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Opinion

I’m finished with this Mike Ashley Newcastle United even if Rafa Benitez stays

5 months ago
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Mike Ashley is now only seven weeks away from being in charge of his 13th season at Newcastle United.

You could say unlucky for some and you would be correct.

Once again, I allowed myself to feel some hope as we approached the end of last season and then that increased further at the end of May.

I won’t get fooled again though.

When the news came out about the interest from the Bin Zayed Group, it really looked like everything could be finally coming together, especially when they made two public statements confirming they want to buy NUFC and had been in talks/negotiations with Mike Ashley for some time.

As time has gone on though, my hopes are fading.

I do believe there is a serious bidder in BZG and possibly others as well this time, however, I am getting the growing feeling that Mike Ashley is up to his old/usual tricks.

Whilst the usual clowns in the local and national media are giving us the usual predictable guesswork that they attempt to pass off as insider knowledge/sources, George Caulkin (The Times) and one or two others have been giving us a decent steer on things.

The fact that George (and the one or two other credible journos) aren’t claiming too much, in terms of sensational detail, leads me to further think they have a decent idea of where the situation is at, up to a point.

Their message, especially George’s, this week is that discussions/negotiations are continuing but nothing is close.

The underlying message for me is that Mike Ashley is not making this easy.

I don’t claim to know exactly what is or isn’t happening but my belief is that, as we all would have suspected anyway, that Ashley will be wanting to take their eyes out if anybody is going to succeed in buying him out.

The thing is, this applies where Rafa Benitez is concerned as well, the few credible journalists indicating that the owner isn’t exactly going out of his way to ensure the manager stays at the club, no matter what happens.

To be honest, I am now trying to see it as a positive that Mike Ashley is making things so black and white.

I can’t bear the thought of another season with him in control, no matter who is managing the team and/or which players who are on the pitch. It is all meaningless whilst the owner is still here, these past 12 years have shown that any accidental positivity that happens under him is never built on. Every new season we are back to square one, or worse, if Ashley has managed to relegate us again and/or sold the club’s better players.

Mike Ashley has yet again shown he is up to his old tricks, with PR, deception and plain lies.

Yesterday we saw a clearly pre-arranged ‘accidental’ meeting at Royal Ascot, where another of Mike Ashley’s poodles, David Craig of Sky Sports, happened to bump into Dennis Wise, with the dwarf yet again telling everybody what a great owner Ashley is and how he will only sell NUFC if right for the club, fans etc. Seemingly setting the stage for yet another takeover not happening, due to the failings of others as usual.

Mike Ashley has not only not commented on the takeover, he and his minions have also failed to comment on exactly why he felt it was necessary to put my season ticket up by 5%, this only 12 months after it went up by more than 20%. Yet Ashley will still have his PR people putting out the message that Newcastle are one of the cheapest Premier League clubs for ticket prices, despite it being a blatant lie. It then being an absolute disgrace, especially for the local ones, when newspapers refuse to point this out and just repeat the Ashley line.

With the new kit launch yesterday, once again Newcastle  fans are expected to pay top dollar.

It costing £116 for the home shirt, shorts and socks, or £146 if you want to include the ‘authentic’ replica shirt. It is £65 (£95 for the authentic) if you want the shirt alone.

Last summer my season ticket went up by over 20%, the owner insisted on a £20m profit on transfers in and out, then Mike Ashley took £33m out of the club once the transfer window closed.

All the messages are that if there is no takeover, there is no change in the way the club will be run.

If Rafa Benitez wants to stay, that then is what he must accept.

Well whatever Rafa does, if Mike Ashley is still here, I won’t be.

Enough is enough and only once he has left will we have a football club once again.

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