Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fans Happy to Back Boss's Silver Dream; United Front in Support of Ashley Vision

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fans Happy to Back Boss's Silver Dream; United Front in Support of Ashley Vision

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Loraine

NEWCASTLE United fans last night welcomed Mike Ashley's plans for the club. The billionaire owner spoke out before the start of the new season in an interview for the club's magazine and said he had no plans to sell up.

He outlined his dreams to bring silverware to Tyneside, his desire to to bring European nights back to St James's Park and his confidence Newcastle could compete with the "big four" in the long term.

On Keegan, he said the decision to appoint him was a "no-brainer" while dismissing claims he had showdown talks with the manager, saying their relationship was strong.

Ashley also revealed there was money for the manager to spend, saying: "The right player at the right time is who we are after now. We want players with the heart and passion to play for Newcastle United and its supporters. Kevin doesn't stop emphasising that.

"If a player doesn't want to come to the North East, then we are not interested in him. If we think he only wants to come to Newcastle United for the wrong reasons then we'll say, 'You're not for us' and we'll look elsewhere."

His plans were praised by Newcastle fans, who were as happy that Ashley had spoken out as with the content of his interview.

Steve Wraith, former fans' liaison officer at St James's Park and editor of fanzine Players Inc, said it was exactly what the fans had been waiting for.

He said: "I'm delighted that he has come out and said something. There's been a negative vibe around the club for the past few months, but this is what we needed.

"It's the first major positive since Keegan came back.

"We have to put our trust in him. He did us a favour, saving the club from going into a spiral like Leeds United. I, for one, am happy to sit back, let him get on with it and see if he keeps his promises. I believe he will."

Mark Jensen, editor of The Mag fanzine, said it was a "big positive" for the club.

He said: "People have been waiting for it really. …

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