The fan-led protest group behind the AshleyOut.com have released their latest rant at Mike Ashley, calling out the NUFC owner for gambling on the club’s Premier League status following a lack of investment over the January transfer window.
Whilst the club did secure a goalkeeper, wide-man and striker in Martin Dubravka, Kenedy and Islam Slimani, all deals were loans and not ONE was concluded before Benitez’s recommended deadline of January 20th. Instead, two of those three deals were done in the final few moments of deadline day.
I was particularly relieved to see us get a striker ‘over the line’ and see Slimani as a real coup for the club, however him signing so late has already cost us (and this will be part of Benitez’s huge frustration that was evident after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw). I’m quite certain we’d have beaten Burnley (and even Swansea) if we’d had him signed Slimani in the first few days of the window. Instead, Ashley was on holiday whilst Rafa sat waiting to be told what his budget was.
Now to the statement aimed at the NUFC owner on AshleyOUT.com. Here it is in full:
“Yet another transfer window has been and gone with Mike Ashley failing to allow meaningful investment in Newcastle United’s playing squad.
There could be little debate that the squad was in desperate need of significant reinforcement during January. Not doing so represents yet another gross dereliction of duty from the ownership, and is further demonstration of why Mike Ashley is not fit to be custodian of Newcastle United.
To date the 2017/18 season could only be viewed as a success away from the pitch – the club retained the services of Rafa Benitez, a return to the Premier League meant a vast increase in TV revenues, and fans have backed the team with near capacity crowds for each home match.
However, it is apparent that this passion for the team is not shared in the boardroom.
Mike Ashley is once again gambling with the very future of Newcastle United by failing to use this momentum as a launchpad upon which the club can build. As a result, relegation from the Premier League for the third time during his tenure is now a very real possibility.
After last Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea, Rafa Benitez said: “The Newcastle fans are very clever, they know what is going on”.
AshleyOut noted the club resorting to the same tired PR tactics as in previous years, giving the illusion of activity when no permanent transfers appeared to be genuinely in the offing. Similarly, we fully expect to hear the same clichés from the club about our inability to get signings ‘over the line’, despite the fact they had a full month to finalise deals the manager laid out when the transfer window opened.
As always, we will support Rafa Benitez and the playing squad as they attempt to secure Premier League survival, however we also remain committed to seeing Mike Ashley removed as Newcastle United owner.
AshleyOut will continue to campaign until he sells the club, and urge him to do so as soon as possible.”
Spot on, as ever, and interesting to see that they won’t stop campaigning until he sells up.
Let’s hope that days arrives soon. You sense it’s going to have to if we wish to keep Benitez at the club much longer.