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Opinion

Mike Ashley final day PR stunt and Steve Bruce happy to play along

3 weeks ago
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Rafa Benitez, Kevin Keegan and Chris Hughton refused to tow the Mike Ashley line.

Managers with integrity who wouldn’t allow themselves to be used by the club’s owner for PR purposes and trying to make it appear he has any real intention of running the club on a proper basis.

However, Steve Bruce is very much another in the long line of JFK, Pardew, Carver, McClaren…

Happy to play along with whatever ever tune Mike Ashley wants him to dance to.

Last game of the season has always been a popular one for the NUFC owner.

Who will ever forget this one after Benitez’ side hammered reigning champions Chelsea 3-0 on the final day of the season…

Mike Ashley – 13 May 2018:

“Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.”

After today’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, Steve Bruce ending the season on a run of only four wins in the final twenty PL games, the head coach revealed that Mike Ashley had called him and the squad after the final whistle on a Zoom call…

Steve Bruce:

“I have got a call in to Mike [Ashley] on Wednesday.

“I think he thought it was important to speak to everybody, say well done to the staff and to the players for all their hard work.

“It was good to hear from him.

“He just wanted to thank everyone for their efforts, that was basically it.

“All the players and staff were together, everybody.

“I am sure there’s a shared desire to keep taking the club forward.

“Everybody wants the club to do well.

“As I keep saying, we need some clarity about the situation with regard to the takeover.

“What he reiterated was it [NUFC takeover] is in the hands of the Premier League and it has been like that for weeks.

“If that [takeover] is not going to happen then we need to know quickly.

“That way, we can make sure it is business as usual.”

It is just embarrassing.

Why is it such a big deal that the owner of a football club has spoken to the head coach? Why does it have to be made public?

With massive issues on the takeover AND transfer strategy if it isn’t happening soon, why is it presented as such a great thing that Mike Ashley is deigning  to speak to his key employee.

What purpose does it serve to make this public other than for PR purposes and trying to make out Ashley is intending to do things in any kind of a professional way?

At which other PL club do you have the manager / head coach announcing he has spoken to the owner in such a way and / or has a call scheduled…?

We are less than seven weeks away from the 2020/21 season, the transfer window opens tomorrow (Monday), yet you get this nonsense. Like it is by royal assent that Mike Ashley has miraculously agreed to talk about issues affecting NUFC that are so pressing.

Maybe the most chilling quote is when Steve Bruce declares: ‘If that [takeover] is not going to happen then we need to know quickly. That way, we can make sure it is business as usual.’

Yes ‘business as usual’, that just about sums up this total circus of a football club under Mike Ashley.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Liverpool 3 – Sunday 26 July 4pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Gayle 1

Liverpool:

Van Dijk 38, Origi 59, Mane 89

Possession was Liverpool 75% Newcastle 25%

Total shots were Liverpool 14 Newcastle 3

Shots on target were Liverpool 6 Newcastle 2

Corners were Liverpool 4 Newcastle 2

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Rose (Watts 74), Shelvey, Bentaleb (Sean Longstaff 49), Almiron (Hayden 70), Lazaro, Ritchie, Gayle (Carroll 70), Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 45)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Muto, Young, Yedlin,

Crowd: 00,000

(Newcastle 1 Liverpool 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s defeat – Read HERE)

(Michael Chopra calls out pundits on ridiculous over the top Steve Bruce comments – Perfect response – Read HERE)

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