Is Ashley STILL A Hate Figure?

24 February 2010 11:11
Let's face facts here . Mike Ashley is only at this club because no-one was prepared to hand over £100m when it was on the market. Ashley slashed the asking price and STILL there was no buyer. So to read reports that Ashley is the "future of Newcastle United" frightens the shit out me! However, top North-East reporter Luke Edwards asks if the Geordies are starting to forgive and forget.  Luke Edwards: He is still on the rotund side, he has still got blood on his hands - metaphorically speaking - after relegation last season and he is still a Cockney in the loosest sense of the word, but is Mike Ashley still a hate figure on Tyneside? I doubt Newcastle United's owner would win any popularity contests and I doubt very much whether he would be welcome in any Bigg Market drinking establishments anytime soon, but has outright hostility now given away to begrudging acceptance? It says much about the success of Newcastle's season that, at the very least, Ashley's presence at St James' Park no longer tops the agenda. There is still plenty of opposition to him. The wounds inflicted were too deep to be forgotten - Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer are too beloved for that. The mistakes of the past have left a nasty scar, but at the same time, people are getting on with their lives and getting on with supporting a football club, regardless of who is in the director's box. Ashley has put his own money in this season - more than £20m before Christmas - which is at least shows a willingness to pay for the mistakes he made over the previous two years. Newcastle signed players in January, and while this may have only have been the money still owed from the sale of Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia to Man City and Wigan last year, it was still made available to Chris Hughton. Should Newcastle go up, he may well have to spend some of his own money again because the first team squad - while arguably too good for the Championship - will need a lot of strengthening to succeed in the Premier League. We ask you . are fans willing to forgive and forget? Answers please on our message board.