Newcastle United briefing: Fan's powerful letter to Mike Ashley goes viral, Ayoze Perez on his key 'job'

Mike Ashley, centre
Mike Ashley, centre

A fan's letter to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has gone viral.

Season-ticket holder Paul Nicholson penned a letter to Ashley after the club "failed on all levels" to back manager Rafa Benitez in the transfer window.

We also have an interview with Ayoze Perez and the thoughts of Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of the Serbia's World Cup qualifying showdown against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin tomorrow night.

Here's your daily briefing:

Personal plea

Nicholson penned the "An Open Letter To Mike Ashley" in the wake of the club's failure to sign a single player in the final few days of the transfer window.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Ashley promised Benitez "every last penny" generated by the club through promotion and player sales in May, yet the club only spent around £40million, and the net spend was far less following a number of departures.

Nicholson's powerful letter was picked up by United legend Alan Shearer on Twitter.

The 47-year-old wrote: "In Rafa, we have one of the master tacticians in world football. A manager that most clubs would beg for. When it comes to the game we all love, he, above all others at our club, should be listened to.

"So it mystifies and bemuses me why, when he – ”the right man” to lead Newcastle United as you called him during your recent interview – advises you that we need particular players to make us a team able to compete in the Premier League (on the back of promises and assurances that were made to him), he was ignored.

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley

"The time to be bold was now. The time to listen to those that know was now. The time to make a footballing statement was now. The time to maintain the growing momentum and feel-good factor was now.

"Unfortunately, Mr Ashley, you failed on all levels."

Nicholson goes on to make a personal plea to the billionaire.

Read the full letter here

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez.

Goals to Newcastle?

One thing Benitez's squad looks short of is goals.

United's manager, mindful of this, wanted to sign another forward before last Thursday's deadline, but the club failed in a series of late moves, though the club did hold on to Fulham target Dwight Gayle.

Perez, used as a No 10 by Benitez, knows how to score in the Premier League.

And the 24-year-old is looking to make a significant contribution up front this season, though he's not setting himself a goals target.

"I don’t like to have a target,” said Perez. “I always try to get better and improve myself and give my best for the team.

"My job is to score goals, so hopefully I can score as many as I can."


Aleksandar Mitrovic, banned for United's next three games, will be making his last appearance for sometime tomorrow night.

Mitrovic – who kept up his phenomenal scoring run for Serbia with a strike in Saturday's 3-0 win over Moldova – is ready to go head-to-head with Newcastle team-mate Ciaran Clark.

A victory over the Republic of Ireland in Dublin tomorrow night would all but secure the Group D leaders a place in next summer's World Cup with two games to spare.

“It may be the case that I’ll be marked by Ciaran and will enjoy that challenge,” said Mitrovic.

“I will also get to see a former colleague, Daryl Murphy, but the focus will totally be on beating Ireland.

"We know Ireland will come out fighting, and have a full house in Dublin supporting them. This will be much harder test than Moldova, but we deserve to be in first place and want to stay there.

Mitrovic will miss Newcastle's next three games through suspension after admitting a Football Association charge of violent conduct.

The 22-year-old was caught on video elbowing Manuel Lanzini late in Newcastle's 3-0 win over West Ham United last month.