The former Magpies midfielder suggested that the businessman was no longer focused on the Magpies as it was common knowledge he was looking to get rid of the club.
Nolan claimed the sooner Ashley sold the club the better as it would see the club able to start moving forward, and implied he thought the reason Rafa Benitez was set to leave was because he wouldn’t be able to build on the squad.
“I feel for the Newcastle fans as they have got that hero of there’s and obviously Mike and him weren’t able to come to a conclusion of a deal and I think it was because Rafa was looking to build on the squad and see what he has got now,” said Nolan in a clip on Sky Sports.
“And I don’t think Mike is ‘in it’ now, he’s not invested as much as he was when he first took over, I think y’know it’s common knowledge now that he is looking to get rid of the club and I think the sooner, the better.
“Then hopefully Newcastle can start moving forward.”
Would anyone disagree with Nolan here? The only bone you could possibly pick is question whether Ashley was ever truly invested and had the Magpies’ best interest at heart. The ex-Magpies player clearly believes Ashley has grown less interested in the club in the seasons gone, but it’s hard to pinpoint a moment where supporters were pleased with the direction the owner was taking the club in. After all, Ashley did receive backlash when he parted company with Chris Hughton in order to bring in Alan Pardew, and while Pardew did start off well at St James Park, it didn’t take long before it all went wrong. By the time Pardew left the Magpies, his once impressive win percentage had fallen to 38% (Source: managerstats.co.uk). However, Nolan’s claim that the club can only move on once Ashley sells the club cannot be argued with. It’s impossible for the Magpies to plan for their long-term future on the pitch and off the pitch, when it’s not known for sure who will own the club in the near future. While Ashley has been trying to selling the club for a while, it was put up for sale in 2017 according to the Guardian, surely someone will take it off his hands shortly?