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As Usual, Keegan Was Right On Mike Ashley

8 years ago
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I think there were no surprises at the first fans’ forum this week, but at least there seemed to be some honesty from the two Directors present, something which has been in very short supply since Mr Ashley moved in. Of course Messrs Ashley and Kinnear were nowhere to be seen.

To summarise this week’s meeting, Cup competitions are not a priority any more, the club is in a very healthy financial situation, and Mr Ashley pays nothing for any of his Sports Direct branding and advertising around SJP.

I have read with despair over several months media reports of our weak financial situation, our limited budget, our inability to compete in the market place and poor old Mr Ashley’s need to recoup his money. Simply unbelievable, yet sentiments which our Team manager Mr Pardew is willing to support publically time and time again.

If you add up the money that the club has made on net transfer deals since Mr Ashley arrived, add that to the TV money now on offer, and understand the dramatic cut in costs that the club have made over the past four years, then you simply have to give Mr Ashley credit for turning our Club into a very lucrative cash cow for himself. Therein lies the real problem.

Mr Ashley is a successful businessman and his decision-making process is about what is likely to make him the most profit. In any other area than our beloved NUFC, if I was to temporarily forget his lack of personal values, I would just take my hat off to him and say “good luck bonny lad.”

However, I can’t think of any football club owner in Britain who appears less interested, less caring or less passionate about his team. He will only approve the appointment of players and staff on the cheap, he has the ambition to be a top 10 Premiership club, and he wants a vehicle to promote Sports Direct, his real love.

I have made my personal decision to spend less and less on NUFC each year since Mr Ashley arrived because that is the only way I can justify to myself that I am doing something to register my dismay at this man’s leadership of my Club.

I am no fan of Mr Pardew, who I rate as the poorest performing manager in the Premiership over the past 18 months, on and off the field. He never gives the other side credit when we lose, he makes excuses all day long, and he never acknowledges that he himself may be the problem.We have lost 10 of our last 20 Premiership fixtures at home, and of course we have one of the worst away records in the top flight.  For the players we have at the club, this is a coaching under-performance of some magnitude. There is clear evidence that all is not well in the dressing room, and I suspect there is little respect for a Manager who lacks authority and integrity.

However, I am not supporting a change of Team Manager at this time. I think that all Mr Ashley would do is look for another manager on the cheap, who is prepared to tow the line, and to settle for his stated ambition of being a top 10 club, the same ambition as Norwich, Stoke, Southampton, Fulham etc.

We will simply not regain our place as a serious Football Club until Mr Ashley has gone, and Messrs Kinnear and Pardew follow.

Our Owner left a message for the Fans’ Forum that he has no intention, desire, or ambition to sell Newcastle United. After all the untruths I have heard from that man over the last few years, I sincerely hope that means he is already looking to go and, of course, make more money for himself in the process.

A few years back Kevin Keegan said the best day for Newcastle fans in the future would be when Mr Ashley leaves the Club. As usual, Keegan was right.

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