Mike Ashley has his say . NEWCASTLE UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB - Official Statement The Board of Newcastle United Football Club whilst celebrating winning the Football League Championship 2009-2010 are aware that the next season in the Barclays Premier League presents a challenge to all at the Club. The Board recognises that one of the greater elements of this challenge is to promote stability throughout the organisation. This great club has not won a major trophy since the 1969 victory in the European Fairs Cup. The first challenge is to maintain Premier League status. Given the situation, and the fact that Newcastle United have continually been misrepresented by the national media over the past decade, the club now feels that it is the correct time to send a clear message to its magnificent supporters who have kept faith with the club over the past forty years and also to send out a clear message to all branches of the media about the club's plans for the next five years both on and off the field of play. Finances The Club presented its financial report to Companies House this April for the year 2008/2009. The financial report shows that there was an operating loss of £37.7 million for that year and an estimated loss for 2009/2010 of £32.5 million. Newcastle United also has an overdraft of £20 million that is fully committed. It is clear to the Board that no organisation can be successful, until the financial position is stabilised. The Board have therefore structured a five year plan in which the ultimate goal will be to ensure that the club is run at a "break even" manner by the year 2015/2016. The club also wishes it to be known; in an effort to stop the untrue rumours and stories that emanate from outside Newcastle United that: • The Board have set a five year plan to promote core values of credibility, viability and sustainability both on and off the field of play at Newcastle United. • The Board will concentrate on Newcastle United's stability by promoting from within where possible. Football (a) Manager Chris Hughton is the Manager of Newcastle United Football Club and has a contract in place until the end of the 2010/2011 season. All media articles and interviews regarding footballing matters will come through the Newcastle United Media Officer, and be answered by the Manager and/or coaching staff with the Manager's authority. The Manager can give interviews in respect of footballing issues and any other sporting issues that the press may be interested in around Newcastle United Football Club. No interviews will be given by any members of the Board in respect of any footballing issues. (b) Players The first team squad that won the Championship this year will form the basis of the team for next season in the Premier League. There is no plan for new capital outlay on players. The only individuals who will talk about player issues will be those connected with the football administration of the Club i.e. the Manager/Assistant Manager by way of either direct interview or through prepared statements via Newcastle United Football Club's Media Officer. There will be no comment from the Board regarding the purchase of players. There will be no comment from the Board regarding the sale of players. There will be no comment from the Board regarding ongoing contract talks with players presently at Newcastle United Football Club or with those that the club may enter into negotiation with. There will be no comment from the Board regarding current pay structures at Newcastle United. There will be no comment from the Board regarding players at other clubs in respect of their "interest" at playing for Newcastle United. There will be no comment from the Board to players' agents regarding any of the above whether those agents are acting for their clients in a buying or selling capacity. Player Agents: (a) Buying Agents: The Board will not make any comment to the media regarding any players that they are seeking to purchase. The Board will deal with agents on their fixed terms of business and part of those terms will include clauses relating to privacy. (b) Selling Agents: The Board will not comment to the media regarding any players being sold by Newcastle United and the Board will deal with agents on the usual terms of business including explicit terms of privacy. Promoting regional football The Board and supporters are aware that Newcastle United currently has a footballing academy brimming with talent, skill and dedication. As part of Newcastle United's quest for a team that truly represents the values of the Geordie nation the club will look to promote, where it can, from within and for the academy to become a leading light as one of the best if not the best in the UK. The days when players such as Alan Shearer, Steve Bruce, Peter Beardsley and Michael Carrick had to leave Newcastle to begin their illustrious football careers elsewhere are over. Newcastle United is more than aware of the great passion for the game of football that exists locally and is intent on ensuring that every great Geordie footballer has the opportunity to play for his home team club. Media The Board at Newcastle United wish to reiterate the points made above that there will not be at any stage in the future any comments coming from the Board regarding any issues surrounding Newcastle United save for prepared statements that are issued by the Newcastle United Media Officer. Once again, for the sake of clarity, this does not affect the Manager and coaching staff talking to the press/media about footballing matters on an everyday basis. The Board are being absolutely transparent in respect of this policy and would ask that the press/media direct any future questions that they may have regarding Newcastle United to our media officer. The Future In simple terms this is a transparent policy that will feed through and inform all aspects of the running of Newcastle United Football Club's first team. There will be no comments from any member of Newcastle United's Board in the future regarding any issues surrounding Newcastle United to the press/media at large. The only persons dealing with such information to the media will be, as has been stated before, the Manager/coaching staff talking about footballing matters and issues or from prepared statements from Newcastle United's Media Officer. The Board at Newcastle United have issued this statement to the public to set out clearly to one and all the current financial situation and to state clearly that every effort will be made by the Board to achieve a "break even" financial situation by 2015. Newcastle United Football Club is an organisation that holds a special place in the hearts of Geordies worldwide and the Board understands that it is they who are the spiritual torch holders of Newcastle United Football Club. The Board has made this statement so that all those involved with Newcastle United be they supporter, member of the media or an individual with an interest in football can be aware of what the Board will strive to achieve over the next five years.