What do you make of NUFC's new mission statement?

By Lee Ryder on Oct 16, 11 12:36 PM

NEWCASTLE UNITED today released a fresh mission statement detailing their plans for the future.

The report echoed the Chronicle's Q & A session with the board in September and once again said: "The days of Newcastle acquiring 'trophy' signings who command huge salaries for past successes on the pitch are over

United underlined their plans for the future but stated:

*They will not be "reckless" in the transfer market

*The club will continue to work with their youth development plan and hope for more youngsters like Sammy Ameobi, Shane Ferguson and James Tavernier

*The club have expanded analytical equipment at the Training Centre and undersoil heating on pitches will allow the club to achieve "maximum performance on the field"

*The board are committed to the long-term and have made the club "healthier"

*Mike Ashley paid off transfer fees for players who had already left the club on his arrival in 2007

The document states that United's wage bill has risen by seven percent after the Magpies' summer transfer business and new deals for the likes of Cheick Tiote.

The United board also sung the praises of Alan Pardew and John Carver while chief scout Graham Carr was also singled out for praise.

United expect to break even this year on the financial front but say they made an operating loss of £4.7million.

But the club say they will not be reckless in the transfer market and have a "strict spending policy.

And looking ahead to the future the board statement read: "Over the coming year we will
continue to build the club sustainably - on and off the field.

"We have a realistic view of what we can achieve at Newcastle and the time frame required to achieve it.

"We have a strict spending policy and will not take a reckless approach which permits spending beyond our means.

"It is a sensible long-term plan for success and we have absolute confidence that this is the right model for Newcastle United."

And reflecting on the Ashley era so far, the board said: "When Mike Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007 he arrived with a clear five year plan to get Newcastle on a sound financial footing and the club is now in a better shape financially that it has been for many years.

"Our aim is to make Newcastle United self-financing.

"We can't continue to acquire debt year after year and rely on additional financial support from the owner."

And it went on: "In 2008/09 we reported an operating loss of £37.7m.
"In 2009/10 that loss was £33.5m.

"Once audited our accounts for 2010/11 are expected to show an operating loss of £4.7m.

"And this year we hope to break even.

"We are pleased that the club is working towards being able to operate within the boundaries of UEFA'S Financial Fair Play rules during these challenging economic times."

The club also stated their transfer policy: "Our priority during the summer transfer window was to secure exciting young players with huge potential that add real strength to the squad.

"There are certain perceived 'big' clubs that have no financial constraints whatsoever.

"But for us as a club rash, short-term spending is not the answer and the days of Newcastle acquiring 'trophy' signings who command huge salaries for past successes on the pitch are over.

"Such players have generated excitement and anticipation in the past but ultimately have left the club poorer and with little to show for it in terms of our standing in the league and cup competitions.

"Our focus now is to bring in players who can develop and fulfil their potential at Newcastle.

"This does not however discount players of any age who feel can add experience to the squad.

"The board, the manager, our technical staff and our scouting team worked very well together to ensure we brought in seven top class players who represented excellent potential for the club."

The board concluded: "We are fully aware that Newcastle United holds a unique place in the lives of Geordies around the world.

"Our supporters are the lifeblood of the club and the board understands that.

"It has been charged with ensuring their club is properly run and continues its growth on and off the pitch."


hadrian said:

its all well and good , but what happen's when these promising young players with potential start to fill it ?
will we hold onto these players , are we willing to reward progress with better contracts to keep hold of them , at the end of the day if we get the accounts in order is there money in this club for investment year on year?
even without the owner putting his hands in his pocket ? you would think there would be , is it going to happen ?
im fine with the self sustainable model , get the club to a point where there is 10-20million to spend every year and you can build with that , no reason in the medium term we could not challange for those top 6 spots again

Mike said:

I think it's hard to disagree with the key themes of the statement. The methodology they outline is sound, no doubt about it. All I would say is that the statement feels like an attempt at self justification/promotion...they're really giving themselves a hearty pat on the back, which might be a little premature. What they have never really done is acknowledge some of the dreadful PR own goals or acknowledge that a lot of the vilification they've received has been of their own causing. A classic example is the way they made deliberately ambiguous statements about the Carroll money in order to keep fans optimistic that a significant outlay would be made, and then failed to deliver (though the business they did do looks good). If they can learn to be transparant in their communications, the relationship between board and fans might, against all odds, grow to be one of mutual respect.

Ian said:

Nothing ground breaking in the statement but its good to see them communicating with us. Love to see a member of the board come out and talk from the heart from time to time but this is a step in the right direction.

WAH said:

same old same old, so we would have lost £40 million last year if we had kept Andy Carroll? Smoke, mirrors and very flexible accounting.

stevo said:

hope to see more of sammy ,fergy and tav end of season and hope we keep on this good streak!!!three top kids we have here i recon!(and well done to beardo for producing them!!!)

RAFMAG said:

However we may have hated the proposals when thye were first squeezed out and how ever misleading they may have been, it has to be said both on and off the pitch we seem to be heading in the right direction. I for one never thought I would be saying that about the toon. If it works and it helps the toon then I am right behind the Club the board and as always the players. FANTASIC display yesterday agasint Tottenham.


spence said:

The fact of the mission statement is welcome in itself and hints at more transparency in the future, which would go some way to stopping the rot between supporters and board. I feel that the logistics of the plan are sound and given the teams current league position it is difficult to offer a counter-argument, but I will anyway- if only for the sake of sustaining democratic dialogue.
Had NUFC not got off to such a positive start I very much doubt this statement would have been made so quickly, if at all, so in these terms it seems opportunistic and, as someone else pointed out, possibly premature.
It would be difficult to imagine the toon being relegated this season, so mnay of my personal fears have been eased. However, my greatest concern about the future of our club is that it appears the better individual players perform the higher transfer fee will be for players that the board wish to 'move on'- it seems inevitable that we continually sell our best in achieving the mooted self-sufficiency. The more suspicious side of me envisages having to start every season with a new look squad because the established/succesful/discontented players have been sold and unknowns with potential have replaced them. This has worked magnificently over the first eight games of this season (ten counting league cup of course), but as a long term strategy I feel it is a gambit that is destined to fail everyone except the person profiting from transfer fees.
Overall I'm in agreement with the 'plan', but I, like many others, will not so easily be convinced that sportsdirect's owner is suddenly a benign entity looking after our interests.
The start to the season has offered the board a(nother) decent opportunity to heal the rifts that it single-handedly created, but will this be thrown in our faces again? The club needs to tip the balance between financial solvency and investment on the pitch slightly more in favour of the latter in my opinion and then i can see the relationship between board and supporters improving substantially. Here's hoping this is the new beginning that's been threatened since we were promoted and keep up the good work Alan Pardew! (Don't mess it up this time Ashley/Llambias)

Mal said:

What Mike above says is spot on. The vast majority of fans have no wish to go back to the days of trophy signings and actually favout the current approach. The feeling persists however that as soon as we get a decent bid in for one of our better players he will be sold; only time will prove otherwise. Also, regrettably we are still fed blatant lies, like as mentioned above the reinvestment of the proceeds of the Carroll money. The current squad have done amazing, and you have to give Pardew credit for that, but we have been incredibly lucky so far with injuries - for example there is no way that we should have failed to sign some decent cover for central defence given the money generated for sales. Every fan knows we are in big trouble if Taylor or Collo get injured. They continually undermined a lot of what Pardew said towards the close of the transfer window.
I very much doubt also whether our wage bill has increased by 7% - it depends where you start from but given we've got rid of Carroll, Enrique, Barton, and Nolan plus the likes of Campbell, Routledge, Ireland, Kuqui and we have shipped the likes of Tozer, Taverner and Lua Lua out on loan I doubt that this is true if you compare with the pre 31st January situation, especially that we now operate a wage cap. See what we mean by being honest with us Derek.

Chris Gray said:

Good stuff and very sensible. Lots of us (OK not lots – a few, perhaps) have been saying for a while that daft extravagance will get us nowhere. We’ve been pilloried for it but so far it seems to be spot on. Time will tell, of course, and although I’ve been on here many times supporting the regime (not as individuals, but in terms of their strategy) I am still concerned that we have been a bit lucky at times this season and fourth is never sustainable – top ten might not be either, to be realistic. But Pardew should take great credit – as I have often said he is Ashley’s man and he will get backing up to a point and he is a good, young(ish) manager who will be successful given time. How successful remains to be seen. Top four? Not for a while.

Ashley got stick for not buying a striker in the summer. Fair enough, but look at life from his businessman’s perspective. Why spend (say) £12million on Crouch or slightly less on, say, Cole when that kind of investment is only likely at this stage to move us one or two places up the table (if that)? What is that worth? A couple of million? Not worth it. The only time Ashley will really invest is when he sees there’s a fair chance of getting into the Champions League - £20 or £30million would then be a good investment. That’s when he’ll do it – not before.

Which begs the obvious question. Will he ever do it? The answer seems to be – probably not in my lifetime. And I’m only 33. Sorry, 53. Time flies.

DormAnt said:

WMD (words of mass deception) they destroyed Tony Blair and Mike Ashley will prove to be no less vulnerable if he doesn't change tack, and soon.

When the disciples descended the steps of the temple of deceit they forgot they were wearing the kings new clothes for the occasion. In short, they were transparent in public and the vast majority of the Geordie public saw right through them.
Trust has to be earned the hard way over a very long time scale to be worth its salt. It is not easily earned, but once it has been broken the offending party will find that it is just as hard to repair it as it is to build it in the first place.
The rebuilding process may work with some success in the world of business. However, when it involves an affair of the heart the same rules no longer apply as it becomes more of a crime of passion than a crime simply involving pounds, shillings and pence.
I am all for a sound, sensible business plan that will provide long term stability for the club in the future. On the other hand, I think there will have to be a serious attempt by the owner, chairman and the board to carry out a bridge building programme where we can hopefully meet in the middle when the pain of the wounds have started to heal.
After all, one could point out with some justification that the present troubles between Mike Ashley and the fans was in fact actually started by Mike Ashley. If he is prepared to commence working on the aforementioned bridge in the not too distant future I am sure many of the fans will be prepared to meet him half way bearing an olive branch, as a peace offering, and not a weapon to beat him into submission with.
Over to you Mike.


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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