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Ashley at the Old Bailey.

Posted on June 25th, 2009 | 34 Comments |

The scales of justice
The scales of justice
A few minutes from the Seymour Pierce offices at Old Bailey in London is the highest court in the land. Until a few hundred years ago, those found guilty of high treason were sentenced to be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’, and the subsequent executions took place close by either in Smithfield market or the Tower of London. This most violent and terrible of all executions saw the poor souls hung by the neck, taken down before they lost consciousness, sliced open, disemboweled, then beheaded and the body quartered and left in various locations throughout the city, on display as a deterent to anyone else who felt like committing treason.

It’s therefore quite ironic that the last vestiges of what many people believe to be a treacherous reign by Mike Ashley is likely to be carried out in this location. For many Mike Ashley should be facing the same punishment for bringing our club into disrepute. But before he is finally cast as a complete and unadulterated villain hell bent on destroying the club and the embodiement of all things evil, lets take a quick look back at some of the Newcastle times of Mike Ashley.

A known recluse who enjoyed watching football, he was well known as someone who almost never talked to the media although this fact would be forgotten during his time on Tyneside. We thought we were getting  a nice benefactor, after all he was a billionaire, a quiet and unassuming guy we would never hear from who we pictured sitting in his mansion Howard Hughes style all alone with his cat for company. What we didn’t expect was to see him bedecked in his black and white shirt drinking in the Bigg Market and splashing the cash on drinks all round for the locals – no shortage of drinking mates then. While he enjoyed the happy days of travelling with the fans and being one of the lads, the fans were happy that we had an owner who was close to them who appeared to listen to what they wanted. ‘We want Keegan’ many of them said so Keegan was duly acquired fresh from his circus in Glasgow. Were we about to relive those heady days again, the days of the entertainers? Well it didn’t take us long to find the answer to that conundrum when all hell broke lose after Dennis Wise was appointed and the inevitable falling out and walking out of Kevin Keegan happened. If you could pick one defining moment of when it went all so horribly wrong it was that one. Dennis Wise the agitator, the workeyticket (sorry), the one who trouble always followed.

The catalogue of disasters too numerous to mention cascaded down from there. Poor appointments with lack of relevant experience or worse complete unsuitability for the job, poor decision making, little communication with the paying customer, wooliness, ineptitude, lack of decisiveness, poor PR, pigheadedness, not appearing to care and so the list goes on. Despite much of the disaster of his reign I think he started off with the right intentions. He was poorly advised and made several bad appointments and the consequence of those actions were plain for all to see. However what we must remember is if he hadn’t of come along when he did when we really were on our uppers after the mess left by Freddie Shepherd and ploughed a minimum of £150m of his own money into the club that he will never see again the likelihood is that we would have gone bust.

So, while Mike Ashley’s tenure with the club draws to an inevitable close, and we berate all he has done to bring great grief to our club, we also must acknowledge that his actions weren’t deliberate and I’m sure in quiet moments he regrets a lot of the stupid decisions, poor appointments and bad advice that has led to him selling the club. He will leave NUFC a division lower, a club in turmoil with it’s reputation in tatters. I’m sure that’s not how it was supposed to be.

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

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34 Responses

  1. It would be difficult to feel less for another human being.

    Actually, that’s probably a bit extreme….

    I just want him gone and to forget this horrible episode.

  2. Toon Factor

    “we also must acknowledge that his actions weren’t deliberate. What makes you so sure?’

    Probably because I can’t believe anyone would deliberately try to destroy their investment. But then again who knows?

  3. “The condemned man would usually be sentenced to the short drop method of hanging, so that the neck would not break. The man was usually dragged alive to the quartering table, although in some cases men were brought to the table dead or unconscious. A splash of water was usually employed to wake the man if unconscious, then he was laid down on the table. A large cut was made in the gut after removing the genitalia, and the intestines would be spooled out on a device that resembled a dough roller. Each piece of organ would be burned before the sufferer’s eyes, and when he was completely disembowelled, his head would be cut off. The body would then be cut into four pieces, and the king would decide where they were to be displayed. Usually the head was sent to the Tower of London and, as in the case of William Wallace, the other four pieces were sent to different parts of the country. The head was generally par-boiled in brine to preserve the appearance of the head in display, while the quarters were more often prepared in pitch, for longer-lasting deterrent displays.” (wikipedia)

    Poor old Mike’s so unpopular at the moment, some Geordies may think this punishment would be a little too mild for Ashley!

  4. Nice article Deb.

    In some ways I liked Ashley’s black & white shirt-wearing, having a pint with the fans approach because it was unconventional and I like unconventional. But it would take a vey special person indeed to pull that off and still maintain the respect and separation needed to be the club’s owner (and Chairman in all but name – Llambias was just a go-between rather than a decision maker).

    I do, as it happens, think Mike Ashley had the right intentions – he just didn’t have the wherewithal to put them into action. His biggest mistake was failing to realise he didn’t have that wherewithal. I think a quality the very best leaders have is knowing their limitations and employing people to plug those gaps.

  5. Worky

    ‘Poor old Mike’s so unpopular at the moment, some Geordies may think this punishment would be a little too mild for Ashley!’

    You’re right there Worky!

  6. Thanks Hugh

    ‘I do, as it happens, think Mike Ashley had the right intentions – he just didn’t have the wherewithal to put them into action. His biggest mistake was failing to realise he didn’t have that wherewithal. I think a quality the very best leaders have is knowing their limitations and employing people to plug those gaps.’

    Too true. He employed people with less knowldege than he had, mistake number 1. The unconsciously incompetent springs to mind!

  7. beyethegreat says:
    June 26, 2009 at 8:32 am

    who was farrah fawcett

    ========

    She used to be on my bedroom wall next to Debbie Harry.

  8. morning everyone. :mrgreen: hopefully we get some news today. rumours going round shearer is meeting the top brass today.

  9. They say no meeting was ever planned and the buyers are still in negiotiations with Semour Pierce. Could be three involved now also.

    Nobody has a clue so I think they make all this rubbish up!

  10. As long as Hughton is not making and desicions that could decide the clubs future. He is clueless.

  11. Stuart 79

    ‘They say no meeting was ever planned and the buyers are still in negiotiations with Semour Pierce. Could be three involved now also.

    Nobody has a clue so I think they make all this rubbish up!’

    I guess until talk of a meeting today appeared in the Chronicle, the last thing we had heard from?Seymour Pierce was there should be news at the end of the month. So could still be on track for early next week. Well nobody knows so we will just have to wait, again!

  12. There’s an article in the Chronicle in which Shepherd justifies buying Owen: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nufc/newcastle-united-news/2009/06/26/michael-owen-was-right-for-united-shepherd-72703-23987776/

    It’s not much of a read to be honest, but I noticed the bit at the end that suggests Calderwood has been asked to return to lend Hughton a hand with the pre-season stuff.

    This would imply that they don’t think Shearer’s situation (or that of any permanent manager) will be clarified ahead of Wednesday’s pre-season start.

  13. 52times is back after a week without a computer! Had to put my old GeForce 4 back in, you can always rely on that card though.

    Can’t believe that about the Utrecht friendly, you’d think the police over there would have said something though?

  14. Worky

    ‘Bedsheets oot for wor Al!’

    Just when you think we’ve reached rock bottom…. What on earth do these people believe they are going to achieve apart from further ridicule for the club and scaring off potential owners. Pathetic

  15. I share their frustration but demonstrations now will achieve nothing useful.

    Ashley isn’t going to take any notice now that he’s leaving (and probably can’t do anything without jeopardising a deal anyway) and the new owner’s not there yet, so who do these demonstrators think is going to appoint Shearer?

    It’s really annoying that we’ve missed out on players and are going to be unprepared for next season but I can’t see any alternative except waiting.

  16. Hugh

    ‘I share their frustration but demonstrations now will achieve nothing useful.

    Ashley isn’t going to take any notice now that he’s leaving (and probably can’t do anything without jeopardising a deal anyway) and the new owner’s not there yet, so who do these demonstrators think is going to appoint Shearer?

    It’s really annoying that we’ve missed out on players and are going to be unprepared for next season but I can’t see any alternative except waiting.’

    Agree Hugh, For all we know they may be close to determining final owners any day now. I’m sure AS is doing a lot of work in the background to get things lined up for when he is appointed. You’re also right – who exactly would appoint Shearer for the demonstrators? Asley has said he won’t and the others can’t until they have bought the club, and I’m sure Shearer wouldn’t sign anyway until he knows whats on the table

  17. Are they really going to demonstrate though? I don’t think they will. Hopefully not anyway…

  18. I would hope that when they think it through they’ll realise there’s nobody to demonstrate to.

  19. ‘I would hope that when they think it through they’ll realise there’s nobody to demonstrate to.’

    Nobody left at SJP so no good them demonstrating there, that would give SSN something to laugh about

  20. 52times

    ‘They’d love it. We don’t need to give people any more reasons to have a dig.’

    Agree 52 times. That’s why I think the whole idea is daft. how to make us go down even further in the eyes of the nation

  21. i was hoping the unemployed idiots and chavs would all leave now we have gone down and the true fans would remain.

  22. no offence to you 52times. unless your a crazy nutcase who wants his few minutes on sky sports that is.

  23. I was at the original protests in September but wouldn’t bother with any in the future.