Former Newcastle midfielder Rob Lee paid a recent visit to the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead for a talk to help raise money for the Chronicle Sunshine Fund.
Here’s information on the great stuff the Chronicle Sunshine Fund does for disabled people in the region.
And with Rob part of that great team under Kevin Keegan – a time when we were one of the top clubs in England – things are a lot different than back then.
And Rob also played three years under Sir Bobby Robson – another period when we finished in the top four of the Premier League.
And during Rob’s talk at the Hilton, there was the serious business of what to do about owner Mike Ashley that came up.
Rob Lee with his two sons – Elliott and Olly – both professional players
Ashley doesn’t want to spend much of the club’s money, and we even seem to now be in danger of losing Rafa Benitez because Ashley will not support Rafa in the things he needs to stay on at Newcastle – to make us great again.
Rob has addressed the situation superbly as reported in the Chronicle today:
“With the team we’ve got, we’ve done very, very well as usual. I think the days have gone when I expect anything more of them really,”
“When I think they are going to win, they lose and when I think they are going to lose, they win – typical Newcastle.”
“I think, at the moment, we’re staying in the league club rather than pushing into Europe.”
“I think all we look at is, ‘If we stay up, we’ve done well’ which is a shame but that’s the way we are at the moment.”
“I think the new wave of Newcastle fans probably don’t realize because they might not have seen the team that I played in during the ’90s, but I think the older ones will be pulling their hair out if they have any left.”
“It’s so sad because I look at Manchester City and I see what you can do with a fantastic owner. With all due respect, I think Newcastle are a bigger club than Man City but they have got a fantastic owner and we haven’t.”
“That’s what you need.”
“Our owner doesn’t turn up for games. I genuinely don’t know what pleasure he gets out of it.”
“If you’ve got that much money, surely you buy a club because it’s a pleasure for you – something you should enjoy going to and enjoy building?”
“There’s so much cloak and dagger about what it’s worth, why no one’s buying it.”
“I just don’t know why he doesn’t just come out, if he (really) wants to sell it, and say in public, ‘This is how much I want for it’ so everyone, throughout the world, any potential buyer, knows what he wants.”
Maybe because somebody will come in and buy it?
But this is Mike Ashley – an awkward character at best who is stubborn and refuses to learn about what it takes to run a successful football club.
And that’s one reason he is as bad now as when he first bought the club back in May 2007 – around the time this website went online.
Even if Rafa stays on there’s always the danger that Ashley will not change much at all – and Rafa is very wary of that.
That’s one reason why we don’t expect the manager to sign on for more than three years if Ashley is still the owner.