Mike Ashley Couldn’t Understand How Football Works – He Does Now

It seems that Mike Ashley and manager Alan Pardew are on the same wavelength as to how they will make Newcastle into a great team again.

Mike Ashley – learning the football game

Indeed one of the success stories in the last 14 months or so is just how well Alan Pardew has done as the manager of Newcastle United, and in today’s interview in the Daily Telegraph,  Alan talks about how he was welcomed by the fans at Newcastle:

“The usual Geordie quote to me was ‘good luck…anyway’. Which was almost good luck. Not quite. In London, it’s ‘you ain’t going to do nothing here, mate’. “

“It’s a different kind of welcome! But when you come to any football club people, really, are just desperate for you to do well.”

That statement “good luck anyway”  is akin to saying that even though we are absolutely convinced you will be a failure on Tyneside, the best of luck in any case.

But Alan has shocked a lot of people, including us, by becoming a very good manager at Newcastle, and he seems  to know what he’s doing.

And of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating,  and he has Newcastle in 6th place in the league and above Liverpool – and that’s quite amazing in itself.

Alan has also opened the door a bit on Mike Ashley, and that Mike was frustrated in the first few years in charge of Newcastle, as he didn’t know how  football works.

But Alan says the case has been cracked and he thinks that Mike will be the owner of the club for a long time:

“Speaking to Mike he feels he will be the owner for a long time and that’s why I wanted a long 5½-year contract,”   “This is his football club and he’s taking a longer-term view now.”

“It’s hurt him, this club, he couldn’t understand how football  works – the agents, the salaries, the industry. Compared to the retail industry he is in and is the main man and knows exactly how it works.”

“I know for a fact he can tell you the price of something on his shelves to the penny. That’s how thorough he is. But you can be thorough in this game and get it all wrong if you have bad selection, advice and that’s what he’s trying to cover.”

“He trusts managing director Derek Llambias to run the club, Graham Carr as chief scout, me as manager. Now he is feeling a lot better about the football club. He now understands the game.”

“When we negotiate with clubs and players we are pretty tough and you need to be in this financial climate – as Rangers and Portsmouth have shown. The model we have got is a good model for these times.”

It’s certainly true that Newcastle are very thorough these days in the transfer market, and when they have identified their targets, which they have done for this summer’s transfer market, they create huge dossiers on the players and are usually one step ahead of other clubs.

That’s how we got players like Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, since there were a number of other clubs interested in those players.

And we have already seen Newcastle being linked with a number of players they will go after once this season ends.

We think it will be a good transfer window again this summer, and there will also be a clear-out of both young players in the Development squad and fringe players in the first team squad like Alan Smith and Peter Lovenkrands.

So there’s likely to be quite a turnover in personnel before September rolls around.

Maybe we will have a team that can even challenge for the top six next season, now that Mike Ashley seems to be getting a handle on how football works.

Comments welcome.