Ashley The Wolf In Sheep's Clothing?
Now we go into a new season with far less optimism than previous years with a threadbare squad ... and fans and PLAYERS asking why!
Sam Allardyce never filled many of us with hope, but Kevin Keegan is the right man to take us to the top, so why won't the owner back him?
Yeah, he's thrown KK scraps, and £10m for Spiderman is a decent outlay, but Ashley (after being snubbed by Harry Redknapp in January) has allegedly never taken to the Messiah.
KK had hardly put his size 7s under the table in the manager's office when Dennis Wise appeared through the back door, obviously as a safety valve.
Mike Ashley is a billionaire with enough financial muscle to take this club to greatness ... IF he WANTS to!
But his half-hearted approach has many doubting his loyalty. He could - and will - walk away at the drop of a hat if the shit hits the fan.
He didn't back Keegan in the January transfer window, and he wants success ... but not at ANY cost.
He craves to be a man of the people, but he will not be held to ransom by the fans.
Keegan's failure to secure leading transfer targets has frustrated the Toon boss, especially as the players on his list have been snapped up by the likes of Spurs and Aston Villa.
Relentless takeover rumours continue ... encouraged by Ashley willing to talk to anyone who is willing to plough money into the club. Ashley says he is NOT willing to take on the job alone.
Joey Barton's imprisonment has caused the club problems, as the majority of the fans want to see the back of the midfielder, but the club are willing to stick with him. This is a story that is set to run and run.
Ashley's attempts to trim wages has current players concerned about new contracts.
Why is there distance between Keegan and Ashley?