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Five Aside

MacDonald: Ashley is here to stay

Former Newcastle United striker Malcolm MacDonald believes that Mike Ashley's decision to reward manager Alan Pardew and his staff with eight-year contracts is a signal of his intent to stay on Tyneside.

• Pardew nets new deal
• Blog: A real sign of faith

Pardew, along with John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman, committed themselves to new deals with Newcastle on Thursday. The news follows the announcement in June that chief scout Graham Carr had also signed a similar contract.

Speaking to ESPN, MacDonald said he believes the club's business profitability is a factor behind owner Ashley's long-term commitment.

"The owner continuously does things out of the ordinary and makes it work for everybody," MacDonald said. "I've felt for more than two years now that Mike Ashley intends to stay.

"He knows a profitable business and that's exactly what Newcastle United is - a profitable business for him and his organisation."

MacDonald, who spent five years on Tyneside, also believes that the news sends a positive message to the club's players.

"I'll be interested to see the kind of reaction there is from players on that, because it will have an effect on the attitude of players and they well may feel that there's a tremendous stability at the club by this," He said.

However, MacDonald did concede that Pardew's contract is likely to have demands on it - similar to the ones placed on Sir Alex Ferguson when he joined Manchester United.

"I always look at the situation that existed at Manchester United when they appointed Sir Alex Ferguson, which I learned about after a discussion with Martin Edwards," He said. "The deal that was struck was that in the next decade Manchester United would win the European Cup.

"I look at Alan Pardew and I wonder - you're not just given an eight-year contract, you're given an eight-year contract with demands and I'd like to know what those are.

"For that kind of contract you've got to be guaranteeing Europe every season, and certainly within those eight years they've got to win a trophy.

"Maybe if they'd given him that eight-year contract on Wednesday he may have named a different team."


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