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Opinion

Four lines of attack for media looking to defend Mike Ashley and use against Newcastle United fans

8 months ago
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The media seems to be full of talking heads leaping to the defence of our poor embattled owner, Mike Ashley, who isn’t really doing a lot wrong, if you believe what they are saying.

Those backing the fans point of view are few and far between, for every Alan Shearer and Micky Quinn there is an Andy Gray and Richard Keys, for every Rob Lee there is a Dennis Wise and Sam Allardyce, even our simple Shola seems to have fallen for the greasy charms of poor old Mike.

So what is the gist of what is being said?

What are these incredible points being made by a motley crew of agitators and former employees?

Let’s break them down and probe their validity…….

‘Newcastle finished comfortably in tenth place last season, so clearly Rafa did have enough money to spend last year.’

Well, this is a very disingenuous point as we were in a relegation scrap up until five weeks before the end of the season, even dropping into the relegation zone just before Christmas. So let’s not kid ourselves about the miraculous tenth place finish shall we?

Last season was a slog, a battle that we often looked like losing, and the fact that we didn’t lose it is more to do with the tactical astuteness of Rafa and his refusal to bend to the will of the press and sections of the support, than the paltry sums allowed for “team rebuilding” throughout the previous summer. We can also be thankful that other teams actually turned out to be worse than us, though not by much, and the fact that we were VERY lucky with injuries. A luck which has deserted us so far this season.

‘The amount of money spent is irrelevant if you are still strengthening the team.’

On the surface this is a tough one to argue against, but whether we have actually strengthened the squad is very debatable, and will only really be seen as the season progresses. However, strengthening a small amount when your direct competitors have strengthened a lot, is a recipe for disaster.

The honest answer here is that nobody knows exactly how strong we are in relation to our competitors. Their expensive signings may turn out to be duds, and Muto and Rondon could end up being a very prolific partnership, but you just can’t see it turning out that way can you? In football you do generally get what you have paid for, bargains are few and far between and for every named success there are 20 failures.

The other side of this is the message it sends out to the rest of the footballing world, to our fans and to our players as well as the manager. That message is that Newcastle United have no ambition to compete, the ambition is to maintain the status quo on a tight budget and try and turn a profit from our transfer dealings. The message is that profit comes above ambition at Newcastle United.

‘What’s the problem, Rafa signed seven players whom he clearly wanted as he signed them.’

What a simplistic way to look at the transfer window. If you needed a shovel to dig a hole, you had found the shovel you wanted and you knew that you could easily afford said shovel, so you tell your wife that you want to buy the shovel. Then your wife tells you that you can only buy a spoon to dig your hole and you can’t expect your bank balance to allow you to hire the JCB like your neighbours down the road, would you be happy?

You didn’t ask for a JCB, you didn’t expect a JCB, you wanted a shovel. Sure you can (in theory) dig the same hole with the spoon but it’s going to take a lot more effort and you might bend the spoon because it is cheap. This is how Newcastle go about buying players under Mike Ashley…and Joselu is a spoon.

‘Credit to Mike, he’s got the club financially stable.’

Utter garbage. The debt, not that there is one, has increased to £144m under this financial genius. Twice we have been relegated through this incompetent buffoon giving “jobs for the boys” away to his mates like Wise, Jiminez, Kinnear, Llambias and McClaren, and twice he has fabricated a debt that the club (himself) has to pay back for his ‘generous’ loans to cover the cost of his own idiocy.

I am sure that there are more ridiculous excuses in the “Mike Ashley Defence” play book but these seem to be the ones trotted out most often by certain media personalities.

I get that they are there to agitate and provoke debate, I spend enough time listening to that absolute plank Adrian Durham on Talksport to realise that they are there to simply get a reaction. The difference now though is that this isn’t a simple defence of the indefensible, it is a media counter attack on the protests and pressure which fans are applying to the owner, they are a sure fire sign that we are getting to him.

What we need to do now is keep that pressure on, keep those protest and online blockades going of S****s Direct and his associates, make life uncomfortable for him as he has for us all these years. It is a war and all these spurious claims from the talking heads are simply propaganda from no marks and has-beens/stooges in the pocket of the workhouse boss, and they are running scared.
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