Football pundit Paul Merson put it politely but bluntly when he was talking about Newcastle owner Mike Ashley on TV yesterday.
Has Mike just sold his manager for £4M?
Paul Merson was appearing on Sky Sports’ Gillette Soccer Saturday show and the discussion centered on how poorly Newcastle have done under his stewardship since the summer of 2007.
Newcastle have one finish in the top nine in the Premier League in those eight seasons.
It’s simply not good enough for a club with the fans fervour and the great history of a Newcastle United.
Paul was asked if Mike Ashley would be pleased enough if Newcastle finished 4th bottom and therefore stayed in the Premier League.
This is how he responded:
“Yeah, yeah, he is a businessman, isn’t he?” “I don’t know the man, but he cannot sit down with me and say: ‘I am here to take the team forward and get them into the top four’.”
“Of course, he doesn’t. He named the stadium after his company. Why would he do that? This club has been going for a gillion years.”
Newcastle will probably finish 12th top or worse this season – and we suppose it’s another successful season in Ashley’s eyes – if only because we will still be around next season in the Premier League to pick up that big check in May next year from the Premier League.
We have held out hope for a long time over the eight years of this blog, that the owner would spend money to build up the Newcastle squad, especially with the big profits we will now be getting in future seasons.
But that’s just not going to happen.
That’s unless Mike Ashley changes his ways and starts to put the playing squad as a higher priority than just making money.
Football clubs exist to be successful on the playing field for their fans – not just to make money – and my son Neil said it perfectly yesterday:
“What’s the point of just making money at Newcastle?”
If Ashley doesn’t change his ways then we will continue to be a mediocre side and lucky to finish in the top half of the Premier League in future seasons.
That’s the reality.
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