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Steve Bruce declares that Mike Ashley ‘only wants what’s best’ for Newcastle United

2 weeks ago
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Mike Ashley landed in his helicopter at the Newcastle United training ground on Wednesday.

The NUFC arriving by sheer coincidence…when at the same time all the media were  assembled in the indoor training pitch building to quiz this week’s three new signings and Steve Bruce.

Mike Ashley and his people leaked to the media that the NUFC owner was going out for a club bonding meal with Steve Bruce, his coaching staff, Lee Charnley and the players.

What he (Mike Ashley) didn’t leak was that at the same time he and his employees were meeting, he was releasing a public statement accusing the Premier League of not acting ‘appropriately’ and claiming he might take legal action or other ‘options’ in retaliation, claiming they had rejected a Newcastle United takeover despite new information being submitted.

The Premier League replied saying Mike Ashley was ‘incorrect’ in what he was accusing them of and that they hadn’t rejected the takeover and allegedly it could still happen if the buyers and sellers could supply certain paperwork that would enable a deal to be passed by the Premier League.

At his pre-West Ham press conference, Steve Bruce has assured everybody that Mike Ashley is genuine when it comes to Newcastle United, that ‘he only wants what’s best for the club’…

Hmmm, a few potentially credible signings, £30m or so spent in the transfer market, plus a few players belatedly signed up on longer contracts, whilst very welcome, won’t cause the NUFC fanbase to have total amnesia when it comes to the previous 13 years.

Steve Bruce states that it looks like the takeover is now ‘dead in the water’ and as fans, we knew that the squad that ended last season (third worst form in Premier League from Christmas 2019 onwards, only four wins in final 20 games, 22 years since NUFC had scored less goals) was in need of serious improvement.

Mike Ashley is acting to try and safeguard his asset from relegation and in the hope that somehow a takeover can still happen, no other reason.

Mike Ashley wants what is best for himself and his retail empire, not for Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce also a little elastic with the truth as well surely when claiming that Wilson, Lewis and Fraser have all been signed ‘just at the right time’ on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Hmmm, yes this pre-season has been a lot different to normal BUT surely nobody will believe that Steve Bruce wouldn’t have preferred that Mike Ashley had allowed signings to be made last month, so they could take part in the pre-season training camp near York and the four friendlies. Especially Ryan Fraser who has played absolutely no football since March and after running his contract down at Bournemouth so he could be a free agent, has had no pre-season with any club.

Steve Bruce on the timing of new signings coming in:

“In the past you’d have liked to have them done before you come in for pre-season, but this year there’s been no real pre-season as such.

“In the past, we had six weeks off and six weeks preparation, and in those six weeks you’d try to bring your players in.

“But I’m delighted with what we’ve done, just at the right time.

“We’ve managed to bring four or five in, and we’ve got one or two signed up as well and another couple are in discussions with Lee (Charnley) at the moment so we’re progressing.

“Hopefully we can get it done and dusted before that scramble which always comes in about a month’s time.

“If I look at the squad, I think we’re stronger than we were 12 months ago. That’s the thing for me, to gradually improve us.

“We did OK last year under difficult circumstances but we can’t just settle – can we progress and can we enjoy the season ahead?

“We’ve got to try and create a bit more, make more chances and that’s why we’ve brought in the players we have done, to try and improve that situation.

“They’re proven all of them in one way or another so I’m quietly confident that they’ll all do very well.”

Steve Bruce on West Ham:

“Whenever you play against a David Moyes team you know what to expect.

“He demands hard work and resilience from them.

“They’ll be a difficult nut to crack but we played very well down there last year.

“Let’s look forward to the game and get ready for it.”

Martin Hardy of The Times quoting Steve Bruce:

“The takeover looks like it’s dead in the water.

“To be fair to Mike, he only wants what’s best for the club.

“We’ve all said it would have been wonderful for the club.

“The owner thought it would take Newcastle to a different level because of the people involved.”

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