When somebody sticks up for Mike Ashley, you know that it is all but a foregone conclusion that it will be someone who you wouldn’t have liked anyway.
Whether it is certain journalists or former players/pundits, they tend to be towards the Dennis Wise extreme of carrying respect and popularity.
Step up Simon Jordan, the failed former owner of Crystal Palace who has a track record of winding Newcastle fans up to help get himself noticed.
He was recently on Sky Sports and talked at length (read it below) about Newcastle United.
A small part of what he said was put up as a clip on Twitter:
“Now Mike Ashley has gone in there (Newcastle).
“Was never going to be accepted because he was a southerner.”
This clip attracted much attention and amongst those who responded was Melissa Chappell, agent of Alan Shearer.
No doubt in the circles she moves in, Melissa Chappell comes across many people who have come across Mike Ashley and his entourage, maybe she herself has done so personally. As well of course, as hearing from Alan Shearer himself about his dealings with the Newcastle United owner.
Whatever the interaction, Shearer’s agent has clearly formed very strong opinions on Mike Ashley.
“No he (Mike Ashley) was never going to be accepted because he’s brash, he lies and he’s totally unlikeable.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Simon Jordan talking on Sky:
“I love Sir John (Hall), I live next door to him in Spain and so I have heard the stories of Newcastle on many occasions.
“This is an interesting one. There is a lot of vilification of Mike Ashley but there should be a lot of commending of the fact he has been there 10 years.
“I know that he has two relegations on his watch but so have West Ham. I look at the fact he has stayed there and got some stability back into the club, he managed to keep Rafa Benitez.
“It was interesting to listen to him earlier on in the season when Benitez was harping on about what he could have and what he should have.
“The moment Ashley came out and said ‘I can’t write cheques out’, I knew that he was looking for the exit sign.
“I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I spent a lot of time with Freddy Shepherd, Douglas Hall and Sir John Hall, listened to this story about how Newcastle are a big club.
“I always said: ‘yes they are a big club – in Newcastle’.
“This expectation that Newcastle fans sometimes have of their club is unrealistic.
“When Alan Pardew got them into the top five, I think that they expected they would win the league the following season and you could never meet that expectation.
“English clubs are going to attract value. What is Mike Ashley looking for? Well, we will see.
“Who is going to buy it? Well, we have Amanda Staveley. She is representing Middle Eastern money and it’s not her money.
“I kind of feel that it feels a bit like ‘be careful what you wish for’.
“If the expectations are so high and they are unrealistically high, and you don’t deliver upon them, what you then have is the next thing, which is just as bad – and that is disillusioned fans.”