Six ridiculous mistakes Mike Ashley made at Newcastle as Derby takeover eyed

Newcastle United fans were celebrating on the streets when Mike Ashley sold the Toon Army to the PIF Group in October.

But the Sports Direct mogul's spell outside of the beautiful game may not last for much longer as he eyes a takeover of Derby County.

Derby were staring into the face of liquidation earlier this season, and they have been slapped with a 21 point deduction.

The Rams are looking for a 'suitable buyer' and Ashley could prove to be the man to save them from the financial abyss.

But Daily Star Sport is looking at six times Ashley messed up at Newcastle.

Sports Direct Arena

In probably Ashley's most infamous hour, the former Newcastle owner decided to change the name of St James' Park to the Sports Direct Arena.

St James' Park had been the home of Newcastle since their inception in 1892, so fans were understandably annoyed with the switch.

Soon enough, the Sports Direct logo was plastered all over the stadium.

However, in 2012, payday loan company Wonga purchased the naming rights to the stadium, changing it back to St James' Park.

Do you think Ashley should takeover Derby? Let us know in the comments section

Jonas Gutierrez

Jonas Gutierrez placed himself firmly in Newcastle folk law when, on the final day of the Premier League campaign 14/15, he found the net to ensure Newcastle's safety.

Gutierrez had already beaten cancer after undergoing chemotherapy and in an emotional post-match interview, he declared he was 'proud to be a Geordie'.

However, Gutierrez later found out he was being released after overhearing a phone call between John Carver and Ryan Taylor.

A lengthy lawsuit ensued and the Argentinian won a disability discrimination lawsuit against Newcastle in 2016.

Alan Shearer

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Leading the line for the Magpies, Alan Shearer was a phenomenon, but as a manager, he didn't quite hit the same highs.

Under Shearer, Newcastle were relegated to the Championship.

The former goalscorer was an inexperienced manager, but he was learning on the job and fans loved him.

Ashley reportedly told Shearer he trusted him to bring the club back up to the Premier League, that was, according to reports, the last time the pair spoke.

Rafa Benitez

Newcastle became a revolving door for managers under Ashley, but he provided a masterstroke when Rafa Benitez arrived at St James' Park.

Benitez is a former Champions League and Europa League winner, but he opted to stick with Newcastle in the Championship.

The Spaniard worked miracles with the squad, and they were soon back in the big time under the watchful eye of Benitez.

The good times didn't last though, and Benitez left for China in a move that Newcastle chief executive, Lee Charnley, desired was all about the money.

Benitez fired back: "If I was only interested in moving ‘for money, as Charnley stated, I could have done it much earlier."

Chris Hughton

After sacking Shearer, Newcastle turned to Chris Hughton to fire the Toon Army back to the Premier League.

Hughton won the Manager of the Month awards for August, September and then again in November as he experienced the best league start of any Newcastle manager ever.

But that didn't stop Hughton from being the first managerial causalty of the season.

The fans, and Newcastle legends, were livid at Ashley.

Joe Kinnear

Ashley twice hired Joe Kinnear in differing roles in the North East.

During his first spell, Kinnear infamously called Charles N'Zogbia, Charles Insomnia before calling Yohan Cabaye, Yohan Kebab, in his second stint.

According to Shay Given’s autobiography, the appointment of Kinnear as Newcastle manager in 2008 was met with overwhelming disappointment from the players.

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