Llambias predicts Toon success

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Managing director Derek Llambias insists Newcastle will go from strength to strength under controversial owner Mike Ashley.

Magpies fans were overjoyed when the billionaire purchased the club in 2007, expecting their trophyless run going back to 1969 to come to an end. But Ashley's reign has been arguably the most turbulent time in the club's history, with behind-the-scenes troubles leading to the departure of fans' favourite Kevin Keegan last September.

"As far as we're concerned, we see Newcastle United as having an exciting future. We hope to be like an Aston Villa," Llambias told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

"It's not a question of anything else. Why would you buy a business and then just run it into the ground?

"Our intention is to go back on the track we were on before with our business plan. But you need to have solid grounding under your feet.

"So we're now trying to put the stability back into the club as far as that is concerned."

It is a bold claim considering Newcastle's current position - they are 13th in the Barclays Premier League, four points above the relegation zone, with Joe Kinnear the manager on an interim basis until the end of the season.

However, the financial failures of the previous regime have haunted Ashley's regime so far, according to Llambias.

"We inherited so much," he added. "It's like buying a car on HP (hire purchase) but then it gets written off, but you still have to pay it. That's how the business was being run, they ran it on a credit. We're knocking down walls and rebuilding.

"We are trying to get away from dating so that we don't have huge amounts of money going out. We are trying to pay up front."

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Aston Villa
Kevin Keegan

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