Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Sam Allardyce Reveals Three Star Players Mike Ashley Stopped Him Buying At Newcastle

7 years ago

Sam Allardyce has claimed that if Mike Ashley hadn’t come along, he could have made Newcastle a massive success.

The current West Ham boss has named three star signings he had lined up who could have taken Newcastle onto another level, but that the arrival of Mike Ashley meant the new owner refused to fund the quality players Allardyce had lined up.

Sam Allardyce told the Express in an interview that he’d followed Phil Jagielka, Luka Modric and Branislav Ivanovic while at Bolton and had them lined up for United once Freddy Shepherd brought him in.

Managing a bigger club;

“It ended up where I couldn’t get that bigger or better club, so I think there must have been something in my career that stopped me.

“I think it was Newcastle. Had that been successful with Freddy Shepherd, the man who appointed me, staying on, I might have got an even bigger club than Newcastle.”

No blame for Ashley and emulating Keegan;

“I don’t blame Mike Ashley because when you pay that amount for a football club, and you know what you want to do with it, sometimes you like to get rid of the furniture you have inherited.

“But from a career point of view it was a massive blow. It was the spending power of Newcastle that attracted me.

“I’d had limited funds at Bolton and it was the opportunity for the bigger pot and Freddy wanted to emulate the success they’d had in the Kevin Keegan era.”

Three quality players lined up;

“With Mike (Ashley) taking over, those funds never materialised. I had lined up moves for Phil Jaglielka, Luka Modric and Branislav Ivanovic – people on my Bolton recruitment database.

“Not big stars but quality players and with the finances I was being promised at Newcastle, we could have done something.”

While we all know how bad the finances had become under the Shepherd and Hall ownership, it is possible that they could have fluked it if indeed these players could have come in under Allardyce, if Mike Ashley hadn’t bought Newcastle.

The spending on those players would of course have increased Newcastle United’s debt but just as the ever increasing TV revenues appear to have saved Everton’s bacon after their financial crises, so possibly it could have done the same at Newcastle if the likes of Modric, Ivanovic and Jagielka (and Allardyce) had delivered on the pitch as well in the interim.

How ironic that mega rich Mike Ashley arriving could have stopped Newcastle United investing in quality players.

Whatever hypothetically could have happened, what we did get under Allardyce/Ashley was a mish-mash of lower priced/zero transfers, but on big wages, arriving – the route that eventually helped take us to relegation under Mike Ashley.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks