Monday, December 29, 2008

Great Moments in Leadership



Breathe easy all you Barcode fans!

You may have just been taken to the woodshed by the mighty Reds (be sure to thank Shay Given for keeping the score in single digits), but every cloud has a silver lining; Mike Ashley has decided to save the club. Again.

That is, at least until the global economic climate warms back up, allowing him to follow the rats off his sinking ship.

After failing to unload the lemon of a club he'd hoped to rescue from its perpetual waking nightmare, the fat fanboy has reversed course from September's "You want me out" statement, untucked his tail from behind his pasty legs and is now ready to steady Newcastle United (and by 'steady', I mean 'ensure many more seasons of a barren silverware cabinet').

In comparison to his Fall treatise, Ashley's latest message to the fans is merely a Post-It note. But, that doesn't make it any less important reading. Although economical with his words (and likely, NUFC's January transfer budget), the billionaire says it all, both with what he's written and what he hasn't written.

Allow me to help you read between the lines. Firstly, let's take a look at Ashley's unedited statement:

I am happy to end the uncertainty fans may have had about the future direction of Newcastle United.

I know just how important that is to you.

I have withdrawn Newcastle United from the market, and for me 2009 will be the year in which we drive the Club forward together. Even when I haven't been at games I have remained a keen supporter, kicking and heading every ball and cheering the team on TV and being the first to congratulate Joe whenever there's a good result.

When I took the decision to put the Club up for sale in September I made a point of saying two things were very important.

Firstly, any potential buyer would have to show they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart and had both the commitment and finance to be worthy custodians of such a fine football club before I would even consider doing a deal.

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.
And now, what he actually means:
I am happy to end the uncertainty fans may have had about the future direction of Newcastle United. But not as happy as I would be if I'd gotten back the quarter of a billionaire I've sunk into this steaming pile. But at least we all know where this club is headed -- nowhere.

I know just how important that is to you. Trust me, I know. I've heard every word you lot have had to say. I go home and cry in my fanboy shirt after every match. Even the thoughts of Alan Smith's bleached locks or the memories of King Kev's delightful perm doesn't smooth the sting.

I have withdrawn Newcastle United from the market, and for me 2009 will be the year in which we drive the Club forward (or forward-ish) together. Hell, sideways is good enough. 2010, though, will likely be the year I get myself out from under this fucking disaster as the world's economy should be back on two feet. Even when I haven't been at games I have remained a keen supporter, kicking and heading every ball and cheering the team on TV and being the first to congratulate Joe whenever there's a good result. You do understand, though, I mean 'kicking and heading' in the metaphorical sense. Otherwise, I'd give myself a massive coronary. As for Joe, I figure his appointment as manager will save me a few quid, as what top-notch player in his right mind (with high wage demands) is going to sign with him?

When I took the decision to put the Club up for sale in September I made a point of saying two things were very important; Everything else was just filler.

Firstly, any potential buyer would have to show they had the best interests of Newcastle United at heart and had both the commitment and finance to be worthy custodians of such a fine football club before I would even consider doing a deal. But mostly, they had to show me the money. Those best interests mostly involve me getting all my money back. It's ridiculous that I couldn't even get those oil-rich Middle Eastern types to take this junk off my hands. But, at this point, being a 'worthy custodian' isn't exactly a tall order. Forget silverware, all you have to do is save the club from The Drop.

And secondly, I gave you my word that as long as I remain owner (another 18 months, tops), this Club would continue to be run responsibly at all levels. Unfortunately, for you, that means more of the same, both on and off the pitch. Michael Owen? Good as gone. It wouldn't be very 'responsible' of us to hold onto a Sicknote who's lost about 4 steps. Not that he even wants to stick around. I hope you will accept that I have stood by that pledge. For now. Notice I said 'stood by' and not 'honored'. Because at some point in the near future, I'm going to get tired off all that standing (again) and have to go sit down.

3 comments:

Andrew said...

Still don't care.

Sarah said...

Can we please never see that photo again?

phil said...

I'll second Sarah's request.