The PR machine is in full swing as Mike Ashley, as always, puts time and resources into distorting the media coverage about Newcastle United, rather than making any effort to help the club be a success on and off the pitch.
At the close of play today, we will be already within three weeks of the closure of this January transfer window.
As the expectation was that if any signings of substance were to be allowed, the work would have been done behind the scenes in preparation for them to arrive as soon as the window opened, it hardly gives you confidence. As the January window was opening, Rafa Benitez was still saying he didn’t know what money, if any, he would have to spend this month, which tells you everything you need to know on how this shambles of a club operates under Mike Ashley.
The blatant PR moves by Mike Ashley’s people, with Keith Bishop (pictured above with the NUFC owner) at the heart of it, are coming thick and fast to try and cover up the disgraceful way the club’s owner is undermining Newcastle United
The biggest story on Tuesday was put out by Keith Bishop/Mike Ashley.
With ‘Tyneside sources’ revealing that the Miguel Almiron signing was in danger of not happening because he was asking for ‘astronomical’ wages.
With the story being put out by the Press Association, I have no doubt that this story was genuine, when I say genuine I mean that somebody connected to the potential deal has told them this – they haven’t just made it up.
Whether it is true that Miguel Almiron is wanting ‘over £100,000 a week’, who knows? What I do know is that it would make no sense at all for the player and his agents to be putting out such a story, so the only place it could have come from is Mike Ashley’s PR department.
The clear intention to make out that this is a supposedly greedy player preventing Newcastle making a big signing, not the fact that this owner refuses to allow the going rate to be paid for transfer fees and wages for Premier League standard players.
The net result of yesterday’s story is that many gullible Newcastle fans were left talking about whether or not £100,000 in wages is the going rate or not these days for such a signing, rather than yet another day has gone by with no signings or help for Rafa Benitez. Only 10 days now until the key relegation clash with Cardiff and clearly zero chance of any new signings playing that day to help improve the chances of a win.
The Miguel Almiron ‘wages’ story quickly followed on from the Rafa Benitez contract one.
Somebody, I wonder who, putting out the story to journalists that if only Rafa Benitez would sign a one year contract extension, the manager would then have transfer funds to spend.
The story talking about how this one year extension would be intended to help the club get through this difficult period with a takeover of the club imminent.
Yet again, the spin is deflecting the attention away from Mike Ashley’s neglect and lack of action in support of the manager. The intention being to at least muddy the waters as to who should be doing what, and at best, convince some supporters that Rafa should be willing to agree this alleged contract extension offer, as it would then allow transfers and pave the way for new owners to come in.
It is complete nonsense of course, because regardless of the manager’s contract situation, signings need to be made to improve the team/squad, especially in the position Newcastle find themselves.
This trick was of course used in the summer, Ashley’s people putting out the story that it was very difficult for a club to be investing in transfers if there was no certainty about the manager’s long-term future.
Rafa Benitez called this nonsense and made the obvious point that if signings were made, and he then left a year later, it isn’t as though he would be taking those signings with him. Rafa making clear that improving a squad, especially a relegation threatened one, is an ongoing non-stop process, or at least it should be.
The end result was that Mike Ashley refused to give Rafa Benitez any money to spend in the summer and instead actually made a £20m+ profit on deals in and out.
Finally, THE letter.
With Newcastle fans increasingly finding the idea laughable of a club takeover happening any time soon, we suddenly had Peter Kenyon’s letter revealed.
A journalist who has constantly backed Mike Ashley and criticised Newcastle fans, was given the story/letter, which allegedly had been written by Kenyon and sent to Mike Ashley, care of Newcastle United, before Christmas.
It was reported that both Mike Ashley and Peter Kenyon had agreed to the leaking of the letter to ‘prove’ that progress was being made on a Newcastle United takeover.
As many pointed out, if they were serious and wanted to show they were, then both parties would have released a joint statement reassuring everybody that progress was being made and a takeover would/could happen in the very near future.
Just more PR stunts and nonsense, fans supposed to then swallow the idea that Mike Ashley supposedly waiting for Kenyon to find investors willing to pay a fair price for the club, did in some way make it understandable why Rafa Benitez wasn’t being backed in this transfer window.
Remember, for Mike Ashley, Keith Bishop and the rest of his PR minions, they don’t think they can convince everybody when they put out these lame stories in the press. Their intention is to drip feed this kind of stuff regularly that the media then lazily just repeat, and it muddies the waters enough, as well as convincing as many people as possible, especially neutrals, that Mike Ashley isn’t the problem.
Mike Ashley is the problem though and until he has sold up, Newcastle United is a club that is sinking, no matter that temporarily you might have somebody such as Rafa Benitez trying to bail enough water out of the sinking ship to keep it afloat for the time being.