Mike Ashley gave what is seemingly his first interview since taking over as Newcastle United chairman almost a decade ago. He was very far removed from the figure we usually see, wearing a Newcastle United shirt in the stands of St. James' Park, and came across as articulate, genuine and as a man who actually felt remorse for the situation his club were in prior to the final Premier League game of 2014/15.
He then went on to promise that he wouldn't leave/sell the club until the Geordies had won silverware or reached the Champions League. However, this is a time where actions will be judged with more scrutiny than ever, and if Ashley is as good as his word, then there are several steps that need to be taken.
Hiring a top quality manager must be top of the club's agenda. Making a substantial transfer kitty available to the new man in charge and engaging with the fans personally by making public Ashley's intentions in detail are all things that have to happen.
Should the billionaire businessman follow at least the four steps mentioned, then fans of the Magpies may finally accept him. Even though I rather enjoyed seeing them go down six years ago, the fans deserve better than a team in the Championship.
This is a city in which they are supposed to be the pride, the heart, the soul. The majority are hard-working, honest people who look forward all week to seeing their beloved team in action, yet on Monday mornings seem to go into work crestfallen, let down and disappointed by their team's lack of effort.
Let us not forget Kevin Keegan's entertainers that ran my team, Manchester United incredibly close to a Premier League title. Or the side of the early 2000s containing the likes of Shay Given, Alan Shearer, Nobby Solano, Laurent Robert and Jonathan Woodgate.
The team that spent two seasons in the Champions League, beating the mighty Juventus at St.James' Park. Let us not even forget the side that so thrillingly came so close to returning those nights to Geordieland in 2012, culminating in Papis Cissse's wonder-goal against Chelsea.
As a supporter of Manchester United, last season was a galling wake-up call. Having been only one-day-old when Sir Alex Ferguson won his first trophy as the manager of our club, and even though I was not a fan of David Moyes, the lack of effort disgusted me.
The thrill of being a Red Devils fan is not just in winning trophies, but the manner in which we have done so. Those last minute victories against Bayern Munich and Liverpool in 1999, the comeback in Turin that April, the heart-stopping drama en-route to winning the Champions League in 2008, the last-gasp Derby wins in the 2009/10 seasons.
Even the manner in which Manchester City snatched the league from us in 2012 was part of the incredible experience of being an Old Trafford fan. So to see the team give up once the opposition scored absolutely sickened me. And that is how the Newcastle United fans must feel. At the end of the day, no team is entitled to success, but what they are entitled to is seeing their team put in 100 per cent.
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