Steven Taylor on the move? The statement says no!

Posted on May 11th, 2010 | 115 Comments |

Shipping out? Don't you believe it!
Shipping out? Don't you believe it!
I really didn’t want to mention ‘the statement’ again, but it looks like I’m going to have to unfortunately so I will issue an apology in advance.

After sailing along relatively smoothly, along came said statement to ruffle a few feathers. It was a move that was supposed to ensure clarity between boardroom and everyone else, yet backfired spectacularly leaving fans with more questions than answers whilst managing to poke the press into action at the same time by having a sly dig at them and using words that could mean a variety of things. We seem to have finally reached an understanding as to what capital outlay is at last, but the sly dig at the press is a different matter and could run for a while yet. It could lead to problems in the future, as the press now have a licence to print what they want as they know the club are not going to deny it with their new ‘no comment’ on anything strategy. So it’s not surprising to see the fun has already begun today with yet more rumours surrounding Steven Taylor and a possible departure from the club.

Yet another reference to the statement, but it did basically say to not believe any speculation you read in the newspaper. That is fair enough when you put into the context that this is approximately the 16,000th rumour this season regarding the future of Taylor, who I personally think is unlikely to leave Tyneside and will sign a new contract in the summer. Although at the quoted £7 million price, it could be worth flogging him.

Enough of that paper rubbish as it’s nonsense, Mike told us so you know! I’m sure the recently crowned LMA Championship Manager of the Year, Chris Hughton, wouldn’t want to lose any players before next season, especially when they have Premier League experience under their belt. We need as many players as we can get as it looks unlikely there will be many, if any, coming into St James’ Park, and Taylor did form the basis of our Championship side. That should mean he stays, right? It’s what the statement says.

You see, this is what happens when you rile the media and tell them you’re already unavailable for comment. You get unsubstantiated rumours as the press know they will get away with it and not have to answer to anyone. It’s also a consequence of playing the poverty card, which invites this sort of press immediately and breeds rumours that we must well everyone now or go bust or something like that. The journo’s haven’t disappointed!

At the end of the day, we will have to wait to see if there is any official statement regarding Taylor as we wont find out until he is gone, that’s if he is going. I suspect there will be no such statement, but then nothing surprises with Newcastle United at this moment in time. Perhaps the swap for Puyol is on after all?

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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115 Responses

  1. The statement says that NUFC will only deal with agents under privacy clauses. So we can dismiss rumours in the media about transfers in and out. As soon as an agent leaks news, the deal will be off.

    It seems in his nature for Ashley to play that sort of hard-faced bastard type game.

    The problem for us supporters, though, is that we love the speculation. We just love reading and talking about Newcastle United. Even if most of it is crapola.

  2. I think I’ll petition the Australian governmment to have a permanent 9 hour daylight savings policy to align us with Greenwich. That way I’ll get to chat here when other people are around. And won’t have to get up 4am to watch a match.

  3. Morning all, i read this blog all the time but never posted a comment untill now. the statement nd the reaction to it by the press has p**** me of,

    has any one looked at the defintion 4 capital outlay? basicly my understanding is that it means when you paying for something over a period ov time ie over 1 yr if true this would mean all signings made would be paid at full at the time of purchase….

  4. Whether you like Ashley or not (most likely), without him we would be goosed big style!!!!!! I am as dissapointed at the fact we are unlikely to see any major transfers as any fan, but reality must hit. We have no money, Ashley has pumped £100m+ into us and has to ensure the survival of the club first. Once on a sound footing we can look to build. Its only a year ago we were expected to be the next Leeds and could still be next years Portsmouth. As fans let us do our bit and support the lads whatever may be in store this season. TOON ARMY…………………………….

  5. Pauljo, agree with what your saying mate. I’m no fan of ashley but as you say we’d would have beeen royally scr*wed without him (yes he brought alot of it on himself)It’s going to be a long long summer but at least we’re in the prem and you just never know we might even manage to beg, borrow or steal a couple of players.

  6. I can imagine him going as he may feel he has done his part helping us get back up and he had the bust up with Carroll who has become one of the first name of the team sheet every week.

    However he is a Geordie through and through and may want to be a big part of what the team is becoming plus he is due an improved contract. He also wont leave for anyone less than the top 4.

    We may want rid of him because well get 12/15 mill for him from one of the big lads and we have some good backs currently but it would make more sense to get rid of Collocini who is on double Taylors wages. Though we may get less for him it will allow us to redistribute his wages to those that need a better contract or for new signings that we get on free.

  7. I would not take 7 mill for him. No way….NO WAY. We sold Milner for ten mill to aston and it is being thrown out there that he is now worth 20 mill to the top 4 because he is young, English and a hard worker. The same thing can be said of STaylor.

    I say we should be the one to get 20 mill for him not someone else.

  8. steve birkett, my thoughts exactly mate, I just don’t get the massive reaction to this statement which, in my opinion, isn’t really that bad a thing.

  9. The statement is very inappropriate; as were the last ones if I recall correctly. Im neither getting my hopes up nor misinterpreting it as no money whatsoever will be spent. We apparently have similar debt to Portsmouth although not as much as Liverpool and Man U who have more than Greece. We shall see, good job Ashley has endless rolls of sweat shop profits.

  10. If we could get 12 million for him I would say hail down the next private jet. All he does is fall down like a man shot and word on the street is that non of the other players like his attitude.

  11. look lads, lets face facts, we will sell some star players. taylor, carrol, colo, enrique, jonas. one or two or more will go for sure. we are a selling club and have been since ashley came in. i will already predict we go straight back down to ccc and will NOT come back up again while cashely is in charge. fcuking cnuts, the lot of them.

  12. But Craig, selling those guys is like cutting our own throat. Is the junta really that daft?

    One thing Ashley’s utterances about agents and privacy won’t do, and that’s stop the immoral bustards unsettling their clients to make a quick buck for themselves!!

    Lousie Taylor’s article doesn’t help either.

    If there ever were any, what happened to the days when agents acted upon a client instruction and the press reported fact?

    A PS, we never read any negative articles from her about her beloved Sunderland do we!

  13. Taylor is out of contract next summer so the decision will be taken out of his hands unless he signs a new deal, Chris said a couple of weeks ago that they would be offering him a new deal in the summer so if he doesn’t sign that he will be sold. They won’t run the risk of him going on a free next year.

  14. did hughton not say the other day that there will be no more players leaving..

  15. hitman says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:08 am
    did hughton not say the other day that there will be no more players leaving..

    Thought he would have learnt that he has no real power at the club – Every manager under this clown has found that out.

  16. Chris did say no other players would be leaving & that “statement” also says that last seasons squad will form the “basis” of next season. So if we believe the part about capital outlay why not the part about keeping the team together.

    Why bother saying how they will deal with agents if we are not buying or selling?

  17. Well spotted Noir9 @15 – a realistic comment.

    A bit of reported good news is that Jose’s said he wants to stay with us.

    But…. there remains the small matter of the club’s ambiguously worded statement and the Journal’s constructive article captures the main point, the result of amiguity is negative specuation.

    I wonder about Ashley and his crew; I wonder whether he thinks about the possible impact of actions or statements before acing?

  18. the way aye see it is that ashley has well and truly shafted hughton,its a fkin disgrace.

  19. Stuart @ 19, your comment reminds me of a time some years ago when there was speculation that SuperMac could be leaving us.

    The Chronicle’s news-vendor boards read something like “Supermac transfer sensation – no comment”


  20. Have to wait and see. Can’t see much sense in thinking too much about what this statement says. It was painful last season in PL, and it will be again same next season. We all have to prepare ourselves for that.

    What options we have? NONE . We are fans and will never move away from team. We can just hope Ashley moves out in next year or so.

  21. As i hav said before since ma has been here we have signed beye,bassong colo enrique jonas smith barton nolan simpson rtaylor best routledge williamson xisco lovenkrands, along wit a load of youth players like ranger kadar vukic inman n more so why r we a sellin yes we sold milner n given n others lets n forget they wanted to jump ship do we want deserters i dont fink n the we sinkin ship before ma took over now were slowy on the up

  22. MESSAGE FOR HUGHTON – pack up your belongings and walk away with your reputation still intact & your head held high – because as the short arsed tube (hitman) has pointed out the FCB is shafting you big style
    ! you’ll also end up jobless with just pennies compensation to show for your troubles.


  23. I really think that it could be possible for CH to get in a few players on a free transfer, there are a number of good players out of contract the end of this season. Another strategy would be to loan players, this will be the most likely means of bringing new players in next season…and why not? I also think that CH and the scouts will be looking for players in the so called ‘cheaper leagues’ e.g. Belguim, France, Portugal.

  24. behave roy,hughton will never walk,which he would be in his rights to do so,after this shafting.

  25. lesh says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Don’t forget if we can give Given away to the richest club in the world on the never, never we can sell them two, quite easily.

    davy says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Don’t forget, Parker, Dyer, Faye, Rozental, Emre and Nzogbia that we have sold – Before relegation.

    For every Kadar too, there’s a couple of Zamblera’s and for every Vuckic there’s a couple of Phil Cave’s.

    Also don’t forget to ask yourself why the likes of Milner and particularly Given wanted to jump ship – Given had been at the club 11 years and had seen it all – Things must have been bloody bad for him to want to leave.

    Milner too was a quite lad who never made a fuss – But he then wanted to leave – I think they all seen the icebergs ahead.

    What’s to say that the likes of Colo, Taylor, Carroll or Jonas won’t be seeing another iceberg and they want to leave? Do we just sell them because they want to leave – Even though it’s not actually their fault?

  26. My main worry isn’t about player signings… although that is a pretty big worry. Nope, I’m really concerned over how much CH knew about it. Quite recently he has been talking about 1 or 2 players, yet here’s this statement which seems to contradict that. Shades of KK situation, and we know what that led to.

    Take a big risk on the squad if you have to, Ashley – but for chrissakes don’t p*ss off our manager.

  27. could a player revoult be on the horizon,nolan has come out and a few others saying we need players in and also hughton,ashley has totaly fked up yet again..

  28. Question for anyone who knows this stuff:

    I can see how the club lost £37m and £32m respectively in the past 2 years. However, I’m having trouble seeing how it won’t be at least breaking even next year, if my assumption is correct that the extra income in the prem comes to more than the £32m shortfall.

    That leads to another question, and it comes down again to the club’s awful wording.

    When others say ‘break even’ they mean as much coming in as going out in a given period of time. I can’t see how it’ll take another 4 years to do that given the point I’ve made above.

    Does Ashley’s idiot copy writer mean “debt free”? It’s a huge, huge difference!


  29. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Don’t worry about a new KK moment – I don’t think Hughton has the same principles as KK has and he gives the impression he’s quite happy to work under any conditions.

  30. Take ya point why would they leave they cud hav wen we were relegated the spirit is there for all to c, wen r ppl gonna realise that if ashly had not of bought we wud of done a leeds, relagation worked out great got rid of ppl who didnt want to b here players that r here now actually hav fight about, yes ma handled keegan badly but lets not keegan cud of stayed the window was shut he cud of been public wit what was goin on n said if it aint sorted by jan ill walk but no spat his dummy as always

  31. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

    That’s the $64,000 question, Whumpie.

    I’m not sure how it’s going to take us five years to ‘break even’ providing were in the PL – Are they assuming we will be relegated a couple of times?

    But you could be right about the debt free part.

  32. davy says:
    May 11, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Maybe they stayed on a point of principle?

    Would they really have the same desire to do it all again if they knew it’s just going to be a yo yo club?

    Were talking about Argentinian internationals here not two bob bit players from League 2.

  33. Whumpie – it seems impossible that having forecast a loss of £32.5m for a Championship season that we won’t breakeven this season when you consider the drop in wages for the last of our big earners, extra TV and sponsorship and the prize money for Premier places.

    Like you said, again it’s either a massive PR gaff or bullchit.

  34. Why can’t they just say that then?

    Why do they need to enter into this subterfuge?

    Sums them up perfectly.

  35. Spew – you were proved to be a clueless fukwit last season with your constant predictions of imminent implosion.

    Wat makes u think anyone’s gonna swallow your bile this time around?

    You’re worse than that Taylor bint on the blob.

    Oh no sorry – you’re just being “realistic”.

  36. lads all this statements but not any that realy tell us anything about from the club has lost this and that i believe he trys to cover his back by saying the club has lost this and that but not according to deliote this cu..t dont believe this fatty anymore tell us and me were 50-60 mil sold on players in the last 2years has gone that should and would have covered some or most of his cash we dont own any1 but him what is going on he owns are club and what so called owner apart from us owe him.

  37. whumpie he is going to make a killing next year no matter what and he wont even tell us. if u work it out are wage bill will only be 35 mil and we should and will easily make near 100 mil so that gives him a huge profit and if we stay up he will be laughing not us.

  38. Asim – sorry, fella, but that’s utter todge. No way has Ashley made any money or will for many years. That £37m and £32m has to come from his pocket (except whatever was left in the overdraft limit) and that’s after the £100m he’d already put in. He may be a total tool at times (as with this stupid press release) but profiteering?? Daft notion.

  39. Right – another big point which as to be made. Look at the actual wording:

    “There is no plan for new capital outlay on players.”

    The implied word here is “currently”. If they wanted to say “we won’t buy any players” they’d say it. This wording deliberately leaves all options open while making a poor attempt at reducing press speculation. Combine it with the statement that they will only do business with gagging orders attached, and what they are doing is setting the stage for doing deals without them being scuppered or prices going up due to press stories.

    My bet is that:
    1. If they get a huge offer for a player – so big that the club could do better things with the money than the player – they’ll take it.
    2. If CH finds a player who’s the right type (position, play, attitude, personality, age, etc.), offers us genuine advantage and can be had on the right terms, we’ll get him.

    So once again, I suspect they are trying to do something clever, and totally cocking up the comms again. They really need a new press officer. Quickly.

  40. Well I for one am not going to run around like a headless chicken spewing out anti or pro Ashley rhetoric till we can really see what the position is at the beginning of next season. The squad as it stands looks reasonable to me to compete with the lower end teams, with the proviso we keep what we have. So the addition of some decent frees or loans may be enough to beef us up to at least a top ten finish. I can’t see that the supposed scouting at home and abroad is just a few jollies so I am expecting some new players in.
    The intent seems to be to get young players in but in the short term it wouldn’t be a bad move to get someone like Cannavaro in to bolster the defence, it’s worked for Arsenal and ManC!

  41. Big Willy – ta for a sensible and level-headed viewpoint on this. Very good point about the scouting, too – what is Mr Carr doing here if we’re not buying players??

    Not sure about top 10, though – but then, as I’ve pointed out, if we exceed next season’s target by as many point as we did this season, that’s 9th! Unlikely, but possible.

  42. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 11:39 am

    How many hands will you need to grasp all them straws?

    There’s also no mention of the word ‘currently’ so we cannot assume they meant anything like that.

  43. STuart

    Almost everything you say is speculative garbage poorly dressed up as facts.

    “Given had been at the club 11 years and had seen it all – Things must have been bloody bad for him to want to leave.”

    Bollocks! How do you know Given didn’t just decide that he wants to WIN SOMETHING and that joining Man City was a good opportunity to do so?!

    “Milner too was a quite lad who never made a fuss – But he then wanted to leave – I think they all seen the icebergs ahead.”

    Again, Bollocks! There had been rumours about Milner wanting to leave since he went on loan to Villa and we pulled the plug on a permanent move.

    Do yourself a favour, STOP lying and STOP making out as if your pessimistic opinions are facts. You are boring, mate.

  44. Whumpie

    “There’s also no mention of the word ‘currently’ so we cannot assume they meant anything like that.”

    Stuart clearly feels he is the only blogger on here allowed to speculate.

  45. definition from

    Capital Outlay

    “spending on fixed assets
    the cost of acquiring, producing, or enhancing fixed assets, for example, land, buildings, and machinery. ”

    Otherise known as ‘Capital Expenditure’

    Definition from Financial Times Lexicon:

    “Money spent on capital equipment”

    Anyone thinking this means the club can buy, but it has to come from increased revenue is sadly deluded. It makes no difference….capital expenditure is capital expenditure.

    And the explanation that everyone has been quoting previously is not correct either. They have only listed pat of the explanation. Where it mentions payments made over more than one year, what it really means is that is is ACCOUNTED for on the balance sheet for a period longer than one year. i.e the asset is listed as a capilised expenditure, then depreciated over its expected lifespan. In this instance, for player purchases this is know as AMORTISATION.

    People….get real. anyone stating that capital outlay means paying for something over a period of more than 1 year is simply not telling you the full truth.

  46. El Toro ~ says:
    May 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve never made out that they were facts El Bell endo!

    It’s a different point of view – Is it wrong to put it up for debate?

    If it is don’t reply to it – Simple as that!

    You on the other hand are probably under the impression that Milner and Given left because they were that happy at Newcastle that they were in danger of wetting themselves everytime they played.

    It’s totally out of the question that they left because of the way things were at the club I suppose?

    Gien didn’t exactly sprinkle Ashley and his regime with credit and plaudits when he left did he?

  47. Nobby – that confirms the one thing we’re all saying: that whoever wrote that press release is utterly incompetent. Those two definitions you’ve listed BOTH make the term inapplicable to buying players anyway. Idiots.

    On that basis, I still think it’s a diversionary tactic to limit expectations and set up a private environment in which to negotiate.

    Nice idea badly done.

  48. hitman says:
    May 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Don’t bother hitman. Some people only want to see what they want to see.

    They won’t let things like facts from the horses mouth get in the way.

  49. it would cost peanuts to get a good pr team in at the club because owlheed is making a right pigs ear of it,he should be removed from the club ASAP

  50. Whumpie…..the statement is another act of crass stupidity…If you read Geroge Caulkin’s alternative statement, it makes you realise how badly written the real one is.

    They are a complete PR disaster.

  51. Nobby @54…. you’re (or the FTs) right in showing the definations of Cap Ex but there’s no law that says spenc on capital’s got to be capitalised (ie depreciated over a period of time). NUFC could spend using cash from the revenue account (the profit and loss account)and what could on one hand be a Cap Ex, can also be a revenue expense.

    I do believe that Ashley’s message is that no plans have been made for major spend that will remain a liability in the balance sheet for a number of years. He wants to get teh club onto a break-even footing in five years remember. And that includes clearing all debt from the club – including the interest free loans made by him.

    Which brings us to another point….. Whumpie @34… the figures you referred to are the annual operating losses and do not include the monies owed to MA.

    And back to player movements….. Who the f*** said anything about selling players? According to the press, we’ve been promoted into the prem with a view to selling the best players we’ve got to raise money to buy poorer ones.

    Now, if the club’s statement had been a bit more positive and less ambiguous, we wouldn’t be faced with what’s likely to turn out to be the media’s open season…. again!!!

  52. One thing I did find really amusing on MOTD Sunday was Hansen saying every one of the top clubs needs 4/5 players in. Personnally I reckon the Chelsea squad as it stands would win the league again. Same with Arsenal once they have a fully fit squad again. ManU and Liverpool are financially strapped so replacing like for like with them may be a problem especially Liverpool. Incidently it was really funny seeing Hansen looking like someone had slapped him with a wet fish whenever Liverpools “bad” season was mentioned. If/when Benitez does leave they may well be a lower end team next year and “Hands of our Chris”, Liverpool :)

  53. lesh says:
    May 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I think the point is that everyone is left to twist, manipulate and diasect the statement any which way they want because the club have been so vague.

    It doesn’t mention anything about paying the loan off – If they said we aim to be debt free in five years time then everyone knows where we stand.

    The didn’t say that they said ‘break even’ in five years. You can still have debt but break even.

    So we still have no idea what their real intentions are.

    It still begs the question: Why will it take us five years to break even, and if they meant debt free, why not just say that?

  54. Ta for that Lesh. So you think “break even” means paying off the overdraft, plus the £70m lost in the past 2 years, but not the £100m loan, which only becomes payable if/when the club is sold.

    If that’s correct, I think it’s a good plan.

    But, as has been said a lot on here, the comms are dreadful, and Owl Heed has had too many chances. He needs to go, and be replaced with someone who’s not better suited to running a dodgy casino in Ramsgate.

  55. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    If it means were paying off the £70m losses over the last two season it makes a mockery of Ashley’s claim to invest £20m a season into the club.

    If were tsking him at face value (I know, don’t laugh) then that £70m should only be £30m as he ‘gives’ us £20m per season.

    Or he’s been talking complete bullshit again and his statement claiming to give us £20m a year was another of his famous ‘public relations’ exercise.

  56. I think Hansen and co (including Wor Al) are failing to deal with what is going on in the game. Almost every club is going to have to do something akin to what Ashley is trying to do with NUFC. No club is going to keep borrowing and spending beyond their means (anyone seeing a rather obvious comparison with Gordon-the-Git Brown’s handling of the UK?)

    Chelski and Citeh will spend while they can, before Platini’s rules kick in. Manure will do their usual progressive stuff, and fair enough. A few other clubs will have a few mil to spend; no more. The rest will either try to hold on to what they have, or sell and sell big. The idea of lots of teams blowing £30m each on a handful of galacticos is just naive and outdated.

    Portsmouth may even have a BOGOF offer…

  57. Whumpie,

    Don’t forget that alot of PL clubs still have benefactors. They’ll be more happy to lend or give their clubs money rather than go to the banks.

  58. Ah, ok, Stuart – back to our usual difference in opinion for this one, so fair enough.

    I have no interest in our club being ‘given’ money. I want to progress and win by being a better club, not by having a sugar-daddy.

    Ashley’s never intended to give the club any money; he’s never made any secret of that.

    What is a bit of a shock – if we’re interpreting this correctly – is why he’d want to switch from putting in that much each year to taking it out again quite so quickly. £90m out in 4 years is a hell of a rate of payment, and not really sustainable in this climate.

  59. Stuart – good point about the benefactors, but with very few exceptions, those people are in no position to be lending money to anyone; let alone their ‘hobby’ clubs. they have other businesses – ones that could actually return profits – which need propping up. The only people left with millions to throw around are those who had billions beforehand.
    More likely we’ll see them pulling out altogether and calling in debts, a-la-Ashley. And to be honest, I can’t wait. The Prem has been total BS ever since the Abramomafia arrived and it needs a dirty great reality check. The Football League Association, UEFA, FA and others are also clueless and don’t seem to give a stuff about cheating or buying cups as long as they get their telly money.
    Tis going to be a painful few years for most; we’re just ahead of the curve on this one.

    Deep joy.

  60. hitman says:
    May 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm
    johno i see nowt wrong with it,but thats not the way it works is it.

    We are told it cant work like that from the people who lend money , wonder why that is….

  61. Hitman: “johno i see nowt wrong with it,but thats not the way it works is it.”

    I think that sums up the different camps on here. One side basically expects the status quo to continue, with spiralling debts dependent on shady foreigners with big wallets. The other side acknowledges that this is unsustainable (and frankly against the point of professional sport) and has to change.

    New world order: EVERYONE will have to spend only what they earn. For most of us, that will be enforced by harsh economic reality. For the sugar-daddy clubs, it’ll be enforced by harsh economic Platini.

    (ha. see what I did there? eh? eh? Oh. Alright then. Suit yerselves.)

  62. Does anyone know anything about catering/bar facilities being outsourced to another company…any profits from that are now going to another company….

    I’ve also heard that Sports Direct are providing the club shops service to the club…i.e profits will go to Sports Direct.

    I’m sure the club will receive ‘fees’ from these companies, but it seems we may not be able to increase income via increased sales??

    Anyone heard this?

  63. Nobby.

    Outsourcing is common these days and yes, any profit they make, they keep. However, they’d may have to pay NUFC for the privilege ala a franchise?

  64. Stuart – good spot, but only half the story. The quote is actually “I would pour up to £20m a year into the club and expect nothing back”.

    “Would”. Past tense.

    A few paragraphs further down, “I am no longer prepared to subsidise Newcastle United”.

    Since then he’s LENT the club money because he’s had to. Now we’re back in the prem, and he no longer has to, and he wants his money back. Hence Lesh pointing out the difference between that £70m and the £100m which he put in when he WAS prepared to sub the club.

    Blimey. He’s actually being consistent. Ta for the pointer on that one, Stu!

  65. Nobby

    Id imagine they would have to rent a space from us plus an initial fee upfront so we are always getting income

  66. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Just on your point about spiralling debts dependant on shady foreigners – Where’s the debt that’s unsustainable?

    These guys are giving these clubs money. It might not be ‘fair’ but that’s the reality.

    Their not going to abandon the clubs and walk away with nothing after investing more than half a billion pounds are they?

    These are investments for these guys – They don’t envisage losing money – If they walked away and left them to fend for themselves they’d lose a fortune.

    Unfair but it’s life.

  67. And here’s George Caulkin’s presentation of the club’s statement. You’ll notice a difference in the language and style.

    My workplace legal colleagues insist that it’s best to keep the language plain and simple to avoid misinterpretations and ambiguities. It appears that NUFC have half-followed that approach and thus done just what simple language is intended not to do – created uncertainties and ambiguity!

    Maybe they need to get Mort back on the case!

  68. So right, Lesh. Bring back Mort, pleeeeease!

    Stu @82 – sorry, fella but I think you are just plain wrong there. The owners of Chelski and Citeh are both officially ‘lending’ their clubs money, but only for tax reasons. If Abramokiller ever writes off the debt, the club will instantly owe well over £100m to UK PLC.

    But in practice, they know they can’t possibly get it back. They are putting in several times their clubs’ annual revenue – DECADES of any profit which would come from even the most draconian of business models.

    One day they will tire of it, and walk away. They will call the debts, the clubs will go bust, the assets sold, and the owners will take whatever that raises; a fraction of what they’ve put in.

    Do you REALLY want to be in that position? Knowing that the only thing keeping your beloved club from total annihilation is a lack of boredom on the part of one rather twisted individual?

  69. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Check their accounts mate.

    Both Roman and the Sheik have turned the clubs debt into equity/shares in the club.

    It’s not debt.

    I heard Keith Harris recently saying that it’s a long term investment for these guys – They know that if you keep hold of the asset and it’s successful the value will increase over a period of say 10 years. Like buying a house was the analogy he used.

    I would love to be a Man Utd (pre Glazers) and live within their means but it cannot be a successfull plan at this time.

    But again, Chelsea and City are totally debt free – Accounts are there for all to read.

    Even if they were loans, what would they gain from walking away and calling their loans in? They wouldn’t get anywhere near what their owed.

    That’s why it’s a long term investment for them – They won’t lose money over the long term – If PL football TV revenue keeps going they’ll be quids in – It has a long way to go until it gets to the US kind of figures but that’s what their aiming at.

  70. That George Caulkin ‘alternative statement’ is brilliant. A bit too flippant and colloquial in places, but makes the point brilliantly about just how awful the real statement is.

    Cringe. Again.

  71. Stu – that the same Keith Harris who’s totally failed twice for us? The football lawyer? (aka “lying liar in the lying business?”

    I suppose it does mean that if he walks, the club doesn’t fold, which is a biggie. At least that’s my understanding. Point conceded there.

    BUT there is no way in hell Abramovic is getting the half-billion or whatever it is back. Doesn’t matter that it’s converted to ownership by diluting shares (nice tax dodge, by the way); Chelski would have to be worth nearly a billion quid for him to get it back.

    He’s shoved over £300m in for players in just a few years, and now needs to start doing the same again just to stay where they are. They simply don’t make the £80m a year to pay that back, and the club is hardly going to shoot up in value to that tune either.

    Ergo: Rich mafia man’s plaything. Trophy cabinet full of trinkets bought with blood money. Me no want.

  72. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    Anyone know what Abramovic paid for Chelski in the first place?

    He paid about £60m with another £60-70m debt I think.

    He did get interest last year from some Swiss group didn’t he? About £700m…

    At the end of the day their not stupid – They’ve made a lot of money so I reckon they know what their doing.

    It can be hard to take for some but if a oil rich sheik bought us and invested £500m which meant we won a few things, gave us a better chance to build a long lasting, successfull club I would be happy with that. The caveat to that is that I would only be happy with it as long as that investment wasn’t a loan.

    That would give us a sense of stability.

  73. Can any of you financial whizz kids out there clarify something for me?

    When the club says they have gone from a loss of £37.7m to (08/09) to £32.5m (09/10) does that equate to…

    a) A total loss of £70.2m
    b) A total loss of £32.5m (as we recovered £5.2m during 09/10)

    My initial reading was b), but others seem to have assumed it to mean a) ?!?

  74. Whumpie says:
    May 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    “Anyone know what Abramovic paid for Chelski in the first place?”

    Around £140 million, Whumpie. His predecessor, Ken Beast, paid a pound.

  75. estechco says:
    May 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    “Can any of you financial whizz kids out there clarify something for me?”

    It means they’ve lost £70.2 million over two years, estecho.

  76. George Caulkin

    In a parallel universe, a parallel Newcastle United released a parallel statement on their parallel official website yesterday evening. This is how it read…

    Dear Newcastle United supporters,

    First things first: thank you. Thank you on behalf of everyone connected with the club, from the players, from the managerial staff and from the boardroom, for your continued backing. Thank you for bearing with us over the past few, difficult seasons and thank you for persevering as we attempt to put things right.

    Thank you for continuing to buy your season tickets, your replica shirts, your pies and programmes and thank you for trooping through the turnstiles to shout yourselves hoarse week upon week. We know that you have a choice, that you didn’t have to do what you did and we appreciate the sacrifices some of you made at a time when the economy is in turmoil and finances are tight. In a very real and meaningful way, we simply couldn’t have done it without you.

    For a club that haven’t won a domestic trophy since 1955 to record an average attendance of 43,387 in the Coca-Cola Championship was stunning and humbling. Once again: thank you.

    Without wishing to open old sores, we recognise that we’ve made some pretty big mistakes. Hopefully, by acknowledging that and accepting it, the process of healing those wounds can gather pace. What’s been so productive about the campaign just ended is that it felt like we were all in it together; team, coaches, fans. In testing circumstances, the club began to renew itself and long may that continue.

    In the spirt of that bond, we feel that we have a duty to be open and frank. Just as this is a different Newcastle from the club that were relegated a year ago, it also a very different environment. Money has coalesced at the top of the Barclays Premier League and it is all too easy for clubs to overreach themselves chasing an illusory pot of gold. There were some great times at St James’ Park under Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson and we’d love to repeat them, but we all have to accept that, for the foreseeable future anyway, things have changed.

    We’re not trying to apportion blame here – and, in any case, we would deserve a slice of it – but, for whatever reason, the club got into a situation where they were paying exorbitant transfer fees, wages and agent fees, often at the expense of team-building. That can’t and won’t happen again. Successful clubs build and grow and we want to protect the team spirit that has been so evident in the Championship. We want to protect the football club as a whole.

    It is our judgement – and that of Chris Hughton, our manager – that we have the basis of a squad that can compete in the Premier League next season. If you look at clubs like Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and, more recently, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City, you can see that it’s possible to stabilise following promotion and that’s the route that Newcastle are going down. We’ll be relying on loans, free transfers and a bit of imagination. We’re not saying it’ll be easy and we’re taking nothing for granted, least of all you.

    Put simply, the pot is empty. In our last season in the Premier League, we made a loss of £37.7m and we’re due to record another loss of £32.5m this season. That’s just not sustainable. Our overdraft – all clubs have them – stands at £20m and it’s already been allocated. Yes, our income from television money will shoot back up again, but the owner has already invested around £300m of his own money into Newcastle and, as far as he’s concerned, that’s enough. As our last accounts stated, there is an outstanding loan of £111m from Mike Ashley that is “repayable on demand,” and, ideally, he’d like some of it back.

    That’s reasonable, isn’t it? He’s kept things ticking over this season and we’ve slashed costs, but it’s a matter of record that Mike has twice attempted to sell the club and he just isn’t willing to leave himself further out of pocket. You may not want to hear that, but we hope you appreciate the honesty. To borrow an old phrase, we are where we are.

    In the meantime, we want to build a new Newcastle, if you will. We want this to be a Newcastle you can be proud of. A big part of that, as always, will be determined by what happens on the pitch and all players will be reminded of their responsibilities to you, but it also means focusing resources on our Academy structure.

    For far too long, this region has allowed its better players to leave and we have to put a stop to that drain of talent. We tip our hats to the work done by our neighbours Middlesbrough and Sunderland in this regard and we want to do the same. And we mean it this time. We’re going to let the experts get on with the job of building scouting networks and providing opportunities and, with a bit of luck, in a few years’ time, you’ll be cheering on a team peppered with skilful Geordies. How good would that be?

    We should also say a few words about the media and our relationship with them. It hasn’t always been easy. We happen to think that this club and their supporters has not always been well served by newspapers, television and radio and that we’re sometimes subjected to crude stereotyping, but we also accept that because of decisions taken by this regime and its predecessors, we’ve made ourselves easy targets. In retrospect, there was probably an opportunity to reshape the debate when Mr Ashley bought the club, but he was never very comfortable about assuming a public role and that moment has sadly dissipated.

    We have to hold our hands up, too. When we have spoken out, we haven’t consistently managed to get our message across in the way we wanted to, so we’ve taken the decision to let our football and our football people do the talking for us. If you see anything in the papers from now on where Newcastle “sources” or “insiders” are quoted, rest assured that it hasn’t come from us. We don’t want to get in the way of Chris’s work because he’s got a tough enough job without any unnecessary interference from us.

    Hope this clears things up.

    Thanks again and Howay the Lads,

    Newcastle United

  77. Is anything in that piece that we know is definitely factually incorrect Worky?

  78. Hmm. So to get his money back he’d have to get in the order of 140m paid + 60m OD + what he’s put in, which I believe (please correct if wrong) at least £400m and counting. So £600m. Hmm. Not out of the question, but highly, highly unlikely. Why? Because he’s got an old squad; that £400m is spent and the benefit is temporary.

    Basically, as things stand, you have to spend more each year than you can possibly expect to recoup, to compete at the top.

    Thinking about it, those owners should welcome Platini’s new rules. They’ve already blown hundreds of mil basically building a brand. Now their only hope of maintaining it and therefore the value of their asset, is if the annual cost of staying at the top comes down. The only way that’ll happen is if someone forces down operating costs. They then get to keep their brand value going within realistic revenues because a Messi is worth £20m instead of £80m.

    Ta-daaa. Enter Platini with his fiscal rules.

    Interesting one. Or perhaps this decongestant medicine is hallucinatory…

  79. Whumpie,

    Do you really believe that these clubs with wealthy backers won’t find ways round Platini’s highly difficult law change?

    If Roman wanted to get round it, he would just allow one of his companies to sponsor Chelsea for a ridiculously high price. Totally legit as they wouldn’t be spending more than they earn and wouldn’t be in an debt.

    There’s ways and means to get round anything – They’ll find a way.

    It’s probably more relevant for the sheik actually as Roman is in the process of trying to get Chelsea self sufficient.

  80. Capital Outlay

    Payments made in cash or cash equivalents over a period of more than one year. Capital outlays are used to acquire assets or improve the useful life of existing assets. An example of a capital outlay is the funding to construct a factory. In accounting, capital outlays must be capitalized; that is, the outlay is recognized on a balance sheet gradually over the course of asset’s useful life. Capital outlays are recorded as liabilities on a balance sheet. They are also called capital expenditures.

    Taken from the financial dictionary

  81. Bowburn – It kind of proves something though doesn’t it? If that are that many definitions out there, then surely they must have had a inkling that things could be mis-interpreted?

    As Worky says, If I was Ashley I would be asking for some money back from the people who wrote this up.

  82. Bl**dy Ell, this blog is starting to read like the Financial Times. Anybody got some tips on shares. ;)

  83. toonsy says:
    May 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    “Bowburn – It kind of proves something though doesn’t it? If that are that many definitions out there”

    They all mean the same thing though, Toonsy. Bowburn’s just disappointed about flying off the handle without thinking and getting it all wrong again. :-)

  84. Big Willy says:
    May 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    “Bl**dy Ell, this blog is starting to read like the Financial Times.”

    Because if you don’t explain financial issues, people just lie and make trouble, Big Willy.

  85. anyway off home, see yous in a bit maybe, depending on whether Stu is around!!!!

  86. Raffo says:
    May 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    “Have people seen this? Sorry if it is old hat”

    It looks like Toonsy’s writing a ‘blog on it, Raffo.

  87. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was wrong worky!

    And I was only marginally wrong on this one. My particular stance was around the tone of the statement and the bollox that came with the financial aspects. I thought it was the epitome of all they do wrong from a PR point of view.

    That last one that Raffo has linked only serves to strengthen the theory that there is a mackem in charge of our media dept.

  88. Stuart – yes, there will be work-arounds, but not to the tune of hundreds of millions a year, which is what it took Chelski to buy their way to the top. Fair point, though.

    Doesn’t change the fact that Chelski have run at a hyyyyaaaawwwge loss – well over a quarter billion since he arrived, I think – and Platini’s rules would prevent more than a few million a year. Fat lot of use getting them ‘self sufficient’ now; it’s like rich families that buy their kids houses and cars, then boast when they “manage to pay their own way”.

    Bitter?? Me???


  89. bowburnmag says:
    May 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    “I honestly can’t remember the last time I was wrong worky!”

    Aye, Bowburn, you are right about some things, especially the footballers. But you definitely go off piste when you get your Level 7 head on and get Ashley radged.

  90. I like a good well-directed and justified rant now and again, I’m prepared to admit that. And the board provide ample opportunity for it.

  91. Ooh, interesting new statement! And, as BBM says, just confirms what an unmitigated, belming f*ckworthy our club has in charge of comms. More intelligent life can be found in the average kitchen sink.

    Ok, so I think I’ve got it now. No more subs from Ashley to fund new players; it’s got to come from revenues and player sales. But that doesn’t mean no players, and it’s clear from the appointment of Carr that they do intend more players. The £100m isn’t being recalled any time soon, and remains interest-free.

    What I still don’t get – even after they’ve “clarified the clarification” is what they mean by “break even basis by 2015”. Does Ashley want the £70m back in that time? If not, what the hell is taking that long? Surely they should operate within their revenues next year?

    I’m a confused person.

  92. BBM – and you were so well behaved in the home stand at QPR! Obviously you’ve used up your year’s quota for self-control… :)

    I love a good rant, me.

    Turnips??? Don’t get me started!! Bastards!!

  93. Well that statement settles that theory then.

    Is it a fair comment though that there has been more press comment with regards to the ‘capital outlay’ sentance – why haven’t they clarified that?

    With every statement from the club it brings more questions – Of Ashley isn’t taking his loan back (fair play btw) why is it going to take us five years to break even?

    Anyway I thought the club weren’t commenting on any press speculation….