You’ve just got to love Mike Ashley, haven’t you. I mean, he’s just a natural born punk rocker.
You see, there are some people in this world who don’t really care about people, but who pretend that they do (I suspect Alan Pardew is one of those).
And there are some other people who like to pretend that they don’t care what people think about them, but deep down you suspect they really do (Jose Mourinho, maybe). But your natural born punk rocker genuinely doesn’t give a sh*t, and he doesn’t care who knows it.
I like to imagine Mike sitting in his office high in St James’.
The office is lined in purple velvet. He spins a disc – maybe ‘New Rose’ in coloured vinyl. He swivels round in his chair and looks out the window. Then he sees us down below, shaking our little fists, waving our little banners, our faces purple with fury. And he leans back in his chair, laughs long and loud, farts outrageously, and reaches for his Ginsters slice.
Alex Ferguson – he was another natural born punk, with a thirst for pointless confrontation, and a delight in nurturing obscure personal grudges for years and years and years after everyone (probably including himself) had forgotten what they were about.
But back to the point. I give you three classic examples of Mike Ashley’s punk sensibilities:
“We need somebody to replace Keegan. They all loved him didn’t they. But who? Let’s see. I know, what about that idiot we met down the pub the other night – what was his name – Kinnear? Ha ha ha ha ha.”
I imagine the conversation between our glorious leader and Derek Lambias:
“Mr Ashley, sir – the natives are getting really restless. I really would strongly advise you to do something to improve your public profile and to increase your popularity with these people.” “Ok then Derek – your advice is duly noted – so what I’m going to do is……appoint Joe Kinnear…..again!!!! HAHAHAHAHA.”
Having taken 3 points from the first 5 games of the new season, popular unrest seethes around St James’s Park. Our famously secretive leader is spotted by a passing hack having a pint with a friend outside a pub in Soho. The hack knows that Ashley never speaks to the press, but thinks he’ll chance his arm –
“What are you going to do about Alan Pardew?” he asks.
To his astonishment he gets a reply “If we lose against Stoke he’s gone – dead – finished” (accompanied with a dramatic throat-slitting gesture).
Barely able to contain his excitement, said hack rushes off to flog his story. Mike finishes his pint. His pal probably says to him
“You didn’t ought to have said that Mike – it’ll be all over the papers tomorrow”.
And I like to think Mike might have replied:
“As if I’m bothered…Pardew’ll be shi**ing it when he hears!…..HAHAHAHAHA – I’ll have another snakebite if you’re getting them in.”
Of course, as we all know, we did lose against Stoke, and….nothing happened.
So, at St James’ Park rest assured that ‘Punk’s Not Dead’ – even if hope, excitement and ambition certainly are!