The Chronicle recently revealed that Mike Ashley has sent a message to Newcastle players, through his backing of Steve Bruce, that they effectively have to “step up” to save the club from relegation…
Honestly, when I think the club can’t get any stupider, they always pop with another surprise of further idiocy. Newcastle United is a cartoon of a club.
I haven’t got a clue what Mike Ashley sees in Steve Bruce but with the lengths that he’s going to, to protect this walking cabbage of a manager, I can only assume that they’re long-lost brothers or something.
In fact, this whole situation is starting to remind me of that Simpsons episode where Homer finds his long-lost half-brother, Herb Powell, who is a successful business man until he puts trust into Homer. Granted, this would be a budget, hybrid version where Herb (Mike Ashley) is combined with the selfishness and nastiness of Mr Burns, but the image still rings true.
For those unaware of how this episode pans out, the basic premise is that Herb is the CEO of a successful car manufactory and, after meeting his long-lost half-brother, he allows Homer to design his own car. The professionals at Herb’s company, initially ignore Homer’s ridiculous suggestions but, with Herb’s backing, the employees are forced to create the car that Homer wants. Of course, because Homer is stupid and has terrible ideas, he spends way too much money on a ridiculous design and it ends up bankrupting the company.
Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce are doing exactly this episode. Ashley has allowed Bruce to spend tons of money and, despite having consummate professionals to rely on and a strong basis to work off, he has created an absolute farce which could easily lose the club millions and send us into oblivion.
We have the Homer Simpson of football and, the sad thing is, he isn’t even funny.
Getting away from the Simpsons analogy slightly, how are the players going to react to another higher up at the club putting the blame squarely at their feet?
Even if we somehow survive this season, I can’t see many of the players wishing to stay in a place where they know that they will be unfairly blamed for things going wrong. I can’t imagine anyone, in any job, being happy to continue to ply their trade in a place where one person can sit around avoiding all blame whilst others unfairly cop it for things that are beyond their control.
To add further to this, what are potential future signings going to think when they know the hierarchy will point the finger at them instead of acknowledge the real ineptitude within the club?
I fear that this strategy from Ashley isn’t only going to have ramifications for the current squad but could create further irreparable damage to the future of the club under his already awful stewardship. The one pull Newcastle have had as a club under Ashley is that you could perform well and move onto a more ambitious club, but if the hierarchy is now taking a stance of blaming players for being poor then that pull disintegrates.
Bit by bit, Ashley is somehow managing to make this club worse and worse.
I kind of wish we did live in a cartoon world because then maybe we’d get a laugh or two out of this absolutely ridiculous club.