You certainly have to hand it to Mike Ashley.
Whatever happens, he keeps getting away with it.
Who knows what is going to happen with the Newcastle United takeover? Who knows whether there is even a Newcastle United takeover even being discussed?
Forgive my cynicism but we do only have the word of Mike Ashley as any real ‘proof’ that he is really willing to sell the club.
The rest of it, the media reporting, is all reliant on them being told stuff…predominantly by Mike Ashley’s people.
Yes I do believe that the chances are Amanda Staveley has made an offer but I certainly wouldn’t put it past Mike Ashley to be stringing us along with his public statements of now wanting to sell.
You only have to look at the 2008/09 relegation season and when it all kicked off after Keegan was forced out, he pretty much minimised the protests against him when he said he’d listened to the fans, they could stop protesting, and he was going to sell the club as soon as possible. That was almost 10 years ago.
The PR stunts and marketing tricks never stop.
Just look at this farcical 125 years celebration at the weekend.
The club making a big song and dance about this being the 125 year birthday and then we can all celebrate by watching a severe lack of quality team get taken apart and outplayed by a Leicester side, Newcastle weaker in every single position than the visitors due to Ashley’s refusal to allow Rafa Benitez any kind of realistic summer transfer budget.
I must admit even I was taken in a little bit by the 125 year thing because of course we all love a bit of nostalgia, looking back to when we had decent players and a good team, and owners who we didn’t absolutely hate…
Bottom line though, what actually is there to celebrate with 125? A 100 yes but what is 125, why is it any more important than 115 when Mike Ashley had been at the club six months, or 120 when he had us fighting yet another relegation season (2012/13) after failing to invest on the back of finishing fifth the previous campaign?
Purely and simply, the 125 thing was simply a marketing idea dreamt up between Newcastle United and Puma as a gimmick to sell more merchandise, produce a new temporary crest with 125 on that instantly then dates any NUFC merchandise, which fans already have.
Name me one other football club that you have seen putting on special celebrations for their 125th birthday?
The club’s 125th birthday falling on an actual match day on Saturday, made it so special that Mike Ashley didn’t bother turning up himself. Nor did his top men currently controlling NUFC on his behalf, the media reporting that neither Justin Barnes or Keith Bishop were at the Leicester match either.
A bit like a poor fish who doesn’t realise there is something wrong until the hook is well and truly stuck through his mouth, as Newcastle fans we swallow the bait once again, with Mike Ashley and his cronies laughing at us.
The absolute nerve of Ashley to invite us to celebrate the club’s history, at a time when he is once again doing everything he can to ruin the present and future.
Undermining Rafa Benitez and clearly trying to drive him out of the club, in my opinion. Starving the manager of transfer funds to try and stabilise in the Premier League once again, meaning all momentum from promotion is wasted.
As for the way he has undermined Newcastle’s history in his 10 years, it is gobsmacking that he can still try and sell us the historical marketing line.
He had St James Park renamed in favour of his trampy shop, with not a penny going into the club coffers.
A disgusting shirt sponsor like Wonga welcomed into our club and sullying the image further.
Club legends Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan also undermined, then once they left and answered back, Mike Ashley did his best to blacken their names.
Things weren’t perfect before he arrived but we must have done something pretty bad in a past life to get what karma delivered in the shape of Mike Ashley.
Maybe somebody can start off a range of alternative NUFC merchandise celebrating the first 115 years of Newcastle United, airbrushing out this decade of manipulation and tyranny.