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Mike Ashley caught out after claiming has no influence on running of Newcastle United

2 years ago
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Mike Ashley is never going to change.

However, his PR people will never stop trying to convince you otherwise.

The idea that he leaves the running of Newcastle United to Lee Charnley and the rest of ‘the board’ is laughable.

In March 2016 with the club looking doomed to the Championship after Mike Ashley failed to replace stooge Steve McClaren with a proper manager soon enough, the NUFC owner tried to distance himself from the disaster he had orchestrated.

Mike Ashley – 21 March 2017

“So the best thing was to make sure it was on solid ground and then step back and get them to self-manage Newcastle.

“Create a board, get the board to appoint the manager, put the manager on the board as well and then not interfere.

Then on 15 June 2017 we had proof that as usual it was all spin from Ashley’s side of things, particularly with the Newcastle United ‘board’ now consisting of Lee Charnley and Bobby Moncur.

Mike Ashley has drafted in somebody at Newcastle United who Lee Charnley has to answer to.

As reported by the Telegraph, Ashley has brought Justin Barnes into St James Park and they say that now Lee Charnley has to run any financial decisions past him.

Then we had this from The Mirror on 27 August 2017:

After a series of transfer window moans, Toon boss Benitez was visited by managing director Lee Charnley and Justin Barnes — a lawyer working for Magpies owner Mike Ashley — after Saturday’s win over West Ham.

PR man Keith Bishop was also present amid concern at the European Cup winner’s comments about his transfer budget.

Owner Ashley is believed to have asked Benitez to stop his unsettling comments and to “get on with his job”.

Then on Saturday we had this from Sky Sports (10 September 2017):

‘Mike Ashley says he will donate £20m to the players if they win the FA Cup this season’.

Finally we covered this on The Mag yesterday (13 September 2017)

Miles Starforth (of the Shields Gazette) has had the inside track on this story from the start and he has revealed that a phone conversation between Mike Ashley and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles saw the bonus scheme eventually agreed.

The bottom line is that Mike Ashley may not be stalking the corridors of St James Park each day personally but he pulls all the strings.

Whether that is via minions such as Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop who have no role at the club in a made public sense, whilst obviously Ashley also gets on the phone to Lee Charnley, Jamaal Lascelles, whoever, and gets what he wants done by that route.

Rafa Benitez has one hell of a job on dealing with the politics, manipulations and stupidity of this Mike Ashley ran club…and that is before he gets to the fact he was only allowed to spend £11.5m net in the transfer window, compared to Huddersfield’s £43m net spend and Brighton’s £48m this summer.

Detailed below are the quotes from above but also with additional stuff that was reported at the time for more info.

The Mag – 13 September 2017 (yesterday):

Miles Starforth (of the Shields Gazette) has had the inside track on this story from the start and he has revealed that a phone conversation between Mike Ashley and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles saw the bonus scheme eventually agreed.

Sky Sports – 10 September 2017:

‘Mike Ashley says he will donate £20m to the players if they win the FA Cup this season’.

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The Mirror – 27 August 2017:

‘Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez WILL stop his transfer grumblings after talks with MD Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley lawyer

Rafa Benitez has agreed to “shut up and get on with his job” after clear-the-air talks with Newcastle chiefs.

After a series of transfer window moans, Toon boss Benitez was visited by managing director Lee Charnley and Justin Barnes — a lawyer working for Magpies owner Mike Ashley — after Saturday’s win over West Ham.

PR man Keith Bishop was also present amid concern at the European Cup winner’s comments about his transfer budget.

So far, Newcastle have splashed out around £40million in this summer’s transfer window on six players, but missed out on four early deals Benitez wanted done, leading to tension.

On Friday afternoon, Benitez claimed Newcastle was no longer a “long-term” project.

And all summer he has hinted at unhappiness at the speed of business being done.

Owner Ashley is believed to have asked Benitez to stop his unsettling comments and to “get on with his job”.

The Mag – 15 June 2017:

Interesting revelation on Thursday night, with news that Mike Ashley has drafted in somebody at Newcastle United who Lee Charnley has to answer to.

As reported by the Telegraph, Ashley has brought Justin Barnes into St James Park and they say that now Lee Charnley has to run any financial decisions past him.

Mike Ashley – 21 March 2016:

“Do I regret getting into football? The answer is yes.

“I have had tonnes of fun in it but I haven’t been able to make the difference I wanted to in football.

“I wanted to help Newcastle, I wanted to make it better, that’s what I wanted to do. I haven’t seemed to have had that affect.”

 “I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle United, in reality, because I only pick the board.

“To get a football club to be the best it can be, you have to get the sun, the moons and the stars to align perfectly.

“But there is negativity around me as an individual when it comes to Newcastle, so the best thing was to make sure it was on solid ground and then step back and get them to self-manage Newcastle.

“Create a board, get the board to appoint the manager, put the manager on the board as well and then not interfere.

“I don’t know what players they sign, I don’t know what team they are going to pick on a Saturday.

“All I say is, there is a bank account, when you have emptied it, it’s empty, don’t come crying to me for more money.

“They have had a proper go at it this season, I think everyone can agree with that, but the results haven’t been ideal.

“I don’t really want to have any influence in football to be honest. Looking after Sports Direct is more than a full time job.”

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