After Mike Ashley’s associates Derek Llambias and Graham Carr visited Greenock Morton this week, media reports claimed that the trip was part of a plan to make the Scottish Championship outfit into a feeder club for Newcastle United.
With both of them having been on the Ashley payroll previously, and with many people rightly or wrongly believing they still are, the press story added up in some ways.
However, Derek Llambias has now came out and said that if any move is made for Morton ‘We don’t need Mike Ashley’s money’, adding ‘Morton’s not a very expensive club, is it?….it’s not a huge investment.’
Formerly employed to run Newcastle United for Mike Ashley after previously running a casino, Derek Llambias has also claimed any involvement with Morton has ‘Got nothing to do with Mike Ashley.’
Instead, Llambias claims ‘I belong to a group of high-network individuals. We look at all sorts of things — sports, property. It’s a nice little group of people. They know I’ve gone to Morton. We’re just looking. I’m not saying we’re going to get involved.’
Unless they have had a falling out, it is very difficult to believe that any involvement by Derek Llambias in football, won’t be in some way connected to Mike Ashley.
It is difficult enough for anybody to make money at lower division English clubs, never mind those in Scotland such as Greenock Morton, who are in the second tier and haven’t been in the Scottish Premiership for 30 years. Plus, the latest Morton accounts showed a £2m loss.
“We don’t need Mike Ashley’s money.
“It’s got nothing to do with Mike Ashley.
“Morton’s not a very expensive club to buy, is it?”
“I’ve no idea what the price would be but it’s not a huge investment.
“We were shown round the club, it’s a nice little club, with potential, so watch this space.
“But we’re not committing to anything (yet). The main thing was to look at the reserves and have a look at Alexander Easdale [son of Morton investor and former Rangers chairman Sandy].
“Morton have some good quality coming through. Whenever I’ve got the chance to see a player, I ask Graham (Carr) to come along and have a look. He’s a good friend of mine and he’s got an eye for a player and plenty of experience.
“I belong to a group of high-network individuals.
“We look at all sorts of things — sports, property. It’s a nice little group of people.
“They know I’ve gone to Morton. We’re just looking. I’m not saying we’re going to get involved.
“It’s a nice little club and it’s got potential, but I’m not so sure it will be for us. There’s a long way to go yet.
“We could do it ourselves, there’s not a problem with that. We’re not acting for any group. There’s no commitment from us to buy it.
“We were just up for a couple of days. I was introduced to the manager and the chief executive. We had a look around, that was it.”