Sunday, September 14, 2014

You Can't Run A Professional Sports Team Like A Retail Shop

... and expect to do anything but lose.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley loves to make money. He uses the team like a store in a shopping mall, buying players wholesale and selling them retail. He grabs a bunch of what would be called "reaches" in the NFL draft, lets them play for a year and then sells anyone who pans out. Last year, he sold Yohan Cabaye, a world-class midfielder*, for about 20 million pounds. That's like the New Orleans Saints selling Drew Brees after one or two great seasons.

Ashley has done this time and time again. He replaces the great players with bargain-basement prospects and starts the process all over again. Sometimes it works out well, like it did two years ago when Newcastle finished fifth and sometimes it doesn't like this year where it looks like they're going to fight for their lives to keep from being relegated to a lower league.

Meanwhile, the fans are screaming bloody murder and are demanding the head of Alan Pardew, the manager, on a plate. I'm a big Pardew fan, but I'm now in agreement with most other fans. Pardew needs to go, not for the sake of the team, but for the sake of Alan Pardew. Newcastle doesn't need a football manager, they need a retail marketing expert.

Some Southampton dude after scoring in their 4-0 romp over Newcastle yesterday. Source.
* - Yohan started for France's World Cup team, that's how good he is.

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