Mike Ashley ready to green light summer spending as remodelling plans take shape

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is to allow six or seven summer signings in an effort to re-shape the squad

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley’s illogical actions suggest he doesn’t recognise Newcastle is more than just another of his businesses

Mike Ashley is ready to sanction several summer signings as part of a substantial re-shaping of the Newcastle United squad in the close season – with the Magpies working on a deal to bring Remy Cabella to St James’ Park.

The Journal understands that the first transfer summit addressing summer signings was a positive one, with United looking at around six targets in the close season.

Although any spending would have to fit the financial parameters of Ashley’s ownership, that would represent a major change of direction after two transfer windows when the club have done very limited business.

Club secretary Lee Charnley, who has been a front line presence in Newcastle matters since Derek Llambias left last year, appears to be a front-runner for a prominent role at the club. United are looking to appoint a managing director this summer.

Ashley was at the ground on Saturday to see Newcastle defeat Crystal Palace and spoke to Alan Pardew after the game. He has been supportive of the manager as he serves his stadium ban for clashing with David Meyler on the touchline at the KC Stadium earlier this month.

Assistant boss John Carver, who oversaw the team on Saturday, said: “It was great to see the owner here and show his support. Shows he is right behind us and supported us.”

As well as players coming in there is set to be a substantial cull of fringe squad players to relieve pressure on the wage bill with Steven Taylor made available, along with Gabriel Obertan. The club want Loic Remy but are making alternative plans in case Arsenal firm up their interest in the striker.

There was a public admission last week that Hatem Ben Arfa’s position was under question but after he made a fine impact as a second-half substitute on Saturday, there were more conciliatory words from Carver, who hailed the France forward as a “maverick”.

He said that Ben Arfa’s recent problems have been partly down to a family problem. He was given leave to go and support his mother in France last week.

Carver said: “Hatem is a bit like that, you have got to get inside his head. You have got to cuddle him.

“I am actually getting on quite well with him recently, probably the best I’ve ever got on with him.

“I have had a chance to sit down and talk to him. Obviously he had a few issues at home and it is well known that I have had family issues as well.

“So it was quite nice to sit down with him. He is quite a nice guy when you sit down with him and have a real conversation about family life, nothing to do with football. And that brought us closer together.”

Carver admits that he was feeling pressure on his shoulders after losing the first of his three games on the touchline. Newcastle play again tomorrow against Europa League-chasing Everton.

He said: “I have had an incredible month but you just have to deal with it. The result has really helped me a great deal because if we did not win the game, it would have been a little more pressure on me.

“Then you go into the Everton game on Tuesday with more pressure and you do feel it. I feel it because wherever I go – whether in the city, or the petrol station at home – I get it from all angles.

“I am not the manager but I am in that technical area and everyone is looking at you as the manager on the day – and then you take even more criticism, if that is possible.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer