Mike Ashley has come out with what can only be described as explosive comments on Newcastle today – and the negativity about Newcastle’s financial situation and the way he has set up the club to be run by Lee Charnley – which seems to have been a complete and utter disaster – come at a very bad time for the club and it’s very poor timing from owner Mike Ashley.
And we wonder what Rafa Benitez will think of all this “stuff” when he sees those comments from the owner?
Dour looking Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley
Here’s what Mike has said in an exclusive in The Times today:
“All I can say is there is a bank account. When you have emptied it, it’s empty. Don’t come crying to me for more money,” “There is virtually nothing left now. They have emptied it.”
“Do I regret getting into football? The answer is yes.” “I have had tons of fun in it but I haven’t been able to make the difference I wanted to in football.”
“I wanted to help Newcastle, I wanted to make it better, that’s what I wanted to do. I haven’t seemed to have had that affect.”
“I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle United, in reality, because I only pick the Board.”
“To get a football club to be the best it can be, you have to get the sun, the moons and the stars to align perfectly.”
“I don’t really want to have any influence in football to be honest. Looking after Sports Direct is more than a full time job.”
“But there is negativity around me as an individual when it comes to Newcastle, so the best thing was to make sure it was on solid ground and then step back and get them to self manage Newcastle.”
“Create a board, get the board to appoint the manager, put the manager on the board as well and then not interfere.”
“I don’t know what players they sign, I don’t know what team they are going to pick on a Saturday.”
“They have had a proper go at it this season, I think everyone can agree with that, but the results haven’t been ideal.”
We think what Mike did last June was good – take a back seat and get people in to run the club for him.
But it was obvious shortly after the season began that things were not good and we wonder what he thought of Lee Charnley last June when he hired a sacked manager from the Championship in Steve McClaren.
Mike is still responsible for the club so he’s left it far too late to intervene – and while reports suggest it was Lee Charnley who decided to bring in Rafa Benitez and fire Steve McClaren – we don’t buy that at all.
Note that Lee’s two former choices for Newcastle head coach were John Carver and Steve McClaren – two mediocre coaches at best who were both complete and utter disasters for Newcastle – their records prove that.
We think Mike Ashley came in after the embarrassing Bournemouth home defeat and told Lee what he had to do – and in fact it was Mike Ashley who told them to get Rafa Benitez in.
Mike is responsible for the performance of the Board since they basically report to him and there were many signs they didn’t know what they were doing in both transfer windows because of the players they brought in.
There was evidence even last season when nothing was done as the woeful John Carver almost had us relegated with eight league defeats in a row.
Mike should have acted sooner and certainly before the end of last year – and yes – that’s in retrospect – but don’t forget we started the season with just 3 points from the first eight games.
But Lee Charnley didn’t want to fire Steve McClaren because he hired him in the first place but McClaren’s tenure of 28 games for just 24 points – the worst we have ever fared in the Premier League – was so bad that the likelihood now is we will be relegated,.
Maybe not even the great Rafa Benitez can save us now?
But hey – we still have hope – we haven’t lost that – well not completely.
Bottom line – the responsibility always lies at the top of any organisation and that responsibility ultimately is Mike Ashley’s.