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Cries and Whispers..

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http://www.true-faith.co.uk/tf/editorials....D2?OpenDocument

 

Another crazy week in the history of Newcastle United! And probably another one to come! Following the sight of Barton having a little bit more than a pop at Enrique for his lackadaisical defending on the pitch at Blackburn as we surrendered without a fight, Kinnear up in front of the FA for yet another bout of referee-related stupidity, we had news of want-a-way Charles N’Zogbia and the Bensham Van Basten Andy Carroll going bang at it during training – in full view of visiting Carlisle United players, at least one of whom, blabbed to the press. Predictably, the fight is being glossed over as “handbags” – the catch all term for any brawl that does not end in someone in A&E. We’re led to believe the pagga led to the cancellation of training but that there was afters in the changing room and in the car park.

 

Kinnear, we’re now told, has taken the step of putting N’Zogbia and Carroll on the same side in order to avoid a repetition of the incident at Darsley Park. Clubs interested in taking an increasingly desperate N’Zogbia can be forgiven for believing this might reduce the price for our sullen French midfielder.

Depressingly, Kinnear has attempted to convince us this is all about “passion” which is now Joe-speak for ill discipline and for whom he provides an appalling example. “Passion” is tracking the runners as Enrique singularly failed to do at Blackburn for the third goal. Passion is about 100% commitment in training, preparing correctly, never giving up until the last minute and giving your all. Passion is showing for the ball when you are 2-0 down at Blackburn (a). Passion is doing the dirty jobs on the pitch, the covering, the closing down, the running, the tackling. Anyone see Ronaldo for Man Utd against Spurs deep in his own half in the last few minutes of their FAC tie - supporting his full-back? That’s passion. Passion is about training correctly and professionally. Passion is about being disciplined at all times and giving your all. Passion isn’t about insulting referees or over the top petulant tackles, taking swings for team-mates or swearing at the fourth official and losing your blob. Passion is sticking together, taking responsibility, supporting the lad who might be struggling a bit, encouraging each other and keeping going when it seems all is lost. Passion is Peter Beardsley running all over the park, leading by example, inspiring others around him not Kevin Ball talking shite about wanting to fight for your country in a war. Any stupid bastard can lose his temper, man! Its not passion. Its what it is – unprofessional and it is extremely worrying we are supporting a club which is unravelling before our very eyes.

 

*

 

But we’ve signed Peter Lovenkrads. Noone else wanted him. He has been released by German club, Schalke 04 and has barely kicked a ball this season. Setanta, who have the rights to Bundesliga games couldn’t find any footage of him doing anything particularly impressive. Not even getting booked. If that counts! But hey, Peter Lovenkrads might be a great player for us. I don’t have high expectations however. This is the only bit of business we have done this transfer window so far but I suspect it may not be the last. Man City may not be able to tempt super-star Brazilians to Eastlands despite the lolly on offer but it seems they may be able to buy iconic Irish goalies from NE1. Who expects Given to be back on the bus “home” to Tyneside after our game at Man City this week? From where I’m sitting it appears lovely little Dennis is haggling over the exact terms of the deal. We want a few more million from the Blue Mancs and the name of midfielder Michael Johnson has been thrown into the mix. Who knows? There is also a whisper that our Plan B (Steve Harper) may have plans of his own and they don’t involve diving around a 6-yard box for a Mike Ashley – Everything Must Go version of Newcastle United. Harper is yet to accept the offer made to him by the club before Christmas – the one Kinnear had signed before we tucked into our Turkey – but it isn’t and he could be forgiven for wondering about the future under Ashley. Spurs are sniffing so we’ve heard but as Redknapp appears to be in for 250 different players at the moment that may not mean a lot. But Given for City seems the most likely and we’ll get the wedge in far too late to do anything with it (which, hey, could be City’s plan eh?) – unless of course football genius, Dennis Wise has another Xisco stashed away in a Newcastle hotel on deadline day. This is Newcastle United “moving forward together in 2009”. You lucky people!

 

*

 

But of course it isn’t all Mike Ashley’s fault. No-one here has ever said it was and there was evidence, in my opinion, of the culpability of the mess we are in laid firmly at the door of the Shepherd-Hall regime with the release of the club’s accounts this last week. This gobshite fanzine railed against the grotesque mismanagement and greed of the Shepherd-Hall ownership of our club and by the time Ashley came into view, patience with this mob had snapped. It is they who have racked up a massive debt and without the £100m injected by Ashley as an interest free loan (albeit to a company owned 100% by himself) and it is a reasonable question to ask where we were going with those useless pricks still in charge.

 

But of course there are big questions to be asked about the accounts but as ever we won’t get any answers. Before I get to the questions I should say one thing about the turnover. That looks good. Business experts have rubbed their chins, raised their eye-brows and smiled at NUFC’s ability to generate dosh. We are a club that turns over a lot of money. More than most in the PL outside of the top four with their CL dough and associated moolah! We have a modern 50K seater stadium in a prime city centre location and despite a small drop off in corporates this season is nearer 50,000 than 40,000 for PL games. Bigger crowds than anyone bar Man Utd and Arsenal! Do you know what that means from where I’m sitting? It means we are doing our fucking bit in relation to Newcastle United and that the club would be completely fucked without us. I’d suggest to Ashley, keeping us onside is pretty bastard high on his list of priorities. To me it means Ashley had better sort himself out pronto because he needs to maintain that turnover as far as possible because without us comrades his investment is about to turn to shit.

 

And now the questions! Apparently, 70% of our entire turnover is accounted for by player salaries! Business experts reckon 50% is about right. As far as I’m aware, only Man Utd are anywhere near that benchmark. How do other PL clubs compare? We know football finances are all a bit mental but we want to know how far away we are from what is an industry norm. If we are way off kilter then fair enough, something needs to be done. However, if Ashley is attempting to apply a business plan to NUFC none of our competitors are adopting, then we need to know why if in the short and medium terms it threatens our status.

 

How much of the salaries we are paying for players are being lashed out on the rubbish brought in under Ashley’s own watch? Smith, Barton, Viduka, Geremi, Enrique, Cacapa?

 

Then of course there is the debt. Usually, when I hear Freddie Shepherd commenting upon anything, I usually stick my fingers in my lugs and shout “Shite, Shite!” very loudly. However, of the debt Shepherd has stated that a lot of it is tied up in paying for the SJP extension at the Leazes and Milburn. Is that even on nodding terms with the truth? How much of it? 50%? This amount was previously covered on a mortgage with Northern Rock. Rumour (I know) has it the lads and lasses from Regent Centre were on the phone to Ashley the day after he bought NUFC asking for the £50m outstanding on the loan to pay for the extension, which apparently was part of the deal should anyone take the club from Hall-Shepherd. If that is the case, why did Ashley choose to use his own money and label it a cash injection rather than arrange the continuation of the loan?

 

How much of the £100m is toxic debt? Namely the hits we have taken in the transfer market on the ill-advised and poorly researched rubbish brought to NUFC by the failures Shepherd-Hall appointed as managers? Boumsong, Emre, Babayaro, Luque, Viana, Robert, Bramble, Maric, Marcelino, Ferguson, Andersson, Cort and on and on? If a majority of the debt is accounted for by this collection of insane buying then we have every reason to harbour our residual bitterness at the way the club was run under Shepherd-Hall in a period where the rewards to those running the farce on Barrack Road were eye-watering! Give us the detail and we’ll make up our minds.

 

We are used to dealing in certainties – everything is Black & White in our world (pun intended) but the statement of accounts from NUFC demands a detailed examination and explanation, so we know exactly what faces the club and what is required to take the club forward. There are lots of shades of grey. Ashley might discover the people who prop up the whole SJP circus might be a damned sight more reasonable than he may currently imagine if he was simply straight with you, me and everyone of us who cares about Newcastle United Football Club rather than hiding in the South of England in a big, fat cockney huff!

 

The big questions at the heart of the whole Mike Ashley adventure with Newcastle United remain however. What was his original motive in buying NUFC? It appears press speculation he was set upon a quick sale and a massive profit was pretty near the mark. He has by and large employed non-football and non-NE people (Mort/Llambias) who appear lost on Planet Mag. The continued employment of Dennis Wise as Executive Director of Football from a base in London just stinks of a temporary arrangement. Ashley may have been unable to stick to his original plan for a quick sale and big profit because unaccountably he failed to conduct the due diligence, which would have alerted him to NUFC’s true financial state. You know like Belgravia did and then walked away? Did Ashley ever plan to be around long enough to make proper funds available for a manager to spend on players? Or did he intend to be back in trackie bottom heaven counting his Mag pennies by the time that stuff happened? However, it appears, given the debt, Ashley has paid way over the odds for NUFC and now can’t sell us on at a time when it seems only Middle Eastern investors have any wedge at all to spunk on daft football clubs. The £100m is not a gift to Newcastle United and not even he would claim that. When the club is sold he’ll get that all back. And more, I’d guess. He isn’t a billionaire for nowt.

 

However, without a credible plan, with the right investment, expertise and personnel in place I can only hope Ashley is getting his money back very soon.

 

*

 

Jesus, I almost forgot. We have a couple of very important games coming up which we need to get something from. Man City, for all of their wealth, aren’t a good side and on occasion seem every bit as fucked up as us – though for different reasons. With the right game plan, a bit of commitment, a slice of luck and no fuck-ups we could go there and get something. We should have done them at SJP. Let’s not have any phoney patter about “passion” – let’s see some professionalism and application all over the pitch from the first moment to the last. And we’ll need a bit more of that next Sunday when the foul-smelling peasants from the Village of the Damned crawl from their shit hole and make the journey to the regional capital, our fine and noble city. Losing to this lot is just on up for consideration and Kinnear can do himself a whole lot of good if he can put Sbragia’s lumpen-proles to the sword. Out of both cup competitions in the early rounds, nowhere near a return to European football and only a grim battle for survival, we need one day in the sunshine this season and next Sunday offers us the opportunity. The points will be handy as well. Don’t fucking dare lose Joe!

 

 

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

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Anyone see Ronaldo for Man Utd against Spurs deep in his own half in the last few minutes of their FAC tie - supporting his full-back? That’s passion. Passion is about training correctly and professionally. Passion is about being disciplined at all times and giving your all. Passion isn’t about insulting referees or over the top petulant tackles, taking swings for team-mates or swearing at the fourth official and losing your blob. Passion is sticking together, taking responsibility, supporting the lad who might be struggling a bit, encouraging each other and keeping going when it seems all is lost. Passion is Peter Beardsley running all over the park, leading by example, inspiring others around him not Kevin Ball talking shite about wanting to fight for your country in a war. Any stupid bastard can lose his temper, man! Its not passion. Its what it is – unprofessional and it is extremely worrying we are supporting a club which is unravelling before our very eyes.

 

Nah, because he'd been subbed like :(

 

Class article apart from that.

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ah i remember last summer, posting about my transfer worries and how scouting should have been long done and dusted and signings in for the pre season friendlies.

Pissed off with not seeing anyone coming in but still fairly cheery with Keegan there, then we drew with man.utd and i thought to myself

"it might not be so bad a season ya know"

 

those were the days lol

Edited by Ant

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Who'd have thunk the True Faith writers were Bergman fans? Nice to see them making a reference outside their usual remit of 20 year old British music.

 

:(

 

The level of depression warrants it.

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Guest alex
Who'd have thunk the True Faith writers were Bergman fans? Nice to see them making a reference outside their usual remit of 20 year old British music.

 

:(

 

The level of depression warrants it.

If KK were to return now he'd feel like Max Von Sydow in 'The Seventh Seal'.

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http://www.true-faith.co.uk/tf/editorials....D2?OpenDocument

 

 

How much of the £100m is toxic debt? Namely the hits we have taken in the transfer market on the ill-advised and poorly researched rubbish brought to NUFC by the failures Shepherd-Hall appointed as managers? Boumsong, Emre, Babayaro, Luque, Viana, Robert, Bramble, Maric, Marcelino, Ferguson, Andersson, Cort and on and on? If a majority of the debt is accounted for by this collection of insane buying then we have every reason to harbour our residual bitterness at the way the club was run under Shepherd-Hall in a period where the rewards to those running the farce on Barrack Road were eye-watering! Give us the detail and we’ll make up our minds.

 

 

*

 

 

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

 

 

:(

 

 

Everything was fine apart from slagging off wor Laurent, like....

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