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Ashley wipes out half of Toon debt

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From the Ronny


BILLIONAIRE Mike Ashley has dug deep into his pockets to almost halve Newcastle United’s near-£80m debt.


The sports tycoon splashed £30m of his own cash this week on scrapping a large chunk of the Toon’s debt.


Toon chairman Chris Mort said the one-off payment put the club in a much stronger financial position for the future.


And he stressed the payment is not at the expense of transfers. There will continue to be money made available for manager Sam Allardyce to buy new players.


Mr Mort added: “We’ve been looking to reduce debt levels ever since we took over. Mike put in £30m this week to bring the debt levels down, which is a great thing for the club.


“The debt is partly due to money already being spent, which you would expect to earn as future income.


“It can be replaced, but it’s obviously money we’d rather be spending on players, rather than sorting out the club’s finances generally.


“There is still some debt left, but it’s been brought down to a much more manageable level.


“Then of course you have the Kieron Dyer deal going through this week, for which we got £7m. I’m pleased for Kieron that he could get the move he’s been after.


“It doesn’t quite work that the money from the Dyer transfer gets put straight back into buying players.


“We would be doing transfer deals anyway regardless of this. We’ll continue to invest in the club.


“We’re still looking for one or two more additions, and that was the case whether Kieron was going or not.


“If you look at the squad, we’re incredibly strong up front and in midfield, but we might add more depth at the back. We’ve put together a strong defence over the summer, so I’m not worried. But it would help to have a bit more depth.”


Mr Mort said he was looking forward to sampling the St James’ Park atmosphere as the new regime prepares for its first home Premier League game in charge against Aston Villa today.


He said: “We’re expecting a crowd of more than 50,000 and I think there’ll be a fabulous atmosphere.


“I’m hoping the crowd will be as noisy as possible. We want the fans to get behind the team.


“At Bolton we had such fantastic support. It really makes such a difference to the team. They have the ability to help us get the right result.


“And that was a relatively smaller group of supporters, I cannot imagine what it will be like with a full house at St James’ Park.”


He added: “We’re keen for people to get to the ground a bit earlier than normal because we have a new turnstile system in place.


“It’s not that there are any problems with the system, it’s been tried and tested, but it will be slightly different for the supporters and something they need to get used to. We don’t want them to miss any of the match.”


Meanwhile, Mr Mort looked back on a busy week meeting other Premier League chairmen for the first time and meeting Minister for the North East Nick Brown to talk about United’s importance to the region.


He said: “I’ve been to a meeting of the Premier League chairmen this week and I got a good welcome from the others. It was an open opportunity to have some in-depth talks.”

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That to me is the best news since he took over.


Agreed, and clearly shows that he's not here just to make a quick buck as some sources have suggested.



The annoying thing is if everything is managed correctly Newcastle can be successful AND make Ashley a lot of money.



Just so long as it isn't ran like FFS where HE got richer and the club dug itself further into debt.

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