Some football clubs are destined to be the stage for some sort of farcical drama and Newcastle United seems to be one them.
For the last two decades there have been more ups and downs than a rollercoaster at the north east club.
Now it seems that much-maligned owner Mike Ashley, who barely ever gives interviews, has decided to reveal that the clubs money has nearly ran out and that he will not be helping the club out anymore, if he ever did before.
Bank account nearly empty and regrets
Talking to The Mirror, Ashley said: “All I can say is; there is a bank account. When you have emptied it, it’s empty. Don’t come crying to me for more money,
“[There is] virtually nothing left now. They have emptied it. I have virtually nil effect on Newcastle in reality because I only pick the board.”
Talking to Sky Sports on Monday Ashley also said: “Do I regret getting into football? The answer is yes. I’ve had tonnes of fun in it but I haven’t been able to make the difference I wanted to make in football.
“I wanted to help Newcastle. I wanted to make it better. But I haven’t seemed to be able to have that affect. I think everyone can agree we’ve had a proper go at it this season but the results haven’t been ideal.”
A lot of Newcastle fans would say they also regret the London businessman getting involved in the club as well, as during his tenure the Sports Direct owner has had multiple protests about his ownership of the club.
Finally spent some money this summer
When dealing with the clubs finances, Ashley has behaved like scrooge’s less generous brother when it has come to signing players and hiring bosses. The club were financially stable, until they let the hapless Steve McClaren loose with the clubs chequebook.
Ashley apparently let the club spend some of its own money, that was kind of him wasn’t it. Unfortunately the men he left in charge of the transfer kitty were not exactly successful in bringing in players that could turn the clubs fortunes around.
The players that have arrived in the last few transfer windows may have an effect on the team in the long-term. They have not helped the Magpies immediate situation though and they are once again struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Boss Steve McClaren must take a chunk of the blame, as well as managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr. The latter had been successful in helping the club spot unheralded talents in the past such as Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko.
All three have looked impressive in spells for the Magpies, but seem to have now bought into the general apathy that has surrounded the club under Ashley’s recent reign.
Something has to change at Newcastle
Newcastle are once again struggling in the Premier League, 19th position in the top-flight after a 1-1 draw with Sunderland on Sunday in the north east derby. The Magpies are now odds of 2/5 to be relegated from the Premier League for a second time in Ashley’s tenure as owner of the club.
The appointment of Rafa Benitez was a good one in my opinion, but something has to change at the club, as there seems to be a toxic atmosphere at the club. Ashley has stated he will not leave if they are relegated.
However, something tells me that until Mike Ashley leaves the club as owner the atmosphere at the club will remain the same. The club have not achieved much success on the field during his tenure, because of his austerity.
If Newcastle goes down to the Championship this season Ashley is not fully to blame, but the rot started long before the current campaign. Ashley’s unwillingness to spend money meant the club always seemed to take the cheap option, especially when choosing bosses. At least they have not this time around with Benitez.
Ashley may not have been responsible for the club spending a fortune in the past few transfer windows, but he must have had a say in the disastrous appointment of McClaren and that is enough for Newcastle fans to still lay the blame for their clubs mess at Ashley’s door.
Can Newcastle stay in the Premier League this season?