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Jimbo

Hard to feel charitable towards Newcastle

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It was only a charity do – a dinner at the Hilton hotel in Gateshead for the Prince’s Trust – but in the community it meant a lot. So Gareth Southgate, the Middlesbrough manager, was there and he had brought his players, including Stewart Downing, the England winger, and David Wheater. Sunderland sent Anton Ferdinand, one of their new signings, and Craig Gordon, the Scotland goalkeeper. And representing Newcastle United: nobody.

 

“Magpies snub kids” the headlines read, but this was a clumsy oversight, not a snub; a slip that encapsulates the rudderless mess that the club have become.

 

The same absence of purpose and responsibility weighs down each aspect of Mike Ashley’s floundering regime. From the pitch to the board-room, Newcastle have become a big no-show. The directors are too frightened to turn up and the players are hiding behind excuses, while the management thinks that each day could be its last. It is not a recipe for disaster because, in terms of the direction the club are taking, that has happened. It is a recipe for relegation.

 

Footballers do a lot for charity, but like most of us they need a nudge. That is why fundraisers exist – to organise and direct donations and to jog the consciences of those in a position to help. If we put our hands in our pockets without reminders, we wouldn’t need Lenny Henry and Comic Relief every two years. And, hey, that sounds like a fair exchange, but the point is it would have taken a bit of cajoling and work to get all the local celebrities in the same place on the same night in Gateshead.

 

Southgate’s presence would have helped to get Middlesbrough’s star players along and one look from Roy Keane would probably have done it at Sunderland. Even so, behind the scenes there would still have been a put-upon club official making sure that this famously unreliable breed

 

knew times and places, dress codes, whether a car would take them home, whether there would be an auction or a raffle and if memorabilia was required or had already been donated. A reminder of the good cause in question might have been necessary, too.

 

Except at Newcastle, where no one bothered because everyone is too busy looking over their shoulders for an angry mob, or a new manager, or Dennis Wise, or an Arab sheikh with £400 million burning a hole in his pocket that he is just looking to sink into an expanding black-and-white abyss. Even if someone had rallied Newcastle’s players into attendance, the last thing they want is to spend the night in a room full of ticked-off Geordies, tongues and inhibitions loosened by hours at the bar. Handed an invitation, the players would have shuffled awkwardly, offered a few lame excuses and made a sharp exit. And, right now, no one at Newcastle has the authority to stop them.

 

It is an indictment of Ashley’s regime that Freddy Shepherd, the former chairman, is increasingly remembered with fondness. Who is in charge here? Who was in charge as the club slipped into the relegation zone on Saturday, with no prospect of a steadying hand on the tiller? Chris Hughton is the caretaker manager, but no one is taking care of this club. There is a void filled only with angry voices and the occasional bleating of the owner and now the players have gone into hiding, too.

 

The turmoil has become mitigation for performances that have worsened since Kevin Keegan departed. Newcastle were poor against Arsenal in Keegan’s last game, but now the players have an excuse. Meanwhile, Ashley is flying around the world in a desperate attempt to hawk the club to a buyer as impetuous and foolish as he was. He has an executive structure that acts as a repellent for any manager of substance, a painfully underpowered squad of players and an overpowered mutinous army of supporters. But if he will not turn up for games, why should anyone else?

 

No one is poking his head above deck at Newcastle, for any cause, and certainly not for charity. The ship is drifting and the crew is nowhere to be seen. Some compare Newcastle to the Titanic. Not quite: it’s the Mary Celeste.

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Any club without a manager who's owners are looking to sell the club for hundreds of millions of pounds always put charity events ahead of everything at the club, damn that evil Newcastle United!!1eleven!!1

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Its Rob Beasley who you need to read if you need to know Ashleys thoughts. Samual is a horrible cunt.

Beasley actually wrote Ashleys statement last week. Jiminez is the 'club source' the southern wanks keep quoting. Anyone remember the scathing article Beasley did regarding Ashley shortly after he bought the Club and how eyebrows were raised a week or two later when Ashley was sat next to who in the directors box?

Ashleys in bed with Beasley without a single doubt.

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Its Rob Beasley who you need to read if you need to know Ashleys thoughts. Samual is a horrible cunt.

 

Beasley actually wrote Ashleys statement last week. Jiminez is the 'club source' the southern wanks keep quoting. Anyone remember the scathing article Beasley did regarding Ashley shortly after he bought the Club and how eyebrows were raised a week or two later when Ashley was sat next to who in the directors box?

 

Ashleys in bed with Beasley without a single doubt.

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/foot...rticle22169.ece

 

Fits in perfectly with what you said

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It must be getting bad, we were one of the topics of discussion on 8 out of 10 cats at the weekend gone - when i say topic i mean piss taken out of.

 

and on Mock The Week.

 

Doyle said ''What I don't understand is he has £500m* and he is in Newccccassstlle'' ;)

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