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Henry Winter told Mike Ashley 14 months ago he had to sell Newcastle United and now he revisits it

1 week ago
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Great to see just how much the national media are turning the spotlight on Mike Ashley.

He has of course got other issues in his business life at the moment…but when it comes to football, Ashley is finding no respite.

Journalists and pundits are increasingly asking just what is he playing at with Newcastle United, the lame PR from the NUFC owner’s people no longer doing its job.

Henry Winter is arguably the best football writer around and whilst he isn’t a paid up member of the Newcastle United fanbase, he has a lot of affection for the club and supporters.

Fourteen months ago when Newcastle were fighting relegation, Henry Winter (see below) said: ‘Ashley, sitting in London, has got to listen to these people (Newcastle fans). He has got to sell up, he has got to move out.’

The man from The Times said that by far the clubs biggest asset was the fans, along with Rafa Benitez.

Moving forward to the present day and after covering the win over Leicester, Henry Winter has declared: ‘Newcastle’s owner, Mike Ashley, either has to sell up or become a proper owner, somebody who invests properly, and gives Benítez the assurances he needs for the future…back the manager, respect the fans and reap the dividends.’

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Henry Winter writing in The Times – 13 April 2019:

‘Newcastle’s owner, Mike Ashley, either has to sell up or become a proper owner, somebody who invests properly, and gives Benítez the assurances he needs for the future, sorting out the training ground, and also making permanent Salomón Rondón’s loan deal from West Bromwich Albion.

With more time under Benítez’s tutelage and work on the training ground, the instinctive understanding and complementary gifts of Rondón, Pérez and Miguel Almirón could prove a formidable attacking trident.

Ashley should be pleading with Benítez to sign a new deal, give him more funds to strengthen the team and then push on next season.

Newcastle should be challenging for seventh, as Leicester City were.

Ashley’s handling of what should be a straightforward situation — back the manager, respect the fans and reap the dividends — is so strange as Newcastle would be even more attractive to buyers with more unity behind the scenes, and more successful on the pitch with some judicious recruiting.

The huge potential of the club was again confirmed by their magnificent 3,000 following outsinging opposing fans who outnumbered them 10-1.’

Henry Winter speaking to BBC Radio Five Live – 5 February 2018:

“Newcastle United’s most important asset, along with Rafa Benitez, their most important asset is their fan base…this incredible support.

“It has been said a million times, it doesn’t need to be re-emphasised – they are fantastic.

“Without them, the club is nothing.

“The club is just 11 guys on the pitch, it is just bricks and mortar, and a slightly lack of soul in the boardroom – everyone can see that.

“What makes Newcastle tick, as with most clubs, but particularly with Newcastle because of the way it dominates the city, emotionally and geographically – that stadium – the fans are absolutely key.

“Ashley, sitting in London, has got to listen to these people.

“He has got to sell up, he has got to move out.

“I can’t believe that he sleeps particularly easily at night know he is getting vilified, quite rightly, by sane people.“He has to sell up, he has to move on.”

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