Mike Ashley Went From Taking NUFC Forward To Selling Up – 5 Days In May
Five years ago Mike Ashley was in a very talkative move, nobody actually heard him speak, but he released two public statements on Newcastle United within five days of each other.
Five days that were probably the most pivotal in Newcastle United’s recent history, certainly under Mike Ashley.
Mike Ashley had driven Kevin Keegan out of the club as he backed Dennis Wise and undermined KK, we had our first experience of Joe Kinnear and players such as James Milner and Shay Given were sold.
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An own goal was scored from almost every conceivable angle. Never had such an expensively assembled squad managed to get itself relegated from the Premier League.
Incompetence and crass behaviour was the story of that relegation season.
However, the very next day (Monday 25th May) after relegation at Villa Park, Mike Ashley instantly released a statement promising the mistakes had been acknowledged and there was a commitment to take the club forward once again.
25 May 2009
“Seeing Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League has been a catastrophe for us all.
“I fully accept that mistakes were made during this and previous seasons and I’m very sorry for that.
“I would like to say sorry to our magnificent supporters who have turned up in their thousands, home and away, up and down the country and who have given the team amazing backing throughout.
“Bringing Alan Shearer back to Newcastle United was the best decision I have made.
“Alan and his staff did all they could to try and keep us up in the short space of time they had. Talks are now ongoing between us about how we can take this club forward again.”
However, only five days later we were told this and from what I understand, Alan Shearer never ever heard from Mike Ashley again.
30 May 2009
“It has been catastrophic for everybody. I have lost my money and I have made terrible decisions. Now I want to sell it as soon as I can…advisers will be appointed shortly.
“Of course I regret it. I never said I was an expert in football clubs.
“I was just a fan – although a very wealthy fan. But I’m not so wealthy now. I put my money into it and I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short. I am genuinely sorry for everybody about what has happened.”
As you might have heard, over five years later Mike Ashley is still the owner of Newcastle United.
How seriously Ashley tried to sell the club is open to question, yes he may have indeed have been up for letting it go, but only he knows what amount he would have agreed on. With every club having its price, it would appear that Mike Ashley didn’t sell because he was asking too much, if indeed he was serious about ditching NUFC.
In the rest of his business empire, I’m guessing that if Ashley wants to offload a particular company/brand, then it happens.
While Mike Ashley said that his Newcastle United experience had left him ‘…not so wealthy now’, that most definitely isn’t the case now.
In these past five years, even by conservative estimates the Newcastle United owner’s fortunes have increased fivefold and continue to increase at an ever expanding rate.
The Newcastle United part of his operation shows the big advantage fantastically wealthy people have, just because an asset has a temporary downturn (in Newcastle’s case relegation and the financial fallout from that) – if you can afford to keep hold of it longer term, then you may well reap the rewards.
With massive free advertising for the rest of his empire and rapidly escalating TV riches, Newcastle United is yet another goldmine for Ashley, just so long as the club stays in the Premier League…
I can’t see any way Mike Ashley will release the grip he has on Newcastle United unless a daft offer comes in, or if relegation comes along once again.
I just hope that daft offer materialises, otherwise that second option will quickly come along,unless Ashley makes major changes to how he runs Newcastle United.
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