Meet the new mission statement; Same as the old mission statement?

Posted on October 17th, 2011 | 52 Comments |

Newcastle United mission statement.
Same master plan for world domination.
In the wake of Newcastle United’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur this afternoon, Managing Director, Derek Llambias, has released another club statement.

The statement once sgsin highlights the clubs finances, summer transfers, youth development, managing / coaching staff, training facilities and supporters. Basically, I’m still struggling to dissect the differences between this statement, and the recent Q&A with the Evening Chronicle a few months back.

Either way, it’s good to have some communication from boardroom to fans, and below I have included the whole statement for your viewing pleasure. I hasten to add also that the statement, unsurprisingly, has a little bit of information about our new under-soil heating.



Now that the summer transfer window has closed and the new Premier League season is underway, the board of Newcastle United Football Club wish to present this review of our progress and set out our aims for the 2011/12 campaign and beyond.

Our return to top flight football was an exciting and successful one. Our target last season was to maintain Premier League status and we achieved that, and more. Finishing 12th in the Premier League was a significant achievement for a newly-promoted club.

Success requires real team effort and we witnessed that right across the club – from the spirit and determination in the dressing room and the passionate support in the stands, to the often unsung efforts of the hundreds of staff we have working for the Club through the week and on matchdays.

Everyone associated with Newcastle United wants success for this Club and we can assure supporters that the board is fully committed to achieving that success.

To make our ambitions clear to supporters and stakeholders, our aim for the 2011/2012 season is at least a top ten finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Club Finances

When Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United in 2007 he arrived with a clear five-year plan to get Newcastle United on a sound financial footing and the Club is now in far better shape financially than it has been for many years.

Our aim is to make Newcastle United self-financing. We cannot continue to acquire debt year after year and rely on additional financial support from the owner.

In 2008/09 we reported an operating loss before player trading 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 just £4.7m and this year we hope we will be close to breaking even.

We are pleased that the Club is working towards being able to operate within the boundaries of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, even during these challenging economic times.

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.

Summer transfers

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 United 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, of course, but ultimately they 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 United. This does not however discount players of any age who we 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.

Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Demba Ba and Gabriel Obertan were all brought in early in the window and they have settled quickly into the squad and performed well on the pitch. Medhi Abeid, another early signing, is already showing that he is a great prospect and we hope he will be pushing for a place in the first team this year.

We were delighted to bring Davide Santon from Inter Milan to the Club towards the end of the window and we are looking forward to seeing him perform over the coming weeks. We also brought in goalkeeper Rob Elliot from Charlton Athletic who is ensuring we have healthy competition for the number one spot.

Unlike many clubs in England, we endeavour to pay transfer fees in a timely manner rather than spreading payments over an unrealistic number of years. This is a far healthier financial model which gives us greater certainty over spending in future years. When Mike Ashley took over the Club, we were still paying fees for players who had already left. This is now, thankfully, a thing of the past. However the same cannot be said for all of the players we sell to other clubs, for whom we ordinarily receive dated payments over a period of years.

The Club’s considerable wage bill this season has risen by seven per cent as a result of the salaries of our new signings and the wage increases awarded to existing players on new deals, such as the six-and-a-half year deal we agreed with Cheik Tiote in February.

Manager and coaching staff

The board was pleased to appoint Alan Pardew as the manager of Newcastle United in December 2010. Since arriving at the Club, Alan has strengthened the coaching and backroom staff and has implemented a number of new techniques which have transformed training procedures at the Club.

Alan Pardew, John Carver and the rest of our senior coaching staff, together with Graham Carr, our chief scout, are all on long-term contracts. This brings stability to the Club and shows the faith we have in these individuals.

Youth development

We have some excellent young players amongst our current crop who have come through the Club’s Academy system, some of whom have now broken into the first team, including Sammy Ameobi, Shane Ferguson and James Tavernier.

The board will continue to focus on strengthening the Development Squad to make sure we identify and nurture the region’s wealth of talented youngsters, as well as bringing some of Europe’s most exciting young prospects to Newcastle.

Training facilities

Last year the team experienced interruptions to their training schedule due to heavy snowfall and freezing conditions. Over the summer months we installed undersoil heating at the training ground which will ensure that winter training schedules this season are less adversely affected by bad weather.

Investment in our analytical equipment and staffing is reaping benefits too. We now have far greater statistical information about the team thanks to high-tech monitoring equipment and computer analysis, which means we can tailor training programmes to individual players and get the maximum performance from the team.


Our supporters yet again demonstrated tremendous loyalty and commitment to the team last season, with attendances at St. James’ Park averaging close on 48,000. This support is greatly appreciated and is the envy of many clubs up and down the country. It would be impressive in any year, but during a recession when personal finances are still so stretched, it is even more so. The board, the manager and the players would like to thank fans sincerely for their support.

The board introduced a groundbreaking ten-year fixed-price deal for season tickets this year, for the first time payable in 12 monthly instalments. This was a genuine initiative aimed at rewarding fans’ loyalty, providing them with some long-term certainty on ticket pricing, and offering more manageable monthly payments so that fans could continue to support the team at a time when the economic climate is making financial decisions even tougher for our supporters and their families. It has proved extremely popular, with more than two-thirds of all season tickets holders having taken advantage of this deal.

The capacity of the Family Enclosure has been increased from 5,000 to 6,500 seats, making it the largest dedicated family area in the Premier League. Demand for tickets in this area during the 2010/11 season regularly outstripped supply, and we wanted to ensure that all families who wished to enjoy football at St. James’ Park could do so in a family-friendly environment. As a result of this initiative we now have an additional 1,000 children and their parents as season ticket holders in the Family Enclosure this year.

There is also now a new section of seating for supporters aged between 18 and 21-years-old. Season ticket prices in this section are more than £200 cheaper than a full adult season ticket in order to help young adults make the transition from the family enclosure to full adult seating at a price they can afford.

These initiatives are our way of thanking the fans for their support and making their visits to Newcastle United Football Club more accessible and affordable.


The 2010/11 season was a positive one for Newcastle United on and off the pitch. Our targets for the season were exceeded as the Club consolidated its position in the Premier League. We have set ourselves the target of at least a top ten finish this season and all our efforts will go into achieving that. The excellent start the team has already made in our first few fixtures bodes very well.

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 both on and off the field over the next year and beyond.

In declaring our aims for this season we are demonstrating our commitment to taking this Club forward from what is now becoming a stronger and more healthy position.

What do you think of the club’s latest statement?

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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52 Responses

  1. Good time to drill the same PR message through fan’s skulls for the hunderedth time after a very creditable draw against a good side. A win would have been better.

  2. 1 -“There are certain perceived ‘big’ clubs that have no financial constraints whatsoever”.
    Perceived? ‘big’ in quotes,
    I presume this means that just cos they can splash the cash they are deceiving themselves – while true big clubs like us are sensible.
    Fair enough, I like the idea – but we have to invest to win something to make this happen.

    I wonder if this is reissued with the winter window, agents & selling clubs in mind – a reminder that just cos we sold players for big bucks recently, we will not be one of the clubs who will pay over the odds inflated prices (as the summer signings proved).

    2 – “Our focus now is to bring in players who can develop and fulfil their potential at Newcastle United. This does not however discount players of any age who we feel can add experience to the squad”.
    The first part of this is well know – and the policy is working.
    However the second part is something I & most people have previously missed (I presume it’s not new) – often the press discount the chances of experienced players cos they “don’t fit the profile” – interesting, so what exactly is “our profile”?


  3. Clint – they will finish above us, but not far.
    Man City, Man U, Chelski, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal, NUFC.
    I’d settle for 7th.

    But I like still being 4th !


  4. Just wanted to say, on a random note, that watching that game today gave me chills. Being from the states I haven’t been able to see a game at St. James, but that atmosphere reminds me why I chose the Toon to root for. Gave me goosebumps after Shola’s goal hearing the whole stadium do the Na, Na, Geordies song. Fans are unreal

  5. I find little to argue with in this statement. I’ve had my beefs with the board but if we can’t resonate with balanced books, a solid plan for the future and a squad of talented players, then either I’m missing something or we are an ungrateful bunch. I think that many clubs in the Premiership would look at the way we are heading with some envy. After 40 years of supporting this club, I truly hope we are finally getting most things right. And with thanks to Jimbob for setting it out.

  6. Supermac…Re: “dont fit the profile”

    I have always assumed that there are a few positions that at the right time you could buy that are up in age that would complete the squad or fill a need or add something that’s missing that might override the worry about their sell-on cashgrab.

    Not that there is anything wrong with buying young and cheap and selling some off when some club overwhelms you with an offer. I bet most of the people harping about Ashley and his style perform some of the same tactics on their footy computer games.

    But I would imagine that positions like Striker…where a few well placed goals could be worth millions to your club, or conversely a CB who age much more fine winelike than other positons could be ones that “don’t fit the profile”

    Of course that could just mean Shefki Kuci and the like

  7. I know loads of people come on these blogs and write ‘just heard from a reliable source….’ and you take it with a pinch of salt but deep down you think it’s probably bollocks but….

    I’ve just heard from a reliable source that the real reason Chris Hughton got sacked was because he wouldn’t field a strong team in cup matches and Ashley wants to win cup matches for the Sports Direct marketing value.

    He got Pardew in as he always builds strong cup teams.

    Does this mean everybody goes home happy?

    We’ll wait and see.

    Well done to the lads yesterday. I wish Shola played like that week in week out! class goal!

  8. “In 2008/09 we reported an operating loss before player trading 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 just £4.7m and this year we hope we will be close to breaking even.”

    Before player trading …? So add 35M on to that -4.7m

    So the figures include broadcasting rights that the 29.6M loans Ashley made were being repaid from? Have the loans been repaid and included in these figures?

    Why can’t they just tell us what is happening and not try to spin the figures?

  9. They aren’t trying to spin the figures. We are due to break even on the revenue that is typically consistent (eg excluding player sales). It’s pointless including the Carroll sale and saying ‘Look we are a hugely profitable club’ because ultimately we won’t be selling a player for £35m every season. They’re just being sensible businessmen, stop being so cynical.

  10. i hope they dont sell the three young youth lads above…..cos there will be more comming through and i love the way they are getting them loan spaces,tavernier is flying at carlisle and some other young lads are doing well at gateshead….long may it continue…

  11. Nobby @ 9

    Nobby, I’m sure even the most optimistic toon supporter knows deep down that we can’t win the premiership but we have a pretty good chance in the two cup games, although recent history suggests otherwise.

    Just getting to a final would be a bonus even if our opponents are ManU, ManC or Chelsea as they would elect to play in the Champions League if they won the cup.

    Pardew should play our strongest team against Blackburn.

  12. I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO PARDEW and ASHLEY especially for appointing Mr Pardew our saviour, Alan Pardew is a genius, he seems to make the right tactical decisions most of the time. he ihas the respect of the lads, he should be made an honoury mayor of newcastle. he says it himself he doesnt care what people think about him what he cares about is newcastle winning, which is what i care about too.( without criticising Hughton who did wonders for us but seemed to win all the ones we were likely to lose and lose all the ones we should have one( it was an exciting time too so thank you))

    Yesterdays game against tottenham shows the fight the toon now has and while i am gutted it wasnt a win it was a good result considering the opposition.

    Ashley has invested over 10% of his wealth in newscastle, without him we would have not got the backing of the banks and would probably be languishing some where in the depths of the second division. in this economic climate we need to be frugal, and the transfer strategy at the TOON seems to be just right, I am delighted with Mr Carr you are better than your son, you have made me laugh with joy at the quality of your signings, and seeing them play is even better.

    Anyone that wants to criticise ashley should be willing to hand over 10% of their wealth to a transfer kitty for those big money transfers,

    and to Llambas his communication is pretty bad but i approve of your mission statements, the clubs going in the right direction, you don’t affect it so much as you don’t affect me, lack of communication can be good too because it doesn’t tell our competitors what were doing either. I love it where i think the club is going. at least you havent slagged off anyone in the toon.

    i prefer the way we are when those fat cats get bored of their clubs newcastle should be in a position to strive for the top. so lets put some backing in the whole team. the managers and the directors.

    I was once offered 33% of man city, for a very small fee, even though it was a lot too me; i was a NUFC fan and will always be a NUFC fan , i did not want it. that club is now in the top 3 of the premiership. i in a certain way once used to look at it as a loss for me for all the money i could have made; however i also once sat next to a director of man utd and he told me a pound invested in football is a pound lost. (How lucky I was not to take up the offer)

    a big thank you we are looking like a top ten team, keep it up and lets progress together,

    to MR Ashley thank you for your investment
    to MR Llambas thank you for not saying too much
    to MR Pardew, thank you for your tactical nous
    to MR Carr thank you for your eyes
    to THE TEAM you are playing out of your skin, please please keep punching above your weight you are outstanding when you do. keep it up



  13. Nobby @ 9:
    “the real reason Chris Hughton got sacked was because he wouldn’t field a strong team in cup matches and Ashley wants to win cup matches”
    I saw this from several sources at the time Nobby, apparently Cashley was very angry, & I never read a contradiction.

  14. Do we read anything into Simpson (as opposed to Raylor) being substituted by Santon?

    I wonder whether Oberton will be replaced by Marveaux in the next game as I find that Oberton tends to hesitate after a run and, because his strength is speed and not trickery, he then gets caught with the ball too often whereas Marveaux looks like he has greater ball control and can get out of tight situations.

  15. Kamar @ 13

    “even the most optimistic toon supporter knows deep down that we can’t win the premiership but we have a pretty good chance in the two cup games ….. Pardew should play our strongest team against Blackburn”.

    yes mate, we said that a couple of weeks ago & we voted overwhelmingly in the poll – but we must keep saying it, it is an important issue.
    The fact that we are still 4th is brilliant – but we won’t end up 4th (7-8th I hope) – a cup run will create our reputation & give us success – the kind of feel good factor that money can’t simply buy!


  16. Santon at RB – I put 2 + 2 together & get 6. Notice the rumour that Perch (CB cover) is going out on loan. So I think we have 2 defenders lined up for Jan, and hope that Pieters is one of them. Collo Willo & Saylor are CBs but Santon & Pieters can play any defensive position. Raylor has not let us down and will be the backup.

  17. supermac says:
    October 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

    “Nobby @ 9:
    “the real reason Chris Hughton got sacked was because he wouldn’t field a strong team in cup matches and Ashley wants to win cup matches”
    I saw this from several sources at the time Nobby, apparently Cashley was very angry, & I never read a contradiction.”

    supermac, just because something isn’t contradicted, that automatically means it’s true? I read stuff like that as well. It was just people making things up on forums and such for a bit of attention.

  18. This whole thing seems a re-hash of the statement they released at the end of the transfer window (remember no knee-jerk reaction to transfers statement?), and the Q&A with the Chronicle.

    Nothing we didn’t know already has been answered here has it?

    So I struggle to see the need for this statement, other than to try and make people think how wonderful our owner is etc. Would this statement have been released if we were 4th bottom?

  19. Mission Statement is working to date. We’re looking healthier on and off the field than we have done in years. The hierarchy are communicating with the fans and still you manage to produce negative vibes. Unbelievable.

  20. Jimbob says:
    October 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “This whole thing seems a re-hash of the statement they released at the end of the transfer window (remember no knee-jerk reaction to transfers statement?), and the Q&A with the Chronicle.

    Nothing we didn’t know already has been answered here has it?”

    No but Newcastle United’s PR company have probably decided that as we’re fourth in the table after a very creditable draw with a very good side, it was a good time to release the same stuff again as it would be received well and percolate even more.

    Repeating the same message over and over again, and at the right times, is key. As the godfather of Public Relations, Josef Goebbels, knew, most people will swallow just about anything if it’s repeated often enough.

  21. Where are the negative vibes? Example please.

    The statement answers nothing we didn’t know, so what is the point of it? It’s all very well and good talking, but it’s not saying anything is it.

    I’m delighted with the team, and how Pardew is doing, but I’m in my rights to ask what the point of this statement is, considering it’s nothing new from the recent statement and the recent Q&A.

  22. Thankyou Worky, you’ve answer my question, and I 100% agree with you.

    But expect someone to comment that you are moaning etc, when really you’re not.

    It’s just being observant.

  23. you can fool some of the people all of the time
    and all of the people some of the time
    then there’s newcastle supporters –
    some fool themselves some of the time
    and some fool themselves all of the time

  24. Where are the negative vibes? Example please.

    You just produced another one in the first line of your latest post. (The statement answers nothing we didn’t know, so what is the point of it?)

    Statements aren’t always there to ANSWER questions. They provide information which is what this does.

    This mission statement isn’t a response to any questions. It’s an attempt to keep the fans updated. Losses being reduced to 4.7 million and such like.

    As Pardew says today: “I don’t think we are ever going to win everybody over, Mike, Derek and maybe even myself, but at least you can look at it and say we are in a much better position than most Premier League clubs in terms of our financial position.”

  25. Aye,

    ‘they’ keep telling us spuds are great, but they are still brittle coated, with a soft under-belly’.
    Which is nice.

  26. OK so what information does this ANSWER that we didn’t know?

    I understand your point about the financial loss, but why not leave the statement at that. There is no need for a 1600 word re-hash of what we already knew, when they could have just told us about the losses etc, or just waited until the financial information is released, which will be soon I believe.

  27. ED says:

    “I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO PARDEW and ASHLEY especially for appointing Mr Pardew our saviour, Alan Pardew is a genius, he seems to make the right tactical decisions most of the time”

    and there I was thinking Obertan was Pardwho’s long lost, forgotten love child ?

  28. Relegation, whoa oh oh,
    relegation whoa oh oh,
    relegation, that’s what ya’ need,
    if you wanna be the worst,
    if ya’ wanna have a right old moan about stuff like
    the owner/manager etc.
    relegation’s what ya’ need.

    If you wanna be a record breaker…

  29. ……………on the plus side I see Clueless now feels that HBA is ready to start a game !

    There are those who argue why change an unbeaten side but Pardwho himself changes his side with substitutions more or less every game. So bringing HBA in for Best (doesnt he know the offside law ?) makes a lot of sense to me. However if he still feels the need to play 2 upfront at home then switch Jonas to the right and bring HBA in on the left ? Then Obertan can be the “impact” player :)

  30. I think so Clint, Wigan home next. Wouldn’t call that a ‘test’. November will be the ‘test’, but they’d be no shame in not picking up anything at the Manchester’s or Chelsea.

  31. Aye jimbob,
    they’ll be interesting games.
    The next couple are the real test.
    Do we think, “Oh! We’ve won this”, before we start & get all complacent, or get stuck in & beat the teams we have to beat, cos we will probably lose against the top 3.

  32. Ya’ damned if ya’ do,
    ya’ damned if ya’ don’t,
    ya’ damned if you’re in a band called ‘The Damned’.

  33. The Manc clubs smash everyone at present, especially City. Villa got a hiding, as did Spurs if you remember the 5-1.

    As long as we beat what’s around us, that’s what is important.

    Last year we would draw against a top team, or beat them, then we’d face a team like Wigan next weekend, and manage to mess it up somehow! So far this season we seem to have rectified that, so hopefully it’ll continue on Saturday.

    Time for Marveaux or HBA to replace Obertan though.

  34. Aye,

    That’s why the next game is a real test of whether we’ve learned to do the job on the underdog, especially at home.

    Can’t see AP changing a ‘not losing’ team like.
    Managers are like that, aren’t they?
    Marveaux will get his chance. HBA’s been eased back into full speed. Which is the right thing to do.
    Marv will be waiting for the call.

  35. On a positive note our defence has still not conceded more than one goal from open play. That still has to be a good thing.

  36. It was good that Davide Santon got a few minutes to pit himself against that half decent bloke bale.

  37. We defo need to take the points vs wigan because like many of you say, November is likely to be quite lean.