Former Newcastle striker Les Ferdinand has commented on the situation of Mike Ashley the Newcastle owner.
Ashley didn’t attend one Newcastle match last season, and it seems he’s going to continue that absence this season.
The club is up for sale, but at £400M he will not get many buyers at that price as long as the club are in a relegation position.
We are at the moment after five games played, and one point gained – we’re in 19th place.
The club is in trouble at the moment both on and off the field, and fans are staging protests before every home game.
It’s reminiscent of our relegation season in 2008-2009.
Les Ferdinand – untenable situation with the owner
Les has been speaking to Newcastle Legends, and this is some of what he had to say:
“There’s been a situation for a long time at the club.” “It’s got to the situation where it’s untenable.”
“He (Ashley) wants to sell the club and while he wants to sell, he doesn’t want to pump any more money into it.”
“When you say there’s nobody out there maybe there’s nobody out there that wants to pay the money he wants to sell it for.”
“I guarantee you there are people that want to buy the club but don’t value it at the same price as Mike Ashley.”
“From a supporter’s point of view, it’s extremely frustrating.”
“You want to be competitive and you have one of the best managers in this league who is able to get the best out of the players he’s got.”
“You need to give him the tools he needs to be successful.”
“If he’s not getting that – he’s going to become frustrated if he’s not frustrated already.”
“And he’s going to be a viable option for other people especially being in his last year.”
“I understand the frustrations of everybody surrounding the football club because you don’t want to lose Rafa Benitez.”
“He’s somebody you want to build a club with.”
“Each day you wake up hoping that a new owner for the club is possible.”
“I know there’s a group that have got together to get the owner out.”
“The owner will only go when he’s got the finances he wants for it.”
Mike Ashley has put the club up for sale before, and he’s never received a reasonable offer for the club.
The closest he came to selling the club was to Amanda Staveley and her PCP Capital Partners Group late last year.
But that fell apart early in January when Ashley withdrew and didn’t want to sell the club to Ms. Staveley.
At the time he said it had all been a waste of his time.
But it seems Ashley is reticent to sell Newcastle and lose all that free publicity he gets around the world for Sports Direct.
There are Sports Direct signs everywhere at St. James’ Park – it’s both ridiculous and callous.
We’re not sure where this will all end up next June.
But the worst scenario is we lose Rafa to some other more ambitious Premier League club and Mike Ashley is still the Newcastle owner next July.
That would be a tragedy for the club and for the fans.
At the moment it’s looking like a distinct possibility.