It’s good to see that there has been some ‘Frank Dialogue’ following the Leicester City result….
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Newcastle United issuing the following statement:
“Following the result at Leicester City on Saturday, there has been two days of frank dialogue with John Carver and senior players.”
“The outcome of those discussions is that the board, John Carver, his staff and players are absolutely focused on our current situation and the three hugely-important fixtures that remain this season, two of which are at St. James’ Park.”
“All parties accept responsibility for the current situation but are determined, together, to ensure this Club – your Club – retains its Premier League status.
That is the only focus at this time.”
There should have been some frank dialogue following the previous 7 defeats in a row, indeed there should have been frank dialogue after another match at Leicester, the FA Cup defeat.
It is good to see that there is focus. I am reminded of some situations where we have watched the TV at home with absolute focus. One such occasion was watching a film that might be appropriate to refer to given the atmosphere in the stadium, the Silence of the Lambs.
Our focus has been intense. We have watched horrors unfold. Events were out of our control, in this case pre-destined by directors, producers and scriptwriters. Ultimately we did not change the outcome but retained our focus until the end.
At Newcastle United, some of us have tried to influence outcomes. There has been dialogue directly with the club and a voicing of opinion through social media and websites such as this. Just as the directors of the Silence of the Lambs were inaccessible to us, so the Directors of NUFC have made themselves similarly inaccessible.
The advice proffered by supporters has often been constructive. It reflects the passion of the region. It reflects experience of supporting the club through darker times than we see now.
The list of events that supporters have had legitimate concerns about, seems endless at times. Directly relevant to the current plight, highlighted by the statement, is net investment in the playing squad being negative since the first Ashley transfer window after taking over.
Social media, websites and direct contact have highlighted squad deficiencies at the start of the season. The lack of depth, both in defence and up front, were ignored by the Directors of the club. The chickens of failure and greed have come home to roost. We have let in too many goals and scored too few.
In the meantime, Ashley’s asset has increased in value. It has also increased in profitability. By any measure, such as Price/Earnings, such as revenue, such as profit and other criteria besides, Ashley can sell for much more now than the price he paid.
Has that been down to Ashley’s business expertise? The simple answer is a big fat NO. He bought an asset that was part of a media market that has boomed. Relative to his competitors in the Premier League, quality has not increased at the same pace. In a modern world that thrives on progress, his personal fortune has grown based on policies of stagnation at best and wilful, negligent holocaust at worst.
A good businessman has succession planning, has contingency planning, invests appropriately and engenders partnership working with its stakeholders. The Directors and owner of NUFC have done none of these.
West Ham’s Karren Brady famously labelled Ashley as a ‘chancer’.
The Keegan tribunal identified that Ashley and his regime misled supporters.
We saw no contingency planning for Pardew’s departure. The Directors and owner of the club have been architects of their own downfall.
Carver was never going to be right for the job. He comes from a school that instils values but that does not prepare for his current job. Everybody has a role in life and Carver’s is not as a Premier League manager. He even struggled in the MLS. That is not Carver’s fault. Newcastle United’s predicament is due to those who appointed him.
We are told that ‘All parties accept responsibility for the current situation’. If Ashley and Charnley had any sort of courage, they would spell that out. Ashley and Charnley, at least by implication, accept that they did not do enough to avert the situation that has now arisen. When they clarify that, they will be applauded.
In turn we are patronised by now being told that this is ‘your club’.
Our values would have rewarded Chris Hughton who achieved several milestones of excellence, including the first return to the top flight at the first attempt in Newcastle United’s history. He was not supported with a coach after Calderwood’s departure but was dumped.
We would not have appointed someone like Pardew, a classic flash in the pan manager to provide long-term stability.
We would have reinvested profits and cash surpluses in a squad that could be poised to take advantage of slips from those currently occupying top 4 places.
We would compete successfully in the transfer market with clubs who get less than half our support.
Pardew often said ‘we can’t compete with big clubs’. The truth is that the owner has chosen not to compete with small ambitious clubs.
The owner and directors of Newcastle United must go away, rewrite the statement and accept full responsibility, after all, they accept the financial rewards.
Actions speak louder than words. The time for platitudes is over,
Ashley and Charnley, you must deliver.