It’s A Long Road Back For Ashley With Newcastle Fans

Various quotes from Derek Llambias have been put put out by the Evening Chronicle this afternoon, although there doesn’t seem to be much new.  However, it’s very clear the Board and Ashley himself still have a long way to go to regain the confidence and trust of the Newcastle faithful – and they know that.


Kevin Keegan – Ashley insisted Newcastle had to keep Kevin

Some of the new comments are regarding Kevin Keegan’s departure from Newcastle, last September, which of course is the one event that started the uproar. We still don’t know exactly what happened.

It’s always impossible to go back, but we often wonder where Newcastle would be in the league if Kevin Keegan had never left.    ouch.

But that’s all water under the Tyne Bridge and High Level Bridge now, but at least it looks like we have a fairly decent chance of surviving in the Premier League this year.  Then the club will have to regroup big time in the summer, and press forward.

Derek Llambias has been given the unenviable job of attempting to explain to irate Newcastle fans, what exactly has been going on at the club since early September.

And Derek has at least agreed that he will talk first and foremost to the local Evening Chronicle and Journal newspapers, and not the NOTW and The Sun, which is a good move.

Derek has clearly admitted that they badly miscalculated the fall-out from the Keegan saga, and that’s a great pity because they must have known the Newcastle fans were furious that Kevin might leave, and so it turned out to be. There was ample warning before Kevin finally left, that Newcastle fans would be furious, and so they were.

So to say they miscalculated, probably says they just didn’t get how important Keegan was to the fans.

Derek said various things regarding the Kevin Keegan affair, which, by the way, is still a mystery as to what really happened:

Here’s some of the quotes from Derek on Kevin:

  • We tried to keep him – Mike insisted that we should keep him.
  • We tried our best to keep him, but once someone crosses that line, it’s very difficult to get them back.
  • Kevin – what can you say? He is the Messiah, he is a great guy. I promise you, Kevin was where we wanted to go.
  • We are trying to resolve our differences with Kevin and hopefully, we will get there very shortly.”

It would be good to settle the Kevin Keegan affair quickly, and presumably the club will settle out of court, but fans should still be told exactly what happened.

If nothing is said there will be a perception the club is trying to hide something, and that wouldn’t be good, in the new transparency at the club, where they have said they will be more open with the fans.

Here are some other snippets Derek told BBC Radio Newcastle this week:

  • Relegation – it’s totally inconceivable. You just couldn’t go there – and we won’t go there.
  • I might be bullish about it, but you have got to have that faith.

Asked about Newcastle’s prospects of competing for a top-six position shortly Derek said:

  • In the next year? I think it would be tough.
  • It’s taken Aston Villa three seasons to get there. They have done a great job. I would love to be up their like Aston Villa.
  • They have got a good team – no better than us – but they are up there, they are competing for that top four and it’s fantastic that they are.
  • We would love to be in that position once we are settled. We need a little bit more stability on the team side and a little bit more of a solid base, and that’s what we want to give them.”

As we’ve mentioned on this site before, one thing we must have is stability, and one way to get that is to have the same manager for a couple of years, at least.

It seems that Ashley, having changed direction 180 degrees on trying to sell the famous Newcastle club, has now got his passion back for Newcastle United – and only last weekend his kids attended the Everton game with him.

Mike’s probably got the passion back because he’s been talking  too much to Joe Kinnear.  😀

Llambias talked again about Ashley:

  • He was hurt by the reaction to Keegan’s departure. He came into Newcastle United, he bought it for a price.
  • People say he didn’t due his due diligence, but that’s the way Mike does business. He just saw it as where he wanted to be.
  • He put £250M into it and will continue to go down that route.
  • When he put it up for sale, he wasn’t wanted. When you are not wanted somewhere, you think, ’Well hang on, let’s walk away, it hasn’t worked out and you have got to move on’.
  • But come December time, Mike and I sat down and said, ’Enough’s enough, let’s get it back on track. The team needs to know where it is going, the supporters need to know where they are going’, so Mike Ashley is back on board.
  • It has gone, we are not for sale.”

Now comes the delicate period where they need to earn the confidence of the Newcastle fans back, and of course there is still along way to go.

But actions speak louder than words, and some good acquisitions in the summer, and a much bigger squad by the August time-frame, will go a long way to placating some of the Newcastle faithful.

Comments welcome.

120 comments so far

  • beyethegreat

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #1

    i pretty much always believed mike ashley had the clubs best intersets in heart

    i am not and have never been against aDOF

    though he could have atleast told kk(and the fans) that he wouldnt have much say

    if it had not been for that i would have been in complete support

    their was no need to lie

    you cant offer a manager a job and let him think he as the responsobilityto sign who he wants then to suddenly say he cant

  • Witters

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #2

    Personally I think this should be settled out of court & both parties should agree (contractually) to say nothing about what happened when Keegan left…

    There’s absolutely nothing anyone can do to change what happened & it’s not in Newcastle’s best interests to go public…

    If it goes public we get press for all the wrong reasons, become a national joke (again), it will further undermine this season & more than likely undermine next season as well.

    We are where we are…

  • beyethegreat

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #3

    though its good to see llambias is communicating more i will give the boardyet another chance

  • Witters

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #4

    And another thing…what’s important when you make a mistake is NOT (repeat NOT) who is to blame…the important thing recognising the mistake and making the necessary changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again…

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #5

    I have lost all respect for KK, he is nothing to me these days… Sir Bobby is the real hero around Newcastle.

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #6

    “Various quotes from Derek Llambias have been put put out by the Evening Chronicle this afternoon, although there doesn’t seem to be much new.”

    Well done for acknowledging that eventually Ed, though it should have read “absolutely nothing new” 😉

    “It’s always impossible to go back, but we often wonder where Newcastle would be in the league if Kevin Keegan had never left.”

    Well if you go on previous statistics for Keegan (21 games, 6 wins, 9 losses and 6 draws) we’d be in more or less the same place!

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #7

    I really see a bright future for us under Mike… I have not always felt that way. The way fans was treadted after KK had gone and the clubs failure in the transfer market had put some dark clouds in my mind. But the way the club has gone about things recently, starting with the release of the clubs financial report has swayed me to support Mike and his ideas… I also love the idea of being run with a bit of sense instead of the Man Citeh way.

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #8

    Witters // Feb 26, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    “And another thing…what’s important when you make a mistake is NOT (repeat NOT) who is to blame…the important thing recognising the mistake and making the necessary changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again…”

    Don’t hire any more tempramental little emperors who hold the dunderheeds under some kind of hypnotic spell. Simple.

  • jamie

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #9

    i agree with beye i think he had the clubs bests interests at heart, i know he is a business man, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that he is not going to make 250m pounds profit from nufc over the next few years a century maybe. buying hte club cant have been a purely business oriented decision.
    although we are where we are in the table i think we all know we will not be relegated, so next season we will have a committed owner who the fans now have a degree of trust in, a chairman who talks to us and answers our questions, a squad which needs improvement (this is where the trust that some respectable gesture of commitment comes in i suppose), a fantastic and still growing youth system, a vastly improved scouting network (evidence of which is in the current 1st team), all we need is the manager to commit to and STAY for at least 5 years,
    we are where we are lads but its looking good

    come on the toon!!!
    bolton 0 nufc 2
    bassong motm and oba gets a brace


    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #10

    i guess they’re here for a while…lets give them a chance to redeem themselves.

    i guess this also means it’ll be a loooooong time before we see shearer managing us. he should’ve went for the blkbrn job

  • Doocey

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #11

    Brilliant headline

  • roscoe

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #12

    a brace for oba and he doesn’t get MOTM??

  • hitman

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #13

    lets wait and see were we are in the summer,lets hope were still in the prem for a start,plus the first team needs sorting big time,and most of all we need a good manager in that will take us forward and give the youth a chance.i’l keep my reservatins about ashley&co till the summer

  • hitman

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #14


  • Dan_Scott157

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #15

    Arda Turan just scored twice in the Uefa Cup against Bordeaux. Shame we couldn’t of got this lad in the summer.

  • It Could Be Worse...We Could Be Spurs -DC-

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #16

    agreed Valle, if KK had any decency he’d not be fleecing his beloved club in these times. He wants 8M? for what? walking out on us and saying squat. He’s probably already pocketed a fair bob, I say KK should either come out and explain what happened and agree to take way less than he’s been asking for or f off for good.

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #17

    valle // Feb 26, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    “I have lost all respect for KK, he is nothing to me these days… Sir Bobby is the real hero around Newcastle.”

    Don’t get me wrong valle, I think Sir Bobby’s great and he is a hero of mine for many reasons. However, he only gave his swansong in management to Newcastle, and he gave the best bits to other clubs. Joe Harvey was my Newcastle hero. He stuck with club and the town through thick and thin for over twenty years, and won us our last three major trophies as captain and manager. In our rush to almost deify people who have had more fleeting associations with us when times are good and the wages immense, we forget who the real Toon heroes are.

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #18

    I don’t like the fact that Llambias hs said that Ashley can only afford 5-10m per season into the club.

    The only way we can spend more is to sell our better players. That way we won’t ever improve, we’ll just decline, or if lucky just stagnate.

    The one thing we can’t do it dessert the club now. As fans we must back the club with buying season tickets like we have done for the past 10 years.

    We might not all like Ashley and co and I am certainly still to be convinced but we HAVE to back the 11 players that pull on the black and white shirt!

    If we don’t buy tickets ect… they will spend less on players and just say” the clubs revenue is down and we can’t spend what we haven’t got”(although every other cub in the country does this and that’s why we won’t ever catch them up)

    Don’t think of it as backing Ashley, just backing the players!!!!

    That much is a MUST!!!!

  • waddler

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #19

    What happened, has happened, now get on with the future and stop aportioning blame. End it!
    Ashley made mistakes, Keegan did as well and we the supporters are not entirely innocent either.
    Ashley has told us his plans, which are progressive, no more trophy signings, huge investment in the future (our youth setup).
    Getting rid of the overpaid under performers.
    The introduction of honest hard working team players as a stop gap, before the arrival of the players who can take this club to were it belongs, yes you guessed it the kids.

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #20

    workyticket… Thats true, but i dont think that the fact that he arrived so late in his life was down to him alone. As far as i know he has only been offered the Job twice. the first was as Barca manager and he rejected at that time because of his duties to Barca, but he regretted that later on. the second time, he took the job… Joe Harvey is also a great NUFC hero, and i can understand why he is your number one. I just have this soft spot for Bobby, he makes me smile everytime i see the old fella and i still hate FFS to this day for firing him…

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #21


    Only once in 200 years has a club ever won anything with kids!!!

    Even then Man Utd had experienced players.

    We all know we need investment, but we also all know that the club can’t afford to invest in new players.

    So like you say, we are where we are and we have to deal with it. The club is no longer a big club with bog ambitions and it will be longer than 5 years till we ever compete for anything again.

    We all need to understand this!

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #22

    It Could Be Worse…We Could Be Spurs -DC-… Yep, and you cant help but think if he really walked out first chance he got to get a chance to get rid of his debts for the soccor circus.

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #23

    * big

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #24

    Stuart79… Regarding the fears you hold on the transfer amount (5-10 mill)… Dont worry mate… It makes allot of sense for him to state such a low amount.

    First of all it lowers the fans expectations, so they dont get the backslash they have gotten in other transfer windows.

    Second, if clubs think your loaded, they will ask for more money. If we give the impression that money is tight, we wont get screwed (hopefully)

    And finally, look at the last transfer window, we lost out on at least 12 millions worth of players and we would surely have added to those in the summer if we got them anyway, so we will spend.

  • hitman

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #25

    one word for it all BOLLOX

  • UTD111

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #26

    Thank goodness the students, foreigners, schoolkids and feeble-minded who frequent this blog are not representative of the vast majority of United Season Ticket holders or traditional United fans.

    The clueless Mob who now run NUFC spent 5 months laughing at the fans – and have only recently started this ridiculous “charm offensive” because they realise belatedly that geordies are NOT the mugs their cockney compatriots label us – and they are going to get hit hard when it comes to season ticket renewal time.

    Sir Bobby and Sir Alan won’t touch this mob with a bargepole. Does that not tell you something? Sir Kevin took a look at what was going on and realised he couldn’t win – lets face it – if they think the poison dwarf (universally despised throughout the game) is a better judge of incoming players than the legend that is Kevin Keegan – it tells us all we need to know about their judgement.

    They failed miserably to strengthen the team (again) in January, with the T-shirt salesman pocketing a nice £7M casino money.

    They tell us we are no longer a selling club – and then sell Milner, Given and NZogbia, replacing them with 2 cheap journeyman and a freebie who van’t hit a barn door from 7 yards (evidence v Everton).

    And don’t give me any of this poo about the T shirt salesman “putting his own money into the club” – its all carefully on a loan basis which he gets back when he leaves (the sooner the better – go on fook off Cashley).

    Keep swallowing this sh*te suckers

    Swallow away suckers

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #27


    I love ya positivity!

    He ain’t saying it for that reason. The past transfer windows show that.

    I’m giving the regime one more pre season, see what we get.

    Not holding my breathe to be perfectly honest!

  • jamie

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #28


    im a defender aswell, we never get enough recognition im trying to change that 🙂

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #29

    Stuart79… I can understand where you come from, but this is where we are now. We dont have mega rich owners, we dont have that big an income and we dont look like getting it anytime soon neither… So as i see it, the best thing we can do now is to back the board and Joe for at least 5 more seasons and give them a fair shot to do it their way, we wont get anything good if we start to add to the worries.

  • MarkO

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #30

    Keep Ashley!

    Hes is really developing our youth system which will work wonders for us in the future. I still feel that he needs to invest more in current players though as buying players like Loven and R.Taylor isn’t going to get us into the top 4 within 5 years.

    We need to bring in established players aswell as developing our own youth

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #31

    valle // Feb 26, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    “workyticket… Thats true, but i dont think that the fact that he arrived so late in his life was down to him alone. As far as i know he has only been offered the Job twice.”

    I think he could have played for Newcastle valle, but he chose Fulham because he thought they made more “effort” to get his signature, but I digress. As I wrote, nothing against Sir Bobby, I love the old fella! But I get a bee in my bonnet about our distorted attitude to our history sometimes. When was there ever a campaign for a Joe Harvey Stand? or a Hughie Gallacher stand for our greatest ever player?

  • Girth

    Feb 26, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #32

    im with hitman, ive always been open with my opninions, im not a keegan lover, or ashley hater, or vis versa, just a genuine rational NUFC supporter, through thick and thin! But after the past we have had im most deffinatly pro-stability, meaning, lets stick with it and see what happenes in a couple of years.
    Ive said before christmas that i will wait until this crimbo and summer windows have gone to pass my opinions on the clubs direction. Make no bones about it, the summer window is huge, huge oportunity for ashley to get people back on side and get squad numbers up, but a massive opportunity to fail as we will have a number of outgoings.
    Time will tell, but under such a time when we know practically know nothing about the club, we know this for certain, the summer will be interesting that for NUFC, for good or for bad!!!

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #33

    workyticket… So true, its important to remember where we come from. So many clubs seem to be loosing their identity these days (Chelsea spring to mind). Remembering these past titans is keeping in touch with the soul of our club.

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #34

    valle // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    “workyticket… So true, its important to remember where we come from. So many clubs seem to be loosing their identity these days (Chelsea spring to mind). Remembering these past titans is keeping in touch with the soul of our club.”

    Have you seen the ‘legends’ page at the club site valle? No Gallacher, no Shearer, no Harvey, no Simpson, no Stubbins. They may as well not have it there as it’s just an embarassment.

  • valle

    Feb 26, 2009 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #35

    workyticket… They must have changed it?, im not that big an user of the official site, but i seem to remember at least Gallacher was there?… Legends like that missing while we have a player like Gazza there who for all his skills, still left us before he hit his prime is a disgrace… Anyway, im off to bed.

  • ObaMartins

    Feb 26, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #36

    I dont believe a word they come Out with, one minute we are going after some Good targets in the Summer next we have 8million to and Keegan Deserves Every Penny he will get Off Ashley after being STABBED in the Back…and you lot who say Keegan is Nothing Now “Obviously” Never saw him play for us Or the Team he Built…Get a life Saddo’s

  • beyethegreat

    Feb 26, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #37
  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Feb 26, 2009 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #38

    We are in a hole finacially due to previous regimes. KK is included in that to an extent as he abolished the reserves which did not help to bring players on, or even into the club. Year upon year trophy signings that did anything but shine (Luque, Boumsong, Owen (sorry but no. of performances in nearly 4 years, a frecking joke) the list is endless).

    So far Ashley’s big signing has been Coloccini, although not setting the world alight is not bad but he looks like given time will develop into something special of a partnership with Bassong.

    The squad next year does need building on and the signings we made in January where a start although not great.

    GK – None required SH,TK,FF,OS

    DF Another CB would be nice only having 3 Coloccini,S.Taylor,Bassong,
    RB we have S.Taylor,R.Taylor,Beye so we are covered there
    LB is a mustif only to push the ever improving Enrique
    CM really need a play maker but we do have Barton,Nolan,Guthrie,Butt (hope he dont play much) i think this is the main requirement.
    RW another key area as R.Taylor,Lua Lua are not really upto the job full time from what I’ve seen so far but RT is a decent stop gap and Lua Lua will break in some time next season hopefully
    LW notbad Jonas and Duff obviously dependent on whether Duff is sold in the window due to his wages.
    CF well this is the awkward one we do have Martins maybe PL, then there are the kids Xisco, Carrol,Ranger to come through and Ameobi. Is Owen gonna stay as his recent injury will but all the decent sides off? I’d like to see us keep Martins,Xisco,Ranger(on the bench and around the first team),Carrol(for 1 year to give him a chance) and try to purchace a solid target man.

    so I feel to bebrought in CM,RW,LB,CB,CF

    so as a squad we would have

    Harper, Krul, Forster
    R.Taylor,S.Taylor,Beye,Coloccini,Bassong, Enrique,+1LB,+1CB
    Jonas,Duff,Lua Lua,Nolan,Barton,Guthrie,Butt, +1RW,+1CM

    Squad total=25

    But there’s not like dreaming to get things somewhere near correct.

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #39

    ObaMartins // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    “Keegan Deserves Every Penny he will get Off Ashley”

    So you’d rather Keegan have it than the club? Because it’s the club he’s suing, not Ashley. £9 million for 6 wins, 9 losses and 6 draws?

    If so, that’s a very strange attitude for a so-called Newcastle supporter to have Oba.

  • bobby_ollox

    Feb 26, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #40

    In living memory – 4 people have brought nothing but credit to this club

    Sir Bob

    Honourable mention to Sir Les and Dame Robert Lee, but thats all folks.

    How dare anyone of the morons out there decry KK for what he did for this club. Hero


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