Sam Allardyce was the Newcastle manager for about eight months before he was sacked by Mike Ashley in January 2008.
Sam was hired by Chairman Freddy Shepherd just before Mike Ashley arrived on the scene and bought the club for around £134M.
Sam’s firing eventually brought Kevin Keegan back to the club as manager after Harry Redknapp accepted the job and then had a change of mind.
Big Sam has been looking at the miserable situation at Newcastle where there is a massive difference in ambition between the owner Mike Ashley and the manager Rafa Benitez.
Rafa wants to win trophies as he’s done at clubs in the past, but Ashley only wants to keep the club in the Premier League and spend as little money as he can in achieving that.
There’s the obvious clash between Ashley and Rafa – in a nutshell.
Rafa Benitez and Sam Allardyce – derby day in March 2016
This is what Sam Allardyce has said in Press Association Sport about the current situation at Newcastle:
“If you’re going to be successful, harmony at the top’s very important – communication and pulling in the right direction.”
“Whether that’s happening with Rafa and Mike, I’m not privy to that information, but certainly, from my point of view as a manager, the relationship between the owners and you as a manager is critical.”
“A club can succeed but you have to put your differences to one side, both the owner and you, as the manager, and work together to get on with the job.”
“Whether you like each other or not doesn’t particularly matter; as long as you do the business and the best for the football club.”
“I was there for seven months and never really had a relationship with Mike – he wasn’t the type.”
“He wanted other people to run the club and he wanted to come along and enjoy the ride. I don’t know whether that’s changed or not.”
“In the transfer market Benitez is limited, as we all find ourselves with whatever club we’re at, we try and use our tactics and the players we’ve got to the best of our ability.”
“The Newcastle fans give Ashley a lot of stick, but he is the owner of the football club and he has put his money in.”
“Whether that’s enough or not he decides how much money he wants to give the club and it’s up to you as the manager to try and spend that as wisely as you can.”
“Only time will tell if Rafa has. He certainly did last year; he finished very, very strongly.”
“This year’s a difficult start but maybe again they’ll come through.”
“New players again – we all have to settle players in very quickly, and that’s very demanding as a manager.”
Sam misses the point in the transfer windows.
We are not asking Mike Ashley to put his own money into the club – he’s already put around £125M in via interest-free loans.
We are asking for Ashley to be more ambitious with the club’s money and be willing to spend it on good players Rafa wants to bring into Newcastle to improve the side.
That hasn’t happened since Rafa’s been on board at Newcastle for two and a half years.
What do you think?