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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Oct 13, 2013

Alan Pardew reveals Mike Ashley issues

Alan Pardew has told Goals on Sunday that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley sometimes struggles to understand the game and is prone to doing “things that aren't brilliant for the football club”.

Alan Pardew does not always agree with Mike Ashley's decisions.
Alan Pardew does not always agree with Mike Ashley's decisions.

Ryder: Shaping season
Duffy: Club vs. country

Pardew has endured a difficult time at St James’ Park since leading Newcastle to a fifth-placed finish in 2011-12, with the side battling relegation last season, and there had been rumours that the manager was close to leaving the club in recent weeks.

Pardew -- who has been ordered to secure “at least a top-ten finish” this season -- has made no secret of his frustration that the club failed to make adequate signings during the summer window, and he has now indicated that he has not always been happy with Ashley’s decision-making.

“Mike is a strong character who has been a success in his whole business life and is a genius in that world -- but when you come to football the logic doesn't quite fit,” he said. “He loves football but he sometimes can't understand how it works and it confuses and upsets him, and when he is upset he does things that aren't brilliant for the football club.

“That's just Mike and he has funded the club, made sure we have no debt -- other than to himself -- and supported me, but unless we get a billionaire from deepest Russia we are probably not going to be able to compete with the likes of Man United, Man City and Chelsea, which is what our fans want.”

Ashley’s decision to bring in former Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear as director of football was a particularly controversial decision, not least among the club’s fans.

Pardew said: “At the end of last year I think Mike wanted to make a change, and he wanted someone in who knew football. He chose Joe. He sort of whispered it to me that someone might be coming in, he didn't tell me who, and then I found out it was Joe.

“I didn't know Joe at all. I've got to know him a little bit more since he came in. His role, really and truly, is to be Mike's confidante -- ‘What does the manager want?, ‘What does he need?, ‘What can I deliver for him?’. That is Joe's role.

“So far he has been supportive. He's asked me what I want, I've told him, and it's up to him to try to get it out of Mike. He's not involved at the training ground or tactics or anything, and he hasn't even offered me his opinion, he's only asked for mine.”

Pardew also said fans’ expectations had made it difficult for the club.

“It's a city that loves it [the club] so much that it hurts itself, because of that love,” he said. “If there was perhaps less pressure on our results, and the effect on the city, it would probably be a better club, but that's what it is -- it's never going to change.”

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