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Opinion

Championship Manager, League 1 Facilities, League 2 CEO and Non-League Owner – Newcastle United

4 months ago
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Newcastle United is the only major club where the kids not only play Championship Manager, they also more often than not get the chance to watch and learn from one in action every week.

Steve McClaren had been sacked by Championship club Derby County before Mike Ashley appointed him in Summer 2015.

It was John Carver who McClaren replaced, he had never been a Premier League manager before Ashley gave him the job from January 2015 onwards. Carver working as a Head Coach at MLS club Toronto FC previously, for a short period.

Joe Kinnear got the Newcastle job in 2008 after Mike Ashley forced Kevin Keegan out, Kinnear hadn’t managed since leaving Nottingham Forest midway through the 2004/05 season, Forest relegated from the Championship that season with JFK the main reason.

As for Alan Pardew, he was recruited by Ashley after actually having been sacked by a League One club, Southampton firing Pardew before the NUFC owner gave him the job in December 2010.

Mike Ashley of course having disgracefully dispensed with the services of Chris Hughton. Hughton had never previously been a manager but was a massive surprise success when Ashley initially gave him the job in Summer 2009, simply because he was there on the spot, cheap and available (Ashley’s mantra). Chris Hughton brilliantly taking Newcastle to instant promotion despite zero backing from Ashley, then had NUFC established safely in mid-table halfway through that 2010/11 season, only for the club’s owner to sack him because Hughton proved not to be a willing puppet, unlike his successor…

Along with Hughton, no surprise that the two managers treated the worst by Mike Ashley, happened to be the only two whose last jobs had been in the / a top tier. Kevin Keegan had retired from football in 2005 when managing Manchester City in the Premier League at the time, KK persuaded out of retirement in January 2008 when Mike Ashley promised that Keegan would be in ultimate charge, having final say on transfers…

Whilst in the case of Rafa Benitez, he had recently left Real Madrid in La Liga when approaching and offering his services to Mike Ashley in March 2016. Once again a top manager let down by the owner when after Rafa agreed a three year deal, Mike Ashley’s promises of support faded away once the Spaniard had got Newcastle back into the top flight.

The latest Championship Manager of course is Steve Bruce.

Newcastle United fans able to watch (whilst socially distanced) this top notch Championship boss in action.

After a poor record in the Premier League, last managing there when relegating Hull in 2015/16. Steve Bruce had then become a permanent Championship fixture, managing Hull, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday in the second tier, until fairy godmother Mike Ashley appeared and stunned Bruce and the rest of us, bizarrely paying a reported £4m in compensation to land somebody of the level of Steve Bruce, astonishing.

League One Facilities

Mike Ashley promised in 2013 a state of the art new £15m training complex would be built ASAP as it was ‘essential’ if Newcastle United were to be able to compete. That promise turning out to be as believable as anything else the NUFC owner promises at the football club. Not a brick laid, not a penny spent over seven years later.

Meanwhile…today (Christmas Eve) will see Leicester City train for the first time at their new £95m Belvoir Drive training ground.

The 180 acre site has been under construction since Spring 2019 and will be home to the men’s first team and Academy. The club have described it as the best training facility in Europe.

A couple of images Leicester City have released…

and this…

Meanwhile at Newcastle United…

paddling pool newcastle players

and…

bins training ground newcastle players

and…

newcastle players

League Two CEO

Where is Lee Charnley?

Lee Charnley – Sunday 11 August 2019:

“…when we have something definitive to say, we will say it, as we did as soon as Rafa’s position became clear.

“We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa’s departure caused. We strongly believe we went beyond what could reasonably be asked in order to keep him. But let’s be clear, he moved to China for money.

“Whilst I have stated above that I felt our approach during the summer was necessary, I accept we need to do more from a communication perspective moving forward.

“There is certainly a need to communicate more as a club and to let fans know where we are heading collectively.

“That goes beyond the responsibility of just the head coach or manager in isolation; something we have relied on far too heavily in the past.

“We want to give you more of an insight into what happens across the club and you will therefore be hearing more from me, as you are today…”

Once again I ask, where is Lee Charnley?

Non-League Owner

Sadly, Mike Ashley is currently avoiding much of the flak he should be getting for his shameless derelict running of Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce fulfilling his main role of taking the stick instead of the owner as he stumbles along, as by some distance the worst manager / head coach in the Premier League.

As well as our hapless / clueless Head Coach taking one for Team Ashley, Newcastle fans are also distracted by the hope that somehow the end of this terrible 2020 will swiftly lead to a change of ownership, that in the background moves are afoot and Mike Ashley will somehow still succeed in taking the well above market price cash that the Saudis offered.

If this dream of new owners riding to the rescue, sadly we are set for more of the same as laid out above, from our Championship Manager, League One Facilities, League Two CEO and Non-League Owner at Newcastle United.

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