Football 2 years ago

Kevin Keegan says Mike Ashley made 'a lot of mistakes' over the years

  • Kevin Keegan says Mike Ashley made 'a lot of mistakes' over the years

Back in 2009, in a judgment that had ramifications for English football, Kevin Keegan was awarded £2 million plus interest after an independent arbitration panel found he was constructively dismissed by Newcastle United over one year earlier. Mike Ashley, the Tyne-Wear club's owner, counterclaimed for breach of contract, but was unsuccessful.

Almost seven years on from that judgment and with Newcastle on the brink of relegation from the Premier League, Keegan, to no surprise, doesn't think too highly of Ashley's work at St. James' Park.

"The owner has had quite a lot of years of making a lot of mistakes," Keegan told BBC Sport. "They are going to have to go down and regroup. That's not going to be easy."

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Keegan added: "You have to look at Mike Ashley and say he hasn't handled the decision-making very well or he's given the responsibility to people and they haven't handled it very well. You make mistakes in football and you get punished, especially the Premier League now. I think they will go down but they'll bounce back."

If Sunderland, Newcastle's crosstown rival, defeats Everton on Wednesday, the Magpies will be relegated to the Championship just as they were at the end of the Premier League season in 1992-93 and 2009-10, the latter of which was during Keegan's second spell as manager at the club.

"It is mismanagement from the very top," Keegan said. "They bought players for the future but sometimes maybe you have to buy players for the present. It's all right having a few good young players from France but can they play in the Premier League now?

"If they can't - don't buy them or certainly don't play them. A few of them have found it very tough and the confidence goes and then even good players start to look pretty poor."

Between Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin, Jonjo Shelvey, and Andros Townsend, Newcastle spent a reported £63.5 million.

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