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Mike Ashley Toys With Journalist

6 years ago
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Mike Ashley speaks to a journalist shock.

Mike Ashley gives away his true feelings about Alan Pardew shock.

Mike Ashley will sack Alan Pardew if Stoke win on Monday shock.

Vivek Chaudhary has, I’m sure, reported his [intlink id=”48016″ type=”post”]chance meeting with Ashley outside a Soho pub [/intlink]accurately. And indeed the substance of the meeting has been confirmed by Sports Direct spokespeople.

Except the clue is in the throat-cutting gesture that the journalist refers to Mike Ashley making with regard to his manager. Ashley apparently likes Pardew. If he was going to do something unpleasant like sacking him, he would not do something like that, even in private.

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But especially not to a journalist who is making notes and trying to get Ashley on the record.

And just as important as Ashley liking Pardew, Ashley absolutely abominates journalists. He is personally pleasant to them, but never speaks with sincerity unless experts and lawyers have crawled all over the statement, which is usually written down and issued as a press release.

Journalists have made Ashley’s life difficult – mostly as a result of his own actions. They have made it difficult for him to enrich himself out of Sports Direct, which he feels he has an utter right to do. They have just made fun of him taking a bet on Tesco using money from Sports Direct, and are asking why he shouldn’t use his own money to get his own jollies. They exposed the fact that he lost £300m on a bet on the bank HBOS.

He wouldn’t speak to a journalist in the street with sincerity.

He would see the opportunity to make fun of journalists who had, rightly or wrongly, predicted that Pardew was on borrowed time. And he would throw in the bits about having invested a lot of money in Newcastle (untrue – he bought an asset with a lot of money, a different thing, and then expected the asset to make money in the Premier League) to make it seem more likely he was telling the truth about sacking Pardew.

But he wasn’t. He was making fun of the journalist, who made even more fun of himself by taking what Ashley said seriously and trying to record it (possibly more of a problem for Ashley, who would have had less wriggle room after being exposed as a bitter, scornful weirdo) and then writing it all down under Ashley’s watching eyes.

And then the journalist has told the story to the country, and Ashley has had another dose of weirdo jollies by laughing at the angry Geordies who lap up all this ‘two games before the sack’, ‘Pardew on the brink’, and ‘broken man’ speculation.

Pardew will be sacked, but at a time of the oaf’s choosing. He will not be forced into doing anything. Except the prospect of relegation, which is not yet a reality.

Who knows? Ashley might genuinely feel, after our team’s triumph over Crystal Palace reserves, that we are on the up!

Who knows? Ashley might be right! He’s been right before.

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