`

Alan Pardew: Why I ‘laughed’ at rumours of a gambling debt

EXIT ... Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley, right.
EXIT ... Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley, right.

ALAN Pardew says rumours he got his job at Newcastle United because of a gambling debt owed to Mike Ashley were laughable – as he won’t even put a quid on a horse!

Pardew left St James’s Park last week to take over at Crystal Palace.

The statement which confirmed Pardew’s departure made the point that the 53-year-old had not known club owner Ashley before his surprise appointment in December 2010.

Wimbledon-born Pardew was perceived by some fans to be part of a so-called “Cockney mafia” running the club.

Asked by BBC Radio Newcastle whether he wished the club’s hierarchy had clarified the nature of his relationship with Ashley sooner, Pardew said: “Possibly, but sometimes you have to ignore some of the reporting that goes on.”

There were also false rumours of a gambling debt.

Pardew added: “Anyone who knows me knows it’s very difficult to get me to get a pound out of my pocket and put it on some bet or a horse I didn’t have full control over.

“That’s just how my mind works.

“I kind of laughed at it, but some people genuinely believed it.”

Pardew also claimed that he had privately campaigned against the Press ban handed to three local titles, which were allowed back into media facilities at St James’s Park late last year.

“I think the local Press being banned was difficult for me,” said Pardew.

“I do think that was a problem to manage the football club – I made that point clear many, many times to the guys above me.

“In the end, (managing director) Lee Charnley has addressed that.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth