The fan-led protest group behind the AshleyOut.com have released a powerful statement in response to Tuesday night’s disastrous development on the takeover front – stating ‘this cannot continue’, demanding the NUFC owner to sell “as quickly as possible” or risk losing a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity under Rafa Benitez.
As we know, Ashley announced on Tuesday night that a deal with Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners was off after claiming that talks had become ‘exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time’.
It was heartbreaking news for us NUFC fans, with us having held onto the hope for months that we may finally be seeing the back of Ashley, and saying hello to new owners ready to give Rafa a platform to get us to the next level.
That dream is now fading, and the Newcastle fan protest group ‘AshleyOut’ have released the following statement in reaction to the news:
“We are bitterly disappointed to hear that the prospect of deal between Mike Ashley and Amanda Stavely/PCP is now ‘off’. While we couldn’t know what the future would hold under new ownership, it really is time for a change.
“In a bid to give the club – in particular Rafa Benitez and our players – full support in what was a tough promotion last season, and an even tougher effort to stay up this season, we have remained quiet with regards to Mike Ashley’s gross incompetence at running our club.
“Despite how fortunate we are to have a manager and a person the calibre of Rafa Benitez in charge at St. James’ Park, we are suffering yet another year of Ashley-imposed austerity. This cannot continue.
“‘The club can never go anywhere under Mike Ashley – I promise you that’” – Kevin Keegan.”
“Almost a decade after being found to deliberately lie and mislead us in the Keegan tribunal, Ashley publicly announced the truth – he is “nowhere near wealthy enough” to enable Newcastle United to fulfil its phenomenal potential. In Ashley’s own words, Benitez is ‘not getting enough’ money to build a capable side. Mike Ashley is not and never will be the right person to achieve success with Newcastle.
“Three times he’s tried to sell the club, three times he’s now failed, two relegations and a big chance of a third relegation now.
“Mike Ashley’s legacy of NUFC is of false dawns, constant transfer failures and failure off-the-field while football’s coffers have ballooned to astronomical levels.
“Mike Ashley seems to think that he can sell Newcastle for a large profit from his original investment while the current squad of players is actually worth less than the squad he inherited 10 years ago despite the massive inflation of transfer fees and increase in TV revenue.
“We strongly urge Mike Ashley to put his interests of Sports Direct aside and that he find the best deal he can for both the club and himself as quickly as possible.
“This is arguably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Newcastle United Football Club, somehow we have Rafa Benitez, this opportunity to restore the club to its former glory with the best manager we could possibly get cannot be allowed to fade away.
“We are exhausted, frustrated, and running out of patience.”
A strong statement and one that I’m sure echos what just about every NUFC fan believes – Mike Ashley is killing our club and must leave before it’s too late.
It may already be too late, with the club in danger of relegation (which would almost certainly see Rafa leave), however survival and a summer sale would allow us, Benitez and the boys to kick on and make this club great again.
Over to you Mike. Sort it out, or suffer a severe backlash and a Benitez-less NUFC – something that I am sure would NOT appeal to any potential buyers.