Some still can’t quite believe it. Newcastle United, after 14 years, are rid of Mike Ashley.
When billionaire Ashley completed a takeover of the club in 2007, optimism was high. There was a belief he’d take the Magpies to new heights.
But as we all know, his ownership proved to be a the complete opposite. A disaster, to say the least, as fans endured two relegations to the Championship – and a number of shocking decisions.
Here, we take a look at the 20 most controversial Ashley moments after he packed his bags and sold the club to PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Reuben brothers:
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1. That pint at the Emirates…
In his final appearance watching Newcastle among the travelling supporters, Ashley faced a police inquiry and a possible banning order from Premier League stadiums in August 2008 after being caught downing a pint of beer in the stands at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. Photo: Alex Burstow
2. Missing a meeting with Sheikh Mansour
Tony Jimenez said Ashley refused to meet the buyer, who went on to purchase Manchester City, after expressing interest in a Newcastle takeover. It is also claimed he ruined another potential deal after “creating a disturbance in a bar" in Dubai. Photo: Francois Nel
3. Kevin Keegan's resignation
The completely ill-judged appointments of the likes of Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez were just one part of the problem that forced Keegan to resign in September 2008. As we all know, Ashley and co’s appalling treatment of the Magpies legend played out in court after he won a £2m tribunal against the club. What are Nacho Gonzalez and Xisco up to nowadays? Photo: GLYN KIRK
4. Appointing Joe Kinnear (first time round)
First drafted in as interim manager following Keegan’s departure, Kinnear wasted no time in telling the local press to f*** off as well as ranting about several unsavoury things. He didn’t last long in the hot seat after a health scare in February 2009 forced him to resign. He’d be back though… Photo: Laurence Griffiths