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'I never have' - Mike Ashley hits back at Newcastle critics over 'panto villain' claims

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has hit back at critics, asking for them to turn down their hatred for him.

The controversial businessman went out of his way to say that he had never had an influence on his manager’s team selection during any point of his career in charge of the Magpies.

Speaking to Sky News, as quoted by the Chronicle, in an interview primarily about his business ventures, Ashley took time out to shut down the “panto villain” remarks.

“It’s simply impossible and just so we’re clear, I don’t pick the Newcastle team and I never have because that gets thrown at me as well,” he said.

“If you’re me, that’s where you get this, ‘OK guys, panto villain’. Let’s just take that down a notch if that’s OK?”

A recent report from the Chronicle revealed that despite outside whispers, Ashley is still open to selling Newcastle this season.

OPINION

Only a single day after Ashley himself admitted that people can carry on calling him a villain, he has already backtracked and pleaded with them to take it down a notch. Surely if Ashley had admitted if he had interfered with any manager during his time in charge of Newcastle, the fans would have taken their hatred for him even further. Not many positives have come out of his time in charge at St James’ Park, with his reluctance to spend money a big factor behind his poor relationship with the fans. Whether he speaks or not, Ashley will end up losing, and there appears to be no positives from him coming out and singling out his critics from the past. With the report from the Chronicle revealing that he still has the club for sale this season, it seems strange that Ashley would be bothered about the critics that have followed him ever since his arrival, in what could be one final attempt to come out and clear his name.




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