James Perch makes explosive Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew claims in bombshell Newcastle United interview
James Perch has opened up about his departure from Newcastle United – and he hasn’t held back.
Perch left the club in 2013 after spending three years at St James’s Park.
The Mansfield Town defender was part of the squad which finished fifth in the Premier League under Alan Pardew in the 2011/21 campaign.
And Perch has spoken about his departure, the club’s treatment of Jonas Gutierrez and owner Mike Ashley in an interview with Planet Football.
On his departure...
“I left in a bit of a storm,” said Perch. “It wasn’t nice, because the two years before were when I enjoyed it most at Newcastle. I was promised things that never happened. It was sad, but I thought it was best to leave then.
“Pardew said I’d get a new contract in January 2013, but, by the time the window had closed, he’d signed a couple of players like (Moussa) Sissoko and (Massadio) Haidara, and said ‘we’re not going to offer you one now’.
“He’d got my hopes up, and then just pulled it off the table."
On Alan Pardew...
Gutierrez – who fought back from testicular cancer during his time at Newcastle, and helped the club stay in the Premier League in 2015 – won a disability discrimination claim against the club following his departure.
“He (Gutierrez) showed me what Pardew had said (in testimony) about him," said Perch.
"He was one of the most professional players I ever played with, and I love him to bits. I thought it was a disgrace, and I’ll never speak to Pardew again. I’ve got no time for him.
“He was saying Jonas wasn’t good enough to do this and that. As I was reading it, I was thinking ‘Jonas played left-back because the gaffer needed him to, he played centre midfield because the gaffer needed him to’.
“It seemed like Jonas would do anything for Newcastle, and anything for the manager. All of it that I read, it was just wrong on so many levels.”
On Mike Ashley...
Perch believes that Ashley had an “influence” on team selection during Pardew’s time as manager.
“I know he had influence on team selection,” said Perch. “I’d be playing on the Friday, then on the morning of the game, Pardew would ring and say I wasn’t.
“I guess Ashley wanted his better assets to play. I wasn’t a £10-15million player like (Cheick) Tiote or (Yohan) Cabaye. I was just a lad from the Championship, even though I was playing better than them.”
The club’s squad wasn’t strengthened after the team qualified for the Europa League in 2012 – and the team struggled that season.
“Our biggest mistake was not pushing on the following year,” said Perch. “We kind of just stood still, whereas you need to try to kick on. Newcastle’s model is the wrong one. They think they can buy cheap and sell high, and it doesn’t work like that.
“We’d had such a good season, and we thought it was the time to spend some money, because, at the time, Newcastle in the Europa League was massive, just the name was enough, people would come.
“But we didn’t do it and lost some key players like Demba (Ba). Big names are always going to leave when they see a club has no ambition.”