Newcastle Managing Director Derek Llambias has said today that owner Mike Ashley has shown his full commitment to the terrific Newcastle United supporters this season.
Mike Ashley – bailed out club this season
Mike Ashley has received deserved and severe criticism from Newcastle fans, who were very unhappy when Kevin Keegan left the club 18 months ago, when it seemed that cockney Dennis Wise was controlling the transfer business at the club.
Since then Mike has tried unsuccessfully to sell the club not once, but twice, once while we were in the Premier League 17 months ago, and again last summer, after the club was tragically relegated.
Probably the lowest point for Newcastle supporters was last summer, when we had just been relegated, didn’t have a manager and seemed to be selling any player we could to reduce the enormous wage bill.
But then the magic started when Chris Hughton was appointed temporaray manager on July 1st, and he asked Colin Calderwood to help him, on a weekly basis.
At that time they would be in charge until the club was sold, but no buyers came through.
Since then most things had gone right at the club, and lots of credit has to go to the Newcastle coaches, led by Chris Hughton, and the Newcastle players, led by strong and determined characters like Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan.
The result is that the lads are 6 points clear at the top of the Championship with promotion now a distinct possibility.
And Managing Director Derek Llambias has today told Sky Sports:
“You can’t lose the income we have lost in relegation and still be where we are, so Mike has put in £25M in December,”
“He has put in another £5M this week, so he is committed.”
“We bought £5.5M worth of players in January. We needed to freshen up the team and support our manager.”
That £5.5M is a little more than we thought we had paid for the four new players, Simpson, Routledge, Williamson and Best, although some of that may include wages for our two loan players, Fitz Hall and Patrick van Aanholt, but perhaps not.
But there’s no doubt that the January transfer window was a successful one, because not only did we buy 4 players but they all look very good buys for the club long term.
And Llambias believes Ashley has won over the majority of Newcastle supporters, who realize that Ashley’s money has kept the club afloat this season, while the lads continue to challenge for promotion.
And it’s hard to se where the club would be without Ashley’s money this season.
Derek continued and talked about the great passion that is Tyneside:
“It is a passion. They are great fans,””There is a very small section of fans that are basically not reasonable, there is no reality to where they are.”
“I am hoping that we get there and we’ll see what happens next season.” “The reality is that if Mike had not taken the club, we would be in a mess.”
And something that is interesting to us is whether Mike will sell the club in the summer.
But Llambias says the club is not for sale, and continued:
“No it is not up for sale. There is no money out there. Football is not what it was,”
“We had two possible buyers and they didn’t put their money up so at the end of the day they are not real.”
With the club now on the up, we don’t think Mike will sell in the summer, and we are even a little hopeful that we can get in another 4-5 good players in the summer on good deals.
And maybe we could also bring in a couple of youngsters for season long loan deals from some of the big clubs.
If we can do that this summer, it’s even looking like the club is organized these days – and that’s something given where we’ve been since Mike took over in June, 2007.
What do you think about this?
Comments always welcome.