With Newcastle United skipper Jamaal Lascelles recommitting to a new long-term contract last week – it was effectively fresh terms and a 12-month extension through until the summer of 2024 – the 24-year-old sparked some controversy in his choice of words about owner Mike Ashley.
It had the expected reaction amongst some in the fanbase and they weren’t slow to come forward on social media to give their responses given life at St James’ Park under his ownership.
Former striker Shola Ameobi attempted to be fair to all sides as he appeared on Sky Sports’ Goals On Sunday programme.
"You need to separate Mike Ashley the person and Mike Ashley the businessman"
Shola Ameobi speaks about his experiences with the #NUFC owner.
Watch Goals on Sunday now on Sky Sports PL. pic.twitter.com/Jkn6MddfFL
— Sky Sports GOS (@GoalsOnSunday) November 4, 2018
Whilst I can see what he was trying to say, and yes there is a distinction to be drawn between the man and the businessman as he says – just as there are those who think the public and private Mike Ashley might be worlds apart, others will say they are still the same man ultimately and does anyone change that much?
Isn’t it funny how the only people who think Mike Ashley is a nice guy are those on his payroll?
— Lewis (@lewyakers) November 4, 2018
I’m sure his employees agree
— Josh Thompson⚫️⚪️⚫️ ????????️ (@JoshNufc10) November 4, 2018
Shola, Your opinion of Ashley will be long remembered by #NUFC fans. Defending the indefensible won’t get you applause at St James Park when you return at half-time as an old man.
— KARL05 (@KarlSnowdon) November 4, 2018
— gary tate (@garytate6) November 4, 2018
That’s the trouble people don’t he’s a ruthless businessman but he probably is a nice person from a pleasure point of view
— michael laverton (@toonmadmike) November 4, 2018
A business based on trying to finish 17th in the Premier league is too tough to handle for Newcastle fans.. We could have been 0-4 down at ht yesterday… we do have a team that fights & scraps for everything… So why doesn't Ashley back a world class manager?…
— Mark Lawrence (@MarkLaw404) November 4, 2018