Newcastle supporters' trust calls for Mike Ashley to quit

28 October 2009 08:09
Neil Mitchell, interim chairman of the Newcastle United Supporters' Trust (NUST), spoke out after Ashley took the club off the market, handed Chris Hughton a new deal as manager and mooted renaming the stadium for sponsorship money.

"The appointment of Chris Hughton clearly shows Ashley will continue to call the wrong shots at the club," Mitchell said. "Hughton may be a capable coach but we still await a manager with a proven record.

 Related ArticlesRenaming St James' Park 'would cause uproar'Newcastle taken off marketMoat's Newcastle takeover plans in doubtChris Hughton revels in Newcastle winMike Ashley rejects Barry Moat's £80m takeover offerSport on television"Now it has come down to the fans to step in to remove Mr Ashley. NUST exists solely to allow the fans a voice at the top table by purchasing a stake in the club and we will be challenging Mr Ashley's resolve not to sell the club in the very near future.

"It's come full circle now Mr Ashley waits until after deadline to release £20 million to service the ghostship that is St James' Park and comes up with the wheeze to re-name the most famous landmark in the city. It demonstrates clearly Mike Ashley has forgotten his customers."

Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said he once rejected the opportunity to re-name the ground for commercial purposes.

"I suppose nothing surprises me about the current regime so news they're ready to sell the naming rights isn't exactly a shock," Shepherd said.

"I appreciate we are living in a commercial world but there are some things money can't buy. I can remember when we had the chance to change the name of the ground when I was chairman.

"It was just after flotation and big-name companies were falling over themselves to get involved in football and back then, Newcastle were right up there with the Manchester Uniteds, Liverpools and Arsenals.

"We were offered something like £3 million for a five-year deal. The money could have been 10 times that and I would still not have been interested."

Source: Telegraph