Respected journalists Oliver Holt and Neil Custis have both been having their say when it comes to the state that is Newcastle United under the ownership of Mike Ashley.
With plenty of disillusionment amongst the fan base when it comes to Ashley’s running, intent and ambitions for the club – well, it’s not exactly a new topic of conversation is it, but since coming into the club he is arguably more unpopular than ever amongst mass swathes of the faithful.
With everyone having their own opinions about the man, I imagine few can disagree with Holt’s words in a piece over the weekend for Sky Sports that came from their Sunday Supplement show.
“What I see as an outsider is a waste, a waste of potential. You come into the city and you see that stadium – it is the city’s cathedral. If I look at two clubs that are a waste I would say Leeds and Newcastle, but Leeds at least appear to be getting back to what they once were. Leeds and Newcastle should be top six – they are great English clubs. It is toxic, what it is going on there, but it is a shame.”
They are strong words, and they are designed to prove a point and in many ways be inflammatory, but Holt as an outsider carries weight as he can’t be accused of wearing Newcastle goggles – it’s not a divine right to be successful as some fans often throw in our direction – it’s just simply a fact that with the backing a club like Newcastle has, we should want more than to simply tread water.
Newcastle fan (some say Stockport) Custis tops his thoughts off nicely.
“He is toxic for the football club and has been for a long time. High profile members of the media have absolutely no idea about that football club. The fans just want a bit of hope and he has drained the hope out of that club. The biggest thing that irritates fans is that the club is such a big part of the city, a big part of the community. They just want someone in charge of the club, as Sir John Hall was, who is passionate about the club and is willing to back managers, and give them hope a trophy may be on the horizon, something might happen. This does not happen with Mike Ashley. I am not saying it is any different with Aston Villa fans, I am just saying that the criticism of Newcastle fans is that their expectations are unrealistic, and they are not.”