Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is sticking rigidly to his vision of how the club should be run as a source at St James' Park revealed that ''Mike wants the club run to Ashley rules, not football rules'.'
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The club source told the Daily Star that Ashley wants to replace the sacked Chris Hughton by the time Saturday's game against Liverpool, which is live on ESPN in the UK, comes around but that the new man would be judged on the same criteria as the former boss and would not be handed ''a treasure trove of cash''.
The Toon owner has drawn up a shortlist of three to replace Chris Hughton - Martin Jol, Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley - but his blueprint for success may be hard to swallow, as Kevin Keegan found in 2008.
"They have talked to two or three people, laying out the terms and conditions and then asking, 'Are you brave enough to take it on?','' the source said. "We will find out which one is brave enough to do that on Thursday or Friday. Mike wants the club run to Ashley rules, not football rules. That means no signing-on fees and no big compensation clauses in their contracts. There can be no rewards for failure."
Ashley has not ploughed much cash into the club since their return to the Premier League and is expected to maintain his hardline stance over transfer funds as he looks to turn a profit.
"The new manager will not be handed a treasure trove of cash,'' the source added. ''Mike wants an experienced manager at one of the biggest clubs in the land, but he wants one on his terms and those terms are simple.
"Every penny has to be spent wisely and the club must continue to head in the right direction towards the top end of the Premier League table.The bottom line is that Mike wants value for money and just as in his businesses, he expects to get it."