Today is the 13 year anniversary of Mike Ashley announcing that he is trying to sell Newcastle United.
In May 2007, Ashley became owner. 16 months later he was writing a statement outlining his intentions to leave.
At the beginning, Ashley was necking pints and in the away end.
On the 4th of September, Kevin Keegan walked out over a lack of control in the transfer market. After fan protests, the club was up for sale 10 days later.
By the end of the season, Newcastle had been relegated to the Championship. It was one of two relegations during Ashley’s ownership – there may be more to come.
“I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart,” Ashley wrote.
“I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do but it won’t happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in.
“You don’t need to demonstrate against me again because I have got the message. Any further action will only have an adverse effect on the team.”
The year is 2021 and Mike Ashley is still trying to sell Newcastle
Ashley was right, it won’t happen overnight. It hasn’t happened overnight. 13 painful years later and he is still the owner of Newcastle United Football Club.
What have we had to celebrate during that period? A fifth-place finish under Alan Pardew was as good as it got, and even that wasn’t capitalised on.
Since Ashley’s 2008 vow, there have been plenty of takeover rumours. But did anyone come as close as Amanda Staveley last year?
Still that saga rumbles on, after Ashley agreed a deal to sell the club in April 2020.
While the Sports Direct man called on the protests to stop 13 years ago, he wasn’t listened to. But that’s because the mismanagement continued.
There was relegation in 2009. The treatment of various club legends. The sacking of Chris Hughton. The neglect of St James’ Park. The acceptance that survival is success. The lack of communication. We could go on…
One day Mike Ashley will leave Newcastle United. When he announced he would sell the club 13 years ago, no one could have imagined him still being here in 2021.
But here we are, and Ashley will likely once again feel the wrath of Toon fans on Friday night against Leeds.