Mike Ashley would have cut Newcastle United Qatar World Cup player participation by 6 – The workings out

Mike Ashley sold Newcastle United one year, one month and ten days ago.

The club’s owner finally selling after years of finally pretending he was trying to do so.

Mike Ashley at last reaching the point where he was forced into accepting he had no choice, after thousands and thousands of season ticket holders boycotted, leaving Ashley to use a very short-term fix of giving away 10,000+ free season tickets to temporarily fill all those empty seats around his adverts at St James’ Park.

When taking over Newcastle United back in the day (summer 2007), Mike Ashley insisted that he had never been a Tottenham fan, as certain media claimed.

Instead, the new NUFC owner claimed he was an England fan, rather than having been a supporter of any particular club.

Indeed, Mike Ashley and his people put out the message that actually he had been a very active England supporter, claiming that with friends he’d travelled to big tournaments supporting the national side.

During his Newcastle United reign, it was even widely reported that Mike Ashley had come close to becoming the main sponsor of the England football team.

It was claimed meetings had taken place ahead of the 2018 Russia World Cup for Ashley and Sports Direct to be the primary England sponsor. After nothing came of this, some reported that the deal had been aborted because The FA had decided they wanted a ‘less controversial’ figure than Mike Ashley as the most visible of sponsors for the England team.

Anyway, back to Newcastle United.

Taking into account the above, it is maybe ironic that it is with England / Qatar World Cup that we can show exactly what the difference is for NUFC, with and without Mike Ashley.

This 2022 Qatar World Cup, where Newcastle United are represented by six players in the various national squads that are competing, including three in the England squad.

I can safely say that if Mike Ashley still owner Newcastle United, the club would have had six less participants at this World Cup.

Let me explain my workings out, it won’t take long.

Bottom line is, that if Mike Ashley had remained owner, there was probably a 90% chance that a third relegation in 12 Ashley Premier League seasons would have taken place last season. The other 10% chance was that Ashley and Steve Bruce would have somehow fluked survival BUT simply leading to yet another grim relegation fight yet again, this season.

Kieran Trippier very definitely would have refused to come and sign for a Newcastle United with Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce in place, nor indeed would Ashley have allowed the absolute class then 31 year full-back to be signed mid-season.

Nor indeed would Nick Pope have taken seriously a bid in the summer from a Mike Ashley NUFC. Ashley would have anyway insisted, why do we need another goalkeeper, we’ve already got a few.

As for Callum Wilson, zero chance he would have got anywhere near competing for this summer’s England squad, unless of course he had moved on to a club with more ambition, such as Brighton, Forest or Brentford for example…

Fabian Schar? No chance. His contract was due up at the end of June 2022 and just to sum up how clueless Steve Bruce (make no mistake, zero chance that Ashley would have sacked Bruce, even if NUFC were relegated. He appreciated his latest stooge / patsy and his (Bruce’s) willingness to say and do whatever the owner wanted him to do, far too much to get rid, no matter how bad things got on the pitch…) actually was, he didn’t even rate the Switzerland international. Who had been excellent under Rafa Benitez and has proved even better under Eddie Howe. Another club would have picked up an absolute bargain on a free, whilst Bruce would have continued with his preferences of Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark, then dropping back Isaac Hayden from midfield as an extra defender at times.

Bruno Guimaraes? When you have finally stopped laughing…no, Ashley wouldn’t have been trying to sign Bruno in January, instead, for the fifth window in a row NUFC would have been trying to get loan signing Hamza Choudhury finally over the line. As for Bruno, he wouldn’t have given Newcastle a second look under Ashley and Bruce, moving instead to a club with ambition, either in the Premier League or one of the other major leagues.

Garang Kuol? Absolutely zero chance yet again. The very exciting 18 year striker had a host of clubs chasing him and even if an Ashley NUFC had been one of them, a move to Tyneside very definitely wouldn’t have happened.

This England / World Cup illustration of how thing could / would have been, is of course just scraping the surface in terms of just how bad things would have become under Mike Ashley.

Thankfully, it now seems like a decade and a half nightmare that we have just recently awoke from, grateful to have our football club back.

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