You have certainly got to hand it to Mike Ashley.
So much drama at the club that it is difficult to remember what happened only a few months ago…
If you recall, back in August and September Mike Ashley had plenty to say for himself, before he then had even more to say for himself in October.
In August the NUFC owner was saying that he expected the team to get themselves safe in the Premier League and then make the FA Cup a priority once we got to January.
Then in September, Ashley told Sky Sports he was going to give team £20m in bonuses if/when they won the FA Cup, this followed numerous reports revealing that he had been refusing to agree the level of Premier League bonuses that other clubs’ players would receive.
October comes and Mike Ashley says he wants to sell the club as soon as he can, plus he’ll even accept payment in instalments to try and make sure he sells up quick.
Only at Newcastle!
Mike Ashley talking to Sky Sports – 13 August 2017:
“I actually now believe that Newcastle will look to make mid-table this season and maybe we can make the cup a priority this season.
“We can get ourselves safe and then go for a cup.
“It means that in my few years at Newcastle United I might be able to win something other than a Championship trophy.”
Sky Sports – 10 September 2017:
“Mike Ashley says he will donate £20m to the players if they win the FA Cup this season.”
Newcastle will find out who they play in the FA Cup Third Round on Monday night when the draw takes place live on BBC2, starting at 7pm – they are ball number 28 (see below).
It was very generous of Mike Ashley to say he was going to instruct Newcastle United to go all out for the FA Cup after ensuring Premier League safety, if only he had allowed Rafa Benitez to go beyond that £11.5m net spend in the summer – you don’t get many trophies for that amount these days.
It might be a bit too hopeful to expect to be rid of Mike Ashley by the time the draw is made on Monday night but he claimed he wanted to be out before Christmas, here’s hoping that when the third round match comes around (weekend of Saturday 6 January) we will have seen the back of him.
Third round ball numbers:
3 Aston Villa
5 Birmingham City
6 Bolton Wanderers
8 Brighton and Hove Albion
9 Bristol City
11 Burton Albion
12 Cardiff City
14 Crystal Palace
15 Derby County
18 Huddersfield Town
19 Hull City
20 Ipswich Town
21 Leeds United
22 Leicester City
24 Manchester City
25 Manchester United
29 Norwich City
30 Nottingham Forest
34 Sheffield United
35 Sheffield Wednesday
37 Stoke City
39 Swansea City
42 West Bromwich Albion
43 West Ham
45 Woking / Peterborough United
46 MK Dons
47 Newport County
48 Wycombe Wanderers
49 Port Vale / Yeovil Town
50 Shrewsbury Town
51 Doncaster Rovers
52 Slough or Rochdale
53 AFC Wimbledon
55 Mansfield Town
56 Luton Town
57 Bradford City
58 Blackburn Rovers / Crewe Alexandra
59 AFC Fylde / Wigan Athletic
60 Gillingham / Carlisle United
61 Notts County
62 Forest Green Rovers / Exeter City
63 Fleetwood Town / Hereford United
64 Coventry City