Steve Harmison tells Mike Ashley to ‘get out of Newcastle’ – Remarkable transformation
Former England and Durham cricket star Steve Harmison has been speaking out about Newcastle United.
A lifelong NUFC fan, Harmison has been a regular media pundit commenting on the situation at St James Park.
On Friday he has turned the spotlight on Mike Ashley.
Previously, Steve Harmison has said (see below) that the NUFC owner wasn’t a big problem at the club and that fans should just get on and support the team, that it was a negative for supporters to be demanding Mike Ashley sells the football club.
However, the former cricket star has well and truly turned on the NUFC owner now, saying: ‘If there’s ever a time for him to get out of Newcastle, this is it. Please, for these great Newcastle supporters. We don’t want to be tarnished with that brush any more.’
Steve Harmison pointing to the despicable behaviour of Mike Ashley during this current virus crisis, regarding both Newcastle United and his retail empire.
Steve Harmison speaking to Talksport:
“If ever there was a time for Ashley to leave, this is it.
“If you were asked the question, ‘which Premier League team would be the first to put their non-playing staff on furlough?’, the answer would be Newcastle. It would be Mike Ashley.
“So this doesn’t surprise me.
“We’ve seen what he’s done with Sports Direct, we’re being told to stay in and don’t go out, but he left his shops open (until the government forced Ashley to close them).
“It does not surprise me with Mike Ashley.
“The reports in the local papers up here yesterday were that this could be the closest Newcastle has been to being taken over in the last three years, with all the nonsense that has happened.
“And I hope so.
“When we come out of this, Mike Ashley has not covered himself in glory with Sports Direct and Newcastle United.
“If there’s ever a time for him to get out of Newcastle, this is it.
“Please, for these great Newcastle supporters.
“We don’t want to be tarnished with that brush any more.”
Steve Harmison speaking on Talksport – 21 June 2019:
“I can’t believe Rafa will leave, if he says he loves the club as much as he does.
“The contract was simple. There it is, you know what the contract is. For four years you stick to this, the contract budget is x, we are going to sign younger players, you do it that way and you are going to have to stick to this…I think Rafa will stay. I can’t believe he would leave, saying what he says – He loves the club, he wants the club going forward, he wants the best for the club.
“And to leave…This would be the heartbreaking thing for Newcastle and the fans and for him.
“If he leaves Newcastle four, five days, before they go back for pre-season, with no real transfer targets, very much little uncertainty, they (Newcastle fans) would never forgive Ashley…but they would never forgive Rafa as well.
“To walk away then, he (Rafa Benitez) has known for six months what this contract is, he has wanted more power and more money, he’s not going to get neither, so he’s got to live with it.
“So for him to walk away now, that would be heartbreaking for Newcastle fans because he knows what that parameters are.
“He should have walked, or he should have said…I can’t deal with this, so if it doesn’t change, I’m leaving when my contract finishes and gives Newcastle time to plan accordingly.”
Steve Harmison speaking on Talksport – 26 July 2018:
“I support Newcastle United, I don’t support Rafa Benitez, I don’t support Mike Ashley.
“I support the black and white shirt, St James Park, cos I don’t think that will ever be removed, that iconic stadium, in the middle of town.
“I just can’t believe, I can’t believe some of the stuff.
“We had an MP, a member of parliament, standing up and abusing Mike Ashley, it was quite comical actually. The state this country is in at this minute, your biggest problem cannot be like that. You are trying to get some cheap laughs and some cheap votes from people in the north east.
“Mike Ashley, he is what he is, it has been 10 years now. We haven’t spent the money, he hasn’t spent the money, we know what is going (on).
“But Rafa knew that when he came in.
“Newcastle fans have got to get behind Newcastle United football club, the actual shirt, the black and white shirt.
“Because if you go to the first game of the season against Tottenham, we’ve got a hard start, and we start going ‘Mike Ashley…’ , what we normally do, then all of a sudden the pressure comes on, we don’t win a few games, and we lose Rafa. We have not got any assets for somebody to come in and buy the football club.
“But if Rafa…and all this stuff, and I’m as passionate as much as anybody, but to say you are going to boycott and you are going to walk away…
“You support Newcastle United football club, you don’t support Mike Ashley, you don’t support Lee Charnley or Rafa Benitez, it is the black and white shirt you support.”
Steve Harmison talking to Sky Sports – 23 April 2018:
“I’m not a massive Mike Ashley hater.
“The club is stable under him…”
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