Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has called for an end to the ‘madness’ at St James’ Park as he looks to find a buyer for the club.
Ashley announced on Sunday evening that he was looking to sell the club after coming under sustained pressure from supporters in the wake of Kevin Keegan’s departure as manager.
Newcastle fans were infuriated by Keegan’s exit and launched a series of demonstrations against Ashley and his executive director (football) Dennis Wise.
Ashley claims that much of the club’s substantial debt has been created by the frequent hiring and firing of managers.
He said: “Every time there was a change in manager, millions would be spent on new players and millions would be lost as players were sold. It can’t keep on working like that. It is just madness.
“Newcastle does not generate the income of a Manchester United or a Real Madrid. I am Mike Ashley, not Mike Ashley a multi-billionaire with unlimited resources. Newcastle United and I can’t do what other clubs can. We can’t afford it.
“Unless I had come into the club then it might not have survived. It could have shared the fate of other clubs who have borrowed too heavily against their future. Before I had spent a penny on wages or buying players Newcastle United had cost me more than a quarter of a billion pounds.
“I am determined that Newcastle United is not only here today, but that it is also there tomorrow for your children who stand beside you at St James’ Park.
“If I can’t sell the club to someone who will give the fans what they want, then I shall continue to ensure that Newcastle is run on a business and football model that is sustainable.”
And Ashley claims that it was his concerns over the safety of his family which prompted him to sell Newcastle.
He added: “I am not stupid and have listened to the fans. I have really loved taking my kids to the games, being next to them and all the fans.
“But I am now a dad who can’t take his kids to a football game on a Saturday because I am advised that we would be assaulted.
“I am still a fan of Newcastle United. We, my kids and I, have loved standing on the terraces with the fans, we have loved travelling with the away fans and we have met so many fans whose company we have enjoyed.
“We have absolutely loved it, but it is not safe any more for us as a family.”