Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, news tonight emanating from St. James Park is that Mike Ashley has removed Newcastle United from the market and the club is no longer for sale.
Here is the press release in full from the club’s official website:
NEWCASTLE United are delighted to announce that Chris Hughton has been named the permanent manager of the Club, his contract will run until the end of the 2010/11 season.
At the same time the Club has confirmed that it has been withdrawn from sale and is no longer on the market.
The Club had been trying to broker a deal with a number of prospective buyers in recent months however none of those deals came to fruition. With regard to the possible sale of the Club to Barry Moat, that particular bid has now fallen through due to the cash price of £80m not being met.
In confirming the news, Mike Ashley stated that he is totally committed to the future success of Newcastle United and will be focussing on gaining promotion back to the Premier League. Mike will put a further £20m into the Club this week.
Derek Llambias, Managing Director of Newcastle United, said:
“We are delighted that Chris has accepted the post of full time manager. He has done a terrific job this season and we wish him every success for the rest of this season and beyond. He will continue to receive our full backing and support.”
And Chris Hughton added:
“It is a very proud day for me to be named as the manager of this magnificent football club. I thank Mike and Derek for their support and will be doing everything in my power to get the Club back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
“Having the unequivocal backing of the players has helped me enormously and I would also like to thank Colin Calderwood, Paul Barron and the rest of the backroom staff who have never been anything but tremendously supportive to me this season.”
Whilst confirming these two matters, Newcastle United now aims to move forward on and off the pitch. The Club aims to maximise its commercial revenues; this includes renegotiating its Club sponsor and kit deal, which expire at the end of this season, as well as welcoming offers for the stadium naming rights for next season.
I think most Newcastle United fans could stomach Chris Hughton being made permanent boss. He’s not great, but he’s done an okay job. What has really infuriated most NUFC fans is part of the very last sentence.
Mike Ashley might as well have painted a target over his head. We’ve heard most of Ashley’s propaganda before such as his ‘total commitment to the success of Newcastle United’. However there are some things that just can’t be allowed to happen. Offering commercial naming rights to St. James’s Park is sacrosanct – a tradition and place that’s been in Geordie generations for years.
I’m still really struggling for words. If you share the same sentiment and want to take action, here’s a couple of links that you may like to visit: