Some Newcastle United fans have been claiming Kevin Keegan’s comments on Mike Ashley from 2010 still ring true to this day, after the Toon owner tried to keep his Sports Direct stores from closing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that all shops selling non-essential items must shut their doors for the foreseeable future in order to protect their staff and customers, as the UK government continues to try and limit the spread of coronavirus.
Frasers Group, the company which owns Sports Direct, initially reacted to the announcement by suggesting their stores should be allowed to remain open as they are the leading retailer of sporting and fitness equipment in the UK and therefore serve the public in ensuring they can look after their physical and mental health.
But after widespread criticism, including from Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, Frasers Group made the decision to shut the doors on all Sports Direct stores in a quick U-turn.
Back in 2010, Keegan let his feelings on Ashley and his ownership of Newcastle well know by stating that he felt the ‘best day’ in the club’s history would not come until the Sports Direct tycoon sold up and packed his bags.
In an explosive interview with ESPN, Keegan slammed Ashley and former Managing Director Derek Llambias for a lack of trust, after they frequently held talks behind his back that left the club icon feeling undermined.
Keegan would lay into Ashley further in a blog post for the broadcaster where he wrote, via quotes by The Guardian: “Ashley has made no secret that he wants to sell Newcastle and the best day will come when someone buys it from him and runs Newcastle like that club should be run.
“The club can never go anywhere under Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias – I promise you that.”
Are Keegan's comments still true 10 years on?
Here are a few of the messages shared as fans reacted when Keegan’s quotes were circulated on social media following Frasers Group’s attempts at keeping Sports Direct open amid the coronavirus pandemic…
And here we are 10 years later and the man was correct ! Going absolutely nowhere https://t.co/1xI4cTwHi0
— Paul Davison (@PaulDav86486288) March 24, 2020
Truer words were never spoken. Love that man 💕💕💕😍😍😍
— delia armstrong (@DeliaFender) March 25, 2020
Never a truer word spoken https://t.co/drDVpDKnRN
— Chris Reay (@creay19) March 24, 2020
Truer words never spoken https://t.co/SFCFkZJv7g
— Ali Henderson (@MrAliHenderson) March 24, 2020
10 yrs later still true https://t.co/q79Mq8dk6z
— andy keeber (@AndyKeeber) March 24, 2020
— TyneTeaseGlamour (@TyneTeaseNudes) March 24, 2020
True very true https://t.co/YDVnpVWpWl
— Anthony Conway (@AnthonyConway) March 24, 2020
In other Newcastle United news, a 28-cap international is open-minded to his future at St. James’ Park.