“He’s a billionaire and we were local millionaires. The day he came in, he changed the nature of the game. It’s got to the point where it is today where unless you’re a billionaire, you’re going to be an also-ran in the Premier League.
“(Ashley) said, I want to globalise Newcastle – it’s a brand, Newcastle – I want to use them to sell Sports Direct goods in the Far East. It was a great idea, that was his intent, but he got off on the wrong foot and it went all wrong for him and we have the situation today where he’s trying to sell the club.
“It will be interesting to see who’s actually going to buy it. I only hope they have the resources to compete with the wealth that’s at the top of the league. I wish Abramovich hadn’t come into football. Looking back now, nobody could foresee where football was going to go. It will destroy the game if it’s only a few at the top, season after season. It’s wrong; the rest of the clubs have got to resist the top five trying to take more money out of the game.”