As the ‘takeover talk’ conveniently drags into January and transfer activity continues to be non existent, there’s now several signs to suggest this is another Ashley PR stunt – paving the way for yet another window where Mike gets away with out investment.
Here’s three clear signs that suggest the NUFC owner is up to his old tricks once again.
Just like last year, takeover talk has piped up at a perfect time for him and the worst time for us. It all emerged late in the year, there’s conveniently not been enough time to get it done by January, but it’s still bubbling away in the background – or so we’re lead to believe.
That Kenyon letter was also bizarre. Ok, it MIGHT make some think that Kenyon’s interest, but it just delays the unrest by making people believe something is happening when, in reality, there’s been no bid accepted and he’s struggling to raise funds?
Transfer talk to make it look like he tried
It appears we’re chasing a deal that Ashley’s never going to sanction in Miguel Almiron. Yes we’re always linked with so many names, but Almiron seems to me like a player Rafa clearly wants, but one Ashley is never going to pay the required £20m plus for. So, this one will most probably drag on until the final few days of January, the club will give it the old ‘we tried’ and we’ll end up with signing an underwhelming no.10 on loan from Europe? Sounds depressing, but frustratingly likely given how Ashley tends to operate.
Using uncertainty over Rafa as a reason not to spend
There was a report in the Times just a few days ago suggesting that he was offering Rafa a one-year contract extension – saying he’d suddenly release transfer funds if he signed. He must know he’s not going to sign it (why would he commit to Ashley’s regime after everything he’s done?), but that probably works nicely for Ashley. It fits in with the narrative of not spending.
Despite us facing up to the very real risk of relegation, there’s a feeling (yet again) that Benitez won’t be backed.
Ashley is a risk taker, but he is going to lose our Premier League status, our biggest asset in Benitez and a huge number of season tickets if he lets this sorry situation escalate even further.