Harry Redknapp was offered the Newcastle manager job after Sam Allardyce was sacked in January of 2008, and it was obvious that Harry was first choice.
Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp – today’s managers in opposition
But on a Friday, after he had accepted the position, he went out to dinner with his wife and some friends, and it was that night that he changed his mind, for whatever reason, and let Mike Ashley know on the following day.
And then on the following Wednesday, Kevin Keegan got the job, after he had let it be known he was interested in coming back to manage the club.
The Keegan reign ended in disaster a short eight months later, and the way Mike Ashley handled that affair, where he seemed to side with Dennis Wise over Kevin, is one reason Mike is simply not liked at Newcastle.
Dennis had brought in players essentially behind Kevin’s back, and Keegan was supposed to be in charge of all player business at the club, and in particular which players are signed and which ones leave.
But it’s also true the Mike Ashley has made some good moves at the club, and he has got the club on a Youth policy which is already paying off.
And essentially, since the disaster of relegation over two years ago, he has done most things right at Newcastle, and the club have been improving ever since relegation.
Mike helped Newcastle get promotion by loaning the club around £30M in the Championship, so Newcastle could keep some of their top paid players.
And its now history that Newcastle ended up winning the league by 11 points with a massive 102 points, and got promoted at the very first attempt under Chris (Chrissy) Hughton.
Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager who brings his top side to St. James’ Park today, thinks its about time Newcastle fans were a little more appreciative of what the owner has done for the club, as he had this to say before the game today:
“Alan’s done a fantastic job there. And, be honest, the chairman has had some grief up there and he’s done millions and millions of pounds.”
“Chrissy Hughton was a London boy and he went up there and did well, got them promoted.” “Then obviously Mike Ashley wanted a change and Alan has gone there and done a great job.”
“The chairman’s done fortunes but they’re still shouting and moaning. He’s spent about 100million quid – and they’re still abusing him!”
“They look a strong outfit at the moment, I think they look decent.” “I’m not sure they’ll be able to battle for a top-four place, but I’m sure Alan would love it if they can finish seventh or eighth.”
Of course Mike Ashley is not the Chairman, he’s the owner, and Derek LLambias is in the Chairman role, which Newcastle now call Managing Director, Derek is the top executive at the club.
There’s a realization that some of the things Mike has done have come off, and the best example is the summer transfer window, which looked to have ended in disaster, when the club failed to bring in another top striker, and had spent very little of the money available from the Andy Carroll sale.
But the players brought in have proved they are all good players, and certainly the Newcastle squad this year is much better than last season, and after all, Newcastle are in 4th position in the league.
Things are looking up at Newcastle, whether fans support Mike or not, and it would be fantastic if Newcastle can take all 3 points today, with no doubt Mike Ashley in attendance.
We donlt know if the fans will ever fully accept Mike Ashley, but the thing that’s important is to support Alan Pardew and the players, and Newcastle fans are doing just that.
What do you think?