Newcastle United legend Malcolm ‘Supermac’ Macdonald has launched a blistering attack on Magpies owner Mike Ashley.
The Sports Direct tycoon has allowed manager Rafael Benitez’s contract to run down to the final nine days, and Macdonald is dismayed by the state of affairs at St James’ Park.
“I have never ever known a club so rudderless as Newcastle,” he wrote in his column for The Chronicle. “Consider this: unless Mike Ashley gets his finger out a bit sharpish, in nine days his club will cease to have a manager and, through him, any senior coaching staff. Three days later, players will return for pre-season training without anyone to officially take it.
“The silence has been deafening this summer. Not a mention of a solitary thing. Right now this is the most insecure club in history. We don’t even know who will own it come the start of the new season. Don’t tell me Ashley is a good businessman because this is not the best way to run a business. From the outside he is cutting off his nose to spite his face. He is being stubborn not shrewd.”
Despite all that has been said and written about the current situation at Newcastle, Supermac has still managed to find a way to cut right to the crux of the issue. He’s right, we face a situation where the Magpies players arrive back at St James’ Park for pre season training with no coaching staff ready to take the sessions. What will they be doing? Running laps and playing five-a-side? Certainly they won’t be going through intense drills and frenzied tactical preparation ahead of the new season. It beggars belief that we are approaching the final days of Benitez’s contract and nothing has yet been done in terms of securing him on a new deal or in finding a replacement for him if the club believe he is destined to leave. As Macdonald says, it’s not good business to allow a world class manager to leave your football club because he wants the resources to take the team forward. That is pure lunacy, yet it’s the situation facing Newcastle at this moment in time.