Pound For Pound

42 days later – Is this another sequel? Well, the answer to that isn’t clear.


No, there’s no societal collapse, nor has a chimp infected our community with a deadly, contagious virus. However, there is a collapse and there is a virus that has seeped deep into the blood of our club. In our eyes – there’s only one antidote.




Like some sort of zombie apocalypse, Newcastle United finds itself once again looking for fresh blood. This time, it needed not just a snack, but a feast of it. From owners to directors, managers to coaches, forwards to defenders. It seems, as fans we will have to settle for managers and coaching staff.


The interview that made the football world’s ears prick up. The silent owner who had rarely previously spoken, finally spoke. He spoke with responsibility, he spoke with desire, he spoke with intent – but with honesty…seemingly not.


“It’s Lee Charnley and the football board that make those decisions. As it was Derek Llambias supporting Alan Pardew. So I will not be picking the next manager – it’s not what I do.”


So Mr Ashley advised us that the task of picking the manager was not his responsibility, and so Lee Charnley has appointed the man he best sees fit to carry Newcastle United forward – back in the right direction. Action required, action taken, the right action? We all wait and watch in anticipation. McClaren may not have been the most popular choice, and word of his arrival didn’t set Tyneside alight. However, he will be supported by those that hold the club to heart. So long as he doesn’t prove to serve as a mouthpiece of the hierarchy, as Pardew did in the end, and sticks to footballing matters.


Like the latest, (proper) predecessor – Steve finds himself with his hands seemingly tied. 42 days later and a lack of any activity in the transfer market. A window now wide open. So open that the sunlight signings shine through for the super-clubs, the fly signings buzz in and hover around the bin-clubs and all with optimism and ambition that they achieve their seasons goals. All pre-arranged and pre-decided as viable options to have in before pre-season, so that they could be settled and organised in time for the new campaign.


Our club, is the dying flower that sits on the window sill. A few last remaining drops of water or hope in its vase with petals falling off every stem. The last signs of life so close to being gone. So Ashley’s intent and PR spin was to inject some hope. To fill up that vase and potentially lift a vase:


“It’s now going to be definitely to win something…”


That interview, as many expected, appeared to have been the first in a summer of PR moves from those running the club. Bishop’s boys working their way across the chess board of the summer. Pieces put into place and moves made like rooks behind a line of pawns – with no sight of worthy leadership on it’s (the clubs) side. Just like a rook, the club can move backwards if given the opportunity, and it appears the man playing with those pieces will happily do so.


The inept Charnley, compliant with the Ashley regime, has seemingly done his job, and what he is responsible for, for the summer. A job he could and should have done back in January and maybe the ticket sales wouldn’t have taken such a hit. Instead, no action at that time was taken, and here we are.


So now we look at who else needs to take the bull by the horns and begin showing some responsibility. McClaren is in and making himself at home. His staff are slowly being appointed and he’s gradually getting settled and prepared for the new season. The players are training now. The work at the bottom is being done. So from Charnley upwards what is being done?


Recently, a letter was released. A letter from the new captain of our sinking ship. Desperately trying to get all hands on deck instead of evacuating:


“On the surface, things can seem quiet…”


We know, that’s because they clearly are, Steve. It’s taken us 6 full months to get a new manager and we’re still setting up your staff.


“…but beneath it, I want to assure you that we are striving to be prepared for the upcoming season. The hard work needed to push us where we want to go is well underway.”


That’s good to hear, and we trust you Steve. Don’t lose that trust by becoming another of a line of “Yes” men.


Now as we read further into this ‘letter’. We begin to see a mixture of messages. Ones that there are tough times ahead. Ones that additions will be made this summer, but only the right additions. Ones that communication will now be stronger than ever, but patience will be required.




This letter comes as fans vote with their feet, and less season ticket renewals have been made – bad timing…and what about those fans who have, blinded with their faith, opted for renewing? What message does this give them – more fence-sitting from those who don’t hold all the cards but are forced to use the hand they’re dealt. That’s not exciting. That’s not inspiring. That’s not ambitious.


So now this seems like a threat:


“To be categorically clear, I’m not going anywhere until we win something.”


…and why wouldn’t it?


Where does all of the responsibility lie again?


“My door.”


What is Newcastle United again?


“…the horse and cart scenario, and we may have the cart financially, but we now need to bolt the horse on, and we’re going to.”


..and whose job is it to bolt the horse on Michael?


“…My job is to make sure they have the maximum amount of financial resources…”


Okay, thanks for clearing that up. How much has been invested so far this summer? Nothing.


How is your new man supposed to “get the best pound for pound value out of those resources” when a pound won’t even be spent. Instead, he’s scraping around the piggy bank, throwing around the copper like a child at the amusements. Desperate for a prize but with little or no chance of winning.




To summarize, the main culprit for not getting the best value out of the club is the man whose door that ownership falls at. We’re right behind McClaren and we wish him all the best. A bad workman blames his tools. A workman without tools isn’t a workman.



  • Billy Blagger

    Bad timing for this article and written in a poncey/flowery style that really did not work. I agree with the message in the article but whoever wrote it -mate if you have aspirations as a writer -forget about it.
    Timing – When is it a good time to write a critical article -difficult to assess. But just before they are probably going to announce signings – if they do it will sink the no buying criticism in an instant.
    It was certainly an idea for AO to give an update -but really concrentrating on what may rectify itself in the coming weeks or days is a bad strategy (at this moment in time).
    I totally support AO – but lads come on -you need to be sharper than this -who the hell sanctioned this article (at this time).

  • Billy Blagger

    If I could just also add that there is a Fans Forum meeting tonight. Minutes will be released in a couple of days time. Might be something of interest which could be developed from the meeting – to AO’s advantage to add weight to it’s overall objectives. Should have waited at least a couple of days.
    I have to suggest very very poor strategy. So if I may, I’ve already suggested being a writer is clearly not your forte, then additionally developing strategies is also lacking. You’ll not get a job in the army as a general.

  • Billy Blagger

    I see you have deleted my first post critising the article and the rubbish poncey/flowery style of the article – which really did not work.
    You should take criticism on the chin – it was meant as an honest critique of the article and was not offensive in any way.
    To delete it – smacks of that bloke -what’s his name – the bloke that does not like dissenting voices — and bans media platforms – ah yes Mike Ashley.
    I contributed to AO straight away with a donation – I am now wondering whether it was worthwhile.
    Whoever -sanctioned this article and indeed wrote it – really need to sharpen up and do better than this or any support will ebb away.

    • William New Carney

      Your such a tool, you should go and get a life, at least these fellows at AshleyOut are trying to push change in our club, you criticize their efforts and you’re yet to make any of your own, what these fellows are doing is outstanding and they are making their voices heard, and not just for them selves, for our great town that has been struck by a thunderous bolt of lightning in the form of Ashley, the biggest disaster that has ever happened to our great footballing city, you should be deeply ashamed of trying to belittle thier efforts, maybe you should start your own campaign if you know a better way, lets see what you can do big man.

  • Mick

    Ashley is too preoccupied with the issues going on at Rangers. He is trying to find out what Dave King is doing to Rangers now they don’t have to be as transparent due to no stock exchange listing and the Bishop is helping him with PR to discredit King and push the Ashley agenda.

    Once again NUFC are the unwelcome headache, but unfortunately we cannot be put on the back burner once again

    It’s starting to all feel a bit like the wizard of Oz

    If only Colo had his heart in it
    If only Sissoko showed courage every game
    If only we had someone upfront with a brain…

    They’ve let the quality of the squad slip season upon season, but with the new TV deal this is the most important one yet. I’ve no doubt that they see these kids who’ve just turned pro as replacements for Raylor and Jonas, but they are missing the real issue of the first team which needs serious rework

  • Billy Blagger

    William New Carney.
    Wow – bit of an ill informed post by yourself. First an insult then an invented belief as to what I have or have not done. Clearly your reading of the tea leaves is wrong and invented to suit your agenda.
    I’ve paid my donation to AO – gave up a day to assist in giving out anti- Ashley leaflets outside the ground and challenged the club about why they seize articles from fans- what have you done?
    I support AO but not daft articles.
    Unfortunately, Ashley has gained the advantage at the moment – new coaching team, possible new signings, promise of greater things. With that in the background I’m afraid there is no way any mass movement can be organised to get Ashley out – at this moment in time.
    The situation is not helped by people like yourself who invent things about others with absolutely no basis for doing so. In other words “a reet dope” who should think before let his gob run off. Although that might be too much of a challege for you.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Well after “The Calorie Challenged One’s” speech about bolting horses onto carts we are on the eve of a six pointer against the mighty Watford with us squarely anchored at the bottom of the league after five games.
    Too early to judge ?, Possibly but the omens do not look good and even if we beat Watford it is merely a stay of execution with the games we have coming up.

    50 million spent with only Mbemba looking like he was bought for a reason with the others struggling to make a mark.

    Mitrovic was a known hot head back in Serbia where he started fights in the centre circle but we think it is a good idea to sign him.
    He is currently languishing on a three match ban after receiving two yellows and a straight red after 3 games in.

    Thauvin’s agent is no other than his girlfriend so that could be a problem for a player who is known to take the huff.
    Looks another luxury player like his predecessors Ben Arfa and Cabella who had a good game against Northampton but who has went missing since.

    Wijnaldum had an impressive debut but has been virtually anonymous ever since and was part of The Netherlands team who are having a disastrous qualifying campaign where he hasn’t had a kick !

    Early days maybe but the bolting carts to horses analogy looks more like something along the lines of “Steptoe & Son” !

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Pound for pound the greediest man around !
    Two months on from my last post and we are still near the bottom of the league, And we have lost yet another “Derby Game” !

    Ashley Out !!!