So three disastrous stories last night came out of Newcastle United.
The first is that Ashley is not selling up is ironically is the least bad for once. At least that gives the club some stability for the meantime. He hasn’t been able to sell the club for the new money he craves. Pretenders like Barry Moat simply couldn’t persuade the banks to finance his ideas. Probably good in the long-run if the club is to have an ambitious future. The bizarre statement that Ashley will pump into £20m this week is the kind of guff you get used to. Presumably the clubs has been paying it’s bill of late and the transfer window doesn’t open until January. So the £20m is for what exactly?
However, having Ashley around for longer grants him the power to make binding decisions about the club. In choosing Hughton, Ashley has at least shown he is consistent in his incompetence. I never wanted Shearer back for some romantic gesture. I wanted a proven winner, a motivator with tactical know-how to get the team out of this division. With our players, it shouldn’t be that difficult. However Hughton is like too many decent but not great ex-players, hard-working, dependable and reliant on others to lead. He isn’t the man to motivate this team. The team is starting to struggle for momentum already with its small squad and lack of strikers. If we get promoted, Hughton should move aside and of course should a new owner come in after promotion, which is Ashley’s hope, a new manager would also be appointed. And with Boro appointing Strachan, the odds of immediate promotion lengthen. Total farce.
Naming rights are fairly normal in football these days but only for new stadia. Changing the name of a grand old place like St James’ Park after 117 years just highlights Ashley’s insensitivity to the storied club. I am not surprised or overly bothered. The Toon Army will always march to St James’ Park.