Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lie - Ashley's Children were at risk from Newcastle supporters

Mike Ashley has recently started coming to Newcastle games again following a hiatus that stretches back to the Hull game and the protests that surrounded it. The day after that game he explained his absence in a statement.
"I am now a dad who can't take his kids to a football game on a Saturday because I am advised that we would be assaulted"
No credible evidence of the threat posed against Mike Ashley and/or his family either at that time or any time since has ever been produced, at least not that I can find. In fact, following his statement police quotes not only directly contradict his claim
"We gave no formal advice to Mr Ashley about not attending Saturday's game. It is not our place to do so."
But go further in congratulating Newcastle fans on the peaceful nature of their protest
"A number of groups came to the ground to carry out their lawful protest and I would like to praise those fans for the way in which they behaved."
Of course, our owners own personal security people may have advised him of some perceived danger in making an appearance over the last five months. I find myself wondering though, why Derek Llambias wasn’t cautioned similarly, given that he was far more instrumental in the whole chain of events that provoked those original protests and the dissatisfaction among the fan base since.

Might it be that there was no actual threat, but that Mike Ashley hasn’t been willing to face the ire of fans? Ire that he’s been able to pay his managing director to grin through. Maybe he has the best interests of the team at heart, but if he’s been staying away to avoid generating negativity during games, then why send out a stooge that does the job just as well?

Whatever his reasoning, I can’t help but feel some sort of apology is still deserved for the fans that he has accused without any actual justification whatsoever in an ill advised (and official by the way) statement.