Newcastle: Fans Should Send Mike Ashley Out of "Toon"

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IMay 31, 2008

What in the world is happening in Newcastle?

One year on from Mike Ashley's takeover, and we've gone nowhere. He's come in, spent nothing on players, and won't back the manager who was his choice.

After yet another year of contempt on Tyneside, Freddy Shepherd was ousted by recluse Mike Ashley almost a year ago. This move was met by delirium up North. The "Fat Controller" was gone; Europe, here we come.

Wrong. Shepherd's last act was to appoint Sam Alldardyce as manager. Mixed reaction to his appointment was clearly heard at St James Park, and like Souness, it wouldn't be long until the boos began.

Mike Ashley realistically spent nothing over the summer. Buying Barton for 5 million was his biggest venture, but the money was recouped by selling captain Parker and Pacey Dyer.

The recluse suddenly appeared in the crowd at the Reebok as the Toon made an unbelievable start to the season. The only problem with appearing in the terraces is being influenced by fan's opinion.

So by December when most Geordies were calling for Big Sam's head, Ashley fired the shot. He pulled what seemed to be a publicity stunt by recalling Kevin Keegan from the wilderness to come home.

Newcastle's fortunes rose, and after a good finish to the season, we all were waiting in anticipation of the transfer season. However, first Keegan and Ashley clashed over the former's comments.

Could our Messiah be sacked? He saved his job and suddenly the anticipation was replaced with anxiety. How long could SJP play Happy Families? Sure enough Ashley goes behind Kev's back to hire Denis Wise in a backstage role. Real vote of confidence.

Another problem, the club is being run from London. Ashley, Wise, Chris Mort and Derek Llambias are all based in the capital. Also Ashley is an investor, he won't throw money away like Abramovich. He's here for a profit.

Fair enough, he's cleared the debt but surely that's to make the club's sell on value higher. The asking price is 300 million; that's a nice 90 million profit.

That leads us to this summer's proceedings, the wage bill has to be cut. If that means selling Owen, Milner, Martins and Duff, Ashley will be risking success, and more importantly, his own money.

The solution, like in Barcelona, is to let the fans buy the club. The Geordies are knowledgeable people who could appoint people to run the club for us. We wouldn't have to go undercover into the stands to get opinions. We'd have the power.

It has worked in Barcelona, so why not in Newcastle. Mike Ashley is looking for 300 million, so let's all chip in and buy our adored club. The club must be restored to its former greatness.