Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew complimented the club’s owner Mike Ashley, for spending out of his personal wealth for the sake of the club, and believed that he had played an important role in the Magpies upsurge in the ongoing season.
The Toon broke into the top four of the Premier League table on Sunday with an impressive home win against Stoke City and continued their stroll towards European football. Currently, they are just three points adrift of third placed Arsenal, having played
a game less than the North London team.
Some inspirational performances from the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba have arguably been the reason behind the Magpies uplift. However, the Newcastle boss also credited Ashley for his selfless investment in the club.
"Mike's put something like £273 million into the club and he's not taken anything back," Pardew told
The Sunday Times.
Mike Ashley, the owner of the company Sports Direct, took over the club in 2007. He witnessed hostile criticism from both, the fans and the players, for some of the decisions that he undertook during his regime. Aspersions were cast on him for sacking the
former manager Chris Hughton and selling Andy Carroll for a mammoth fee of 35 million pounds in January 2011.
He also renamed the stadium from Saint James Park to Sports Direct Arena in November 2011, citing reasons of strengthening the club’s sponsorship. However, the decision has widely remained unpopular amongst the fans.
"Since I've been here I have not really shouted his corner. Politically for me it's a minefield.” Pardew added.
The Englishman, who had to contend with a limited budget since he took over the reins of the Tyneside team, has nevertheless managed to exceed the expectations of the club. So far, he has coached the Magpies in 62 games and enjoys a 43.55 win percentage
He signed Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse in the summer and January transfer windows respectively for mediocre amounts, and landed Demba Ba at the Sports Direct Arena from West Ham United for free.
However, the 50-year old mentioned that Ashley had played his part well and spent a big portion of his personal wealth for the cause of Newcastle, and eulogized his generosity.
“I want to keep the fans in a good place but I would say to them, before they get emotional about it, that Mike has invested something like 25 percent of his personal wealth in this football club.”
"Ask me for 25 percent of my money and you've got no chance. I don't care how good your idea is."