Kevin Keegan believes that Mike Ashley has a ‘fantastic opportunity’.
However, the former Newcastle player and manager says that the big problem is that the owner ‘doesn’t know what he has got there’, in terms of just what the potential at St James Park could be.
On the positive side though, Kevin Keegan thinks that just maybe, Mike Ashley ‘is just learning now’ how massive the club could be.
Newcastle supporters were massively relieved when at long last the club’s owner abandoned the doomed idea of having faceless people pulling the strings and a token puppet given the title of Manager or Head Coach.
After Pardew, Carver and McClaren, the arrival of Rafa Benitez was as welcome as it was surprising.
Sadly he couldn’t save the club from relegation but maybe not the most disastrous thing in the long-term, as it forced Ashley to accept that he had to hand over control of football matters and transfers to somebody who knows what they are doing.
Kevin Keegan was appearing at Burton Albion’s recent club dinner as guest speaker and he thinks that the club are in great hands with Ben Robinson.
He has been involved for over forty years at Burton and knows the club and area inside out, in stark contrast to the increasing numbers of foreign owners now coming into the English game.
Robinson was asked to join the board in 1975 and eventually became majority shareholder, as Burton Albion have risen from the old Southern League to the second tier of English football.
Kevin Keegan compares the Burton Chairman to what happened with Sir John Hall at Newcastle when he was there as manager.
While it is true Hall put in money originally, mainly in buying up the shares/ownership, the bit Keegan misses out is that the Halls and Shepherds then took out fortunes from NUFC in the form of salaries and share dividends. Before then making an even bigger fortune by delivering us into the hands of Mike Ashley…
There was always going to be made out of Newcastle United if Sir John Hall got it right, which he did with massive help and inspiration from Keegan.
Hats off though to people like Ben Robinson at Burton, to put in over 40 years at a small club like this it is undoubtedly for the love of it, not for self-gain.
Kevin Keegan speaking at the Burton Albion club dinner – as reported by the Burton Mail:
“The way the club is run here at Burton is wonderful and it’s sort of a bit of a throwback because it’s not happening at many places – all the big clubs are now owned by Americans or Chinese owners and there is nothing wrong with (that) but this is a great story.
“That is what Sir John Hall did at Newcastle. He made his money in the North East and put his money back into the football club because he rightly believed, and rightly so, that the football club was at the heart of the community.
“The community at the centre of a club is vital but sadly it’s dying in the game. We’re getting a lot of people who are buying football clubs who don’t know how to run it – Newcastle would be an example of this.
“Mike Ashley doesn’t know what he has got there because he is not from that area and I think he is just learning now what he has got – which is a fantastic opportunity.”