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Opinion

Newcastle fans should be thanking Mike Ashley for Dennis Wise and Richard Keys

2 years ago
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Dennis Wise is the most disgraceful appointment made by Mike Ashley, so far, now in his 12th year of owning Newcastle United.

That is some accolade, considering the competition.

Alan Pardew, John Carver, JFK (twice!), Derek Llambias, Steve McClaren…

Yes, for me Dennis Wise easily tops the list.

I absolutely hated him as a player, along with every other Newcastle fan, and as his time at St James Park proved, and the years since, it was really scraping the barrel – even for Mike Ashley.

When Wise arrived in January 2008, it was met with utter disbelief, Ashley had sacked Sam Allardyce and appointed Kevin Keegan earlier that month, sure the NUFC owner knew that Dennis Wise was poison as far as the supporters were concerned?

It wasn’t made entirely clear what role the former Chelsea player had taken up but fears that he had been brought in above the manager’s head to have the final say on transfers were quickly dispelled by Kevin Keegan himself.

The Newcastle United playing and managerial legend said he had been assured that he (Keegan) had the final say on transfers…

This quelled any fears of any fan rebellion, if Kevin Keegan said this was the case then that was that, we knew we could trust him…though we subsequently came to learn that Mike Ashley and his minions couldn’t be relied on.

When Keegan later took action for constructive dismissal, the independent panel awarded KK £2m compensation and stated that Ashley and his people had repeatedly misled the manager and fans.

As well as helping to force Keegan out of Newcastle, Dennis Wise was an absolute liability in everything else he touched at Newcastle United.

With the club all but already relegated, Alan Shearer was asked by Mike Ashley to try and keep them up with only eight games remaining, one of his conditions on taking the job reported to be that Dennis Wise had to go.

Sure enough, Wise did leave in early April 2009, receiving a reported £1.5m pay-off from Ashley/Newcastle.

Just like Joe Kinnear, Dennis Wise was already known to Mike Ashley. They say you can judge somebody by the company they keep, can’t disagree with that here.

On Saturday, Ashley’s PR minion Keith Bishop (surely) helped put Richard Keys, Dennis Wise, Andy Gray and Sam Allardyce in a room together.

We were told they would be (surprise surprise) be talking Newcastle United and we weren’t ‘disappointed’ when that beIN Sports show came along.

Many Newcastle supporters have, quite rightly, been outraged by the absolute staged nonsense spoken on Saturday. In particular, a spectacularly badly acted out conversation between Wise and Keys, obviously pre-arranged, with Gray and Allardyce sitting back to allow it to play out. Where they attempted to show that Mike Ashley was actually the hero of the NUFC situation and Rafa, players and fans were lucky to have him owning the club.

Rather than being outraged, my first reaction is simply to say bring it on.

I think it is great news that Ashley is sending out Wise, Allardyce, Keys and Gray to do his dirty work.

Firstly, it proves just how rattled the Sports Direct supremo is, the Newcastle fan protests really getting to him and affecting his retail empire’s performance.

Secondly, if this set of chancers is the best he can come up with, it is brilliant news for all of us.

Any campaign/protest always runs the biggest risk of apathy setting in, people losing interest.

Around two thousand turned up to protest outside SD in Newcastle City centre before the Spurs match, by putting the likes of Wise and Keys up as his main defenders, Mike Ashley is simply fanning the flames of protest to a huge degree. God knows how many will turn up now to protest on the back of these clowns winding us all up.

As to the wider audience, if Mike Ashley had credible people willing to try and mislead the general public (non-Newcastle supporters), then inevitably he would have some success in muddying the waters.

However, anybody with a brain will see the likes of Wise, Gray, Keys and Allardyce and simply laugh at Ashley’s efforts to spin this one.

He and Keith Bishop are made out to be some kind of experts in manipulating the media but if this lot are the best they can come up with, what exactly is there to be concerned about when taking this fight to Mike Ashley.

Newcastle fans can see the back of Ashley and disgraceful appointments such as JFK, Pardew, Wise and the rest, as well as the shadowy figures of Barnes, Bishop and others behind the scenes.

Newcastle United just have to believe in themselves and their club, be prepared to see this one through and rid our club and city of this parasite.
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