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‘I couldn’t get what Alan Shearer said about Mike Ashley out of my head…’

3 weeks ago
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Is it really just 37 days since Mike Ashley handed over the keys at St James Park?

Maybe it is just my brain working overtime to protect my mental health but it feels like far far longer than that.

My brain trying to make the Mike Ashley presence seem like something in the very distance past, rather than the reality him still here only last month and of course all those miserable hours, days, weeks, months, years that preceded that.

It makes me laugh that the media are putting in such feeble attacks on the new Newcastle United owners.

I don’t mean the human rights stuff, it is what they have said about the supposed lack of progress made at the club so far.

In only five weeks, as well as getting rid of Mike Ashley, the new owners have:

Sent Steve Bruce on his way

Appointed Eddie Howe (after a proper process of interviewing a number of people, a number of times)

Appointed a new set of backroom staff (and presumably got rid of the other Steves (Agnew and Clemence), though no formal confirmation of that so far)

Removed Lee Charnley as a Director at the club

Invested another £38.5m into Newcastle United

Revealed (Simply confirmed to us!) that investment is needed in every area of the club and that new training facilities and a new Academy are very high on that list

Stated that they will back Eddie Howe in the January window

As well as Amanda Staveley doing some excellent interviews this week, giving proper communication with the Newcastle fans, plenty of detail and positivity…I also couldn’t get what Alan Shearer has said about Mike Ashley out of my head.

Alan Shearer speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap earlier this week:

“So for the last 14 years it has been really difficult, they [Newcastle fans] have had no hope. Cup competitions have been zero and it has just been about surviving.

“So I can get why all of a sudden there is a bit of excitement in the City.

“Well it [Newcastle United] needs investment. The Academy needs investment and you know as well as I do that you don’t get anything, without putting something in there.

“For the last 14 years it has had nothing. I mean, the training ground and Academy is exactly how it was, when I left back in 2006.

“Nothing [invested] at all. It is the same Academy and training ground, it may have had a lick of paint but other than that, nothing. Going forward, whatever happens, that has to change…and I’m hopeful that it will.

“Everything. It has to be everything. There has to be investment in Newcastle’s training ground, Newcastle’s Academy, the scouting, the coaching, you have to do everything. Without all of that, players are still going to go to other football clubs.”

Having read the above, I thought it would be worthwhile to look back at where Newcastle United were when Mike Ashley bought the club in 2007:

Tw0 months since played in Europe, got to last 16 of UEFA Cup in March 2007 (Now eight years since last played in Europe)

Seven years since massive St James Park redevelopment completed in 2000 (Now twenty one years since SJP had any improvement / money spent on it)

Three years since got to European semi-final, UEFA Cup in 2004 v Marseille (Now seventeen years since last European semi-final)

Four years since started training at temporary rented Darsley Park training facility in 2003 (Now it is eighteen years since started training there and in 2013 Mike Ashley said a new state of the art training ground had to be built ASAP as it was essential if NUFC were going to be able to compete)

Eight years since played in an FA Cup final against Man Utd in 1999 (Now twenty two years since last FA Cup final)

Two years since last FA Cup semi-final against Man U in 2005 (Now sixteen years since last NUFC FA Cup semi-final)

Ten years since finishing Premier League runners up for second season in a row (Now twenty four years since NUFC finished PL runners-up)

Four years since playing in Champions League and progressing through the first group stage, before then knocked out in the second group stage as the competition was arranged then in 2002/03 (Now eighteen years since NUFC played Champions League football)

Four years since finishing third in Premier League in 2002/03 (Now eighteen years since NUFC finished top three in PL)

I couldn’t find any dates but as we all know and as Amanda Staveley has already stated, a new Academy is urgently needed. I think the Academy players and staff originally trained at the same Darsley Park rented facility from 2003 but not long after moved to another rented nearby location to train.

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