Mike Ashley, the billionaire controller of Newcastle United, is preventing the club from reaching its true potential.
Following his purchase of the club outright in July 2007, Ashley has raised a grand total of £149 million through the sale of player (07/08 season - present) whilst spending only £125 million on players (that we know about).
If we factor in the potential value of undisclosed fees, then we see that over the course of the seven seasons, Ashley has invested very little in the actual club, with the two figures almost in equilibrium.
This stagnation in spending has naturally lead to a stagnation in results, since for the six seasons during Ashley's reign they have been in the Premier League, they have an unremarkable average finish of 12th.
That said, throughout their time under Ashley, Newcastle have shown glimmers of promise, most notably in the 2011-12 season, finishing fifth, and nabbing a Europa League spot in the process.
It seems that if only Ashley was willing to spend a little more on his team, rather than relying on the float created by the sale of players, then he could bring some fresh faces into the mix, attract a new footballing clientèle, and take the Toon to dizzying new heights.
Newcastle fans everywhere will be hoping that the at times controversial owner will pull through for the club, and give them the financial injection they both need and deserve, in an effort to combat the stagnation.
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