Having promised funds to buy (according to Joe Kinnear), Ashley turned up on the last day of the transfer window and made a number of STRANGE calls to clubs ... such as Sunderland ... asking for their star player.
The Mackems confirmed Ashley's phone call but described it as bizarre!
Kinnear: "I had to raise my own transfer funds through selling other players which was not ideal but we just had to get on with it. The credit crunch has hit us hard.
"We went to Liverpool for Sammi Hyypia and got turned down. We wanted Michael Johnson and Nedum Onuoha from Manchester City as part of the Shay Given deal but they wouldn't sell them, and we were faced with the choice of having a really unhappy player or letting him go.
"We were close with Johnson and when we didn't get that we went for Kieran Richardson."