Has Mike Ashley Destroyed The Soul Of Newcastle United Forever?
It’s tough times for Alan Pardew, who is transparently afraid of the reception he would get from Toon fans and cannot survive as manager, by all accounts, for much longer.
Also tough times for Number Two John Carver, who is reduced to arguing with protesting fans.
What about Mike Ashley though, the architect of the increasingly bewildering shambles at St James’ Park? Is it tough times for him too?
Well, you’ll be surprised to hear that, in my view, it is indeed tough times for the oaf, who of course thoroughly deserves every minute of these tough times that he himself has inspired and authored.
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Of course he remains rich, and is getting richer. Of course his main business interests are all tickety-boo, relying as they do on the exploitation of the defenceless, and the toothless loyalty of the abused.
It was touching, incidentally, to read the recent Sports Direct support to the zero-houred serfs on whose backs Ashley’s feet stamp up and down, after those tricky questions were put to Ashley at the Sports Direct shareholders’ meeting about the working poor he fails to reward. However, it’s nice that he values them in all those non-pecuniary ways.
In my view though it is indeed tough times for Mike Ashley because it is all beginning to crumble and collapse in his football department. This could cost him more than money. He can’t afford to expand or diversify into Glasgow Rangers if he is famously a dreadful, stubborn, visionless and uncomprehending football club owner. Of course, we know that Ashley is terrible…but he doesn’t.
And Rangers don’t. Anyway, he has the money that would save Rangers, and the acumen to keep them financially sound.
But what he is currently learning, and it is a lesson that a lot of Toon fans have been pointing out for the last five years, is that keeping a football club financially sound is only half the battle.
How many other indebted and impoverished clubs would swap places with Newcastle at the moment? None of them. None at all.
The reason for that is that he has torn the soul out of our club and by doing so has destroyed it from inside. Newcastle United have lost a major part of their selling proposition which a lot of bust clubs have somehow retained, Rangers included.
What soul is that, the Ashley apologists will pooh-pooh? What’s all this about a soul? It’s just a private company that is in one insignificant division of a sprawling sports goods empire? Why would Mike Ashley destroy the soul of a football club that he owns, assuming that such an unlikely thing is possible?
Well, he has destroyed the hope of the fans, who have lost the will to inspire confidence in the team. The fans still cheer, but everyone knows that they are cheering a ghost. Newcastle fans are the most loyal, most helplessly romantic fans in the world. And they have lost hope.
This has destroyed the spirit in the team, who are aware of the lack of ambition at the club, and, now, the fans’ loss of faith.
They are as demoralised as anyone else.
But the team itself is hopeless, in both senses. The first eleven is full of cheap imports and mediocrities. They can’t win anything.
And in any case the squad is being rebuilt every time a good talent is sold at a profit and replaced by an optimistic bargain basement purchase.
Apparently the players have given up on Pardew, who is in a familiar and completely impossible position. They want him to go before the fight against relegation becomes too difficult.
But we know who is Pardew’s biggest fan, don’t we, Mag readers?
It’s Mike Ashley. If Ashley gets rid of Pardew it is removing the keystone from his entire footballing department, which has been doing such a good job for the promotion of his Sports Direct empire.
Ashley, according to the latest information, is still supportive of his team manager. That’s because Newcastle United is becoming profitable. The team is mediocre, the fans are alienated, Ashley hardly went to a game last season and hates owning the club. But look at the figures! The financial ones! Look at our balance sheet!
Ashley will sack Pardew only if one criterion is met. He will sack Pardew if we are going to go down.
He doesn’t want to sack a man who has put in such a good shift for him. Imagine how inconvenient that would be. How much rebuilding would be necessary in his football department. But relegation might torpedo his hopes of taking over at Rangers.
Tough times for Mike Ashley. Tough times.
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