Ah Mike Ashley, How I've Missed You
There was something inevitable about Chris Hughton’s sacking today, almost if after the last few weeks, it was a case of when rather than why. I was extremely critical of Mike Ashley’s reign in the season that Newcastle United were relegated and yet here we are again, two years on and the man simply can’t leave things alone. The trouble with some chairman is that because they own a football club, they think they actually know about football. Ashley continually proves this isn’t the case.
What I’m constantly astounded by is the Mike Ashley managed to become a multi-millionaire. How can someone who clearly has absolutely no clue about football make his money in sports retail? Hughton had done an astounding job by getting Newcastle United promoted at the first time of asking. Lets not forget this side, in the majority, were the one that limped so poorly out of the Premiership in 2008-09. Hughton cleared the dead wood, refused to panic after the humiliation of a preseason hammering at Leyton Orient and hit the ground running once the Championship season started.
Every mistake he made the first time round seems to be coming back to haunt the Newcastle faithful. Could any set of fans have such an out of touch owner since Peter Swales held the power at Manchester City in the 1990′s? It simply beggars belief that a man who employed Dennis Wise as a Director of Football and Joe Kinnear as a manager, now feels Hughton isn’t the man to take the club forward. A man who believe that Xisco was a better player than James Milner, who claimed that Newcastle fans had threatened his children and has refused to put a penny into the club in 18 months.
As Chairman go, Ashley shows all the facets of arrogance personified. Clearly he is under the misapprehension that he actually understands football when, with the exception of letting Hughton have the managers position, every major decision he has made shows he has none. He allowed Keegan to be ostracised over transfer policy, employed a manager who hadn’t managed to in the top flight for almost ten years, gave the job to Alan Shearer and then never rang him back once the season had finished and allowed Adidas to release that awful, awful cream and yellow stripe vomit inducing away kit last season.
As if I had anything left to surprise me, English bookmakers suspended the betting on Alan Pardew being the new Newcastle manager. Seriously. Sacked by West Ham, resigned from Charlton, sacked by Southampton. Of course now Martin Jol has walked out on Ajax too so he is now going to be the new Newcastle United manager. No-one has any idea really. Yet you have to ask yourself which top quality manager, after seeing the nonsense, chaos and simple bad management on display at Newcastle United would want to work in that environment.
I just feel sorry for Newcastle United’s fans. Often incorrectly portrayed as delusional big club chanting fans, Newcastle, over the last 25 years have seen so much talent leave the club, so many close shaves to major success and yet they find themselves continually run by people with no respect them as fans, as people and as consumers. That, for any set of fans is galling to take. Question is, have they finally had their fill of Mike Ashley or will the continue to turn up regardless.My colleague Matt earlier mentioned his disgust at the decision which you can read here but nothing that goes on at St. James’ Park under Ashley surprises me at all.
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