Wigan Boss Claims Ashley 'Deserves All He Gets'!

Last updated : 18 September 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
Whelan: "I know Mike Ashley quite well as I was running JJB when he was with Sports Direct, and he is a bit unusual.

"He is a very good retailer, but at managing a football club, no.

"Especially with him being a Tottenham supporter and then going up to Newcastle, a club that is a different kettle of fish to most in the land.

"The fans up there eat, breathe and live for one thing, and that is Newcastle United.

"Unless you put your whole heart into it, are a 100% Geordie and are backing them, then they will give you some stick.

"He has got it, and he deserves it.

"I don't think I would have to do that (stop Ashley trying to poach Geordie boy Steve Bruce from Wigan).

"I think Steve Bruce would say that because I've such a fantastic relationship with him.

"One day he will get a big-four job - I realise that, and I think the whole country realises he is one of the best four managers in the world.

"Sooner or later one of the big four clubs will come for Steve, and he knows I would never stand in his way, no matter where he wanted to go.

"I have such high respect for him, and hopefully he has that for me and the club, and I'm sure he has.

"But if Newcastle came, I think you would get Steve telling them what to do very quickly.

"I know Newcastle is where he comes from, and I know he did want to manage Newcastle at one time.

"But now, with what is going on up there, I think it would frighten a lot of people, and I'm sure it wouldn't excite him to go up there at present.

"If he did, he would be made welcome because he is such a great manager, but I think when we lose him he will go to one of the big four."