Sunday 10 December 2017

'I was very unfair' - Newcastle owner Mike Ashley admits Chris Hughton mistake in rare TV interview

Mike Ashley says he didn't give Chris Hughton enough time at Newcastle.
Mike Ashley says he didn't give Chris Hughton enough time at Newcastle. Newsdesk Newsdesk

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has admitted that it was 'very unfair' to sack Chris Hughton early on in the 2010/11 season.

Hughton guided the Magpies back to the top flight after their relegation from the Premier League in 2009, but became the first manager to lose his job in December 2010 in a move that angered supporters.

Speaking in a rare interview with Sky Sports today ahead of Newcastle's return to the Premier League this season, Ashley said he should have given Hughton more time, and also commented on other instances when managers left Newcastle.

"Sam Allardyce, I've apologised to him - I was too hasty," Ashley said.

"A few of the other managers, I have had an input in who we brought in. I didn't know Alan Pardew before football at all. I thought he ended up being very good. I thought I was very unfair to Chris Hughton who got us promoted. I don't think I gave him enough time.

"Alan Shearer came in at a time when he was one of the only people on this planet who could have kept Newcastle up and he did a fantastic job in everything else but the odd result not going his way. Then I had the very difficult decision of if that person was the right person in the Championship. In my opinion, he didn't have the experience in the Championship.

"Kevin Keegan is an outstanding individual and also did his best. It wasn't always easy for Kevin at the football club. We didn't have the structure around that we should have had to support him. I will take responsibility for that. Kevin, if I let you down in any way, I apologise."

Rafa Benitez is currently in the Newcastle dugout, and although the Spaniard has asked for more transfer funds, Ashley added that Newcastle doesn't have the resources to sanction big money moves.

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