Chris Waddle defends prudent Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley
Former Newcastle winger Chris Waddle has warned the club’s supporters that their protests against owner Mike Ashley and manager Steve Bruce need to stop, as he suggested the proposed takeover by a Saudi Arabian consortium may not be the answer.
Ashley has tried and failed to sell the club to Saudi-based investors for more than a year, but the negotiations have become bogged down in political discussions that have halted the deal.
Now Waddle has told TEAMtalk that Newcastle fans are misguided if they think a Saudi takeover will fire the club to the top of the Premier League in double-quick time.
“People think, sell the club to the Saudi Arabians and we will win the league, but it doesn’t happen like that,” Waddle told us at a VO5 event.
“You can wish for whatever you want from Saudi Arabians with big money, but wish again. You can say they have this money and that money, but they could come and say it’s not easy to compete with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, but it’s not easy. We have see many clubs taking over down the years and it’s ended up worse.
“If there was an open cheque book, things could happen. If the cheque book comes out and it has an extra zero on the end, you will get players, but the club might not get in the Champions League and all of a sudden they will need to sell two or three players.
“I look at Sheffield Wednesday, having spent some time at the club, and they show what can happen if you get ahead of yourself.
“Their chairman came in, had a two-year plan to get into the Premier League and it didn’t happen. Now they are in League One. He didn’t have a plan B, so I would have Mike Ashley at Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow morning.”
Waddle believes Ashely’s reluctance to speak to the media is one reason why Newcastle fans have been calling for his exit for several years, as he argues their devotion to the club fuels their desire for quick success.
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“He very rarely does an interview, very rarely speaks about Newcastle United and that frustrates the fans,” said Waddle of Ashley.
“In Newcastle, they want to know every minute of the day what is happening. When they don’t get the information they want to hear, they decide he’s a rubbish chairman.
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‘Ashley runs a tight ship’
“People say Mike Ashley doesn’t do this or doesn’t do that, but they have no debt, they run a nice tight ship and he knows he can’t compete with the big boys.
“People say why can’t he put the money in? If he goes bankrupt and loses all his money, would everyone at Newcastle say they will have a whip-round and get it back for him? No they wouldn’t. They’ll say next chairman please.”
Waddle went on to suggest Ashley’s prudent financial management of Newcastle is providing them with a degree of success, as he suggests stability is an ingredient that should not be dismissed.
“Newcastle fans have just got to accept they are a Premier League football club and their priority at the start of the season will be make sure they stay in this league, like a lot of clubs do,” added Waddle.
“If Mike Ashley is making profit every year and it is going into his bank, then he is running the business right. If he is making £100million profit a year, why would you want to sell a business like that?
“I think Steve Bruce has done well, he has done a good job, but Newcastle fans will not be happy until Mike Ashley is out of town.”
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