What appeared clear to just about everyone in the country has finally been confirmed. Once again the confirmation of Steve McClaren’s sacking managed to make TV and online news before NUFC made an official statement.
Sacked by telephone, reminiscent of the treatment of Jonas and Ryan last year, here is another victim of the Mike Ashley way of conducting business.
The brave new world some believed was about to be ushered in (after Ashley’s three minutes on Sky) was shown to be what it was with McClaren’s appointment – and how that was handled.
Six months and three refusals resulted in Carr and Charnley securing the man they (and you, no doubt) believed would lead this Club forward. McClaren’s record was seemingly being judged on his brief moments in the sun rather than his failings since.
True to form, the same men then went ahead and set in motion the buying of four players before the new ‘Coach’ had even arrived. Fast forward to January and in dire ongoing (for seasons) need for a quality striker, left-back and central defender, we instead signed another three midfield players and an unfit loan striker.
Granted, it seems McClaren got some of his way with Townsend and Shelvey, but another unneeded but from Ligue 1 and the curious case of Doumbia, showed Carr and Charnley’s tentacles were far from being prised from the Ashley model they continue to implement.
So, here we are all expecting Rafa to be appointed. If he is the right man at this time, or not, his pedigree for once cannot be questioned. But, and here’s the but, unless Ashley now dispenses with Charnley and Carr then I fail to see how any real change will actually take root.
If it is to be Rafa Benitez and he is granted full managerial responsibility with his own backroom team, Graham Carr is simply (and correctly) no longer required. The continued failure of the Managing Director, promoted far far above his worth or talent, also needs to be addressed. Unless Ashley takes action against those more responsible than Steve McClaren for the continued mess we are in, there can be no evidence of change. That includes first and foremost Ashley himself.
So, Mike, are you going to fall on your sword and accept the previous 8 years have been an unmitigated disaster? Look, we’ll grant you the acceptance of ‘steadying the ship’ financially and for making the club factually profitable – even though we’ll never forget the collapse of commercial revenue or the cheapening of our brand as a result of the blatant Sports Direct preferential treatment and exposure (let’s not get started on Wonga).
You made a statement last May (finally) and we are all here judging you on that – and quite rightly so. Whether you spent money this season simply to survive and enjoy the coming TV revenue, or you actually believed your ‘model’ would bring the success you alluded to, even you are going to have to accept that yourself and your ‘management’ are woefully unable to run and manage a football Club.
Bring in a real Managing Director.
Not Derek Llambias once again or some other crony – but a qualified and experienced person who will support your new manager in the interests of the football club and team – not the interests of MASH or Sports Direct.
The two are not incompatible; if the Club does well then so do your other interests on the back of it. But the football and the Club, for once, has to come first
Let us not see another repeat of the Kevin Keegan debacle. Back your Manager, let him manage, support him each season with funding on players – players he chooses to buy and sell in order to create a team which can finally achieve something far superior to what your own management has brought. As we all know and so should you now, your ownership model has thus far brought nothing but ridicule and failure.
The ball is back in your court, Mr. Ashley. Do the right thing and you may yet turn the tide of even your most diehard critics (of which I am one).
Fall back on your usual mistrust and need for complete control, and you will bring nothing but more failure.
We are watching and waiting…