Football media is awash with analysis of where things went wrong with Newcastle United.
Lee Charnley deemed us worthy of another Big Brother style email on Wednesday night questioning that same point, while paying lip service to the very supporters he refuses to meet or actually speak with, let alone listen to (irony or what?). The NUFC Fans Forum now has a format of which surely even Stalin would have been proud.
Well, to the wider world, media, pundits / ex-players and all with a snout in the trough of football, here is the answer. What went wrong is Mike Ashley!
The Newcastle United support has been divided by Ashley since he arrived. Some people who supply comment on this site have defended the owner as some form of benevolent uncle who saved us from ‘doing a Leeds’ (or many other clubs who have suffered such demise).
I’d ask how stupid does that argument once again sound right now, at our second relegation (and several escapes) in the nine years of Mike Ashley’s reign.
Newcastle United is heading into territory from which it may not escape for many years. Any true fan or pundit knows that. Our first team is not capable of challenging for anything and our ‘squad’ has been a joke for years.
Our so called benevolent owner publicly declared recently that the kitty is bare after panic induced consecutive window spending sprees. This, overseen by his utterly clueless ‘Board’ members, or so he would wish some to believe – and it is a fact many actually believed him.
NUFC has a Board which has no Finance Director – Irving left after Pardew and has yet to be replaced. Strange? Yes of course it is (who is responsible for our finances?) – until you realise and accept Ashley did exactly the same with Sports Direct and that is a PLC.
SD had no CFO for 18 months before an ‘insider’ was appointed on a temporary basis. He’s still there.
NUFC has suffered from the strangest appointments ever made, be that at executive or team management level. The Club has been sued twice and lost both times and once again the insinuation was made that the club representatives, at the very least, distorted the truth.
Llambias told us the Ashley era would usher in the change of waste/cost of perpetual managerial changes. Smashing, that worked out great didn’t it! Mort, Vetere, Jimenez, Llambias, Irving, Wise, Keegan, Kinnear (twice), Shearer, Hughton, Pardew, Carver, McClaren and most likely Rafa.
Waste, cost and an utter lack of direction or stability.
The Ashley world is a murky one of businesses divided between MASH (Alpha and Beta now), property dealings, as well as his original SD holdings which have brought so much speculation to NUFC. Free advertising, merchandising rights – who knows what else?
What we do know is that the SD involvement has thus far brought zero benefits, financial or otherwise, to NUFC. We also know that the last chance of expanding our ground is under MASH control for Ashley’s own financial gain.
Our football club is in debt to the tune of £129million to Mike Ashley. We have been at that level since we were promoted back to the PL. The football has been terrible. The appointments have been terrible. The management has been terrible. The Club income streams continue to struggle year by year other than the TV money.
If anyone really has to ask where did it all go wrong, I’d ask where the hell have you been have you been since 2007?