Writing in a Q&A for the Chronicle (15.29), he said: “The suggestion is he thinks it may be a distraction but he goes through periods of being much more hands-off from time to time (before then taking a keen interest).
“Who knows how his mind works when it comes to United?
“I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him at a match before the end of the season, though.”
Douglas is bang on the money when he claims that nobody knows what’s going on in Ashley’s head apart from Ashley. The controversial owner is not a popular man on Tyneside, that goes without saying, and in a strange sort of way, he is probably doing the fans a favour by not going to home games. At least that way they can try to enjoy matches, even if the spectre of his ownership is looming over their club. We’re at a stage now where it would almost be fascinating see how supporters did react to him being at St. James’ Park. Would it spark anger and unrest in the crowd, or has apathy reached a level whereby he would just be ignored as an unwelcome guest at his own club? Neither one is particularly pleasant, and the truth is that things are never going to get better for the Toon Army while he is still at the helm.