Ashley The New Messiah?

Quotes in the Telegraph on Friday attributed to “a source close to Ashley”. When even a liar like Derek Llambias won’t put his name to the quotes, you know they’re going to need more than a pinch of salt to be taken with them.

There was nothing substantial in the story whatsoever only platitudes around what Mike hopes to do now that we look likely to win promotion. The transfer window opens soon and we’ll see how serious he is about pushing on and preparing us for what will be a very difficult season if we do go up.

One line jumped out at me though…

“Without Mike’s input, the club would be broke. Simple as that.”

Which is like saying Josef Fritzl saved Elizabeth Fritzl. Without the food, heating and accomodation he provided, Elizabeth would have been on the streets. Simple as that.

I was interested to read Max Clifford’s thoughts on Ashley. I know the man is an odious weasel, but if Ashley hasn’t paid for his services he would be well advised to give it a go. As much as this blog might suggest I want rid of Ashley at whatever cost, I’d actually prefer him to run the club well, take a low profile and let the antipathy towards him mellow as he brings success. I’m sure this is how 95% of supporters feel too.

However, there has still been no indication whatsoever that this is likely to happen. The club continue to release stories (either directly or indirectly) that attempt to heap praise on Ashley as the man that has saved Newcastle. The cool head whose motives we fans cannot possibly comprehend…but will learn to once the glory days return.

It’s all well and good apologising for getting us relegated, but it lacks any sincerity when you go on to claim that it’s been the best thing that could have happened and most Premier League clubs would love to be in the same position.

I disagree with Clifford that promotion will win Ashley the support of even half the fans. The people on the stands want to see contrition. Not in words, but in deeds. He needs to do the equivalent of Jordan Price’s 7 bush tucker trials in a row, and take his punishment in good humor to win any sort of backing. This means stopping the charm offensive, no more rhetoric about plans, no more excuses for the failures, backing down on the stadium renaming, taking down the sign every fan hates, hiring a chief executive with some experience in football, investing heavily in the first team squad without shouting about it from the rooftops and perhaps writing off some of the debt the club has to him, which he claims he would have lost had he sold the club in the summer anyway.

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