Who’s to Blame?

Mike Ashley has chopped and changed the supposed structure of the board at Newcastle United several times and used this as a means to separate himself from the unpopular decisions made at the club.

Then again he has accepted responsibility for all that has gone wrong, admitted that he does not have the ability to run a club and apologised for his atrocious record.

On occasion he has both accepted responsibility in the same interview as he argues that the board make the decisions.

July 2019
In an interview with the Daily Mail Ashley confusingly accepts responsibility for the errors of the past, insists he doesn't get involved, and  reveals he is the one that informs the manager of a deal that's been done in principle.
"I'm a negative to that football club,  it is down to me. I give myself one out of five in some aspects because I made proper mistakes, and football isn't a very forgiving place. I didn't just shoot myself in the foot; I blew my own leg off.  People would look at me and think I'd gone temporarily insane. They didn't know what I was doing."
"I don't have a bad word to say about Kevin. I didn't have the right people around the football club at the time and that wasn't fair on him.
"So I accept I've managed it badly at times. It's my fault. Certain things aren't, but some are. And the fans are very unforgiving about the mistakes in the early years.  I'm not a football expert, I don't get involved.  Certain things I haven't got right. I used to think our Premier League finish was more important. But where can we realistically go with this top six? The cups are the best of it. 
"I was so excited to tell Rafa we've got another one [Joelinton] coming, but when Lee Charnley, our managing director, had the conversation, his view was that he didn't want to commit to the transfer until he knew what his position was with the club next season. And I didn't get that. Is this the bloke who had given it to me for the last 12 months?  Proper given me bucketfuls – which I may or may not deserve, but I don't deserve it on this one, because I've done it. I've got his first choice" - Source

May 2015
Prior to the final game of the 14/15 season against West Ham, before we knew if the club would be relegated to the championship, Mike Ashley gave an interview to Sky Sports (via client of Keith Bishop PR, David Craig).  Asked who was to blame for the club's poor season:
Who is responsible? The manager, the fans, players or does it stop at your door?
My door.
What about appointments of managers and so on?
It is Lee Charnley and the football board that make those decisions, as it was Derek Llambias who brought in Alan Pardew. I will not be picking the next manager – it is not what I do.  My job is to make sure that they have the maximum financial resources and it is their job to get the best pound for pound value out of those resources. - Source 









October 2009
While negotiating with Bary Moat over the sale of the club, Ashley was quoted in the press as stating how things would be managed if he were not to sell and he was categoric about being in control, despite saying he had no idea how to ruin a club in the same interview.
"I never said I was an expert in football clubs. I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short.  If I keep the club I will have the final say on players. I am the one who has to fund the club." - Source
May 2009
Ashley apologised for the club being relegated
"SEEING Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League has been a catastrophe for us all. I fully accept that mistakes were made during this and previous seasons and I am very sorry for that. I would like to say sorry to our magnificent supporters who have turned up in their thousands, home and away, up and down the country and who have given the team amazing backing throughout. And I would also say sorry to all of the Club's hard-working staff, who have gone about their jobs all year long." - Source

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