one thing is a fact. MA is the first owner of Nufc to put in the quantum of money he has - Shepherd took £25m out of the club.

I also think Ashley is rich enough to stop us becoming the next Leeds over the next 2 years - a port in a storm if you like!

I also think there is a lot of harsh reality to set in ! Talk of paying AS £4m a year and a transfer budget of £20m i think was just fantasy. We were losing money with £100m of turnover we need to cut up to £50m of costs - and these useless so and sos are just not going to toddle off down the road on the own volition.

Our demise goes back to the departure of Bobby Robson - it was our fans who booed Bobby robson at Villa - not Mike Ashley.

It was Dyer, Bowyer and Bellemy who behaved like morons under Souness - not Mike Ashley.

It was us who said things could not get worse than they were under Big Sam - they could and did. A lot seem to forget it was not Ashley who appointed Big Sam in the first place.

Some of us thought Keegan was a mistake - he walked again - and whatever he felt was good reasons - left us in the doo doo!

It was the previous regime who built up debts and a wage bill to unsustainable levels - the current parsimony was a long time coming.

So what were MA's big mistakes - you cant say money as he put more in than any owner in our history. Although i think there was an unrealistic expectation that he would back Keegans dreams - signing Lampard anyone?

Id say 3 key mistakes weremade by Ashley

1. Bringing back Keegan -especially if he did not want to back KK's unrealistic spending plans.
2. Bringing in Wise - at the end of the day - he did not pick the lazy overpaid so and sos on the pitch, but he was a lightning rod for discontent and was never going to dovetail with KK.
3. allowing the Houghton led drift after KK and JK.

But those who call him an asset stripper miss the point on the money he put in the club. We have lived beyond our means for 8 or 9 years - with Owen and his £110k per week representing the zenith of our folly.

Unless a consortium with unbelievably deep pockets comes to the club i think we are looking at a dark period.

As for Shearer as manager - i hope so - for one reason if nothing else. It will be the end of the cycle. Once his time is done we will go back to a world of experienced football managers and not messiahs. Those who say he is the only one who can manage us are quite simply idiotic.

Ashley - horrendous mistakes yes - but the origins of todays horrors date back to 2002 - 2004 when we lost control of spending and borrowing and we decided collectively (fans and Shepherd) that bobby robson and 5th place was not good enough for us.

Be careful what we wish for - i still question whether we have touched bottom.

Dave said:

Andy at 1:52am. My thoughts exactly. Spot on with every comment.

WA said:

The transfer is window is OPEN! Big Fat Mike has decided once again to opt out of buying any players (or even selling any this time) because he's making yet another change DURING the transfer window. The 5th window in a row he has c*cked-up - no manager, no transfer policy, no selling the rubbish we've still got - no season ticket renewals, all because of no action from the owner. This is not a coincidence, its the way he's managed to spend NOTHING on players since he took over. But why should we worry - he's got that highly experienced football brain Llambias looking after such matters. Big news he wants to sell the club; if anyone believes he's walking away without recouping his interest-free loans they must be deluded - it'll be taken care of in the price. He's never going to walk out and lose £100m+ on the deal. Mike - I'm offering to pay you the same you paid for my shares when he nicked them off me. That'll put £100 back in his pocket, enough for his train ticket back down south.

Jackie W said:

Here we go again ! Enough has been said about Fat Ash so no need to drone on . I personally think this has been death by mulitple injuries and everyone from Douglas Hall / Shepherd through to Ash , Mort , Wise etc etc , all our managers , most of the players and a lot of us need to take a look at whats happened and decide which part of this mess have they / we contributed to . Hate to say this but the quicker we lot realise that Geordie chairmen , Geordie Managers , Geordie Captains and Geordie players is the dream and not the reality , then the quicker we can emerge from this sh!? and start to build an honest hard working team with a hefty dollop af panache.How many more mesiahs , gods and second commings do we really need . Dont want to try and turn the tide so it looks like Mary Poppins will be our next leader and good luck to the bloke but I for one was dissapointed by the performances and a bit suprised by the tactics and substitutions whilst Alan was at the helm and why Dowie ?? It all has the makings of a bad season .There is even talk of Bobby Lee comming back as a coach. Lets go for a good hard working experienced manager, forget the biblical references and lets get back to the premiership Peter Ried anyone ?? LOL Jackie W

Jackie W said:

One thing I should have said above is that if Ashley had brought Dowie into the club with eight games to go in any capacity we would have went bannanas but Alan Shearer brings him and we all trust him .......Sort of confirms the fact that we are all blinkered about all things Geordie...Jackie W

andy said:

Jackie W

Pretty much echoes my comments - but more succinctly.

Here is a thought - Steve Coppell got Reading promoted on £500k and Pardew £800k at West Ham. As i understand it Doie alone wants £400k as his number 2 - its good to see we have got to grips with this overspending

brian from durham said:

At the moment of writing, if we had a decent owner,we would have the choice of Shearer or Bruce as manager, but because of the moron we have, it is very likely we will lose out on both.Also a quick sale at £100mill, forget it, this has been floated to start an auction, and it could be weeks before he gets the price he really wants.

DavidK said:

OK, I've held back on commenting for 24 hours as I was worried that, as per the last two comments I've posted, the whole shooting match changes in the space of a day.
Firstly, I don't envy Alan Sheerer's (if that is the case) job of getting the Toon back "upstairs" with what he's got to work with. The situation at board/owner level is only going to make that job harder with the inherant delay meaning that whoever's in charge next season will have fewer options in player transfers and less time to prepare for a very difficult division to get out of. My only hope is that, should Alan Shearer get the manager's job full-time he has already got, not just one master plan to get us back up, but another up his sleeve should our esteemed owner shove another spanner in NUFC's works. Despite his relative inexperience in management, I believe that may well be the case. The one thing you can say about Shearer is that he's nobody's fool. He's shown, albeit in a small amount, he willing and capable of learning in the job, and has the best interests of the club at heart which is not always aparent in our current owner.
Secondly, I counter the NUSC's assertion that the Toon are any less attractive a proposition to any potential buyer as a Championship club than it was as an obviously struggling Premiership club. Success breeds profit in football, anybody entering into the roller-coaster of owning a club should be aware of that (Somebody tell Mike Ashley, will you?), sustainable success breeds sustainable profit on investment. With the fan base that this club is fortunate to have, the revenue generating elements of the business plan (thats us)will continue to feed the growth of any investment, even at the reduced levels of the Football League, until such time that the business is capable of delivering a product of sufficient quality to generate growth at the accelerated levels of the Premier League / Europa League / Champions League. It's not rocket science. When these principles of business were first documented, we barely had rockets outside of Guy Fawkes Night. What Newcastle United needs now is an owner or owners that are businessmen, not market traders selling dodgy football shirts or a quick flutter on the roulette wheel. A parnership between us, the consumer and them the supplier will ensure that everyone's happy. In a perfect world anyway. You never know, that might even stop the tubby kid from greetin'.

DavidK said:

Oops, apologies for spelling Shearer, Sheerer in my last posting. That's a bit like calling God, Dog isn't it?

Blyth J said:

The obvious answer for a rudderless NUFC is to appoint to the Board all those MPs who shall stand down at the next election for fiddling their expenses - plenty of money to spare!!!

keith said:

Could you use your platform to see what interest there is in forming a sporting club in the manner of Barcelona?
£100 million = £2,000x52,000 - this is a great chance for the fans to take control of the club if only the interest could be coordinated. We don't need another dodgy consortium/ foreign owner to saddle the club with debts

Ivor Clark said:

Well the dust hasnt even settled on our relegation and the Toon debacle just carries on. Now Damien Duff is telling us some of the players just did not care if we got relegated ot not. WHAT????.....Arent these prima donnas PROFESSIONALS?. Gee whizz they earn oodles. What on earth was Duff on about?. IF ANY player was not doing their best for their employer then they must be in breach of contract - kick em out if this is true, no compensation necessary. And who agrees these amazing contracts?. Why dont they have relegation conditions attached, so at least the same players who take us down also must face a reduction in wages, conversely if we do well they get the bonuses. The truth here seems to be that however the players played they got their money, woe betide anyone talking of releasing certain players because they are still" contracted", and if you look at the team we ended the season with - Viduka, Smith, Beye, Butt, Duff,etc all have been in relegated teams before - doesnt that tell you something???......

Jackie W said:

Sporting clubs are pipe dreams and why should it come down to us to bail them out . Newcastle united have had a lot more than £2000 out of me already . If it was as easy as 52000 die hards sending a cheque then count me in , but its obviously not , If a bloke who mades millions from selling tat to the masses couldnt make this work then there is a more deep rooted problem , I mean if you had a gaurenteed 50,000 customers who would buy whatever you sell and pay as much as you asked just to sit in a plastic seat for a couple of hours watching any old crap you chuck out , and you couldnt keep up with the likes of Stoke and Hull then there is more to it than throwing cash at it.
As previously said we need to get away from the " Geordies know best attitude " Us buying the club would all end in tears .I reckon it will either go two ways now , with option one being a rich foreigner with dodgy cash and champions league asspirations or option two being your local consortium headed by an affluent figure head with north east connections and a few quid to invest.................... Fredrick Shepherd come on down....Jackie W

Eldorado Argentina said:

Jackie W and Keith your open positive views are appreciated.


Now is indeed the time for reflecting and for thinking positively re the future.


Please Lee let us know what YOU feel re Barcelona, and the black and white strip.


My previous 3 contributions have all been constructive.


Your forum is for ALL with Newcastle at heart and for real discussion.


We must all take off the blinkers.


I know it is difficult and change will not be easy but we must try.


Personally and sadly I don't feel it will come until my generation and the one before are gone.


Emotions do die hard if you lived in Newcastle, through that decade of hope 45-55 and like me remember where you were when listening to the Blackpool game on the wireless, or, when watching Jackie score on the black and white telly in 47 seconds, or, when the open top bus passed the Chronicle offices at the bottom of Westgate Road.
Please do your best to prove me wrong.

You and Alan S must listen and lead.

Another question:. Would Nadal's chance of winning in Paris been better if he had not worn a shocking pink top and yellow sweat bands?
All the best.

Sy said:

Not being funny, but I reckon there's more chance of me finding £100m in my other pants than us changing our black and white strip, amigo.

Jimmy Fingers said:

Lee

Could you please clear something up for me as it hasn't been mentioned anywhere in the media. Ashley has apparently paid £134m for the club and put in over £100m more to pay off debts. If he is now said to be asking for £100m for the club does that mean £100m TOTAL or does it mean £100m PLUS the money he has put in to pay off debts???

Jimmy

Sy said:

Jimmy, I'm sure I read he's written off the loan, so the £100m asking price is 'all-in'.

Jimmy Fingers said:

I'd doubt that Sy, its most likely a "soft loan" which will need repaying similar to the way Chelsea operate whereby Abramovich LOANS the money for players at zero interest. It just seems strange that ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE in the media have asked this question, thats why I was asking Lee Ryder.

bob said:

This may not sound like it, but I am a NUFC supporter.
I cringe when I hear people talk of NUFC owners not listening to the supporters, as if they all speak with one voice and know better than anyone else what's good for the club.
We had a go at Allerdyce and Ashley sacked him. We wanted Keagan and Ashley provided him. That was a disaster waiting to happen. As the saying goes, "when the going gets tough, KK gets going".
He listened again when he brought in Shearer. With just 8 games left to save our Premiership status, we badly needed somebody with masses of managerial experience. Instead, we get somebody with absolutely no managerial experience at all. A Premiership side struggling to avoid relegation isn't the place for on-the-job training.
They said Shearer would at least motivate the players, but with just one win in 8 games, that's some motivation.
And who does Shearer bring in to help him ? A 3rd-rate manager who is so good he has been relegated from the Premiership before and has been sacked from his last few managerial positions, usually after just a few months in the job. It's no wonder we're the laughing stock of English football.
Forget fan-power, we need a strong owner to appoint a strong, experienced manager, give him a decent transfer budget and leave him to get on with things. And the supporters need to do the same.
If Shearer is appointed full-time manager, I fear we'll be here in 12 month's time complaining about being relegated to League 1.And that will be everybody's fault except the fans.

Sy said:

You might be right, Jimmy but I'm sure that was what the story was. To be honest with you, mind, I'm not believing anything whatsoever about the ownership, manager, transfers, anything at all until something concrete has actually happened. There've been so many non-stories coming out of NUFC in the last year, we should all have salt mines.

Bob, I hear what you're saying, but if Shearer doesn't get the job then how long before a renewed clammer to get him back begins after a few bad results for a different manager? Until he gets a fair crack at it, one way or another we'll never move forward - either with him having been successful or not.

dom said:

Can you please make this Captcha thing work properly? It's driving me mental!

Steinheed said:

Jackie W, so you think Freddy Shepherd is someone who would, invest a few quid? All Shepherd and the Halls have done is take from NUFC. Is it a coincidence that the debt Ashley had to manage was roughly equivalent to the money that Shepherd and the Halls cleared from the sale.
They milked the club to enable them to build their empire, whilst piling the debt back onto the club.
And now John Hall has the front to appear in the Chronicle acting surprised that it has all gone wrong and telling the players to take a pay cut. He says he's as hurt as any fan, except he's got a hundred million or so reasons to help cushion the pain. Guilty conscience?

Jackie W said:

Yes Steinheed , He would . Is investing not putting money somewhere hoping for a nice return ? Jackie W

M. Sebastian T. said:

Until all the fat cat players (if they deserve to be called that) have been got rid of it will be impossible to sell the club at any price.

The final blow might well be that the Fat One calls in his loan and NUFC go into administration. That would mean starting next season on -25 points and being relegated again at the end of it.

Don't be surprised if in 12 months time the few remaining fans will be looking forward to playing Leeds in Division I. In two more years the prospect could be derby games against Gateshead.

Sunderland fans can expect to have a few more laughs at Toon's expense in coming yeras. Nice one Ashley!

Jimmy Fingers said:

Steinheed is absolutely BANG ON with his comments, Each of Hall and Shepherd made absolute fortunes when they sold their sharewhilst leaving the club in astronomical debt. Not to mention the money the Shepherd family would have made through the transfers handled by Paul Stretford and Shepherds son. Funny when you hear ex managers like Souness and Sir Bobby telling stories of how players were signed by Shepherd who they never ever wanted.......

gordon said:

It amazes me the amount of stupid people on this site,mike ashley conned everyone when he and his stupid lawyer mate mort said the club was nearly going to the wall with an 80M debt,when in fact they all knew (and fs came out and said twice that 60M was a mortgage on the ground)freddy shepherd would not have allowed this club to get relegated,but this stupid idiot clown and his puppet Llambias did by hiding debts and resurfacing them at least twice in 2 different transfer windows so managers could not buy players.

Stewart Douglass said:

Eldorado

Let's put this issue to rest. NUFC IS BLACK AND WHITE, AND WILL ALWAYS BE BLACK AND WHITE. These are our colours, we are proud to wear them, and we will never change

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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