Revealed! New study shows the real decline of Newcastle United under Mike Ashley's ownership - on and off the pitch

A recent study has highlighted Newcastle United’s decline under Mike Ashley – both in the Premier League and transfer window.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 4:00 pm
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley bought the club in 2007. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

When the Sports Direct tycoon acquired the Magpies in May 2007, supporters predicted an exciting future due to his billionaire wealth.

However, it has turned out to be anything but as United swiftly regressed from European contenders to relegation battlers.

Two relegations to the Championship and a third possibly impending, is just one of the number of factors that have contributed to the club’s fall from grace under Ashley.

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Newcastle United's average league position has dropped by six places since Mike Ashley became owner.

Research from Vanquis has analysed 30 billionaire takeovers – including Newcastle – from across Europe’s top five leagues by delving into each team’s performance before and after the change of ownership.

As well as league position, the study has also tracked just how much money has been spent in the transfer market.

And as expected, it’s painful viewing for Newcastle United

Starting with league position, only Fulham and West Bromwich Albion have suffered more since their billionaire takeovers.

Newcastle United's annual net spend has fallen by £7.9million under Ashley.

Fulham, under Shahid Khan, have dropped 17 places from their average league position, while Lai Guochuan’s Baggies’ have fallen by seven places.

Newcastle, alongside Southampton, both dropped six positions in the years following the takeovers.

Indeed, 59% of clubs tend to show an improvement in their average league position after being taken over by wealthy owners, with 7% remaining the same and 34% seeing a drop in position.

Meanwhile, the Magpies’ annual net spend has fallen by £7.9million under Ashley – the second-largest decrease in the whole study.

Bundesliga side Hoffenheim saw the sharpest fall in transfer budgets, with their average dropping by £19.5m since Dietmar Hopp became majority owner in 2015.

In total, 30% of the clubs in the study saw a reduction in their net spend. The figure drops to 25% alone when focussing on Premier League clubs only.

Southampton and Crystal Palace feature in the bottom five places with Newcastle, Their decrease weighs in at £4.7m and £4.4m, respectively.

Manchester City – which may be a good parameter for Newcastle if the takeover led by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia is approved – saw the biggest boost following Sheikh Mansour’s arrival.

Their transfer budget increased by a staggering £89m.