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Opinion

Even Mike Ashley can’t miss this open goal…can he?

6 months ago
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Mike Ashley loves a gamble.

Whether it is a casino or Debenhams, beating the odds still gives the billionaire an adrenaline rush.

Maybe sorting out a new contract with Rafa Benitez is just too boring and predictable. For a man who has so much, maybe scoring an open goal is just too boring and doesn’t get the blood pumping.

Success at a football club is never guaranteed but as a gambler, Mike Ashley knows all about when the odds are in his favour.

He has massively expanded his retail empire by preying on the weak/strugglers, seeing opportunities where he can go in and strip things down, keeping the healthy bits and adding to his profits.

Debenhams was maybe just the wrong choice, over-reaching and over-exposing himself and Sports Direct, too big a gamble where his overtures were eventually resisted as he attempted to take control at a make or break point.

It is a case of potential losses due to Debenhams of around £150m for Sports Direct and with Mike Ashley owning almost two thirds of SD, a personal hit of around £100 for the NUFC owner.

Not surprisingly, Newcastle fans might wonder what could be achieved at the football club if Mike Ashley personally invested £100m (in his asset!) and Sports Direct coughed up £50m for the free promotion over a decade and more, which has been a significant factor in the growth of their business and wealth.

Rafa Benitez wants persuading that things are going to change at the football club.

As it stands, he is now 28 days away from taking charge of his final Newcastle United match.

This weekend has seen Rafa pretty much guarantee Newcastle’s safety in the Premier League.

Any other sensible/ambitious club would have seen the contract positions of star player and star manager sorted by now.

Wolves have completed a £30m+ permanent deal on loan striker Raul Jimenez, whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was moved from temporary caretaker to permanent at Manchester United.

The ‘Just In Time’ business practice sees factories and shops looking to keep costs down to a minimum and profits at a maximum, by having efficient systems that deliver parts/stock ‘Just In Time’, so parts/stock isn’t hanging around being unproductive.

This is football though and keeping Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon hanging around without their futures sorted, is neither good business or saving money.

With Premier League football all but guaranteed for next season, now is the time for dynamic action.

Mike Ashley should tie up the futures of both Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon with immediate effect, as even if he is selling up, any new owner would see both things as big assets if taking over.

The ball is sitting on the goal line, just waiting to be tapped into the back of the net.

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