What does it take to get a comment from Newcastle United? Well dare I say it? (yes dare)…. it seems criticism of what is deemed financial (mis)management is the key, public figures and politicians who dare to say what almost everyone believes, gets him to rise and sure as heck they don’t comment on the footballing decisions or land sales.
Ashley is very keen to reiterate his nonsensical mantra of.
- Making the club self reliant (it always was! in fact it paid out to the Hall and Shepherd families an infeasible fortune as Denis Cassidy highlighted figures accounted for £152m from the club which didn’t include tendering of services to themselves).
- Interest free loans (to cover for his self made relegations, and caused by his lack of interest, which are repayable by the club and are paid out on demand).
- Good Governance (hiding behind a wall of silence, and having HMRC visitations like the ghost of Christmas past doesn’t fit with that narrative at all neither does relegation struggle and player and land sales for short term expediency).
Who is Ashley’s advisor who decided on the purchase of Joelinton and that bizarre escalation in his price-tag that Ashley was so keen to pay £23m over Rafa’s seemingly over-generous valuation of £20m? No comment!
What does it take for Ashley to communicate on the years of downsizing the club and making it less and less competitive. He’s not bothered about fans saying it so long as they keep filling those seats and making everything look neat and tidy for the TV cameras. But woe betide anyone in the public arena such as Shearer, Keegan or Jezza guys with clout who may say it….. he bites and the reaction is almost instant, now isn’t that strange, so who are the desired recipients of Ashley’s proclamation? Not the fans…. its probably for the stock exchange or for consumption by his chums in London!
What about club spokesmen? Compliant puppet coaches have taken their shilling regularly from Ashley, and it doesn’t matter if they are Geordie or not, they sign up to an inglorious misadventure in accountancy not football, now I was as delighted as anyone with that win against a mega-money multinational Manchester but there’s always this underlying feeling that we’ve still got Bruce and I still fear we’ll be doomed with him in charge…and doomed for as long as Ashley remains.
Can we expect a master plan from a ‘head coach’? That said, we’ve got to enjoy this moment! But realism could return before long. I don’t think the issue is whether or not Bruce is a nice bloke or not, its more to do with him not being either good enough or committed to take on a hostile ownership, or in a position he accepted as ‘head coach’ to actually do so.
Bruce will have no protection from ‘player sales’ undermining squad building because that is still Ashley’s policy,The fans think that the quality most needed is to ‘take on a regime who don’t care about competitive football’. Rafa Benitez knew that and enjoyed almost the full backing of all United fans because he had football not accountancy as his raison d’être!
This is a hostile ownership and almost a hostage situation which has gone on for so long and if Ashley thinks a change of figurehead to his mate Kenyon is the answer while he still pulls the strings and the revenue then he’s mistaken, fans have had enough and a lot have stuck with the 10 year deals and said no more, cancellations will increase because the club has lost its soul and purpose. Bruce wasn’t installed for football reasons he was put there to silence the media where he has mates and that part has worked (played the Geordie card with the Longstaffs too) the club are still cannon-fodder to the top elite group despite catching Spurs and Manure in the process of changing managers and snatching narrow wins this is no more than papering over the crumbling walls.
Remember what Ashley told Pardew ‘8th and no higher’…. to run the club to its maximum penny for penny, micro-management of finances, ‘the maximum’ being to safeguard from relegation, and that’s a pathetic goal for football, implying we have people running the club who don’t know what a football club is or what it is for…. it certainly was never meant to be a cash cow the furnish wealth individuals with easy money!
When Longstaff scored I was torn between elation and the little voice saying ‘he’s got them both off the hook’, the long term analysis is that this isn’t a competitive football club any more….. it still isn’t after that win and Bruce’s record speaks for itself, no interpretation of what a nice bloke is capable of is really needed, Bruce is a compliant Journeyman going through the motions and excuses as a front man for Ashley, we shouldn’t have any doubt.
Football has to change from malevolent ownership to something closer to the communities they represent, its how they were envisaged (look in the 1890 articles of association, football was never meant to be this divorced from communities) and no charitable foundation has recaptured the gulf that the modern era of cash plunder created, so its no use Ashley hiding behind the Premier league obligation to charity.
A sea change is needed to change all of football from megalomaniac misanthropic ownership, a change to bring in the fans, community, democratisation, a law change for the better. perhaps a change in Government will redress the years of greed destroying the game as a whole.