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Opinion

Most senseless Newcastle United Board decision ever, the last PL home game v Sheffield United

1 week ago
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When it comes to scoring own goals, this Newcastle United Board takes some beating.

I say board but of course I am referring to Mike Ashley and his inner group of Sports Direct associates these days, as the club don’t have a board of directors, only Lee Charnley named as the sole nominal director to tick a legal box.

We never of course get to hear much (like everything else at the club) about these board meetings that Lee Charnley holds with himself.

Anyway, I want to take you back in time, to a time before none of us had even heard of Mike Ashley, at least not with regard to Newcastle United.

It is November 2006, only six months before we would allĀ  be celebrating the fact that self-made English billionaire Mike Ashley had come to ‘save’ us.

Newcastle United look to be heading for a season-long relegation battle, 10 Premier League matches played and only two wins, with six defeats and two draws.

This was the season when we were facing life without Alan Shearer, after a decade of having increasingly taken him for granted as we were to find out.

The previous season had seen the belated sacking of Graeme Souness, a run of five defeats and a draw eventually seeing him binned on 2 February 2006.

Glenn Roeder was asked to step up to the manager’s role until the end of the season, with Alan Shearer acting as his assistant whilst also still playing.

With Souness gone, Roeder/Shearer went on a brilliant run of 10 wins and only three defeats in the last 15 matches, somehow getting Newcastle to seventh and into the UEFA Cup.

Fast forwarding to Thursday 2 November 2006 in Sicily.

A lot of people talk about this game, an excellent UEFA Cup win over Palermo that saw Tim Krul make his NUFC debut and Albert Luque get the only goal!

What isn’t mentioned so much, is one of the daftest own goal decisions ever taken by a Newcastle United Board.

Newcastle were set to play relegation rivals Sheffield United on the weekend but instead of playing on the Sunday after the Thursday night UEFA Cup match, the game was instead still played on the Saturday.

The game was a Saturday teatime TV live game but Newcastle weren’t obliged to agree to it, as only 36 hours after playing in Sicily.

However, John Hall and Freddy Shepherd chose to take the money on offer and the inevitable happened.

Newcastle lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield United with their relegation rivals getting above NUFC and out of the bottom three.

It proves that Mike Ashley doesn’t have a monopoly on NUFC self-harming.

Thankfully, Newcastle recovered and stayed up on 43 points but Sheffield United went down on 38 points, relegated on goal difference.

However, that decision to take the bonus TV money in the November could have sent Newcastle United down.

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