Mike Ashley and Darsley Park – Unfit for Purpose

As disgraceful as the support for Rafa Benitez has been from Mike Ashley in this transfer window, promising him every penny the club earns and then ending the summer as the most profitable club in the Premier league is not the only concern for fans and the manager. Benitez has consistently raised the issue of outdated training facilities and underinvestment at the club academy since the day he arrived at Newcastle. This is an area that Mike Ashley should be on the same page as his manager on, to quote the owner from back in 2008 – “I want Newcastle to be able to create its own legends of the future to rival those of the past. This is a long-term plan. A long-term plan for the future of the club so that it can flourish”.

The lack of investment in Newcastle’s training facility at Darsley Park flies in the face of any such desire and is a slap in the face to a great manager like Benitez famed for bringing on talent.

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Dear Mr Ashley

31st July 2018

Dear Mr. Ashley,

You hold the hopes, expectations and fate of all Newcastle United fans in your hands. It has been over ten years of broken promises, lies and deceit. Two relegations, the embarrassment of Joe Kinnear and everything before, after and in between. Surely now – enough is enough?

Over the last six months a number of meetings and discussions have taken place between many Newcastle fan groups and organisations. We now all come together under one banner, The Magpie Group, and we are united in our common desire for Newcastle United to be a club to be proud of at the heart of our local community.

In May 2015 you said “from this day forward we will be making our own luck.” These empty words have not been backed up with actions and relegation, once again, soon followed. It is clear now that it is in the best interests of both you and the future of Newcastle United that the club is sold.

We cannot speculate on the terms of takeover talks but we know from credible sources that talks have taken place and bids have been made. We cannot comment on the factors which must be taken into account in order to value the club but a number of things are now clear.

The new TV deal has been agreed and Newcastle United is in need of a major rebuilding project, from urgently required investment in the first team playing squad, to the need for significant investment to bring the club’s training facilities and academy up to an acceptable standard following over ten years of neglect on your watch.

If one word could sum up Newcastle United it is potential. A potential you have no interest in. We now have a world class manager in Rafa Benitez who has united the fans for the first time in a long time, but this alone is not enough to counteract chronic neglect and under-investment under your ownership.

We need an owner that is prepared to back Rafa Benitez, not only by investing properly in the playing squad but by backing him to deliver the widespread change needed throughout the club from training ground to academy. An owner who is not prepared to just release a manager invested in the club, city and community, when the opportunity arises.

If you cannot attract a buyer that meets your valuation then you must understand that this is because of the significant amount of investment now required to restore our football club to what it should be.

We have seen the reaction to the #IfRafaGoesWeGo movement and this has acted as a catalyst to bring the wider fan base together. We are all united in that we will do anything we can, both as groups and together as a fan base, to drive through a change in ownership.

Over to you, Mike. You have already admitted you are not the man to take the club forward. It is time to sell up and go.

You are only one man. We are a city.

We are United.
The Magpie Group

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Statement from AshleyOut

Yet another transfer window has been and gone with Mike Ashley failing to allow meaningful investment in Newcastle United’s playing squad.

There could be little debate that the squad was in desperate need of significant reinforcement during January. Not doing so represents yet another gross dereliction of duty from the ownership, and is further demonstration of why Mike Ashley is not fit to be custodian of Newcastle United.

To date the 2017/18 season could only be viewed as a success away from the pitch – the club retained the services of Rafa Benitez, a return to the Premier League meant a vast increase in TV revenues, and fans have backed the team with near capacity crowds for each home match.

However, it is apparent that this passion for the team is not shared in the boardroom.

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Sports Neglect

Yesterday evening Newcastle United were relegated from the Premier League for the second time in the space of eight seasons, and only the sixth time in our history, following a win by our arch rivals Sunderland no less.


Nobody can argue this relegation has not been coming or that it is undeserved. Since the fateful day Mike Ashley took over our club nearly nine years ago, the club’s average league finishing position has dropped to 14th (from 9th in the same period before Ashley’s arrival) and the club has been involved in relegation scraps in three of the last four seasons.


Make no mistake, this relegation has long been on the cards. The increased spending in the past two transfer windows (not a penny of which came directly from Ashley), using a failed transfer model targeting inexperienced players over proven quality, reeks of a desperate last ditch effort attempt to cling on to Premier League riches rather than a genuine sign of ambition. As does the late and desperate appointment of Rafa Benitez, a quality manager and a man of class and dignity who deserves our respect for attempting to, and almost succeeding in, preventing the inevitable from happening.


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Turning The Screw?

AshleyOut.com specifically targets the removal of Mike Ashley from Newcastle United, so that we, as a fan base can have a renewed faith in a club that was once respected as a focal point of a region, and most importantly, ours.


However, despite the many examples of mismanagement, and contempt shown towards the spiritual owners of the club, Ashley’s wrong-doings extend to employees and customers alike in other aspects of his business ventures.


In 2015, substantial evidence uncovered the working practices of Ashley’s primary concern – Sports Direct. Channel 4’s documentary “The Secrets of Sports Direct” showed us footage of the working conditions that staff experience. In this documentary, we learned of zero-hour contracts, over-zealous monitoring of staff and their timekeeping and something we, as fans of Newcastle United can relate to – the deceiving of their customers. This didn’t go unnoticed amongst the national media and was discussed in the days that followed.


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