Mike Ashley must take the unprecedented step of facing a live press conference, according to Chronicle journalist John Gibson.
The controversial Newcastle United owner has a tendency to shy away from media opportunities, but did break from cover to deliver a largely unsatisfying interview with the Daily Mail last week.
And according to Gibson, the gesture wasn’t enough.
Writing in a piece for the Chronicle, he said: “Ashley describes himself as “a big boy” who can take flak, so if that is the case why does he not break the habit of a lifetime and face the world at his first ever press conference?
“Instead of carefully choosing sanitised television interviews on Sky Sports or with selected newspaper individuals who are seen as grateful enough not to challenge him too strongly, why doesn’t he confront the mass media?
“Why doesn’t he take questions in front of live TV cameras where he can be cross-examined, his answers challenged by follow-up questions?”
Gibson is a legend on Tyneside, and this is why. The veteran journalist isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, or to lay into those who are being blatantly and relentlessly damaging to his club. And once again, he couldn’t be more on the money with his views here. The sad truth is that we all know that answer as to why Ashley won’t face the media, or a fan group, or any kind of environment in which he wouldn’t have totally control. Quite simply, he would be caught out. and that would be the worst thing that could happen to a man who seems so intent on keeping a barrier up between himself and the general population, so to speak. And that will be the way things stay until the day when he does eventually leave the club. Even then, there will be no communication, just a sparse statement and a taxi waiting at the back door. The sooner that day comes, the better.