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Ashley Backed Into A Corner Over Alan Pardew?

7 years ago
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The journalist who had a spontaneous [intlink id=”48016″ type=”post”]conversation in a Soho street recently with Mike Ashley[/intlink] was on Radio Four this morning.

Vivek Chaudhary of The Independent was being asked what he made of Alan Pardew’s position at Newcastle United in the light of another defeat.

He said Ashley, by announcing Pardew would be sacked, dead, finished, in the event of victory for Stoke, and then by declaring it was all a joke when it had duly been made public, had ‘backed himself into a corner’.

In consequence, said Chaudhury, Pardew would not be sacked after defeat to Stoke. He would be given another two or three games before getting the sack, unless results picked up.

Chaudhury added that Ashley was not in joking mode. He was apparently ‘agitated and serious’.

The main flaw with that, it seems to me, is the idea that Ashley would wait for defeat against Stoke. Why wait for defeat against Stoke?

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If Pardew is the right man to lead us out of trouble, defeat against Stoke wouldn’t matter. If Ashley has already decided Pardew is not that man, defeat against Stoke would make no difference either. He would have sacked his manager already.

It remains my view that Ashley was indeed in joking mode, and that the joke was on Chaudhury himself. But he was there, and I was not.

Chaudhury would not be the first person to admit the joke had been on him all along. Equally, it would not take a professional football analyst to deduce that Pardew was liable to be sacked by an owner who can see relegation is a real prospect, even though it is still only September. Pardew will obviously be sacked soon as relegation drifts ever closer. That’s what will get Pardew sacked.

I don’t know what Ashley is saying in [intlink id=”48141″ type=”post”]that video The Mag has clipped[/intlink] – it might be ‘Yes, he’s gone.’ It might be ‘Yes, I’m gone.’ After all he’s standing up and leaving his seat. It’s a charmless person’s way of saying goodnight.

But I do know that this idea that Ashley has to be consistent with published statements he has described as jokes is absurd. Ashley doesn’t think anything he says to fans matters a jot. He has not ‘backed himself into a corner’. If he wants to sack Pardew today, then he will.

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