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Toon's path to mediocrity; Views of the North.

I GROW increasingly tired of the sycophants who write to this newspaper to sing the praises of Newcastle United's owner, Mr Mike Ashley.

Let us be absolutely clear on this issue, Mr Ashley's seven year tenure at St James' Park has been an absolute disaster for Newcastle United and, by implication, the city of Newcastle. He holds our club and our city in total and utter contempt.

His purchase of the club had nothing whatsoever to do with the advancement or enhancement of football at Newcastle United.

We are constantly being told that Mr Ashley saved our club through his purchase but the deal was very much akin to selling one's soul to the devil. He appoints sycophants to senior and strategic positions within the club.

Those who would challenge his authority are not tolerated and leave speedily. The manager has long since lost his own self-respect and is perfectly happy to take the club on its meandering path to mediocrity.

It is the total lack of ambition that tears at the hearts of real supporters. The overarching purpose of competing in sport is to participate at the very highest level that you possibly can and, quite simply, to do your very best.

However, this is not the case at Newcastle United, Mr Ashley sees survival within the Premier League as his ultimate goal and an early, humiliating departure from any cup competition as the best way forward as progress in cup competitions may damage his ultimate goal of survival.

Any purchases that may have been made during the summer break have not been done to take the club onwards and upwards, but merely to ensure Premier League survival.

Over the past 55 years of supporting Newcastle United I have seen a broad range of ownership, mostly hugely disappointing but I always felt that at heart these owners, however incompetent they may have been, wanted Newcastle United to be successful and win the league or a cup.

Mr Ashley wants none of these things, Newcastle United means as little to him as the dirt he steps into when alighting from his helicopter.

The club was bought on a whim and will one day be disposed of in the same manner when it no longer suits his business empire.

I can only hope that the journalists of this newspaper and Mr Paul Dixon are unceasing in their efforts to expose the full facts of his manipulative ownership in order that this can bring about his departure from the City of Newcastle as soon as possible.

I fully understand that the man owns the club, lock, stock and barrel and that it is his to do with as he wishes until someone comes along with megabucks.

However, given Mr Ashley's current vision for the club, I would rather a new team, for example, Newcastle United 2014, was formed under the chairmanship of Mr Dixon and entered into the lowest league within the pyramid system.

At least then I could watch a team within an organisation which genuinely and passionately seeks to be successful rather than the lifeless, totally unambitious, wishy-washy dross that has been served up at St James' Park for the past seven years. Go for it Mr Dixon, walk the walk and thousands will walk beside you.

ALAN HW SMITH, Seaham, Co Durham.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2014
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