Karren Brady sent out a warning to Mike Ashley back in December.

The West Ham Vice-Chair had already previously expressed her bemusement at the way the Newcastle United owner ran the club, before then giving Ashley further advice.

With Newcastle struggling against relegation three months ago, Karren Brady had questioned the position of Steve McClaren and his excuses for the club’s failings.

Brady also saying that changes had to be made to the squad in January to avoid disaster.

Karren Brady – December 2015:

“Newcastle are going through an abysmal time, despite boss Steve McClaren saying ‘we are doing the right things every day’, bar matchday, I guess.

“Owner Mike Ashley has to try to rectify things in the January transfer window, or accept one of our great clubs is on the road to relegation.”

January did see Jonjo Shelvey brought in, plus Andros Townsend late on, though there were also the more puzzling signings of Seydou Doumbia and Henri Saivet – the latter pair only playing two and a half hours (176 minutes) of Premier League football between them for Newcastle so far.

However, despite Steve McClaren’s shocking management and continuing less than convincing excuses, it took a further couple of months to get a change at the top, with only 10 games remaining.

Karren Brady says that her information is that Mike Ashley stepped back from the process and allegedly didn’t play a role in getting rid of McClaren or choosing Benitez.

The Hammers’ vice-chair sees Rafa Benitez as a proper manager at last for Newcastle and confirmation that Mike Ashley has ‘ditched’ the stupid system that McClaren operated under, just like Carver and Pardew before him.

Karren Brady writing in The Sun today:

“My understanding is Newcastle owner Mike Ashley took no part in getting rid of head coach Steve McClaren, or in the appointment of Rafa Benitez.

“Indeed, the Spaniard said he had not even met the billionaire Sports Direct boss.

“Ashley decided last summer to divorce himself from policy-making and gave chief exec Lee Charnley responsibility.

“Benitez is respected enough for the club to ditch the system that made McClaren more of a senior employee with special responsibilities than proper manager. The way you might run the gas board or a girls’ school, I think.

“Benitez is full blown, all right.”