Do you think Mike Ashley was planning for the long term good of the club when he took it over. I think getting rid of our better players/higher earners [the 2 come cap in hand], ie 3 of them in the last 2 transfer windows, does nothing other than show his naivety/lack of genuine ambition.
I started to get the feeling a long time ago that he saw what he thought were guaranteed 50,000 crowds, and thought he would have that with minimum outlay and safety with an accompanied profitable company.
Unfortunately, he was wrong. We won’t get 50,000 crowds regardless. Maybe he now realises, maybe he doesn’t and the real shock will come when the season ticket renewals come through, especially if we go down.
On the basis that I think he has been naive/lacking ambition, I think a lot of what he has done has been reactive, and borne out of each event as they happened, and looking for a solution but is really out of his depth being a “businessman” first before a football club owner.
I don’t know if he rejected a reported offer from the Abu Dhabi Group, its not good reading if its true, and he may well now regret not taking it. Why he turned it down ? I don’t know. Maybe he still thought he could run a profitable club, maybe he DID ask for more money.
I think if you listen to the views of the NUSC, particularly the rally on saturday, the only thing they want is the best for the club. They are supporters. They want success. One thing was said which I thought was spot on, was that nobody is interested in how much money anybody is earning or taking from the club, we just want someone who will look after the club and give us a team to be proud of again, which represents the city and all of us, and giving it the best shot at being successful. They also said that all we hear from the club is talk about debts and what they inherited, but they never tell us about the Champions League qualifications, the expanded stadium, the top players, the capacity crowds, the Cup Finals, Semi Finals, the affection people had for us under Keegan and Robson ie 2nd favourite team. Etc etc. Absolutely nailed on, and as this is what I’ve been saying myself for ages, I am hardly going to disagree.
The fact that it took the Keegan departure to open some eyes is really just irrelevant now. He’s gone, we know he’s gone and we have to get on with it. This event which triggered the birth of the NUSC isn’t something to scorn it for, in time to come when all this is over, we will have a Newcastle United Supporters Club. When I was a kid, I was a member of something called the Newcastle United Supporters Club. They had a shop, sort of the equivalent of “the Back Page”, they organised away travel and sold lots of merchandise and lot of people joined it. Whats wrong with that ? Why don’t you give them a listen and see that they want the club to be successful, as supporters ?
Does anybody remember the Magpie Group ? Well , without the Magpie group we would never have got rid of the McKeags etc. Malcolm Dix was a fairly prominent businessman who held up the group and got a bit of publicity, but it needed John Hall to get into it to give them some added prominence and publicity. Don’t underestimate the part Dix played though, for me, he stuck at it and in the end we have to say we owe him a lot for what he did. Personally, I think now that the NUSC need someone of prominence to propel their message just like the Magpie Group got in the end.
We know that Ashley is far richer than the Halls, Shepherd etc were, and so he can stick it out longer, but he also doesn’t have the ties or attachment to the city, so is in that respect unlikely to stay where he isn’t wanted when he gets a good offer.
I would like to say, now I’m posting this, that I would have loved him to have succeeded as much as anyone did. I sold my shares to him – although I would have preferred to keep them – especially when Keegan came back. Actually when Keegan came back I wondered for a short while if I had been wrong and he would back him but it became fairly obvious soon that he wasn’t going to do it and I thought for ages before Keegan left that he wasn’t going to last the distance.
Ashley has had opportunities to admit he got it wrong. Nobody wants him to make a public apology if he doesn’t want to, he only needs to make the right actions and decisions, and I for one, would have gave him every chance if I saw that he had seen all of this. At 54, I’ve more reason than most people to hope he was successful, or sells as soon as possible to someone who is.
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