At the bottom of The Chronicle’s article there’s a quote from Jonathon Brill, Ashley’s PR man, about the sale of the club: “There are a number of interested parties and there are no deadlines imposed by anybody,” he said. If Ashley is hoping his PR man is enhancing his image with terse statements like that, he’s wrong.
A club spokesman apparently also added: “I’m afraid there is no further news regarding the sale of the club.“
The Chronicle also has an article about how the senior pros are helping the younger players through the crisis at Newcastle.
Today’s player complaint is from Steve Harper who tells The Journal:
“The players are very disappointed with the situation. Obviously what happened at the back of last year, to fall a goal short was demoralising.
“Players like structure and discipline and at the minute the structure is up in the air. The players don’t know whether they’re going to be here or elsewhere come the start of the season – none of us know at the moment.
“It’s a situation where, as players, we have to concentrate on getting as fit as possible for August 8. But the sooner the better for us to get things resolved.”
The club’s official site reports that Andy Carrol will be back for the Darlington game tomorrow having recovered from straining his ankle ligaments.
That’s all there is at the moment.
It’s now only 22 days until our first league game of the new season. I know things like takovers can take considerable time but I really do think there needs to be more communication from the club about what’s going on. We probably shouldn’t expect it given the appalling history of communication from Ashley, but he has a PR man who should know better if he’s any good at his job. Why can’t they tell us whether this is likely to be resolved before the season starts for example? And what’s the backup plan for if it isn’t? We’re going to find out these things anyway.
If, as we’ve been led to understand, things like the wage bill are a sticking point with potential investors then Ashley has made a huge mistake by not employing an interim manager to help offload the high earners and bring in some younger, cheaper players.
Furthermore, a club with a manager that looks prepared on the pitch simply has to be a better proposition for a buyer. Once the sales process started Ashley probably couldn’t employ a manager but he could have contracted someone on at least an interim basis before that (even Joe Kinnear!). Maybe he didn’t think it would take so long, I don’t know.
Anyway, that’s my rant for the day.