During his time at Newcastle, Alan Pardew said a few times that Mike Ashley didn’t really understand the game of football, and that the Billionaire got frustrated when the football business wasn’t like the other businesses he is involved with – and been successful in.
With the terrible second half of the season Mike Ashley got a huge shock – like the rest of us – when on the last day of the season we could have been relegated, after John Carver had presided over the previous 10 games and we had only taken a solitary point from those games – our worst ever run in the Premier League.
Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley – at the West Ham game
John was obviously way out of his depth and was sacked in early June, the day before Newcastle announced Steve McClaren was coming in as the new head coach, and he would have his own coaching staff, and that’s a step forward from last season.
It also appears that Mike Ashley may have seen the light, and will now leave the transfer business completely to the Newcastle Board, which is led by Managing Director Lee Charnley and has three football men on it – Steve McClaren, Bob Moncur and Graham Carr.
The last three will agree on which players to sign, with most of input coming from Chief Scout Graham Carr, and then Lee Charnley will do the often difficult leg-work to get the players into the club.
In his Sky Sports interview in May, Ashley also said the Newcastle Board would be picking the next manager, just as Derek LLambias had done with Alan Pardew.
And it may be that he has taken himself out of the football decision-making process at Newcastle.
As a refresher, this is what the Newcastle owner said at the end of that interview on May 24th, when he was asked by David Craig if he would invest if Newcastle were relegated:
Q: Would you invest so much that it comes straight back into the Championship?
A: Yes – if there is such a thing if you can able to guarantee I would like to say I could guarantee that investment but the results is not something I can guarantee.”
“The only positive we’ve got is the club is on a very sound financial footing, so we are able to spend and punch above our weight with the financial situation the club finds itself in.”
“My job is to make sure they have the maximum amount of financial resources and it is their job to get the best pound-for-pound value out of those resources.”
“Today we don’t need to be unlucky, not today, from this day forward we will be making our own luck.”
Mike has since taken himself off the Newcastle Board, and maybe he will give the Board some funds every transfer window – and leave it to Lee Charnley and the Board to decide how they will spend that money and which players to bring in.
That’s a good way of doing it, but then Lee Charnley and the Board will have to be responsible and accountable for how they spend that money.
That’s just like John Carver was held accountable for the terrible form of Newcastle under his management – and unfortunately for John – he ended up being fired.
That’s the only way to run a business – appoint people to do the job, let them do it their way – but hold them responsible for the results.
That’s what happens in most businesses – and that’s what may be happening with the new Board of Directors – and it seems like it’s a good move by Ashley – if it’s true.
What do you think?