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Where's The Money Gone?

When Mike Ashley opens his wallet, dust flies out.

Newcastle United v Cardiff City - Premier League
Where s the money Mike?
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It's been on the lips of Newcastle United supporters for years, with an average annual net spend of just £2.6 million, where has the money gone?

During the last twelve years under Mike Ashley's ownership Newcastle have suffered two relegations and are surely on their way for a third, especially if the current circumstances don't change soon.

OLY-2012-FBL-VENUES Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP/Getty Images

The club have had just one finish higher than ninth place during that time. For the majority of the last twelve years, Newcastle have been fighting relegation.

In April this year, Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley had stated:

“As a result of the repayment, the amount due to the owner now stands at £111m, all of which is considered, by the owner, to be long term in nature having been in place for over a decade, and repayable only in the event of the sale of the club."

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Ashley inherited £76 million of Newcastle United's debt, since then there has been a £35 million rise in that debt with the club only recently paying back some of the money owed.

Having already sold Ayoze Perez for £30 million, the club announced the sale of Joselu to Alaves for a reported fee just shy of £2 million. Newcastle are the only side in the Premier League not to make a new signing. The club are also saving money after being unable to agree a new contract with former manager, Rafael Benitez. Midfielder Mo Diame has also been released while former loanee Salomon Rondon returned to his parent club, West Brom.

Leicester City Unveil New Signing Ayoze Perez Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

According to Chronicle writer Lee Ryder, the club will put any money generated from player sales into the transfer budget. However, that has rarely happened in the last twelve years and it's doubtful that will change.

With the arrival of Steve Bruce imminent, following his decision to resign as manager of Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle will reportedly make him the lowest paid manager in the Premier League. Another cost cutting exercise by the club.

Lincoln City v Sheffield Wednesday - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

There IS money there for the club to spend, having raked in £238.2 million over the last two seasons in the Premier League. It is heartbreaking for Newcastle supporters who turn up every week, only to see their beloved club to take one backward step after another.

The reason Newcastle are not spending money and have rarely done so in the last twelve years is that Mike Ashley simply does not want to. The Newcastle owner is happy for the club to just survive in the Premier League. Having this as an ambition will see the club continue to go backwards.

FBL-ENG-PR-ASTON VILLA-NEWCASTLE Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Newcastle only have 27 players in their squad, 6 of whom were all on loan to another club last season. That is no way to prepare for a new season in the Premier League.

Next season looks as though it will be the toughest under Ashley. Stagnant, a dissolution fan base, facilities desperately in need of an update and over 13,000 unsold season tickets, Newcastle United are in free fall.