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Ashley: "I have not had a single credible bid"

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HOUNDED away from the club which has drained him of the best part of £300million, Mike Ashley should be a bitter man.

 

Embroiled in a legal battle with a living Tyneside legend, Ashley should be regretting the day he wrote a cheque to the Halls and Freddy Shepherd.

 

Squeezed by the credit crunch and unable to sell a prime Premier League asset, Ashley should be wondering why he ever got involved in football.

 

But he is not.

 

“I’ve made mistakes, sure,” he says. “But do I regret buying Newcastle? Absolutely not.

 

“I had a fantastic year owning a fantastic club. It really was like someone fulfilling their boyhood dream.

 

“Up to a point, I enjoyed every minute of it.”

 

That point, of course, came when Ashley decided he was no longer welcome at St James’ Park.

 

Or, indeed, no longer safe.

 

That is why he was in Barbados last weekend rather than in the directors’ box watching the latest stage of Joe Kinnear's salvage mission.

 

He texts Kinnear after every game and is impressed with the job he is doing.

 

When I saw Joe recently, he told me of his desire to see Ashley back up in the St James’ stands.

 

“I would love to see Mike back here for a match. He is a man who is passionate about football and passionate about this club,” Kinnear said.

 

And in the past couple of weeks, there have been conciliatory noises from supporters' groups who realise that selling Newcastle in these trying economic times is not going to be a formality.

 

When I caught up with Ashley in the Caribbean, he was non-commital on returning to watch the team he bankrolls.

 

But privately, he has told friends that he cannot see a day when he is welcomed back in Newcastle.

 

In the wake of Keegan’s resignation, some of the letters and e-mails from outraged fans were so threatening that Ashley was genuinely concerned about his family’s safety.

 

And that is why he believes he has no option but to press ahead with the sale of the club. But it is not proving easy.

 

“I have not had a single credible bid,” he told me.

 

There has, of course, been interest from various consortiums from different parts of the globe — but none of it concrete.

 

And on the day we spoke, Ashley had heard the whispers of a Pini Zahavi-led group being keen to get round the negotiating table.

 

“Someone told me they had been interested in Portsmouth and West Ham,” Ashley said. “Why would we be third on the list? We are a much bigger club than those two.”

 

Ashley won’t publicly discuss the asking price but he is prepared to leave without a profit.

 

In the meantime, he has given his backing to Kinnear, who now has a contract until the end of the season.

Masterplan

 

And he could even personally intervene if discussions with stars such as Michael Owen and Nicky Butt — both out of contract at the end of the season — do not show any signs of reaching a positive conclusion.

 

“I’m still desperate for the club to succeed,” insisted Ashley.

 

But that is unlikely to extend to a massive transfer fund for Kinnear when the transfer window opens at the start of next month.

 

But lavish spending on big-name players was never part of Ashley’s masterplan when he took over back in June of 2007.

 

“That was never going to be the way we would do things,” he said. “We had a long-term strategy.”

 

Some people clearly didn’t understand the scheme.

 

And whatever the strategy, it went awry when Keegan walked out and Ashley — along with Dennis Wise — became the biggest villain in Toon, with angry mobs demonstrating against him outside St James’ Park.

 

I was one of Ashley's harshest critics but talking to him over a drink, you realise that he is just a very rich enthusiast who got into football for pure and simple fun.

 

“I loved it,” he said. “Of course, I’ve made mistakes but we all have.”

 

Keegan is claiming huge compensation from Newcastle and it appears that Ashley will fight it.

 

But he will not say a bad word against Keegan.

 

Instead, he will support Kinnear as best he can as the interim manager tries to stave off the nightmare prospect of relegation to the Championship.

 

Kinnear takes his team on the long trip to Portsmouth today knowing that he needs to start turning draws into victories if they are to secure some breathing space in the lower half of the table.

Difficult

 

And he needs to sort out the future of Owen in particular as a matter of urgency.

 

It now seems certain that the striker will let his contract run down and would be free to move on a free transfer next summer.

 

Indeed, he is free to talk to other teams next month.

 

The England striker will want to know the direction of the club before he considers committing himself to it.

 

And that could mean that Owen’s future is linked directly with Ashley’s ability to sell the club.

 

In the current climate, that might prove difficult but it is clear that even if he has to hang on to Newcastle, Ashley will still strive to make sure it regains its place as one of the Premier League’s top clubs.

 

Even if he never sets foot in the place ever again.

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I like how it's an interview, but the majority of the talking is through the interviewer.

 

It would be nice if he could come out and open a dialogue with the fans ;)

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Biggest pile of shite I've read for a while, lie upon lie upon lie. Trying to get the sympathy vote again is he? Must have paid the 'interviewer' an nice hefty wedge to help with Christmas to get this drivel anywhere near being published. Fat Cunt.

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The man is a cunt.

 

In a nutshell like.

 

The fact that he's giving interviews leads me to believe that he's trying to worm his way back in.

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Biggest pile of shite I've read for a while, lie upon lie upon lie. Trying to get the sympathy vote again is he? Must have paid the 'interviewer' an nice hefty wedge to help with Christmas to get this drivel anywhere near being published. Fat Cunt.

Yup.

 

None of it was me miss, it was them. ;)

 

 

The guy has lied again and again.

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What an absolutely disgraceful article. I wouldnt even give it the credibility of the word "interview".

 

£300 million is it now? hmmmm it just gets bigger and bigger this investment.

 

He texts Kinnear after every game and is impressed with the job he is doing

Wow, he loves his football club so much that he sends a text to the manager after every game. If only us fans had that level of commitment. He cant even be bothered to make a phone call, "Jo, gd gme? lol x Mke" is as much as he can manage to arse himself to do?

 

 

In the wake of Keegan’s resignation, some of the letters and e-mails from outraged fans were so threatening that Ashley was genuinely concerned about his family’s safety.

Please Mr Ashley, pass them onto us, lets see these threatening letters and emails, after all sending threats is a criminal offence yet Northumbria Police made it perfectly clear that they had never advised him he was in danger. Strange, if they'd seen such threatening stuff they would have surely.

 

 

When I caught up with Ashley in the Caribbean, he was non-commital on returning to watch the team he bankrolls.

Bankrolls?

 

Bankroll

verb [T] INFORMAL

to support a person or activity financially

 

One penny, Mr Ashley, please show us one penny that you have invested in this club since the 16th September. To continue to bankroll the club must mean you have continued to dip your hand in your pocket. They paying of Keith Harris and co does not count as bankrolling or investment in this football club (even though I dont believe that came from your pockets but rather the clubs.).

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"Impressed with Joe Kinnear" is probably the thing he has said in 18 months which justifies everything said about him the most.

 

More bullshit propaganda

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read the first paragraph, read like the sob story of someone being picked on

 

cant be arsed, the mans a prick

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Ashley has come out and said he's made mistakes a week after the spokesman or whoever it was for NUSC said that's what he should do, if he can't sell the club then I hope he comes back and continues trying to move the club forward rather than leaving us rudderless.

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Ashley has come out and said he's made mistakes a week after the spokesman or whoever it was for NUSC said that's what he should do, if he can't sell the club then I hope he comes back and continues trying to move the club forward rather than leaving us rudderless.

 

If he comes back he needs to make it absolutely 100% clear that the manager does not have any say in the buying and selling of players and if the players are utter shite then it's not the managers fault

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Ashley has come out and said he's made mistakes a week after the spokesman or whoever it was for NUSC said that's what he should do, if he can't sell the club then I hope he comes back and continues trying to move the club forward rather than leaving us rudderless.

 

You want to be careful there, people could read that as you saying hes starting to do the right thing because of something the NUSC did. :P

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Ashley has come out and said he's made mistakes a week after the spokesman or whoever it was for NUSC said that's what he should do, if he can't sell the club then I hope he comes back and continues trying to move the club forward rather than leaving us rudderless.

 

You want to be careful there, people could read that as you saying hes starting to do the right thing because of something the NUSC did. :P

 

He probably is and I gave credit where it was due when NUSC said it at the time.

 

People don't have to like Ashley but for the sake of the club I think it's better that he does take an interest if he can't sell it.

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Ashley has come out and said he's made mistakes a week after the spokesman or whoever it was for NUSC said that's what he should do, if he can't sell the club then I hope he comes back and continues trying to move the club forward rather than leaving us rudderless.

 

You want to be careful there, people could read that as you saying hes starting to do the right thing because of something the NUSC did. :P

 

He probably is and I gave credit where it was due when NUSC said it at the time.

 

People don't have to like Ashley but for the sake of the club I think it's better that he does take an interest if he can't sell it.

 

Exactly,

 

for once me and you agree. I dont like Ashley, dont trust him and hope he leaves as soon as possible but while hes here I want him to do the right thing by this club, that doesnt mean I expect him to buy us Ronaldo, Pele and Beckham but it does mean sort out contracts, invest in the team and not sell those players that have a future at this club.

 

Where I suspect we still differ is I dont believe he will do those things and as I said earlier in this thread, sending a text to Kinnear from Barbados does not to me, show any kind of interest.

 

I hope to be eating my words come Feb 1.

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I don't think it's a coincidence that Ashley has come out and said he's made mistakes a week after the spokesman or whoever it was for NUSC said that's what he should do, if he can't sell the club then I hope he comes back and continues trying to move the club forward rather than leaving us rudderless.

 

You want to be careful there, people could read that as you saying hes starting to do the right thing because of something the NUSC did. :P

 

He probably is and I gave credit where it was due when NUSC said it at the time.

 

People don't have to like Ashley but for the sake of the club I think it's better that he does take an interest if he can't sell it.

 

Exactly,

 

for once me and you agree. I dont like Ashley, dont trust him and hope he leaves as soon as possible but while hes here I want him to do the right thing by this club, that doesnt mean I expect him to buy us Ronaldo, Pele and Beckham but it does mean sort out contracts, invest in the team and not sell those players that have a future at this club.

 

Where I suspect we still differ is I dont believe he will do those things and as I said earlier in this thread, sending a text to Kinnear from Barbados does not to me, show any kind of interest.

 

I hope to be eating my words come Feb 1.

 

If we can get in a left back and a centre midfielder who are good enough to walk straight into the first team then i think it would have been a good season in terms of transfers, that would have been 5 players signed that have improved our starting 11 which is more than I expected before the Summer.

 

I'm interested to see what NUSC's next move will be as you've offered Ashley the hand of friendship (sort of) and these comments were his way of accepting his share of the blame.

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I'm interested to see what NUSC's next move will be as you've offered Ashley the hand of friendship (sort of) and these comments were his way of accepting his share of the blame.

 

Personally, I dont see him saying "I've made some mistakes" as a turning point, hes still spouting the shite about not being safe and hes not making any attempts to sort things out. To be fair I should amend that last sentence to say "hes not appearing to make any attempts.."

 

He needs to start planning and moving forwards, there are no more moves for us at this stage, hes had an interview, lets see if he does anything following it.

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I'm interested to see what NUSC's next move will be as you've offered Ashley the hand of friendship (sort of) and these comments were his way of accepting his share of the blame.

 

Personally, I dont see him saying "I've made some mistakes" as a turning point, hes still spouting the shite about not being safe and hes not making any attempts to sort things out. To be fair I should amend that last sentence to say "hes not appearing to make any attempts.."

 

He needs to start planning and moving forwards, there are no more moves for us at this stage, hes had an interview, lets see if he does anything following it.

 

Have NUSC come out and said that NUFC fans may be more concilliatory if he gets rid of Wise and that he is the main problem.

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I'm interested to see what NUSC's next move will be as you've offered Ashley the hand of friendship (sort of) and these comments were his way of accepting his share of the blame.

 

Personally, I dont see him saying "I've made some mistakes" as a turning point, hes still spouting the shite about not being safe and hes not making any attempts to sort things out. To be fair I should amend that last sentence to say "hes not appearing to make any attempts.."

 

He needs to start planning and moving forwards, there are no more moves for us at this stage, hes had an interview, lets see if he does anything following it.

 

Have NUSC come out and said that NUFC fans may be more concilliatory if he gets rid of Wise and that he is the main problem.

 

How is he the main problem?

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I'm interested to see what NUSC's next move will be as you've offered Ashley the hand of friendship (sort of) and these comments were his way of accepting his share of the blame.

 

Personally, I dont see him saying "I've made some mistakes" as a turning point, hes still spouting the shite about not being safe and hes not making any attempts to sort things out. To be fair I should amend that last sentence to say "hes not appearing to make any attempts.."

 

He needs to start planning and moving forwards, there are no more moves for us at this stage, hes had an interview, lets see if he does anything following it.

 

Have NUSC come out and said that NUFC fans may be more concilliatory if he gets rid of Wise and that he is the main problem.

 

How is he the main problem?

 

While he is here we will never get a decent manager.

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