Financial & Statistical Analysis: Why Are Domestic Cups Not a Priority Under Mike Ashley?


Much has been made recently about Newcastle United’s recent cup record (or rather lack of). If reports are to be believed Mike Ashley has made it clear to the NUFC boss that cups are not to be a priority, owing to the lack of financial gains to be had weighed against potential impact on our Premier League campaign – why?

Alan Pardew following our humiliating 3-1 loss to lower league Stevenage

Alan Pardew following our humiliating 3-1 loss to lower league Stevenage back in January 2011.

The League Cup winners receive £100,000 prize money. Runners up £50,000.

The FA Cup winners received £2,000,000 prize money. Runners up £1,000,000.

Premier League television rights is believed to be worth £60m-£97m alone, depending on the number of televised matches (figures based on highest and lowest values from the 13/14 season here: http://www.caughtoffside.com/2014/05/12/liverpool-top-and-arsenal-fourth-in-premier-leagues-tv-money-table/20/)

On top of the television money there is a cash prize is awarded depending on final Premier League position (worth approximately £752,000 per place). So, a 10th place finish landed us in the region of £7,520,000 prize money.

In the eyes of Mike Ashley the financial implications makes domestic cup competitions an unwanted distraction. For the dreamers amongst us however, the magic of the cup is still very much alive.

So just how bad have we been in domestic cups since Alan Pardew arrived? Here’s every fixture since he replaced Chris Hughton in December 2010:

2014/15
03/01/14 – FA Cup 3rd round – Leicester (A) – 0-1 defeat
17/02/14 – League Cup 5th round – Tottenham (A) – 0-4 defeat
29/10/14 – League Cup 4th round – Manchester City (A) – 2-0 win
24/09/14 – League Cup 3rd round – Crystal Palace (A) – 3-2 (AET) win
26/08/14 – League Cup 2nd round – Gillingham (A) – 1-0 win

2013/14
04/01/14 – FA Cup 3rd round – Cardiff City (H) – 1-2 defeat
30/10/13 – League Cup 4th round – MCFC (H) – 0-2 (AET) defeat
25/09/13 – League Cup 3rd round – Leeds (H) – 2-0 win
28/08/13 – League Cup 2nd round – Morecambe (A) – 2-0 win

2012/13
05/01/13 – FA Cup 3rd round – Brighton (A) – 0-2 defeat
26/09/12 – League Cup 2nd round – MUFC (A) – 1-2 defeat

2011/12
28/01/12 – FA Cup 4th round – Brighton (A) – 0-1 defeat
07/01/12 – FA Cup 3rd round – Blackburn (H) – 2-1 win
27/10/11 – League Cup 4th round – Blackburn (A) – 1-3 (AET) defeat
20/09/11 – League Cup 3rd round – Nottingham Forest (A) – 4-3 (AET) win
25/08/11 – League Cup 2nd round – Scunthorpe (A) – 2-1 (AET) win

2010/11
08/01/11 – FA Cup 3rd round – Stevenage (A) – 1-3 defeat

Overall record: P17, W8, D0, L9, GF22, GA27

The most damning deduction we can make from this is that under Alan Pardew Newcastle United have never went beyond the 5th round of any domestic cup competition.

With regards to our shortcomings in cup competitions, it’s important to remember that historically we’re not exactly the most illustrious side; our last major competition win came in 1969 when we won the Fairs Inter Cities Cup, and our last domestic cup win way back in 1955.

Last FA Cup win: 1955 (Runners up 1974, 1998, 1999)
Last League Cup win: N/A (Runners up 1976)

Under Mike Ashley’s stewardship I personally cannot see NUFC making any significant strides to correct our long wait absent silverware (45 years since our last major competition win and 59 since our last domestic cup win). Unfortunately this seems to be part and parcel of being an NUFC fan. We can but hope.

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2 responses to “Financial & Statistical Analysis: Why Are Domestic Cups Not a Priority Under Mike Ashley?

  1. This is all well and good but good players want to win honours, and look back on a decorated career with medals and memories.
    12th place TV money doesn’t attract ambitious professionals who are hungry for honours.
    We’ll never get anywhere with this guy in charge. Keegan was spot on.

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    • Couldn’t agree more – Newcastle has become nothing more than a pay rise or a stepping stone club. Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye & Loic Remy to name but a few. Scary when you look back on the amount of talent that has left us recently. Pardew says we can’t challenge for top 6th – forgetting that we finished 5th (albeit by fluke) then sold half our team. Why didn’t we build on that? Imagine the team we COULD’VE had, plus European qualification? Increased global exposure for Mr Ashley’s brand plus money from European campaign (Champions League?). Alas, we’re content with mid-table mediocrity. Typical NUFC.

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