Everybody has an opinion on Newcastle United and Mark Lawrenson is no different.
He has been giving his views on Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club.
It is always the same, you never seem to get anybody in the media who will turn around and say ‘Sorry, I haven’t really got a clue about Newcastle United, I’m not a fan and I’m not really interested in them unless somebody is paying me to talk about them..’.
The trouble is as well, that everybody does though think they have a decent idea of what is or isn’t happening at St James Park, not just on the pitch but with all the issues behind the scenes.
It sums up what a circus our club has become under Mike Ashley that he has become so well known for his ownership of the club (as if by design…?), for all the wrong reasons.
Is there any other club where more neutrals could name the owner(s)?
Mark Lawrenson starts by saying: ‘I think you have to remember that Mike Ashley is just a businessman. He is not a Newcastle fan.’
He says it as though Ashley is any different to the owners of all but a very small number of other Premier League clubs.
As though Newcastle fans have greater, unrealistic, expectations of the club’s owner than fans of other clubs have of theirs.
Mark Lawrenson also says: ‘You know, he bought the club, he spent money on the club. Obviously the fans think he should spend even more but hey, it’s his money.’
Well all owners of Premier League clubs have ‘spent money on the club’.
For Mike Ashley, the same as almost all of them, it was just buying another business to try and make money from.
The vast majority of money Ashley has as loans owed by the club to him, was money that was basically part of the price he paid to buy the club, the mortgage on the stadium redevelopment that he inherited and money that was still owed for players that had been bought under the previous owners and sponsorship cash that had been taken up front.
The smaller additional loans that Ashley now has the club owing to him relates to money that has had to be put in due to his mismanagement and lack of investment in the squad, which led to two relegations in only eight seasons of Premier League football, along with the current risk of a third relegation in nine PL seasons.
Mark Lawrenson says that Mike Ashley ‘Wants to sell’ Newcastle United.
Ashley may have said he wants to do that but if he will never accept a realistic/market price for Newcastle United then you must doubt the sincerity of those claims.
Mark Lawrenson interview by FootballTips.com.
Mark Lawrenson asked what he thinks of the situation at Newcastle under Mike Ashley?
“I think you have to remember that Mike Ashley is just a businessman.
“He is not a Newcastle fan.
“I think Mike Ashley is a Tottenham fan in all honesty and even then, I’m not quite sure if he is a Tottenham fan.
“I think he probably just likes Tottenham but I don’t think he’s one that would go every week.
“He wants to sell the business, I don’t think he needs to sell the business.
“I know he’s a very very good businessman and I would just suggest that the so-called takeover wasn’t offering him as much money as he thought it was worth and the problem with that is that he’s got to get it absolutely right.
“Obviously we know they got relegated, they spent a year in the Championship and it’s horrible in that league.
“You know my team’s Preston and I know what the game is like and I know what the teams are like and it’s a really difficult league to get out of and he doesn’t want to have to go through that again.
“If you think about it, take 25, 30% of what you think the club’s worth because they’re playing in the Championship.
“But he’ll just stick to his guns, he’s not really that interested.
“You know, he bought the club, he spent money on the club.
“Obviously the fans think he should spend even more but hey, it’s his money and he makes those decisions and that’s the thing, if one man owns your football club, like him or loathe him, he makes all the decisions.”