You know how the saying goes. You would think that we as Newcastle United fans would understand by now that Mike Ashley is always putting crap in the news just to generate a little buzz. It keeps the fans happy for a week or two and then he crushes our dreams like the cookie monster he is.
It’s called the Ashley Cycle. Haven’t heard of it? That’s because I just made it up. But hear me out.
Throughout Mike Ashley’s tenure as Newcastle United owner, he has made promises towards the end of every transfer window. That records will be broken; the club will see massive investment; we’ll see the signing of a high-profile striker. It’s the same thing every year. It’s often in the winter window that he makes his most lofty PR pushes.
And every year, Newcastle United fans seem to get into hype mode. You see, we’re crucial to the Ashley Cycle because it’s all a massive public relations stunt and if we don’t fall for it, then it doesn’t work.
How much does the BBC, Sky Sports, The Sun, NBC, or Fox Soccer, talk about Newcastle United on a regular basis, no transfer news involved?
That question was rhetorical, don’t answer.
Now how much are they talking about Newcastle United when Mike Ashley is putting things in the news such as broken records, big name strikers, and quality defenders? You can bet they’re talking a whole lot now.
It generates buzz for his Newcastle business, and it generates buzz for his Sports Direct business. While you all may believe that Mike Ashley doesn’t care much about the club, you can be sure that he cares about all the publicity that he gets during these windows all thanks to a couple of memos and “insider information” being fed to gullible sports journalists.
And we fall for it, guys! He got me again this year, too. While signing Islam Slimani finally became a reality, it wasn’t on a purchase, but on a loan deal. There wasn’t a single permanent purchase made this January. No record was broken, and no massive high profile players were brought in to give the squad a boost.
And it’s a shame that we fall for it because the passion is so high, and so deep that we believe it because we want to believe something good for once. We want to think that something is actually going to change. And while we all know that it won’t until Mike Ashley sells every single piece of stock that he has in Newcastle United, we still fall into the Ashley Cycle because for that brief period, we feel something good.
We feel hope. And Mike Ashley has taken advantage of that. Every. Single. Year.