Mike Ashley has got where he is today in the business world and elsewhere, via a ruthlessness that has seen him devour competitors, defy parliament, exploit the vast majority of his staff and generally steamroller over anybody who stands in his way or questions his behaviour.
So what a delicious irony when his past actions start to bite back…
In the business world he is not getting all his own way, as rivals and companies that he has aggressively taken a stake in, are not just lying down and taking it now.
Whilst in the football world, Rangers are proving to be more than a minor irritation, with the pesky annoyance of shareholders getting in the way of Mike Ashley’s route to controlling that particular club.
At Newcastle United we don’t have the luxury of widespread share ownership, with Ashley owning it 100%.
However, fans have started to put big cracks in his essential necessity of needing packed stands as a backdrop to the free worldwide advertising given over to his core business empire.
With gates now regularly four or five thousand under capacity, if a similar number walk away due to his cynical management of the club, he will have serious problems with use of NUFC to promote Sports Direct and the rest.
More immediate of course is the desperate state/position the Newcastle team/squad are in, a relegation battle brought about by Ashley’s failure to allow proper investment in the team over a number of years.
Steve McClaren is no rallying point for Ashley/the club/the fans, whilst the least said the better about Lee Charnley or indeed the owner himself.
Most normal clubs in this situation would be looking at who they could call on to help bridge that gap, to bring fans and the management together for the good of the football club…
Respected figures who the supporters trust because of the goodwill they have built up over the years, independent figures who attract instant respect and can instantly get a reaction.
I wonder who fits that description when it comes to Newcastle United…?
In the past, people such as Jackie Milburn and Joe Harvey were called on in times of strife to help bring everybody together for a common cause, as the club faced yet another crisis.
When Mike Ashley looks around him, no doubt his eyes may alight on Bobby Moncur and Peter Beardsley, undoubtedly two playing legends of the club.
However, when it comes to credibility with the supporters, their stock is virtually zero.
Employees of Mike Ashley, they have earned their positions by speaking up against the views of the masses, regularly defending the owner of the football club, their boss.
The real irony is that there are only two people who fit the bill and they have earned that respect from the fans, due to their actions both on and off the pitch.
Due to not selling their souls, this pair instantly get the attention of Newcastle fans of all ages, they speak and we listen.
Needing no introduction, step forward Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.
Yes, the two people who could well have been capable of doing the job. Not talking necessarily about managing the team or even a role which has anything to do directly with the team.
By simply having one or both of Keegan and Shearer onboard, Mike Ashley could have found an instant answer for so much of his troubles at Newcastle.
However, due to the usual disgusting way he treats those he ‘does business’ with, the owner of Newcastle United has alienated the two people he needs the very most now.
Kevin Keegan was lied to and undermined by Mike Ashley and his pathetic cronies, in particular Dennis Wise, winning his day in court against the treatment he endured at the club.
Whilst Alan Shearer was willing to take on the thankless and near impossible task of trying to motivate an absolutely rotten dressing room, the result once again of Mike Ashley’s mismanagement of the club and his involvement of the likes of Wise and Joe Kinnear at the club.
The team were relegated despite Shearer’s last gasp intervention and Mike Ashley then asked the Newcastle legend to put together a plan of how to get the club back into the Premier League.
Alan Shearer proceeded to do this and that was the last he ever heard, Mike Ashley not even having the courtesy/respect to even get back to the club legend who had taken on the thankless short-term/contract of trying to save the team.
Mike Ashley is now finding out what all bullies eventually do, when times get tough you have no real friends to call on.
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