It’s a lose-lose situation at St James Park
So, John Carver is installed as coach at St James Parkuntil the end of the season. I can understand why this has now taken place.
He understudied Alan Pardew, he is also the cheapest option and his appointment will disappoint the majority that wanted the big names that were supposedly in the frame. But the major factor is that he understands the gig and how things work under Mike Ashley. It says a lot that Alan Pardew had a big pay hike when he moved to Crystal Palace.
Ashley has bought himself into the cash cow that is Newcastle United. He has paid off the debt that it had previously and consolidated it into one debt that is owed to him and him alone. With NUFC, he does not have a company that relies on customers who can take their custom elsewhere if they are dissatisfied with the product on sale. He has a body of supporters in a one-club City who would never look elsewhere. This is the minor factor. The major factor is the subsidy that he receives from the TV rights, this can be as much as £70m+ per season.
The marriage between Mike Ashley and the supporters could be described as an abusive one. One side holds the money and the power and does not hesitate to let the partner know this. Ashley does this knowing that the supporters’ love of the club will withstand all that he can dish up. As long as he can keep the club in the premiership, he keeps all his ducks in a row.
(To feature like Trevor, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
When the club slumbered into relegation in 2008-9, Ashley apologised to the supporters at the time (Google it). The consolation for him was that he had the insurance of the parachute payments and this, coupled with the promotion the following season, meant that he didn’t lose a thing.
This relegation lost him the goodwill of many of the supporters, the ones who hadn’t already been previously disenchanted by Dennis Wise, Joe Kinnear and the rest of his cronies, but the majority stay loyal, as he expects, and the status quo is maintained.
There is no chance that any supporter action will convince Ashley to sell up. Experience tells us that he is his own man, he owes money to nobody and he has over £3b to his name and he will move on only when he wants to. This money guarantees that he is not reliant on NUFC for anything, he could lose it all and hardly blink an eye. He has the free advertising at St James’ Park which is beamed around the world.
I would think it’s odds-on that he took a perverse delight when one of the most unpopular companies in the country had their name emblazoned on the famous striped shirts. He will take the same delight in knowing that he is in control and no amount of whining, protests and boycotts will make a scrap of difference.
Yes, that’s the way it all looks to me, it’s basically a lose-lose situation. This, coupled with the sports writers and most pundits who tell us that we don’t know when we’re well off and that Mike Ashley brings nothing but good. Most of us know, in reality, that he has proved himself to be a major-league cheapskate.
The future for NUFC does not look too rosy. There’s no interest at the top in anything except survival in the premiership and the cheapest methods to ensure that this happens, which means that our best players will go. If people boycott the place, he will use promotional marketing methods to compensate for this.
I find it interesting that no business has been done in January. Cisse and Tiote are in Africa and the team is looking very lightweight as usual. Ashley is gambling that we have enough points in the bag to stay clear of relegation. He may be right. There again, we went down before on his watch and also skirted with it two seasons ago.
I have an advantage on most of the supporters in that I can remember our last TWO trophies, the 1955 FA Cup and the Inter-Cities of 1968-69. It is very disappointing that the very large majority of current supporters have only known frustration over the many years since these successes, yet they stay loyal. Remember that in the last few years, both Portsmouth and Wigan have won the cup.
No matter what most of the pundits say (Gary Lineker excepted, he knows a cheapskate) Mike Ashley doesn’t deserve you.
You can follow Trevor on Twitter @gittarman
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]