Mike Ashley’s emotional 2008 statement sums up his time at Newcastle 13 years on
The date is September 14th 2008. Gordon Brown is Prime Minister, Kings of Leon are topping the charts with smash hit 'Sex on Fire' and Luiz Felipe Scolari has Chelsea sitting top of the table.
And Mike Ashley has just vowed to sell Newcastle United – insisting he has the 'interest of fans at heart'.
"I am putting the club up for sale," said Ashley.
"I hope that the next owner is someone who can lavish the amount of money on the club that the fans want. This will not be a fire sale. Newcastle is now in a much stronger position than it was in 2007.
"It is planning for the future and it is sustainable. I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart. I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do but it won't happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in."
'It will not be a fire sale' – You can say that again.
The 13 years that followed that statement sum up Ashley's tenure at the helm of the Magpies. Promises made. Promise not kept.
Ashley had only been in control of his new project for little over a year when he explained why he wanted out, after purchasing the north east outfit in May 2007.
Soon after his arrival, word spread that Tottenham was the club he actually wanted to own. But it didn't take the high street tycoon long to get in the good books of fans on Tyneside.
Downing pints in the away end with supporters in his replica black and white top, bringing Kevin Keegan back into the dugout and trying to reduce the debt. Ashley was initially seen as the man to return Newcastle back to the glory of past seasons.
How soon it soured was a surprise. The arrival of close pals Dennis Wise and Joe Kinnear, broken transfer promises, stripping Alan Shearer of his ambassadorial duties and double-crossing Keegan put the nails in Ashley's coffin early on.
Handing Alan Pardew an eight-year contract, renaming St. James' Park and failing to offer Rafa Benitez the assurances he wanted would also follow.
But despite his bold 2008 claim that he was on his way, the businessman remains as rooted to the club as he did over a decade ago.
Xu Rongmao, a Chinese property developer was the first to be tipped with a takeover 13 years ago.
Indian billionaire Anil Ambani, head of the Reliance telecommunications group and back-then the world's sixth-richest man, was another who Ashley hoped to talk into a deal.
Genuine attempts to take the club off his hands have arrived in more recent times.
Amanda Staveley has spearheaded two separate attempts to buy the Geordie outfit, with her latest currently stuck in the courts.
Peter Kenyon, of Chelsea and Manchester United fame, has been linked. There has been middle-eastern interest, far-east interest, Mexican interest, American interest and much more.
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Yet Ashley remains. Sucking the life out of a once-great football club.
From the outside, it would appear as though he has given up even pretending to be interested in the fortunes of Newcastle.
The club currently sit 19th in the Premier League without a win this season. They are already out of the League Cup. Supporters have frequently called for the removal of Steve Bruce, who was told there was no money to be had over the summer.
To add, communication from inside the club is scarce these days. Unless you count an unsigned club statement explaining why the Magpies failed to strengthen this summer.
Ashley remains incognito, popping his head above the parapet every three to four years to give an interview to the Daily Mail.
What happens next is anyone's guess. But I wouldn't stop anyone betting on Ashley still being at the club in 2034.
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