Ashley 'sorry for mistakes'

Owner apologises for relegation; talks with Shearer ongoing

By James Dall   Last updated: 26th May 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Ashley 'sorry for mistakes'

Ashley: Accepts he made mistakes

Seeing Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League has been a catastrophe for us all... Talks are now ongoing about how we can take this club forward again.

Mike Ashley on Newcastle and Alan Shearer
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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has apologised for the club's relegation to the Championship.

The Magpies' 16-year stay in the Premier League came to an end on Sunday after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

Tyneside legend Alan Shearer was appointed as the side's interim manager in April after head coach Joe Kinnear was taken seriously ill.

But the former Newcastle striker was unable to save the club from demotion and he has since called for "root and branch surgery from top to bottom" at St James' Park.


Shearer was only contracted to oversee the Magpies until the end of the season but on Tuesday he was locked in talks with Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias over plans to resurrect the troubled club.

In a statement on the club's official website, Ashley said: "Seeing Newcastle United relegated from the Premier League has been a catastrophe for us all.

"I fully accept that mistakes were made during this and previous seasons and I am very sorry for that.

"I would like to say sorry to our magnificent supporters who have turned up in their thousands, home and away, up and down the country and who have given the team amazing backing throughout.

"And I would also say sorry to all of the club's hard-working staff, who have gone about their jobs all year long.

Shearer talks

"Bringing Alan Shearer back to Newcastle United was the best decision I have made. Alan and his staff did all they could to try and keep us up in the short space of time they had.

"Talks are now ongoing between us about how we can take this club forward again."

Ashley, who took over in the North East in June 2007, was chastised by supporters earlier this season following the departure of Magpies favourite Kevin Keegan.

After heavy pressure, the businessman revealed he planned to sell the club, however, amid a difficult financial climate, he was unable to find a suitable buyer.

Ashley turned to Kinnear in September following Keegan's exit but the former Wimbledon boss was forced to undergo triple heart bypass surgery and Chris Hughton temporarily took the reins before Shearer was appointed.

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Comments (29)

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Steve James says...

We have to make changes & make them now from the top right down to the hangers on,first we want ashley gone he should cut his losses & sell I do not accept his apoligy.Im not sure who could buy it off him yet but i wonder if ant & dec have enough to buy him out,or maybe sir john might want to come back.all the high earners have to leave to get the balance right for the championship that means even duff who is on 60+ per week,owen,smith,viduka all them have to leave.then we need to get rid of all the backroom staff who have stuck around for years doing nothing.we need new scouts new physios coaches.& when all that is done we bring in big alan & give him the choice to buy who he likes, up & coming young talent, to prepare for the premiership.the only difference with us & leeds is we have massive support that never dies & this will see us through back up the league depending if we can sort all these arrears i have mentioned first.we will see.

Posted 13:22 27th May 2009

Barbara Knight says...

My heart broke for Newcastle United on Sunday. The players should be ashamed of themselves - everyone of them. I know that Owen, Viduka, Duff and Smith(God look at those names, Newcastle should be in a European position) have been injured, but that surely should have given impetus to the rest of the squad, who all complain when they don't get games, but when given the chance to step into the limelight, bottle it big style. I was hoping that a consortium of North East business men who LOVE football would buy out that Ashley fellow, Please God they do and immediately lower the wages of all the staff - if they want to leave, let them, see who wants a crock or a coward on £120K a week. Alan Smith, one of my favourite players, was ruined by Ferguson, who just gelded him for England then chucked him out. Houllier and Real did much the same for Michael Owen, so his England career was ruined (and Benithez wouldn't take Owen back) and Viduka has been at Newcastle long enough to know how to encourage new talent. I hope Kevin Keegan is one of those rumoured to be putting a consortium together.

Posted 13:12 27th May 2009

Robin Brodhurst (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Despite the tragedy of relegation, this is a great chance for NUFC. They have an owner who has loads of money, he is English and he is passionate about the club. He has made mistakes but those mistakes have cost him the most. Given the right management team and with a wealthy owner NUFC can out in place the conditions in which the club can grow. The management team, and I mean the Directors need to be independent of the owner and not mates. They need to be prefessionally qualified and experienced in their poitions. Proper appointments for the coaching staff can then be made, investment in the youth academy can be made so that we can see the new Gascoignes and Waddles. NUFC can get rid of the current squad of imports and has beens and create a team for whom Newcastle means something. Being a Spurs supporter the biggest fear I have with Harry Redknapp is that he will bring in a load of unknown imports. That could well ruin the club.

Posted 13:12 27th May 2009

A H says...

The reason for Newcastle's decline is the players who don't care. I would not want the apathetic likes Butt, Owen, Barton et al playing in my team. There should be a cull of these big wage-earners; give some new players a chance. Newcatle have to follow Arsenal's template now and build around a young squad who will play for the club and not their bank accounts/stables/garages/golf

Posted 10:44 27th May 2009

Lee Hews says...

Lee Jones, being a millionare does not earn Ashley the right to be a successful owner of a football club. If anything, it shows what can happen when a fan with a shed-load of money tries his hand at running the club and fails miserably. Appointing Shearer, just because he was idolised by the Geordies as a player was never going to work. What managerial experience has he had? And let's not even start with what Dennis Wise was brought in for!! Sorry, but Ashley should stick to what does best, running his chain of sports shops.

Posted 09:01 27th May 2009

Keith Davies says...

This is just the start of the decline for NEWCASTLE they will go the same way as LEEDS. IT'S about time those geordie fans realised they have no devine right to be in the Premiership. The troubles started at newcastle the day they sacked Bobby Robson because it's been going downhill ever since. There squad is full of has beens VIDUKA.SMITH.OWEN.DUFF to name a few player who are past their best. IT'S not just a case of signing one or two players it's virtually a whole new team and those players will not be of PREMIERSHIP quality because they don't have the funds to do so and no way of raising the cash they need by selling anybody

Posted 08:59 27th May 2009

Michael Carey (Newcastle United fan) says...

As a Newcastle fan living in Sunderland and socialising with thier supporters I am ashamed to admit as I stated to many of them at the season start Newcastle would be going down. Too much termoil in the club too many bad decisions bringing in staff etc. and to top it they turned to a man whom I thought would have asked for revolving doors on the managers office, Keegan he should have sorted things before taking up the post. God bless Newcastle United fans,

Posted 08:48 27th May 2009

Nufcindia Nufcindia (Newcastle United fan) says...

i am not sure Shearer is the right man. look at his team selection and tactics. bring kk back if he wishea to come back

Posted 07:58 27th May 2009

Jamie Ford says...

Mike Ashley is sorry. Oh well lets all just forgive him then. Bit late for apologies

Posted 07:41 27th May 2009

Chris Caruth (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Lee? What are you on about, Ashley's the one who decides to change managers...

Posted 07:23 27th May 2009

Ned Kelly (Chelsea fan) says...

Chris Young.... you must be joking. You say "We must keep the players and play with a premiership style and with premiership tactics. "!!! So is that what Newcastle did this year? The fact is Newcastle have been rubbish this year, and frankly for quite a few seasons. They didnt deserve to stay up and unless there is significant changes this is the league they belong in. If AShley runs newcastle anything like his flagship store in London, "Lillywhites", I am not suprised the Toon are whistling a different Tune in The Champiosnhip. Disorganised, Dirty, Nice from the outside, rotten on the inside , cheap & nasty. Maybe thats what Ashley does, takes famous English landmarks and destroys them?

Posted 06:32 27th May 2009

Robert Whyte (Manchester United fan) says...

How is it that all season everyone with any interest in football were looking at Newcastle and asking why they would do such stupid things to run a club! Like bringing in Dennis Wise over Keegan's head, bringing in Joe Kinnear because no one else wanted the job and why players couldn't rouse themselves to show some passion? It's a pity the players didn't love their club as much as the fans. Maybe this is a lesson for the fans too, you wanted Allardyce out, now you're paying for it, you'd never have been relegated with Sam in charge. Now you can play your attacking football that you all love to see so much. But ask yourselves, what do these clubs have in common? West Ham, Notts Forest, Oxford United, Luton, Villa, Man City, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Coventry.......the list goes on! Since Newcastle last won a cup, they've all won major honours! Stop talking the big club rubbish and earn it!!

Posted 06:32 27th May 2009

Dave Robb says...

Denis Wise represents everything that is bad about football in England. He was an unpleasant thug as a player, and since he retired as a player he has been involved with three clubs, Millwall Leeds and Newcastle. He put the mark of death on all three. Hopefully people will start to realise that people like him should not be allowed within miles of this great game. I wish he would go back to Chelsea and help to destroy them.

Posted 05:42 27th May 2009

Paul Roberts says...

Shame for Newcastle there was 1 team i'd liked to have seen stay up, i feel for you guys/girls really do. Ashley made mistakes for sure and hes held his hands up to them. But look at the over paid footballers out of the whole first team there has been some crazy signings, like Owen for example why you guys paid so much for him is beyond me. He was already a spent force before he joined Newcastle complete waste of money. As for Keegan he acts like a spoilt child things don't go his way he spits his dummie out not once but twice. And never mind about getting a manager that the fans want get a decent manager you had one Sam Allardyce. Sack him for the fans manager, does'nt always pay to listen to the fans. Keegan good footballer as a manager complete girl, if hes that good don't see shed loads of clubs running for his services since he run from Newcastle.

Posted 05:36 27th May 2009

Mustafa Ismail (Newcastle United fan) says...

Mistakes have been committed. The most serious was letting people frustrate Keegan na dlet him leave while retaining the garbage. Let us pick ourselves up. Persuade Alan Shearer to extend his stay and guide us back to premiership. Alan is the only other Messiah after Keegan and I wish the duo had worked together. Alan should be given the freedom to choose his backroom staff, clear under performers who earn hefty wages for nothing. Let those who are willing to die for the team carry the Geordie flag. I ma confident we will be up there after the next season.

Posted 05:29 27th May 2009

Helen Le cuirot says...

It's all done and dusted now. Alan Shearer is the man for the job now. Look to the future and right all the wrongs. The players need the support of the management but they also have to give 100 pc on the pitch and OFF the pitch

Posted 03:35 27th May 2009

Matthew Blake (Newcastle United fan) says...

The rot started when we didnt sign anybody but lee bowyer all them seasons ago. We as a club have also been unlucky, had Owen not suffered those injuries then who knows, had Luque not been a lightweight and had Barton not been an idiot in the last chance saloon. However all those fans saying ashliegh is to blame are wrrong. Yes he has faults and he has ultimitley added to our demise but his business plan was a sound one. Had he not cleared the clubs debt or even bought the club we would be in it up to our neck. There was no money left in the coffers. Even the 11 million we got of Northern rock was spent before we even go the cash in the bag (it was a 3 season pay deal). Imagine us being relegated in 80million of debt, where the hell would we be then? Keep a hold of the players we have (some obviously need to go such as Barton) and add a couple. Owen can go, Viduka on a cheaper deal can stay and then maybe we could see a couple of the youth team given a real crack at the whip, i think this could be the making of Carroll and a few others. If they can do it now then it will build them in confidence to the future seasons. But getting back into the prem at the 1st chance of asking is a must otherwise we cant sustain the wages and we would risk languishing in the championship for years.

Posted 02:43 27th May 2009

John Holden says...

At least Shloa Ameobi will be playing in the right league. Well done Duff for having the decency to stay unlike the rats that will jump ship. And we can finally get rid of that waste of space Owen!

Posted 00:11 27th May 2009

Alex Wood (Bolton Wanderers fan) says...

The mistakes can be pointed every where, what you need is a plan and stick to it, Big Sam would of not let you go down, but the fans wanted him out, they wanted sexy football to go with the big fan base that is claimed, Yes big number of fans, for a city of only one club. Buying the right players for the team not for the fans is a must. It is a shame for them to go down, and hopefully you don't end up like a Leeds, Get your house in order, Yes Shearer is a big name but not a Strong leader, The Club must decide???

Posted 23:50 26th May 2009

Jason Wood (Grimsby Town fan) says...

I think it's the fans fault as much as it is Ashley's. Ashley appointed Sam Allardyce to the club and he would of done a decent job in stabilizing the club and building them back up to become a worthy premiership side. Instead, the fans moaned and whined because they weren't seeing quick results or attractive football until Ashley was forced to sack him. Just look at the fine job he's done at Blackburn in a short period of time. Oh well, aye.

Posted 23:34 26th May 2009

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