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Opinion

Mike Ashley selling Newcastle United is the only thing that really matters

1 year ago
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Mike Ashley has to go.

I know not many of you will be disagreeing with that sentiment but I do think the strength of feeling in being diluted.

Not because Newcastle fans don’t care so much any longer but rather, other things are distracting them.

Things such as Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon, or even the fact it will shortly be impossible to expand St James Park, ever. Plus of course people debate the likes of Lee Charnley, whether there will be proper squad strengthening overall and so on.

The reality of the situation though is that none of this matters, until we see the back of Mike Ashley.

That is the only big issue, everything else is not worth talking about until the ownership is sorted.

Rafa Benitez

Whilst Mike Ashley remains, there is zero chance of Rafa signing another contract. Even if for some reason he did (sign an extension), it would be pointless, as the Spaniard is totally wasting his time under this owner.

Salomon Rondon

If Mike Ashley stays, no chance whatsoever of buying Rondon, all but guaranteed that any alternative forward signed will be worse than the Venezuelan. However, a change of ownership would mean Salomon Rondon would be the starting point, with any striker signing being at that level of ambition or higher.

The Board

Whilst Ashley remains Newcastle United will not have a board, instead Lee Charnley will be the one nominal director named by the club because they have to have at least one.

The Business management team

Lee Charnley will continue to be the only named executive at the club so long as this owner stays. Instead of a high level driven team trying to progress the club and drive more revenues, especially commercially, instead we will have Charnley continuing to be the fall guy and sit there trying to deflect criticism of Mike Ashley.

Sports Direct 

Unless Mike Ashley goes, the massive SD signs will remain at the top of the stands, the giant screen will continue to promote all of his brands during games, the countless advertising hoardings will remain inside St James Park, they will remain at the training ground for photo and TV shoots by the media, the club website will still be plastered with SD.

Transfer windows

They will continue to be torture, every single one of them seeing fans underwhelmed as the owner tries to do and spend just enough to survive.

The cups

These are meaningless so long as Mike Ashley rules, he refuses to allow a team/squad to be built where NUFC could have a real go at them. Simple fact.

St James Park

Mike Ashley has been the catalyst and made money for himself by buying the land opposite the Gallowgate End and then selling on to developers for a profit. Only a change of ownership can give any hope of that being stopped and St James Park capacity being increased.

Club shops

Mike Ashley has closed all of the club shops apart from the one at St James Park, so they aren’t taking business away from Sports Direct, that won’t change whilst Ashley remains. Whilst as for exactly how much Newcastle United benefits from the physical and online club shop relationship with Sports Direct is anybody’s guess.

Training complex

In 2013 Mike Ashley and his people stated that it was essential that a new state of the art training complex was built for the club to be able to compete. Quite clearly this will never happen whilst he remains owner.

Academy

Rafa Benitez and so many others believe that a revamp of and investment in, the Academy. is essential for the future of the club. The level of ambition/investment needed will never happen whilst Mike Ashley controls the club.

Commercial revenue

This is now at the same kind of level as it was when Mike Ashley took over 12 years ago, this won’t change until he goes.

There is no future for Newcastle United until Mike Ashley has gone.

He is the dodgy foundation stone that makes the club unstable every single season.

He is the poison that seeps into every corner of this football club.

He is the big fat rotten apple that turns the whole NUFC barrel bad.

People kid themselves when they talk about if Mike Ashley does this or does that…after 12 years we know exactly what we get from Mike Ashley and he is not going to change.

I understand the sentiment of the whole ‘If Rafa goes we go’ but in reality that doesn’t really matter either way, if Ashley is still there. Rafa Benitez has given us hope these last few years but it is transparent that he has simply papered over the cracks and kept the team/club afloat. The ambition level can’t be higher than that for any manager if Ashley is still in charge.

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