But with chief executive Derek Llambias reassuring the fans that: “We continue to demonstrate on-field ambition,” the fans know the warning signs.
Let's admit it - no matter what Llambias or Ashley say - we continue to be a SELLING CLUB and we are as far away from success as we were in the dark days of the late 1980s.
Ashley wants success, I'm sure of that, but his continued defiance of economic laws is tearing the heart out of the club.
Fans' favourites Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan and Demba Ba called time on the club, and with relegation looming, watch the big names leg it!
It means begging, stealing or borrowing on the strength of the whopping TV deal that kicks in next season, in the hope of giving the squad strength to climb out of the shit.
Do so and the Magpies future could be transformed into something special. Fail to, and it may be transformed into something dismal.
If Alan Pardew goes (on HIS terms) it will be because he lacks the will for another cycle of penny-pinching re-building.
If he gets pushed - and that eight year deal is not worth the paper it is written on - it will be another "yes man" who (like Pardew) kisses Ashley's fat arse!
This is a massive month for Ashley. When the board must decide if nothing but the best, or the mediocre, will do.