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Yet another room burns...

By Lee Ryder on Jun 8, 09 07:58 PM

Alan Shearer jetted back to Tyneside today after a short break but despite the release of a statement that has been ridiculed by the rest of the nation - United are no closer to appointing Big Al - or anybody for that matter - than they were a fortnight ago.

Shearer spoke deeply of his concerns about getting things sorted at Villa Park during a dark hour in Newcastle's top flight history but it appears that the owner of the club isn't in the mood for listening.

Once more Keith Harris, the man who failed to sell the club last years, has made positive noises about potential buyers coming in.

Last time out though managing director Derek Llambias admitted they did not listen to one serious bid.

And despite much talk of consortia interested in taking the £100million rated Toon off Ashley's hands tonight we have made another step towards possible oblivion.

Pre-season training starts in less than three weeks and as it stands nobody knows who will be on hand to take that first session.

Life must go on regardless of who is in charge of the club in terms of ownership and after a day in which a city called for the permanent appointment of Shearer, many feel that this mess is only going to get worse before it gets anywhere near being better.

25 Comments

John B said:

Nail on head, Lee. Seems as if as each day passes, the likely hood of Shearer getting the job diminishes further. Mike Ashley is leaving the club and it's fans out to dry. I've often wondered before whether his intent after Sept 08 was a scorched earth policy (after the fans turned on him) Seems to be getting that way now.

Instead of looking at a promotion campaign, we could be facing another relegation battle.

Edmond Dante said:

Another relegation battle? When was the last battle? All I saw was a surrender. The millionaire tat merchant makes Emperor Nero look like a sensible ruler.

Brian Whitfield said:

Remember Leeds United?. I hope so because we may be re-establishing our aquaintance in 2010/2011. Sad isn't it??..........pathetically Sad.

john Murphy said:

having been a toon fan for many a year now i have to say right now is THE MOST FRIGHTENING TIME i have EVER experienced, that FAT slob ashley is systematically dismantling OUR club, somebody in higher places in english football MUST take action against the currant regime ! ! as they are treating OUR club with such distain and unprofessional conduct. its almost as if FATTY is hell bent on destroying this club which is steeped in history as are many clubs in this land . Are the lords of football going to sit around and allow a tragedy like this to happen ?????? its more than a crime its pure EVIL ! we need to have some structure put in place by someone who REALLY cares about football and especially this club , apart from Sir Bobby Robson only one other name is left on this particular team sheet ALAN SHEARER!! will somebody some where stop this fat vandal before there is NOTHING left of our beloved club..................

Bill-B said:

Keith Harris, the man who failed to sell the club last year, has made positive noises about potential buyers coming in. this guy is a waist of fresh air !!!!! as is Fat Ash

Scotty said:

Excellent comments yet again lee I have got a really bad feeling the sale of our club will drag on for months. As Bill said this Keith Harris is a waist of fresh air and it looks like he could not sell a bag of sand to the arabs never mind a football club. My worst fears are that Cashley will re-appoint Joe Kinnear in July while he flog's anything of value to the highest bidder and I won't be suprised if he stopped at just the first team players. This guy must never be let near another football club ever again the FA and the powers that be should hand this idiot a lifetime ban cos it feels like he's handing our club a life sentence.

stevie said:

I can't see Ashley relinquishing control to someone like Shearer, it will be the same as before - try and sell the club, if it doesn't work out, bring in a yes man and try and sell it again at a later date.
I really can't see Ashley changing, he was never interested in creating a successful team and club, he just wanted to have a laugh and make a few quid.
He failed on both counts.

Shaun said:

Think that Ashley thought Shearer would come up with a miracle plan to get us back into the
Premiership which would cost him nothing.
Shearer been more level headed than the dreamer Keegan and not wanting to be the front man while others were in control in the background gave the owner a reality check.
Result-sell the club.
June-nothing will happen while club is up for sale.
July-Ashley will start selling players and appoint Hughton to do pre-season.
August-if the club isnt sold by then it wont be-if it isnt-Kinnear re-appointed and a few panic buys to make up the numbers.

DAVE WATSON said:

It is a "waste of space" and a "breath of fresh air" not a "waist of fresh air" Poor syntax and confused metsphors....not very good is it???

relton said:

Keith Harris ? ! ? ! ? ! Keith harris ????

Wouldnt we be better off letting Orville do the talking than that dumbkopf

Giles said:

It's very sad to see that Ashley has, by inviting bids by email with no degree of exclusivity, virtually put your club on Ebay with a reserve of £100m. To an outsider looking on in shock it seems as if the club just stumbles from one calamity to the next.

Lee said:

DAVE WATSON said:

"...confused metsphors....not very good is it???"

metsphors indeed Dave!

Seriously though, how come it's taken until now for some fans and local journalists to realise just how bad things are at Newcastle? Loving the club is one thing, but blind faith is just bloody stupid!

Ashley was allowed back into SJP when Newcastle played Sunderland, without even a whimper of opposition. A clever move on his behalf, and a throwback to Shepherd's 'you're either with the Geordie Nation or against it' tribal mentality. Then he bought time by putting Shearer over a barrel - help keep us up and show your love for the club, or I'll issue a press release saying we offered you the job during our darkest hour and you turned it down. Now it turns out he doesn't have any belief in Shearer being able to do the job full-time. All very sad, but not difficult to see coming, if you dare to be objective rather than subjective.

DavidK said:

The reported interest shown by The Profitable Group in buying the club has given the only chink of sunlight in an otherwise gloomy two weeks. In Steve McMahon, they would provide the, this time creditable, footballing man at board level, and if the reports of a trust foundation are shown to be correct would give the infrastructure of the club stability and accountability, something we've seen precious little of in the past.
With incisive ownership and astute management both on and off the pitch we could finally lose the "Jokers" tag and be known as "The Entertainers" again. I'm not just clutching at straws here, I really feel that should Profitable take control, as they've shown in the past, they'll prove to be the sort of dilligent owners that will enjoy the profitability of the club on the back of us, as supporters, enjoying the quality of the team. My only hope now is that they proceed beyong the initial interest stage quickly enough to prevent the Market Trader selling up to the first gormless twonk that bowls up with the available readies. I know he's still hoping for a bloke with a camel to ride over the horizon waving fifties, but perhaps, for a change, something might happen to the benefit of the club as a whole and not just to the bank balance of the owner.

SB said:

I just hope that all Newcastle fans are boycotting Sports Direct outlets in protest at the disgraceful treatment of us, the loyal Newcastle fans...

The sooner this muppet has gone the better.

bob said:

What about the joker (Llambias, Wise ?) who negotiated the player's contracts without inserting the standard 'reduced-wage' clause in case of relegation ?
Why should this bunch of mercenary players exert themselves trying to avoid relegation if they know they'll be on the same obscene wages regardless of which division they'll be playing in ?
Maybe the new owners should take the opportunity to put in place a 'basic wage + bonus' payment scheme, with a low basic wage for everybody and a high player-related bonus for a win. Lose and you only get the basic wage. Anybody not pulling their weight would soon have the rest of the team on their backs and the club would benefit.

tomfitz said:

All Necastle fans should be worried about Ashleys intentions with the club. He will not be satisfied until he has got as much money out of the club as he can. Mcmahon was mentioned last time to show that there was some interest in buying the club but it did not happen. His first priority is to get rid of the high cost players if he can. If he cannot sell the players then he will put the club into administration forcing the players out. he will then take what he can and disappear back to his market stall in London.
someone will pick up the pieces and Newcastle will start with a big points defecit penalised by the league.
Someone should ask how Nyall Quinn did it at Sunderland and put his plan in operation.
Doom doom n gloom

Eldorado Argentina said:

Ninth June 2009

LEE SAID:


"Loving the club is one thing but blind
faith is just bloody stupid!

How right you are Lee! True Faith is not black and white is it? It is Newcastle upon Tyne and its people.

When you wrote it, were you perhaps reflecting on Sy, Mexicola, djc or Chris Gray's comments from your previous blog.


Or had "Grimsby Town" and "Notts County", albeit four words not one , come to mind when you read of Mexicola's artistic encouragement and his clearly heart-felt fatherly one-word-repost "Juventus".

Or were you affected by djc's "sorry but we should never change our first kit colours" but that "consideration should be given to our second kit"?


Chris Gray will certainly agree I am sure,
changing the strip will not make a bad team good but there's a good chance it will make a good team just that wee bit better and at least sufficient to score just one more goal in 24 games.

Regenerating the "Entertainers" in black and white will not be easy. Any thing that helps should be seriously considered.
It's poetic football we all want to see not a Variety Show.

What do you think Lee? It's head above the parapet time.

Which strip do you prefer _ a Brazil yellow, or an all old Newcastle red, perhaps with a square or disc containing black and white stripes on the front and/or back, and black and white trimmings?


Best EA

Brian Whitfield said:

Just read the Profitability Group Plan. Wow......do we dare to hope that the rot may stop. The supporters would be treat like human beings?? I'm not even bothered about going straight back to the Premiership. Just give us back some Bloody Dignity, some pride.

londontoon said:

has MA not got some sort of major responsiblity to run this club/ buisness properly? surely you can not let this happen by law!?!?!? chris morte- do you know anything? help!

Tardonicus said:

We'll get through this no matter what is flung at us. We're NUFC and we still have pride in the black and white.

Ashley is a buffoon, and bearing a grudge toward the fans or he'd be running this like a business concern even while trying to sell. He thinks he can hurt us. He's wrong.

So if it's first come, first served, we need to get some real NUFC people to the table and quick! This is THE chance we have been waiting for to re-work the club as an extension of the fans. I hope we manage to pull it off.

In the meantime, Ashley can do me no harm, mentally. I'm above letting him get to me.

Dave A said:

And secondly, I gave you my word that as long as I remain owner, this club would continue to be run responsibly at all levels. I hope you will accept that I have stood by that pledge"
Mike Ashley Jan 2009.
Put that on the front page of the Journal and Chronicle and shame these muppets into employing a manager, now! So we can start to rebuild the mess that they made.
Words cant describe how inept they are

Scotty said:

I think a boycott of sports direct outlets is a bit too late SB. I walked past that shop the day of the new home kit launch and it was full of fans buying the new shirt. I myself have not set foot in that shop since the Keegan fiasco in September because I had the feeling Fat Cashley did not care about our club and was happy to take us fans for a ride. We all show our true faith in the club by turning up at home games week after week but was it just us showing blind faith while Cashley and Co were laughing at us after counting the dosh from home games??. I was not suprised to hear that some of my pals who had been fans since the 60's were cancelling their season tickets thats how bad things have got. I'm not sure what to do yet??

DavidK said:

As expected the rumour mill has gone up a gear over the last few days. I think we're all now thoroughly peed off with all of the whispers, denials and gossip floating around this club. are the Toon the only club where nobody has any idea what's going on? Someone rightly said, I think as a comment on an article that other clubs managed to conduct a change of ownership without the soap opera associated with ours. In all of this fiasco, I've only ever heard Derek Llambias either reading verbatem from a Mike Ashley prepared statement or rubbishing a report in a newspaper. The world and his wife know that time is running out for preparing for a season where a repeat of last season's non-performance of the team will probably cause the terminal meltdown of the club, and anybody with half a brain could tell you that selling a club with forward planning is going to be easier than the proposition that Cashley and his team are presenting potential purchasers at the moment.
Perhaps a round of compromises is the best way forward at this stage before it's too late. Mike Ashley could show a degree of goodwill to both the potential buyers and the anxious fans by ratifying the manager position. Alan Shearer could agree to hold back on some of the, I know, essential elements of his plan to breathe a bit of life into the club until the new ownership is in place, and, after their abject surrender of last season, the players could signal their commitment to both the club and the fans by agreeing to a more performance related pay structure. I know there are a lot of want-away parties on both the playing staff and the management sides. Surely a compromise such as that I've proposed would go a long way towards acieving that. I can't see any manager in any division in the world looking upon our current first team squad members as ideal potential signings on the evidence of last season, irrespective of their previous potential or reputations and anyone looking to buy this club would be better disposed to negotiation with the current ownership if there was some evidence on the table that the club was a viable proposition. If nobody gives a **** apart from us fans, perhaps if compromise isn't possible, the club should be wound up now and we shift our support to a club that deserves it. Whitley Bay perhaps?

bob said:

Suppose you were a billionaire and, for a laugh, decided that you'd buy a long-standing Premiership football club and turn it into such a mess that it ended up managerless and relegated. What odds do you think you'd get if you said you could do it all within 2 years ?
I don't think Ashley has deliberately done this, it's just that he's a massively inept and incompetent businessman.
You might say 'hang on a minute, he can't be that bad a businessman if he's a billionaire', but don't forget that he made most of his money (£929 million ?) in ONE DAY, thanks to the stock market. He didn't become a billionaire from years of applying his outstanding business acumen, it was practically handed to him on a plate.
I think he's just a clown that got lucky one day and it's been downhill ever since.Pity we got in the way.

Mike said:

Toon fans are their own worst enemy. They've soon forgot who it was demanding manager after manager be sacked.
Should've stuck with big Sam. But no, being in a better position than you were the previous year, wasn't good enough for you idiots!!
You deserve everything you got!

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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