Mark Lawrenson has a pop at Mike Ashley


Lawrenson told Football Tips: “I think you have to remember that Mike Ashley is just a businessman. He’s not a Newcastle fan, I think he’s a Tottenham fan in all honesty and even then I’m not quite sure if he is a Tottenham fan, I think he probably just likes Tottenham but I don’t think he’s one that would go every week. He wants to sell the business, I don’t think he needs to sell the business, I know he’s a very, very good businessman and I would just suggest that the so-called takeover wasn’t offering him as much money as he thought it was worth and the problem with that is that he’s got to get it absolutely right.

“Obviously we know they got relegated, they spent a year in the Championship and it’s horrible in that league, you know my team’s Preston and I know what the game is like and I know what the teams are like and it’s a really difficult league to get out of and he doesn’t want to have to go through that again. If you think about it, take 25-30% of what you think the club’s worth because they’re playing in the Championship. He’ll just stick to his guns, but he’s not really that interested. You know, he bought the club, he spent money on the club. Obviously the fans think he should spend even more but hey, it’s his money and he makes those decisions and that’s the thing, if one man owns your football club, like him or loathe him, he makes all the decisions.

“Slimani is the other they’ve signed who wasn’t quite ready. I really don’t see goals in Newcastle, although against Palace they did commit forward. However, Palace had all sorts of chances and really could and should have won that game. I think they’re scrappy and I look at the three promoted, I know you mentioned Newcastle but I think you’ve got to lump in Huddersfield who are obviously just falling, falling, falling, they don’t have goals in them. But Brighton, obviously they signed Ulloa and the boy from PSV, but it looks like Brighton are trying to address the problem. For the promoted teams, it’s always about getting enough goals to win games, not worrying about getting beat by City and Man United by 3 or 4, it’s really about the results against the teams who are in the same position.

“But it’s about goals - goals make the difference in staying in the division and getting relegated and I just look at Newcastle and ask: ‘Am I convinced Slimani will get loads of goals for Newcastle? No I’m not convinced at all.’”

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