Birmingham City co-owner David Sullivan has expressed some sympathy for Mike Ashley, but has said his Newcastle counterpart as ‘naive’.
David Sullivan – Birmingham co-owner sympathizes with Ashley
Newcastle Owner Ashley has come in for some serious criticism, when he seemed to let the negotiations with Kevin Keegan get out of hand, while he was away in New York, and in the end sided with his Board of Directors, Derek Llambias and Dennis Wise – a fatal error.
And basically when he did that, and did not attempt to right the situation wehn he returned from New York, , the Newcastle fans turned fairly against him, and his time was up at Newcastle, as he acknowledged on Sunday evening.
Sullivan has also suffered the anger of Birmingham supporters’ unrest, when the Blues were again relegated from the Premier League last season, and today he has sympathized with Ashley.
Ashley has defended his role in the exit of Keegan, who left following restricted activity in the summer transfer market, and seemingly not in control of transfers into the club. Mike claims to have spent £110M in a bid to manage the club’s debts.
Sullivan has praised Ashley’s business approach at Newcastle United, but he does believe the Newcastle owner has suffered from a lack of overall football knowledge.
“The demands of fans can have a wearing effect,”“All Mike Ashley has done is throw money at the club, tried to balance the books and been castigated for it,”
“He’s maybe a bit naive and not a football person, but he is not a mug.”
“He took on the club as a business with massive debts and pumped in a lot of money to keep Newcastle going, but that is not sustainable.”
“And though I think in England you have to let the manager manage, Kevin Keegan’s track record is not that good.”
That statement is not fully accurate by Sullivan. Mike was not castigated for balancing the books but for allowing Kevin Keegan to leave, and backing his Board against Kevin. Let’s at least stick with the facts here.
In fact we had thought Mike’s policy of bringing in young players was good, but Kevin, or any other manager, has to have the final say on who comes and goes at the club. That’s what this argument is all about, and nothing else. If he brings back Kevin with that proviso, the club could carry on whether or not Wise and Llambias stay with the club.
That’s what we think the sad thing is in all of this, it would have been so easy to put things right, even now, but that wasn’t done.
Birmingham co-owner David Sullivan believes Ashley will also struggle to find a buyer and he told BBC Five Live yesterday:
“I don’t think he will find a buyer – partly because he spent too much.”
“Secondly people won’t want to go into that environment because they know if things don’t work out after six months they will get abuse.”
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