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Will Mike Ashley Stick Or Twist This Summer?

8 years ago
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Now that the 2013/14 season is just about consigned to the record books (save for a mauling at Anfield), attentions are now turning to this summer and what happens next at St James’ Park.

A mass clear out and re-build is going to happen, some say be forced, with players jumping ship and once again, total uncertainty rears its ugly head for 2014/15.

A sign of things to come at St.James’ Park?

There are many things wrong with Mike Ashley. This is clear for all to see. It may not be of their concern, but even the fans and press of other clubs must look at the goings on at Newcastle and breathe a sigh of relief that he isn’t their problem. Unless you belong from Cardiff maybe.

Mike Ashley likes to shock. He likes a gamble, without a rational thought for the outcome.

Hiring Kevin Keegan then not supporting him.

Then naming Dennis Wise as Director of Football.

Then not realising that undermining Keegan would annoy fans hugely.

Then appointing Joe Kinnear.

How about the renaming of the ground?

Then getting W***a in as principal sponsors.

Then appointing Joe Kinnear.

The biggest one however, was buying the club in the first place, without looking at the finances.

People say he’s a successful businessman, his bank balance would certainly indicate this to be true. However, the way he has gone about running the club, with that list of failures and annoyances and the fact that he seems unwilling to get any meaningful revenue streams for the club, the toxic branding of W***a, the nauseating self publicity of S***** D***** at the expense of reputable multinational brands, suggests that he can hardly be classed as a clever businessman. Barrow boy got lucky more like.

Another area of concern is a big one, the football side. The trouble is with Ashley’s much reported transfer ‘strategy’, if a player is sold for say £20m (Cabaye) then any incoming player/s have to come from this £20m. Sign a player for £15m then the wages for that player can only be £5m over the length of his contract. Adding agents fees into this figure then you start to knock down what you pay for the player, the wages or both. That’s before you debate the quality of the player you’re actually getting.

If you sell one player a season for this kind of money, then you can only hope to get one in. In January of last season, Ashley was forced to act regardless of this philosophy as the TV money was at stake. Lose that and the game would have been up. The players that signed, should have come in when the club signed Vernon Anita, in the summer, not in January. Then the club could have balanced the Europa League & Premier League and probably had a stronger finish. Certainly not been fighting a relegation battle – but Ashley likes his gambles.

When we finished fifth, we needed to kick on. We may not have finished fifth again anyway, but it would have been nice to have a bit of hope and ambition. The Anita signing was all we got to add to a squad that was widely acknowledged to be short in numbers anyway. We’d had a great season, probably punching above our weight, with a manager probably punching above his weight. This I’m not bothered about, if the team can prove to evolve and the manager can adapt and improve.

Fast forward two seasons and we have neither. A manager that has gone backwards, shown to be a liability, taking players’ reputations with his own, head butting opposing players, lying to all and sundry, dedicating wins ‘for Mike’ and a squad that don’t seem to like the manager, don’t seem to like the club, or even each other.

Regardless of what happens, we are stuck with Mike Ashley until someone comes up with the right amount of money. No protest will change that. We can only hope that he will dispose of Pardew and hire a manager that can actually motivate players to play to their potential (shouldn’t be hard after the last six months).

He also needs to dispose of the barmy idea that we can’t have a crack at the cup competitions. This needs to go hand in hand with a bit of spending. Not like the claptrap above I went through with the Cabaye sale financial plan. After all, the TV deal is worth £60+ EVERY YEAR.

If we start next season with the same philosophies, same manager and the same supporter/club apathy, expect a swift and sharp drop into the Championship . . .

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