Always nailing his colours to the Newcastle (and Liverpool) mast, Mick Quinn was straight on the offensive after Newcastle United secured promotion at the first time of asking.
The former United number nine pointing out that Newcastle United may have come down with some Premier League players and heavily invested (by Championship standards) in the squad – but that was still no guarantee of success this season.
Fellow relegated sides Norwich and Aston Villa are 22 and 27 points behind Newcastle respectively and nowhere near going back up.
Whilst money has been spent, Newcastle United have made a £40m profit on transfers at the same time under Rafa Benitez, a remarkable statistic that may well never be beaten for relegated team that goes straight back up.
Both Norwich and Villa have sacked their managers this season and Mick Quinn is keen to point out the Rafa factor.
The former Newcastle striker declaring that the United boss is a ‘World class Manager’ who has made the difference.
Going back 11 months when Rafa Benitez revealed he was staying to try and rebuild our mess of a club, Quinny points out that the Spaniard made clear then that he had to ‘buy a team for the Championship to get out’, then ‘a team for the Premier League to stay in’.
That is a reality that all other Newcastle fans have come to accept, especially as the season has drawn on and it has become ever more transparent how few of the current players look sure to be able to handle the step up.
The likes of Middlesbrough spent £50m last summer and are still going down without a murmur and that sums up what is needed as just a starting point if you hope to compete for something better than just trying to scrape survival.
Mick Quinn says that Mike Ashley has got to give assurances to his Manager that the club are going to ‘invest and build for that Newcastle United future’.
Ashley has already missed any number of great opportunities in his Newcastle United ownership: failing to invest on top of that fifth place finish, choosing to undermine Kevin Keegan with Dennis Wise, plus even getting rid of Chris Hughton because he wasn’t a yes man – despite delivering 102 points promotion as champions with no investment AND mid-table security the following year in the Premier League.
To mess Rafa Benitez about now, would arguably be even more crazy than everything that has gone before, surely even Mike Ashley won’t do that…
Mick Quinn speaking on Talksport:
“People say Newcastle have had the best squad and they probably have – but you still have to put a team together.
“Aston Villa spent a lot of money, Norwich spent a lot of money – and they are not going back (to the Premier League) at the first attempt.
“He said, when he took the job after being relegated:
‘I’m going to have to buy a team for the Championship to get out.
‘Then a team for the Premier League to stay in’.
“That is what he is going to do.
“He has got to get assurances off Mike Ashley, that he is going to get his hand in his pocket.
“They have got to invest and build for that Newcastle United future.”