Mike Ashley appears to have started scouting players himself, which could be a terrible idea.
Mike Ashley has reportedly started watching Newcastle transfer targets himself, which is boggling because it could end up causing a lot more problems than it will solve.
Ashley was spotted watching Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as St Etienne took on Paris Saint-Germain over the weekend, which has led to a flurry of stories today suggesting a Newcastle bid is imminent.
He would be a cracking signing for Newcastle but that’s not the point, the point is that the club’s owner cannot start turning into Roman Abramovich in terms of telling Alan Pardew who to buy and who to spend his cash on.
It’s dangerous because Pardew could very quickly and easily feel undermined by the owner and that’s when the real problems start, as Pardew will get itchy feet and may start looking for a way out of his contract.
The only situation where it could possibly be conceivable is if Pardew made it clear to the owner that he wants certain players, which may cause the owner to go and take a closer look at his next potential investment.
It doesn’t matter that Ashley was at the game with the club’s chief scout because there is a fine line between leaving the football side to the coaches and the business side of things to the owner.
Any scout is powerless if the owner has gone along to a game to watch a player that he is particularly interested in.
Ashley has taken a lot of flack for the way he’s run the club since he originally took over in the North East, but he always seems to have known what to get involved in and what to leave well alone.
Pardew has proven himself to be a very efficient and productive boss when it comes to a transfer window and the January one, which has just passed, saw him bring in three quality players for under £12 million.
There is no doubt that Aubameyang would add to Newcastle because the club is a little light up front at the moment. However, they need to be very careful in terms of the circumstances surrounding his potential move.
As long as Ashley’s presence there was purely coincidental in the respect that he fancied going along with the chief scout, there’s no problem. However, if it was intentional and something he orchestrated then there could be some big problems on the other side of the horizon.
Newcastle fans, what do you make of this?
image: © machernucha