By little co-incidence Mike Ashley chose to speak to London-based journalist from The Mail, Martin Samuel in a meandering, self-pitying apology for twelve years of mediocrity and failure where he was allowed to spew forth a whole load of nonsense without any challenge whatsoever.I think we all know he will never put himself in front of any half-decent journalist, for example a George Caulkin who might correct him of some of the absurdities he has put in front of a really poor excuse of a football reporter.

In this interview he accuses Benitez of having a sole interest in personal riches – an accusation that is simply completely at odds wit the facts but fits with the Ashley modus of attempting to trash someone’s character who has stood up to him and refused to accept the rubbish way he runs our football club. It is distasteful and offensive. Benitez has left because Ashley has failed to support him in any way over the three years he was his manager, failed to discuss any kind of strategy with him for developing the club in the way he discussed as a project.

In no particular order, Samuel fails to ask him about:

  • 12 years of completely free global advertising for his businesses which deface St James’ Park for which it is now proposed to pay a pitiful 1-2m per season.
  • Having been found to have lied to supporters and media as detailed within the Kevin Keegan Court case.
  • Found to have treated cancer sufferer Jonas Guitteraz appallingly
  • Announced investment in a whole new training facility, gained planning permission and then let the whole idea drop
  • Transferred the lease on land at Strawberry Place from Newcastle United ownership to his own company and then sold it, keeping the entire profit for himself
  • Renamed St James’ Park the Sports Direct Arena for zero fee
  • Appointed Joe Kinnear twice
  • Appointed charlatans and his pals – Dennis Wise, Tony Jiminez to positions of authority at United for which they were grossly unqualified for
  • Have the club with amongst the lowest salary bill for players in the Premier League
  • Invested less on players than the vast majority of PL clubs and now face falling behind Wolves, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Watford, Everton et al
  • Got the club relegated twice
  • Had a policy publicly revealed by his managing Director of not competing in the Cup competitions
  • Went berserk at United qualifying for the Europa League
  • Had off with the club’s online merchandising
  • Failed to maintain and develop the club’s commercial and corporate operation
  • Presided over the consistent deterioration of St James’ Park
  • Took 33 millions out of United last year and completely upended any transfer plans which served to alienate and disaffect Rafa benitez
  • Failed to offer Rafa Benitez any increase in salary in the contract offer to him.
  • Consistently failed to provide Benitez with resources to compete on anything like a level playing field with clubs of inferior stature and history.
  • Re-name Shearer’s Bar, Nine and decline to co-operate with the siting of the Alan Shearer statue on land at St James’ Park
  • At least half a dozen attempts to sell United having failed begging the question – why?

The allegations that Rafa planned to do the off to China regardless of the offer made to him by United is arrant nonsense. Benitez had a chance to go to China two seasons earlier. Benitez did nothing to convince him to stay. The snide comments he and Bruce are now making about Rafa are reminiscent of the nonsense put out about Kevin Keegan in the aftermath of him leaving the club with Dennis Wise briefing tyhe press they considered him mental and that he’d wanted Frank Lampard from Chelsea.

Its not his fault Rafa has left, its not his fault he can’t sell United to God knows how many potential buyers …. and it just goes on and on and on into a litany of wholly unsustainable garbage.

His statement that he might be running Newcastle United for the rest of his life is enough to make your blood run cold and do nothing to convince sickened season ticket holders they should return to a club that has made only one signing this summer despite claims about money to spend and all the rest of it.

And we could go on and on and on ourselves. Please do so in the comment boxes below.

For full details of Ashley’s blurt – click here

There can be little doubt, Ashley’s rare bout of public-speaking has been brought on by the meltdown with Season Ticket renewals and the planned boycott of the Arsenal game on the opening day of the season. He seems to have completely misjudged Newcastle United supporters, imagining that because he has flung a notional Geordie in the direction of the Home dug-out that will be enough. He’s been listening to too much Talksport and believing their shite.