This summer has already been earmarked as a watershed moment in the history of Mike Ashley’s tenure at the helm of NUFC.
From here there are only two ways that he can go.
In one direction he can sit on the Carroll cash and find excuses not to invest in the team whilst being safe in the knowledge that he can have his toy in the Premier League that doesn’t cost him a penny to run on a day to day basis. In the other direction he can invest in the squad and try to get his plaything up there with the big boys by allowing funds for Alan Pardew to strengthen the team over the summer.
I think we all want to see the latter to be honest, although many of us have differing views on how it should be achieved. Some want mega-money thrown around, others want sustainable growth. Each to their own, but the end result of both is that we’ll end up with a better team because of it.
As the squad prepare for the final game of the season against West Brom they know that a win will see them more than likely secure a spot in the top ten. Win, lose or draw tomorrow there will be a lap of appreciation from the players to thank the fans for their support throughout the season. The fans have done their part, all season long, but it’s time for those in power to do their bit to.
According to the Daily Mail there has been a meeting between Pardew and Ashley. I suspect that meeting has been one of many that have and will continue to take place going forward, but at least we have some quotes from this one. Here is what Alan Pardew had to say about the meeting
“Mike came and we talked about certain players and values and the strategy and how the summer scouting is going to progress. I felt buoyed by the meeting. As a Premier League manager, I was quite satisfied,” said Pardew. “Now it’s about recruitment and making sure the squads stronger.”
“It’s quite obvious at this time we can’t compete with the likes of Liverpool Tottenham and the top four. We could attract a squad here I know would keep us safe in this division but that’s not what Mike wants and it’s not what I want. We want to try and excel. We have to try and take a few chances with players that will keep us in the division but who might take us on to that next level.”
“That of course becomes fraught with difficulties. He wants to push as high as we can but he knows we can’t compete with the top clubs in terms of the players that they can afford and the money they’re talking about. We’re going to be realistic in our aims but we’re going to aim high within the realism of our situation.”
I don’t think many fans will disagree when Pardew says that we can’t compete with those at the top of the league. It’s common sense really. Can we really compete with Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea? Not on your life! If City and Chelsea didn’t have multi-billionaire owners then maybe, but not now, not at this moment.
All the rest of it is just words at the minute. What Newcastle fans want to see is proof of all this, which is unfortunately going to take time. When Ashley arrived in Toon there was talk of a Geordie Abramovich, which quickly died down in fairness. All we want to see now though are signs of progression and ambition at the club, and this is Mike Ashley’s time to prove it.
Ashley is a well-known gambler, but now it’s the time to see whether or not he’ll stick or twist when it comes to our club. Will he stick with what he’s got? Or will he twist and gamble on a bit of success?
That is the £35 million question.
A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.