When Mike Ashley took over Newcastle United in the summer of 2007, Sam Allardyce had just been appointed as manager (in May that year). He only lasted 8 months in charge, leaving by ‘mutual consent’ in January 2008.
Sam Allardyce, a manager renowned for the use of statistics and long ball tactics, was never a popular choice amongst Newcastle United fans. He has previously overachieved at Bolton Wanderers on a shoestring budget, and it was widely believed that his appointment signalled the end of big spending by the Hall’s and Shepherd’s. From the moment Mike Ashley took over the club, his position was naturally under scrutiny, but Mike Ashley declared (24 May 2007):
“Newcastle United have a wonderful heritage and the passion of their fans is legendary. I am sure that, like me, they are already excited about the prospects for next season under the new manager’s stewardship.”
Sam Allardyce was in charge for 24 Newcastle games, winning only 8 and losing 10. His last match was a goalless FA Cup third round draw vs Championship outfit Stoke City. Newcastle chairman Chris Mort’s statement on the club’s website was as follows (9 January 2008):
“The decision has been reached by mutual agreement.
“Mike and I would like to place on record our thanks for Sam’s efforts and wish him well for the future. A new manager has not yet been appointed at Newcastle United, we will make a further announcement on that issue when appropriate.”
Source: The Guardian
Mike Ashley explained not bringing in his own manager straight away was a rare mistake (13 January 2008):
“I must admit that when I bought this club my gut instinct was to bring in my own team to run it straight away, including a new manager.
“That’s no reflection on Sam, that’s just the way I have always done things.”
Source: The Telegraph
After his successor’s resignation only nine months later, Sam Allardyce reflected on his time as manager and working for Mike Ashley as follows (7 October 2008):
“It is crystal clear now what the motives were for Mike Ashley.
“I think that he did buy the club in the hope that he could quickly sell it on for a vast profit.
“It is going from bad to horrendous and there is part of me that thinks I’m glad I’m out of it.”