Kevin Keegan’s famous comments on Mike Ashley over seven years ago seem just as relevant today, with his memorable interview revealing why the NUFC owner ‘cannot be trusted’ appearing all too familiar after he returned to his old tricks at the club this summer.
It is no secret that a great deal of animosity exists towards Ashley and such feelings towards the billionaire were most certainly exacerbated during the summer transfer window, after failing to give Benitez the backing we all expected.
Now Benitez has to work with a squad far weaker than he would have anticipated, putting our Premier League status at risk once again, causing unwanted negativity and the inevitable backlash on Ashley since the window slammed shut.
Kevin Keegan had the misfortune of working with the Sports Direct tycoon back in his ill-fated spell with the club in 2008 and the 66-year-old went on to provide a famous insight into why the wealthy businessman simply cannot be trusted:
“Because there’s no trust there. There’s no trust there because from day one they’ve been misled. Having worked with Mike Ashley and [former managing director] Derek Llambias – you just can’t work with these people.
“You can’t trust them. They tell you one thing, they mean another. I had a phone call for about an hour to buy a player. After I went off the phone, they [the board] had another conference call together and said ‘right, we don’t want to offer £2m, we offer £1m’, they’ll reject it and that’s it.”
Several years on and Keegan’s comments remain relevant. Just when we thought things might have been changing, Ashley has returned to his old tricks – and we cant’ say we weren’t warned.