Mike Ashley’s treatment of Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez, not even 7 days after the latter had almost single-handedly dragged Newcastle United over the Premier League safety line, was a stark reminder of the shame of life on Tyneside under the club owner.

Many had been left feeling optimistic of a brighter Mike Ashley/Newcastle United relationship following his out of the blue interview to Sky Sports before the 2-0 win over West Ham on ‘Survival Sunday’.

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Ashley spoke of his regret and admitted his blame, promising fans a new intent to “win something” and punch above weight.

But the sceptics were right to be sceptical of his remarkable appearance and words of encouragement, as he quickly reminded us all of his distasteful capabilities by instructing his outgoing interim Manager to relieve two professionals of their jobs in one telephone call.

Two men who have for over 6 years each served the black and white cause with great pride and won their place in Geordie folklore through individual and collective effort and achievement. Two men hugely popular with supporters, players and staff, dropped by the club with the greatest disrespect.

The decision to release the two soon to be out of contract players was realistic and largely accepted, but the manner in which the news was delivered was quite unbelievable. Ryan Taylor had unfortunately shown little in the latter stages of the season to suggest that he can play at the level required, but this is a man who is a consummate professional with great affection for Newcastle fans, and gave 100% whenever he pulled on the shirt.

As for Jonas, anyone who witnessed the final game of the season at St James Park can see the mutual love between player and supporters. Gutierrez, finally restored to the left of midfield, took the game to West Ham and created a fairytale ending on the pitch. For me, he had shown enough beforehand to warrant an extended stay on Tyneside in a threadbare squad.

Gutierrez’ return to the playing field was the most remarkable and emotional story of the Premier League season, and huge credit to Ryan Taylor for overcoming awful injuries. Fans will never forget ‘over the wall’ and spectacular goals from Taylor; Jonas’ debut, Spiderman, his character, fun, and those runs down the left. Their loyalty and commitment to the cause; promotion, consolidation, 5th place. A heroic finale for the Argentine.

Jonas was very accepting of his release, suggesting it would be the case long before the season’s completion. The poor way in which the club handled his illness was the beginning of the end and his celebration following his goal told us all we needed to know about how he feels about Newcastle’s hierarchy. Would it surprise you if Ashley and Lee Charnley’s method of release was stubbornness against the Argentine? Not a nice thought but certainly believable.

mike ashley

For this is something Newcastle United fans have long been used to; negativity and embarrassment around every corner, Mike Ashley somehow finding ways to keep the club in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

The club we love is used as an advertising platform for a budget retail company, sponsored by payday lenders, and ran by a man who openly admitted to lying to supporters, humiliated Club legends, and renamed a historic stadium to that of a shop that sells Donnay socks. As you know, I could go on.

The point is, that despite the positivity that may have been felt regarding Ashley’s interview, he is still Mike Ashley. For the past 8 years we have endured the torment that comes as the territory of his ownership. How could we feasibly trust what he has said? The treatment of these players just compounds the mistrust.

What made the whole thing more ridiculous was the supposedly made up interview (after Jonas’ comments the club claimed that it was what Coloccini had said) attributed to Fabricio Coloccini. As if the club thought that Jonas’ best mate wouldn’t let on that he didn’t say what was printed on the official website. We only laugh because we are sick of crying.

Dennis Wise, Joe Kinnear (twice), Wonga, Sports Direct Arena, selling players with no replacements, selling Managers with no replacement, lying to fans, Keegangate, and now this – things of this ilk cannot rear their head if Mike Ashley wants to reclaim any faith and integrity and show the ambition that has never been there.

Challenging in the top half, going for trophies – it’s a far cry from what we have become accustomed to at St James’ Park. If the last few years of turmoil have been the building of an underbelly then why has it taken our esteemed leader until the lowest point to show that he can actually speak?

Fans would have been ever so slightly more understanding if the club would just communicate and let us know what was going on from time to time!

If the club is to bolt the horse and punch above the weight then the proof will be in the pudding.

I would love to believe that the intention is there, but this is Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United we are talking about and anything could happen.

To Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez, thank you.

You can follow the author on Twitter @SamWinter89 and he also has his very own blog which you can visit HERE

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  • Sickandtiredstill

    Didn’t many become more ‘understanding’ after his statement back in 2008? http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/7615655.stm

    Sadly, he’s adhered to that approach ever since and the same words are used (by Llambias before and Penfold now) to reinforce the fact that nothing is or has been any different. The name of the game is survival within the means the club generates, so Ashley does not have to spend a penny more of his own money. That is all that he means by continuing to invest.

    That ‘investment’ is in reality a 129 million club debt, even though his personal wealth has increased some four fold since he bought the club. That figure amounts to little more than 1.3% of his total worth!
    He could throw 100 million at us without blinking an eye if he so desired. He plainly does not.

    So, the long term plan is again much talked of. The same plan in the same format that has brought absolutely nothing. If anything there is anything new, evolutionary or even revolutionary on all this then simply refer back to comments regarding the 57/58 season. On the back of three FA Cup wins –

    “In the wake of finishing a poor 17th the previous season, a backward-looking United board again failed to appoint a manager, and the team blundered through the new season managed by an antiquated ‘director committee’.
    Yet again the Magpies occupied the bottom third of the First Division for much of the campaign”.

    Ashley is not reinventing the football wheel. He is no visionary genius. History is there to be learned from yet all we see is a repeat of events from 50 years ago.

  • PaulNewsome

    “and punch above weight.”
    How on earth could Mike Ashley punch above his weight?

  • RaySte

    I’ve read a few articles now that are clearly eager for Ashley’s words to be proved as lies, but it strikes me as a little premature. I don’t like  his stewardship of the club, but the bloke explicitly promised transfer action and it seems folly to write him off a month before you can even properly register a new player. It harks of this time last year when people were screaming for transfers despite the world cup being on and no clubs signing anyone at that point. Wait and hope; we spent ~£30m last summer. Maybe you’re right in your distrust of Ashley’s words, but give it time for goodness sake, as he hasn’t even had a chance to make true of his words yet!

    As for Jonas I’ve read a few times that he saved our season ‘almost single handedly’ and it’s a joke  he’s being allowed to leave (and thus proving we won’t sign anyone?). Let’s be real, his goal wasn’t even the winner and he’d been trying for weeks to score from outside the box and missed time after time (he even did it against West Ham at 0-0). People were calling for him to wind up his time here before he even had the best part of a  year off with cancer – now it’s a disgrace he’s going? Come on. And as for both he and Taylor being sacked in one phone call – do you really believe Ashley specified to Carver to execute his orders (probably Charnley’s actually)  by saying ‘yeah, do it with one call. When Jonas is done, ask him to put Taylor on’. You think Ashley specifically insisted on that? Come on.

  • Chemical Dave

    Oh get s grip man, you think he’s serious about his words and then appoints a failure like brolly as manager ? You’ll be suggesting he has nowt to do with it and its all down to binsy next.

  • NottsToon

    Ray, yours is the most convoluted and ridiculous post that I have read on the Mag today, congratulations.
    I could write a thousand words pulling apart every misunderstood point you have made but I genuinely think it would make no difference.
    If what you have written is genuinely your understanding of recent events then I shudder to think how you exist day to day in the real world.

  • Porciestreet

    RaySte  The man is a pathalogical liar (proven).And judging by the tone of your text, you’ll be there next season in your wonga outfit, pleased as punch about the new season. Well, pardon me if I abstain from all the excitement. I’m pleased I live abroad and can view things from a good distance.  This fella couldn’t lie straight in his coffin and we’re not far away now from finding out exactly how sincere he actually is. Iv’e no doubt there will be changes, but don’t expect the Toon to become Barca overnight or even in a couple of seasons.
    Ashley OOT. HWTF.

  • Porciestreet

    Chemical Dave Aye, and hoy the tatty’s in for roasting.

  • Hez

    This why Ashley doesn’t need to “change his spots” totally gullible

  • RaySte

    NottsToon Do indulge me with an exegesis if you’re so smart NottsToon. I HATE Ashley and want him out, but I think it’s absurd to paint him as a pantomime villain who insists the manager sack players in the most unprofessional way possible, when he has done enough terrible and demonstrable things e.g. rigging NUFC shop tills to pay straight to SD. It’s just silly. So you’re telling me Ashley deliberately sacked those players himself in the rudest manner possible? Pffft.

    Also I think disavowing his promise to bring in players on the basis he’s let Taylor and Gutierrez go is tenuous. Do you think that’s sound reasoning?

    Also I think the transfer window should be open properly before we expect players to come in. Pretty dumb, right?

    I don’t think Gutierrez saved our season and I don’t particularly think he or Taylor deserve a new contract. Maybe you do, I concede this is debatable. But like I say, people were calling for Gutierrez to go years ago, and Taylor is scared of tackles.

    Personally I was torn by Ashley’s interview, but I’m at least going to wait and see if we sign some players. If you want to brew up a storm in a tea cup every time we release an aging player, be my guest.

  • RaySte

    Porciestreet RaySte I don’t expect the toon to become barca overnight, I just think we should wait before we scream ‘liar’ at someone.

  • NottsToon

    And every time I read someone writing “wait and see”, after 8 fvcking years, I want to launch my phone across the room. Idiots !!!

  • A lex

    Porciestreet RaySte “Coffin” – what an endearing thought.
    Wish there was a PM facility on Livefyre. Would love it for a few of us to get together, buy an over-size wooden box and deliver it to Shirebrook.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RaySte What words? He DID NOT specifically mention ‘transfer action’! The club is still 25 million in profit on overall transfer spending since he arrived 8 years ago. Not ‘punching above our weight’ at all.
    You appear to be making your own interpretation up  as here are the actual few words he spoke live on Sky:-

    “My door.”
    “I didn’t envisage us being in this position at Christmas. Obviously, after the last couple of weeks I’m still a little bit shocked at where we find ourselves today.
    “(But) I will continue the policy of investing in the football club.
    “We have got the club on a very sound financial footing, so we are able to spend and punch above our weight thanks to the current financial situation the club finds itself in.
    “We may have the cart, financially, but we now need to bolt the horse on, and we are going to.”
    Intentions for the future? “To definitely win something and, by the way, I won’t be selling (the club) until I do.
    “(The club is not for sale) at any price. And when I say ‘win something’, if we ever get into a position of being in a Champions League place, that also counts as winning something.
    “From this day forward we will be making our own luck.”

    So, which part of that are you waiting (still) for him to make good on?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RaySte Porciestreet Read his statement from 2008 and then you can start shouting LIAR to your hearts content.

    How much longer do you need to wait – its been 8 fookin years already.

  • Chemical Dave

    He’s been here 8 years and we can’t compete with Swansea now, pleased you don’t expect us to compete with Barcelona over night bud.

  • RaySte

    Sickandtiredstill RaySte Obviously I took the cart and horse bit to be a metaphor. You realise he’s not literally talking about a cart and horse?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RaySte Sickandtiredstill I know he has not spent a single penny of his own money since we came back up.

    I know the money he has ‘invested’ has become club debt.

    I know they are still 25 million in profit from player sales during his 8 years here.

    I know Kinnear, Pardew, Carver (and now McClaren) are not an example of bolting on a thoroughbred. 

    I know the club ‘cart’ resembles a real fooking cart.

  • OllyT1

    You are indeed an idiot.

  • OllyT1

    The Mag is not even trying for editorial neutrality it is just hitting a basic anti-Ashley note and hoping the populist approach sticks. Forgive me for once thinking that Jonas fell in the Robert bracket of cult hero but little else. There is a clear lack of ambition from Ashley but yet again there is a clear lack of an attempt to discuss NUFCs issues properly. to say everything Ashley has done for the club is bad is ludicrous and yet you all pretend the pre-Ashley years had ambition and joy. Get a grip. You are deluded. utterly deluded by the mythical figure that exists after Ashley. You live in a post recession Britain that has no capacity to embrace wider investment. We endure Ashley because he is the best of a bad world and there is no Geordie billionaire with lots of ambition.

  • Hez

    The problem you have with this argument is the positives of Mike Ashley from a football perspective are pretty much non existent, from a financial making money for himself and putting money in the bank perspective, agreed, the bloke is very good. I’m a fan of the club, the team, I want to be as successful as it can or at least try to be as successful as it can, from this perspective how has Mike Ashkey tried to achieve this goal?

  • Hez

    Sorry pressed reply before finishing, I agree about the years before Ashley, they weren’t exactly great but at least they tried or even pretended to try to put a successful team on the pitch for the fans to enjoy and believe in, didn’t always work but they attempted it. As we are all so deluded, engulfed us with your wisdom!!

  • Porciestreet

    A lex Porciestreet RaySte Don’t get it too big cos he’ll install the cashpoint back again.

  • Tynewalker

    How can you consider this a serious site when you allow such comments from Chemical Dave re helicopter crash.

  • NotFatFreddy

    OllyT1  “We endure Ashley because he is the best of a bad world and there is no Geordie billionaire with lots of ambition.”

    We endure because a certain Geordie chairman sold the club to Mr Ashley-the said billionaire who only spends peanuts, employs his hand reared chimps, and treats we supporters like we are all loyalty card ‘nuts’ forever enslaved into the NUFC bondage that is presently ‘his’ new toy. 

    Would we have been in a better state with even Freddie Shephard?

    Well there would have been no Wise or Kinnear jokes.  No relegation. At least some excitement as a CF would always be a priority along with some flair players.

    By now with all the money coming into the club we would have had 100% more ambition than the present regime! 

    Keep your blinkers on, as back in the Bobby Shinton days there was no thought of a John Hall, no sir!  Delusion is also to believe that it will never change, but mythical like figures do come to even this club-“Keegan”, “Shearer”, etc…. a massive improvement on the Bobby Shinton days.

    It wouldn’t take much to be an improvement on these Ashley days, just like it didn’t take much to improve on dear ‘Bobby Shinton’!!!!

  • PaulNewsome

    OllyT1
    http://www.livefyre.com/profile/81061527/ 1 hour ago
    “The Mag is not even trying for editorial neutrality”
    Why should it?

  • Chemical Dave

    Hiya olly, instead of complaining about this sites contributors, why not write your own article ? Would be especially interested in where you believe he’s been a positive influence? Go on, bet you don’t though !

  • Chemical Dave

    5 hactually, nobody likes yours though.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    OllyT1 It’s an opinion piece. Understand? It’s someone’s opinion, not news.

    The EC&J do exactly the same as do all press – unless an actual quotation or source is used/named, which is news, reportable, not opinion.

    I’d love to hear a good discussion on what Ashley has done well for this Club – other than the same old misguided clap trap about saving us from administration. I can factually and categorically state here that the first person to even make that suggestion – was Ashley himself.

    So, fire away, Lad. Let’s hear from you on the good he has brought, preferably with verifiable facts (and the sources/links to that) and  not just your own opinion..

  • Jimmywayhay

    Another boring repeated thread !

  • MilitantGeordie

    Why do people think his comment about being here untill Newcastle win something was a sign he is ready to change his ways? I reckon he was actually saying ” I’m here forever whether the fans like it or not “. The fact is he’s a greedy business man who gets a massive payment every summer without investing a penny of his own money. He will be here untill the money stops and not a moment before, he has zero interest in Newcastle winning a trophy.

  • JamesShaughnessyLawrence

    Chemical Dave I did!!! :)

  • JamesShaughnessyLawrence

    RaySte NottsToon Some good points there and some to argue. Jonas did deserve another year, based soley on the fact that come the last few months of the season, he was the only one on the field that looked like they gave a s**t.
    I do agree with the fact we should wait until July before shouting off we haven’t signed anyone because I think (unless the club have said differently) the new manager may actually have a bigger say in transfers than were the case back in January.
    However, a little concerned, if a post on here to be true, that we are unwilling to speak to the likes of Laudrup, I actually think, and thought back in Ocotber, he would be the man for the job. He worked under what our club envision at Swansea and although sacked, Jenkins had been looking for an excuse since 2013 to get rid of him.

  • Chemical Dave

    You’re not invited to the party then James, you can enjoy a nice stroll with tynewalker instead.