With polls in various local rags suggesting that Newcastle fans might be willing to forgive and forget Mike Ashley (under condition, natch...) it seems ominous that the day after Sports Direct list an improved profits outlook the barrow boy comes back into media outlets. Ashley said (sounding like he`s been chugging away on a keg of Denmark`s finest):
'We'd love Michael Owen to stay. Newcastle want him to stay but we have to look at what we can spend when other clubs like Man City do not. The guy at City is about 1,000 times wealthier than me. I haven't got his kind of money. If Man City want Owen, there's nothing I can do about it.
It is up to Joe, we have signed him, it's up to him. I've definitely got some money although whether I will give it to him or not is another question. Joe realises that Newcastle don't have a bottomless pit of money so he will be very careful with what he does. If it's a player that costs £30 million then I can absolutely say. 'I don't think so'. But will he able to get the players he wants to tinker with the team and change the balance? The answer's yes.
Joe's the man to do the job. He's my hero. Is he better than Capello? Definitely. We are going to be in Europe by the end of the season. The situation over the sale of the club has not changed. It's still a reality, it is still for sale.'
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