At this stage, you almost have to applaud Mike Ashley. Twelve years into his stint as Newcastle United owner, with fans up in arms and his club struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League, he still finds new and novel ways to infuriate and antagonise. Long past the point that us mere mortals would have ran out of ideas, Mike continues to come up with ploy after ploy after devilish ploy in his bid to rile up supporters, like some caricatured Batman supervillain. Or at least that’s how it feels sometimes. In this instance, he has gone for a more subtle approach than usual. MASH Holdings, Ashley’s main company through which he runs several parts of his empire, have published their accounts for the year, and there’s a nice little throwaway line tucked in at the end of the report that has really struck a chord with fans. As per Mark Douglas, the accounts state: “The club will have challenges to face as it looks to remain in the Premier League subsequent to the 2019/2020 season”. In other words, Ashley knows that he’s gotten things wrong, and that the Magpies are in for a real battle to stay in the top flight. This is probably about as close as supporters are going to get to an admission of any wrongdoing from the owner, and it’s fair to say that it has got blood boiling on Tyneside.
Nothing But Newcastle have gathered some of the best tweets below: