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An Open Letter To Mike Ashley

8 years ago
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An open letter to Mike Ashley

Hi Mike, I do realise I have slagged you in the past and called you some pretty uncomplimentary names, and its got to be said, you do ask for it a lot of the time.

However, I do respect you as a successful businessman, indeed, as ex CEO of my own construction company (failed), I must admit to just a smidge of envy, ok, quite a bit more than a smidge!

As far as finances go, your whole operation, including your running of your asset Newcastle United, cannot be faulted, buy low, sell high, minimise outlay, where is the problem with that? NONE, if you are a banker, wheeler dealer or even an East End barrow boy. Which more or less brings us to the heart of the matter, you ARE operating like a ‘barrow boy’ at Saint James’ Park, I’m sorry, but you need to realise you cannot treat Newcastle United as a ‘market stall’ or a Black & White version of ‘Exchange and Mart’.

Newcastle United is not just a name, not just a team, not just a club, it is the soul of the Geordie Nation, the beating heart of the city, the lifeblood that courses through the streets, the workplace, the playing fields, the schools, the homes, the clubs, the pubs. Newcastle United is a cause, a beacon, a rallying point for all our hopes, dreams and aspirations, but most of all, more than anything, Newcastle United is us, the people, not just the residents of Tyneside, but the Worldwide Black & White Nation, and sadly Mike, it looks like you are royally taking the pi** out of that nation.

You like to make money, you like to turn a decent profit, you love the whole money ‘game’, all true and well documented, so why in hell’s name can’t you see that given the right set of circumstances and personnel that Newcastle United could be making even more money for you?

But is it, as a lot of us suspect, that you can you see ‘it’ but the whole ‘control’ thing is your motivation, pulling the strings that make the ‘little people’ jump and twitch, being totally ‘in charge’, knowing your decisions affect people’s everyday lives, is that ‘it’?

Well Mike, you’ve got what you want and you are roundly detested and reviled for it, you’ve proven your point, so what next?

Well instead of all that, how would you like to be liked and respected by everyone, I won’t go as far as to say ‘loved’, but at least not hated. How would you like the crowd to sing your name without the words ‘out’ or ‘bastard’ in the chant AND make even MORE money?

I know, easy for me to say, but not at all easy for you to do, because the answer is to step back and let some footballing people run the football. Obviously leave your accountants and bean counters in place, the club is financially stable and needs to stay that way, and make no mistake, we are truly grateful to you for that situation, but please take your other clowns, sycophants, minions…and of course yourself, right out of the footballing equation.

Give Pardew his pay off, and it can’t be that much now as surely he breached the terms of his contract by nutting a player.

Hand over the club to those who love and cherish Newcastle United, people who have been there, seen it, done it, men who have walked the walk, and when they talk the talk, people listen.

You must bite the bullet and apologise to all those you have maligned in the past, then build the whole management team around Kevin Keegan, Lee Clark, Alan Shearer, John Carver, Peter Beardsley and Graham Carr … then stay out of the way and let them run the team without interference or ‘team orders’.

No ‘spies’, no Dennis Wise or Joe Kinnears, no outsiders, just a good solid team that understands the Geordie mentality, promotes entertaining football and works as one to further the good name of Newcastle United.

It wouldn’t come together overnight, a lot of the current players’ attitudes would have to change drastically, and for sure, some would have to move on to make way for players that fitted the Keegan ‘mould’and ‘mindset’.

But success would surely follow and you could turn out TEN different kits a year and the Sports Direct tills would ring non-stop as the tsunami of Geordie money flowed into your coffers, and by ‘Geordie’ I include the thousands of fans worldwide that are part of the Black & White Nation.

The current situation at the top of the EPL is wide open, neither Man Utd or Chelsea are the unbeatable forces they once were, Arsenal are stuttering, Man City are inconsistent, only Liverpool and Everton are on the resurgence, there is no better time for a new order to emerge that could and should include Newcastle United.

I can guarantee Mike, that with silver sitting in the Trophy Cabinet at Saint James’ Park, the value of your asset will escalate even further, your Sports Direct sales will multiply, and before you know it, your beloved bank account will be on nodding terms with that of Bill Gates.

…and when the crowd sings ‘You FAT bastard’… they will do it with a smile…

Joe Writeson – Author of  ‘50 Shades of Black & White’

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