Newcastle’s new owner Mike Ashley has worn a Newcastle shirt to every Newcastle game he has attended since buying the club for Â£135M in the summer.
But Niall Quinn, the Sunderland chairman, thinks Mike’s public display of loyalty will be a problem at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, when passions will be running high. He thinks Mike wearing the Newcastle shirt in the Director’s Box may be a problem for police.
Why is that? It seems ridiculous to us to think that the Newcastle owner wearing a Newcastle shirt in the Director’s box, will be any problem at all.
Niall Quinn – thinks Ashley wearing the Newcastle shirt will be a problem on Saturday – why?
Mike wears the shirt at every game, so it’s not just for the Sunderland game. Asked whether Ashley would be able to wear his Newcastle shirt to the game, Quinn told the Shields Gazette today:
“You’ll have to ask the police about it, not me!â€ “I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it, but I don’t know what the police would say.â€
â€œThe man supports his team, and that’s great. When you see enthusiasm like that, that’s fine.”
Itâ€™s a bit of a mystery to us why the police would have any problem at all with having owner Mike Ashley wear the Newcastle shirt on Saturday â€“ maybe itâ€™s a problem only in their own eyes. Hey, it would be nice to see Niall wear the Sunderland shirt too.
The game is both Mike Ashleyâ€™s and Niall Quinnâ€™s first derby game, and also the first for new Newcastle chairman Chris Mort. Itâ€™s also the first time the two managers, Sam Allardyce and Roy Keane, will have gone head to head with their teams. Both are characters in their own right, of course.
“It’s a marvelous game – it was my favorite of all the derbies I played.â€ “I played Manchester ones and other ones, but this one’s just amazing with what it means to the region and the people.â€
“It will be a very proud day for the people involved.â€ “I can’t call how it’s going to go, but it’s great we’re in there and we’re in the Premier League playing in a derby. I can’t wait.â€ “Roy Keane and Sam Allardyce are two of the game’s most phenomenal characters.â€
“That in itself is a great story leading into the game, but then when you look at the fact that Sunderland have been down in the dumps lately and it’s a great chance for ourselves to restore our pride and kick on up the league.â€
“Most people will be saying it’s only a game, and rightly so, but there’s something very special about it.â€ “To see Newcastle’s new owners and Sunderland’s new owners, and new managers.â€
“It’s going to be a great occasion. I’m sure it will be. It’s just going to be a great game.”
And it will be another test for newly-promoted Sunderland, but from what weâ€™ve seen, they have done quite well against some of the top teams, without ever really being able to get a result their play often seemed to deserve. The same was true last night at Manchester City where they were rather unlucky to be beaten 1-0, by an ordinary looking Manchester City side.
“I can’t wait. We’re entertaining Newcastle at our place, and like with all games, we’re on a mission to show people we’re a proper Premiership club.â€ “It’s another test for us to see whether we belong in the Premiership.â€
“It’s going to take a long time, but games like this will help us along the way.
“We keep reminding people that we’re trying to change an awful lot here, and it’s very difficult. I think we’ll get there, and I think we’ll do the club proud.”
It should really be a good game on Saturday, with lots of excitement that these derbies always generate. It will be a sad commentary though, if Mike cannot wear his shirt. Does that mean other supporters will not be allowed to wear their shirts too? Where’s the logic in this? We cannot see any at all.