Mike Ashley is running Newcastle United into the ground.
The owner totally wasting the opportunity presented by having a top class manager on hand, who could help really move the team and club forward, on and off the pitch.
Instead, Newcastle are heading for what looks like a third relegation in nine Premier League seasons.
These are the views of Newcastle legend Malcolm Macdonald, who just can’t believe what is happening at his old club.
He sums up the problems facing Newcastle fans who see the only way to have any kind of a positive future, is by Mike Ashley leaving, Supermac declaring: ‘I’ve never known a situation like this. Does the owner want to sell? He says so but I don’t think he does because Newcastle are too valuable for him.’
It was September 2008 when Mike Ashley first promised to sell the club, responding to the protests that followed Ashley and his people undermining Kevin Keegan and eventually forcing him out of St James Park.
Any number of times in these past 10 years, the owner has repeated that he is trying to sell the club.
You would have to be pretty naive/simple to believe Mike Ashley is genuine when he says this.
As his people told John Hall when he bought the club, he was making the purchase because he thought NUFC would play a vital part in expanding his retail empire, the power of the Premier League’s worldwide TV exposure giving his brands invaluable (free) exposure allowing it to prosper.
Ten years later and Mike Ashley has gone from being a billionaire to a multi-billionaire.
Once again, anybody who believes the PR nonsense put out by the club’s owner that Newcastle United is somehow a cross to bear for him, rather than being a massive positive, is very naive/simple.
In these 10 years that Newcastle United have supposedly been up for sale, almost every one of the other clubs currently in the Premier League have been sold, or had large stakes in them bought by outsiders. At some clubs there has been more than one change of ownership/control in this time.
Yet Mike Ashley has the club genuinely up for sale at a realistic price and nobody is interested…???
Malcolm Macdonald talking to The Star:
“Rafa was made a promise that whatever he created he could have to spend. Well, Rafa has actually made a profit way in excess of £20 million.
“But the awful thing is that the transfer money is being withheld and Rafa is totally and utterly hamstrung.
“I feel sorry for him because this is a great manager who I feel is just getting dogs’ abuse.
“He’s being used and abused and he doesn’t deserve it. He’s got a great track record and he’s done an absolutely terrific job at Newcastle.
“But he’s getting no support from above. Most owners of football clubs, if what has happened over the last couple of years had happened at their clubs, they would have been absolutely delighted.
“They would have been wanting to reward the manager. But Mike Ashley is not bothered in my eyes about the club itself. He’s not bothered about the team or the supporters or anybody.
“And I think it’s gone beyond a meeting between the two to end the stand-off. I think Rafa is just looking at the end of the season and that’s his contract up.
“It’s heartbreaking. You look and it’s a full stadium every match day with 52,500 fans. And those supporters will think: Where the hell are we going? I get the overwhelming impression that they are running out of hope.
“I shall be going (to the Arsenal match on Saturday) and have been invited by my old skipper Bob Moncur to do talks in different lounges. But whenever I’m there, I’m having to bite my tongue all the time.
“So, if I’m doing that for heaven’s sake Rafa is having to do the same. But I can’t see anything improving his lot. No matter what. I don’t think it would improve even if he won a trophy.
“Sadly, I think he is being not just pushed but shoved towards the door. He’s a great football manager getting the very best out of a very ordinary squad.
“They got away with murder last season and well done to them for having achieved it – but it doesn’t happen two years in a row. It’s not good. You get to Christmas and you need to be on 18, 19, 20 points.
“But I’m looking at the fixture list between now and the end of December and I’m not sure they will even get into double figures. They need some football talent to come in and give the team a boost – but that’s just not going to happen.
“I’ve never known a situation like this. Does the owner want to sell? He says so but I don’t think he does because Newcastle are too valuable for him.”