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Ashton's Neglect


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1 hour ago, Hampshire Red said:

Gamon has a very short memory or is very young. Do you remeber the Cup run, beating Man U, giving Man C a harder game than most prem clubs do and LJ taking us to the heights of the Championship when we expected to win every game? We have gone downhill since then and no single coach, player (nor MA) is to'blame' for that. We all know SL found MA to be the first person in football he could really trust and in your personal world one should think about that.

Most people on here seem happy to criticise MAand for some reason are happy to ignore and forget the good players he brought in and the great deals he did selling players for good money to fit the business model. Complaining about an ex boss at the club has become one of the biggest yawns on here. Let's get this terrible home run under NP sorted out before forgetting where we were at pressing the top of the Championshi

See you tonight? CoYRS

I personally agree with most of what you say despite the many who have since derided it, regardless of whether you are for or against though I do think that as a forum we really need to move on from MA / LJ as I struggle to find many threads where either of them aren't mentioned even now.

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2 hours ago, CyderInACan said:

I'd imagine that what he says publicly is somewhat poles apart from his private view. 

While i dont disagree with the general consensus about ashton, i dont see why lansdown would come out publicly to support ashton if he couldnt stand him privately,,, surely he wouldnt bother saying anything about him if he wanted to remain professional, but couldnt stand him

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17 minutes ago, Dolman_Stand said:

I personally agree with most of what you say despite the many who have since derided it, regardless of whether you are for or against though I do think that as a forum we really need to move on from MA / LJ as I struggle to find many threads where either of them aren't mentioned even now.

Thing is, it's being discussed still, purely because of the consequences its had on our football club. It's set us back years, so of course we're still going to discuss it, as it's one of the most important things that's happened to our club in recent years.

LJ/MA spent an absolute fortune on players, now we barely have a pot to piss in, but we've got an absolute class manager in (finally), so it's all going to be talking points still, one that I think brings in good discussions. 

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3 minutes ago, Akira said:

Thing is, it's being discussed still, purely because of the consequences its had on our football club. It's set us back years, so of course we're still going to discuss it, as it's one of the most important things that's happened to our club in recent years.

LJ/MA spent an absolute fortune on players, now we barely have a pot to piss in, but we've got an absolute class manager in (finally), so it's all going to be talking points still, one that I think brings in good discussions. 

Yest they did under the guidelines set out for them by SL and also on the basis that there were large transfer fee's recouped along the way to pay for it, as for our current financial standing how much of that is down to MA and how much is down to Covid is a very blurred line but we still spent more on transfer fee's than the majority of the division this summer (especially if you take out the clubs on parachute payments) so I'm not sure we are comparitively worse off than anyone else. Improved contracts are also being handed out to the likes of Scott and apparently Pring despite there not necessarily being a need to in terms of expiry dates.

I just find it all a bit strange and wearing that every time a positive performance or interview lands its instant met with "we would never have got this from LJ / MA" whereas that simply isn't true...were they perfect? Absolutely not but nothing is in life and that particular cycle had just run its course. I can't remember such vitriol and ill feeling ever being given to any other individuals in my time watching City despite us never having been a genuinely mid to upper table Championship club previously.

IMO LJ went at the right time and at that point although we were showing signs of decline and performances hadn't been fantastic for a little while the whole club wasn't broken to the point it was at the end of last season...the Holden appointment that caused the issues and should never happened, we will probably never know who drove that decision. On the flip side I don't think we have "been set back years" and with Pearson at the helm I am hopeful that by the end of this season and definetley next we will be on an upward trajectory again.

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7 minutes ago, Son of Fred said:

Where would we be without SL????

Who knows - but I'm happy he's here....

His judgement though has to be seen as questionable.

We would be in the same place probably 

SL decision making at this club leaves a lot to be desired - there is no strategy 

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5 minutes ago, Son of Fred said:

Where would we be without SL????

Who knows - but I'm happy he's here....

His judgement though has to be seen as questionable.

Did SL once say that the buck stops with him?

No wonder he has stayed tight lipped about his 2 wonder boys that failed him so badly.

Without SLs support I dread to think where our club would be today!

COYR

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3 hours ago, Hampshire Red said:

Gamon has a very short memory or is very young. Do you remeber the Cup run, beating Man U, giving Man C a harder game than most prem clubs do and LJ taking us to the heights of the Championship when we expected to win every game? We have gone downhill since then and no single coach, player (nor MA) is to'blame' for that. We all know SL found MA to be the first person in football he could really trust and in your personal world one should think about that.

Most people on here seem happy to criticise MAand for some reason are happy to ignore and forget the good players he brought in and the great deals he did selling players for good money to fit the business model. Complaining about an ex boss at the club has become one of the biggest yawns on here. Let's get this terrible home run under NP sorted out before forgetting where we were at pressing the top of the Championshi

See you tonight? CoYRS

Bingo!

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40 minutes ago, Son of Fred said:

Where would we be without SL????

Who knows - but I'm happy he's here....

His judgement though has to be seen as questionable.

I agree.

As to where we'd be without SL? Who knows.

Personally, I'm looking forward to where we'll end up with Pearson running the team and Gould ably looking after the other stuff.

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3 minutes ago, gamon said:

I agree.

As to where we'd be without SL? Who knows.

Personally, I'm looking forward to where we'll end up with Pearson running the team and Gould ably looking after the other stuff.

I get the feeling Nige is running a lot more than the first team.

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1 hour ago, Dolman_Stand said:

Yest they did under the guidelines set out for them by SL and also on the basis that there were large transfer fee's recouped along the way to pay for it, as for our current financial standing how much of that is down to MA and how much is down to Covid is a very blurred line but we still spent more on transfer fee's than the majority of the division this summer (especially if you take out the clubs on parachute payments) so I'm not sure we are comparitively worse off than anyone else. Improved contracts are also being handed out to the likes of Scott and apparently Pring despite there not necessarily being a need to in terms of expiry dates.

I just find it all a bit strange and wearing that every time a positive performance or interview lands its instant met with "we would never have got this from LJ / MA" whereas that simply isn't true...were they perfect? Absolutely not but nothing is in life and that particular cycle had just run its course. I can't remember such vitriol and ill feeling ever being given to any other individuals in my time watching City despite us never having been a genuinely mid to upper table Championship club previously.

IMO LJ went at the right time and at that point although we were showing signs of decline and performances hadn't been fantastic for a little while the whole club wasn't broken to the point it was at the end of last season...the Holden appointment that caused the issues and should never happened, we will probably never know who drove that decision. On the flip side I don't think we have "been set back years" and with Pearson at the helm I am hopeful that by the end of this season and definetley next we will be on an upward trajectory again.

I think you are right to raise / debate what you have above, it ain’t black and white is it?

I will always try to present a balance in my “arguments” for and against, might not feel an even balance.  In Mark Ashton’s case, the view is grey, but imho it’s dark grey, rather than light grey.  Others may see it the other way, that’s when good discussion can be held.  I think we hit poor discussion when posters can only look at it from one side.  It is fine to disagree with the other side but try to explain why is helpful.

FWIW, we did stay within FFP, so you can rightly argue that he only spent what he brought in.  My side of this debate is that with a diminishing squad in terms of asset value, the ability to sell players to cover the costs was trending towards coming to a head.  Covid has sped that up, Covid is not the root cause, “reckless” spending is the root cause.  That spending has been the focus of mine since the window of Jan 2018. My analysis over the months since reached a conclusion that the trend did not look good.  Rising costs, less players / less value to offset costs with player sales.

I think Mark Ashton saw that happening and bailed on us (and his responsibilities too).  He rode the good times and was a busted flush here as the going began to get tough.

He’s jumped ship to a club about to ride a big wave of investment.  He’s an opportunist is a polite way of putting it.

Just to follow up on your point RW this summer’s signing - the reason Nige has spent a few quid on transfers is because:

  • he’s cut the wage bill (Bristol Post suggesting by a third - no mean feat, I’m not sure it’s quite that high from my estimates)
  • he’s cut amortisation millstone going forward by about £6m p.a for the next two seasons, and another £5.5m in 23/24

Mark Ashton loaded the accounts with future costs.  It looks great to make £25m net in player sales in the 19/20 season, but if you spend £25m on fees plus all the other associated costs, you load costs in over future years.

Under MA with LJ and DH (even though DH wasn’t given much in way of transfer funds) they retained a large playing squad at a huge cost, disproportionate to income, and therefore the only way of staying “in budget / FFP” was to sell players.

Early days indeed, but not unreasonable to say we might well be getting more for our money with Nige in charge.

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7 minutes ago, spudski said:

Putting your trust in MA to run the club, when you have a son as managing director of the club seems all at odds...what does he manage or direct? Serious question...you'd think he'd be the go between, eyes and ears for SL. 

There are none so blind as those who will not see

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10 minutes ago, spudski said:

I'd love to know what he actually does on a day to day basis. 

Firstly he stares at himself in the mirror, then drives to Portman Rd in his top of the range Merc. Then poses and looks at himself at every opportunity and he struts about the place charming but conning all at the same time.

Then he makes statements like “it’s communication, not consultation” when making major decisions.

Then he goes home………..and repeats it all again the next day.

Edited by Robbored
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5 hours ago, Hampshire Red said:

Gamon has a very short memory or is very young. Do you remeber the Cup run, beating Man U, giving Man C a harder game than most prem clubs do and LJ taking us to the heights of the Championship when we expected to win every game? We have gone downhill since then and no single coach, player (nor MA) is to'blame' for that. We all know SL found MA to be the first person in football he could really trust and in your personal world one should think about that.

Most people on here seem happy to criticise MAand for some reason are happy to ignore and forget the good players he brought in and the great deals he did selling players for good money to fit the business model. Complaining about an ex boss at the club has become one of the biggest yawns on here. Let's get this terrible home run under NP sorted out before forgetting where we were at pressing the top of the Championshi

See you tonight? CoYRS

I think most will recognise MA’s skill as a negotiator and his ability to secure some eye watering fees for player sales. However, I think you are interpreting SL’s sustainability strategy a little to generously in Ashton’s favour. 

SL recognised that we could not continue as we had been, with the owner just pouring more of his money into the club to cover losses, resulting from recruiting journeymen pros on big wages and impossible to ship out easily.. Not just that, but the introduction of ffp meant that he could not continue to do that without penalties resulting.

As I saw it, the strategy, as far as player recruitment was concerned, was in 2 parts.

1. The academy, in which ffp allowed SL to invest, would be a focus for our own young players able to develop into first team players and in so doing saving the club money in terms of transfer fees and inflated wages necessary for more experienced players. If, as in the case of the likes of Bryan and Kelly, they developed well enough, but had the chance to move to bigger and better clubs, then we would secure a profit with transfer fees received.

2. Focussing on younger players, costing initially less in transfer fees and wages, able to compete for a first team place but if they developed and wanted to move to bigger and better, could be sold for a profit.

Both options would help reduce the wage bill and  transfer fees received would help reduce losses and provide funds to further develop and enhance the playing squad. 

The majority of Ashton’s spectacular sales successes came from players he didn't bring to the club. The success we are now seeing with players coming through the academy ( Pring, Scott and more to come) can hardly be attributed to Ashton - although I suspect he would claim full responsibility and credit  for the academy’s success. 

Had we continued buying and selling as we did with Flint (replacing him with the cheaper but better Webster), then we wouldn't be having this discussion. However, under Ashton’s watch, he garnered a bloated squad , with too many average players, too many midfielders that we pretty similar to each other and, crucially, a bulging wage bill. The latter meant that profits from player sales were then needed to stem growing losses. Instead of being a means to an end, selling players for a profit become an end in itself in order to keep losses within ffp limits.

I agree that it now seems that SL invested too much trust in MA ( and whatever he might say publicly, I suspect in private he feels let down). However, in the longer term I think the club is better off without Ashton and the “family and friends” employment agency he seemed to be running while here. In Pearson we have a manager with experience who is moving us forward in the right direction, a new chief exec who is neither seen or heard, but gets on with his job and a medical team that is keeping players on the pitch, rather than in the treatment room. 

 

 

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