Shay Given story highlights Mike Ashley problem at Newcastle

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley (l) and Lee Charnley look on during the Sky Bet Championship title after the match between Newcastle United and Barnsley at St James' Park on May 7, 2017...

Shay Given’s new autobiography is evidence, if it was needed, that Newcastle United will be much better off when Mike Ashley sells up.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley (l) and Lee Charnley look on during the Sky Bet Championship title after the match between Newcastle United and Barnsley at St James' Park on May 7, 2017...

The release of Shay Given’s autobiography this week will give Newcastle United fans a timely insight into the Mike Ashley regime as the unpopular owner prepares to sell the club.

Given, who made over 450 appearances in goal over a 12-year spell at St James’ Park, releases his book titled “Any Given Saturday” on Thursday and is heavily critical of Ashley’s attitude.

In an extract printed in The Chronicle, Given accuses Ashley of deliberately antagonising Newcastle players and fans, highlighting the appointment of Joe Kinnear as manager as an example.

Newcastle United Irish goalkeeper Shay Given celebrates after French midfielder Charles N'Zogbia scored against Tottenham Hotspur during their English Premier League football match at St...

Given recalls: "We just could not believe it. I was shellshocked. Joe was the interim manager while Chris stayed as first-team coach but whether it be for one game or a thousand, I never believed Kinnear was the right fit.

"No disrespect to Joe but he’d been out of football a long, long time. The foreign lads didn’t have a clue who he was. Everyone felt down after the appointment. There was a general feeling of absolute despair.

"I feel for Joe when I say this because he’s not a bad bloke but, basically, this was Newcastle United and he was a guy who hadn’t worked at the top level for 10 years. It just sort of summed up Mike Ashley’s tenure, it felt like everything he was doing was on the cheap, to wind the fans and players up."

Given’s apprehension over Kinnear’s arrival was not unfounded as he lasted less than a full season as Magpies boss.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley (l) and Joe Kinnear look on before the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 30, 2013 in Liverpool,...

As BBC Sport reports, Ashley announced earlier this week that he has put Newcastle up for sale and hopes to conclude a deal before Christmas.

He bought a majority share in the club in 2007 and has overseen two relegations to the Championship, with Given’s tale helping to explain why things went so wrong.

Given added, also via The Chronicle: "The club gave me everything but I gave the club everything back in return and, thankfully, it will be around a lot longer than Mike Ashley will."

Nobody could have put it better.

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