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Opinion

I don’t expect Mike Ashley to show his face

1 year ago
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Is anyone else utterly fed up? I know I am.

This latest summer of farce tops the lot as far Mike Ashley and his running of Newcastle United is concerned. To be blunt – it’s sh…

We have had to endure this shower for 12 years and it just continues to defy belief that the people in charge of such a proud footballing institution can get it so wrong. It is being run by idiots.

It’s really not that hard to get right  and yet the clown who owns our club persists with the blunders.

The latest failure has seen the best manager since Bobby Robson allowed to walk away.

While other clubs seem to find money for players in good time for the new season, we have inertia. An information vacuum. Nobody has a clue what’s going on.

It’s a depressing trend the Ashley regime serves up. Where other clubs look for progression, we have implosions. Three years under Rafa just about made it bearable, but that’s over now.

It resembles the hideous summer of 2009 and we look to be having a nostalgic throw back to those heady days. Rafa, like Alan Shearer, ignored. Claims of a takeover dragged on and came to nothing. Ring any bells? Recruitment was minimal alongside cost cutting. Hmmm.

It’s the fans who are too young to remember the Robson era that I feel for. Those now almost grainy images of a club that was able to spend well, without ridiculous constraints, are long forgotten.

We face a bleak scenario.

A new manager will have to come in and try and pick up the pieces. Lee Charnley’s record on managerial appointments is abysmal (Remember: Rafa approached them in 2016) and the chances are we’re going to see a yes man having his picture done holding up the shirt. Will it be a double appointment – a head coach and a director of football, a model that has failed in the past? That’s the type of folly that they specialise in.

Players who are at the club signed on to work for Benitez. With him gone, the cohesion of the squad will suffer. Some key players will be seeking moves away. If we sell players we will take the fees in instalments, so no lump sum drops in for the new manager.

And there isn’t much time to get these new players onboard. While other teams seem able to move swiftly you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll dither and take way too long.

The owner has imposed an age cap on recruitment. It’s madness. This can lead to a squad lacking in experience and it has contributed to relegations in the past.

Then there is the mood among the fans. The situation turned toxic as soon as that Rafa press statement dropped at lunchtime on June 24. There are going to be protests, attempted boycotts, season tickets jacked in and apathy.The Arsenal game is going to be a mixture of absenteeism and vitriol. I don’t expect Ashley to show his face.

Football players are not immune to the turbulence. It will have an effect. The seeds of relegation in 2020 could be getting sown right now, this summer.

Then there is this alleged takeover. Some say there is truth in it but with every passing day it seems like fantasy island. That will rumble on and it gives the owner a chance to slam the brakes on the spending, then just before deadline day pull the plug.

We all wished it was different but the worst case scenario is coming to pass.

I once predicted that Rafa would stay. I was wrong. Very wrong. The Ashley regime hasn’t changed one jot, it was just Rafa put up with it for a lot longer than Kevin Keegan did.

The blame for this mess lies firmly at the door of the football club, forget this propaganda that Rafa was going to leave anyway and he was making unreasonable demands. We all know who has the proven track record for telling lies. The only slight comfort I can take is that the bright sparks in the national media can now see what a hapless owner Mr Ashley really is.

I cannot wait to see what the next calamity is going to be. Fed up? You bet.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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