Will Mike Ashley never learn? It seems that Ashley is attempting a Emperors New Clothes scenario at Newcastle by banning anyone who dares to speculate on the future of Joe Kinnear. Celebrated Geordie journalist, Alan Oliver, has been banned from entering St James’ Park by Newcastle United after writing an article about Joe Kinnear’s health. Oliver has written more words about Newcastle United over the years than most journalists have covered on a variety of subjects, but this latest faux pas by Ashley is just silly.
Oliver, like most Newcastle fans can see just how bad things are at St James Park but Ashley and his cohorts arrogance is now leading them into dangerous territory. Unfortunately Ashley seems to feel that he’s above criticism, which strikes me as a man who is listening to too many Yes men as they hide away in their bunker. Most people openly wonder if Joe Kinnear is well enough to return, to one of the most pressured jobs in English football, can’t Ashley see that?
Obviously not though and perhaps Oliver should count his blessings that he can no longer enter St James’ Park whilst Ashley and Wise try to destroy Newcastle from the inside out. Ashley is beginning to resemble a man on the edge of sense, stuck with a club he can’t sell, with fans that hate his guts, a team that can’t or won’t perform and he awards a man with a heart problem and who has won 5 matches in 29 games a new contract. Xisco, the £7 million pound hitman has 1 goal, the kind of return that anyone who knew anything about him would have answered.
If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect Ashley was a Sunderland fan, working undercover to destroy the Magpies, akin to the nickname Manchester United fans gave Graeme Souness during his awful spell in charge of Liverpool, Special Agent Souness as he vitually bankrupted the Liverpool board and left them in 13th. Yet I know that Ashley is a Tottenham fan and I thank god he couldn’t afford to buy Spurs when the £400 million asking price put him off two years ago, god knows what kind of mess we’d be in now!
Oliver has seen 15 different full time managers and numerous caretakers in the period that he’s spent following the Toon and wears his love for Newcastle United on his sleeve. Ashley has simply shown himself to be a childish, immature owner that is beginning to rank alongside the Micheal Knighton, Robert Maxwell and the Geoffrey Richmonds of the footballing world. No chairman or owner of a football club is beyond criticism, it is a fans and journalists right to vent their anger if they feel things are not right on or off the field and Ashley has done his best to antagonise the fans with his antics these last 7 months.
I’m really beginning to worry about Newcastle’s future as an ongoing concern. If they go down and Ashley can’t sell, just how many fans are going to be prepared to follow them next season? Decisions like banning journalists for having the honesty to question things shows him to have thrown in the towel at Newcastle.