This time a month ago, who would have thought that ex-Newcastle United star who was doing the most speak to against the Mike Ashley regime would be Michael Chopra?
The former forward is, no offence to him, a relatively forgotten figure in the English game, and compared to other, more striking names, he perhaps doesn’t command the same instant respect as some of his peers.
Or at least he might not have until this week.
Chopra is a Toon fan born and bred, and came up through the Magpies’ academy system into the professional game.
And now, out of nowhere, he is leading the rhetoric against the Toon’s controversial owner.
His appearance on talkSPORT this morning pulled no punches, as he soundly ripped into Ashley from every conceivable angle, going as far as to call his ownership a “disease” on the club.
But one line in particular will have had fans seething at the businessman.
As quoted in the Chronicle, Chopra said: “Go back to the end of last season and I had a guy from Saudi Arabia who was very interested in the club, he spoke to Lee Charnley and he put us in touch with Andrew Henderson, Mike Ashley’s lawyer.
“We called him up, we wanted the mandate from Andrew Henderson to speak to the guy in Saudi about buying the club. Andrew Henderson said: ‘Look, if the Saudi guy said if he’s got that much money, is a royal out there, tell him to fly to London to see me.’
“From that day, I don’t think they realistically want to sell the club. They wouldn’t give a mandate to someone who has found somebody who wants to buy the club.”
On the basis of this, if it is true – and you get the impression that Chopra has no interest in spinning fabrications – it is clear to see that Ashley isn’t interested in selling the club at all.
Here was a prime opportunity to get in touch with somebody who could, potentially, have taken United off of Ashley’s hands.
Instead, his legal team demand a ridiculous journey across the globe and shit things down before they even begin.
It’s ridiculous, it’s infuriating, but most annoyingly, it’s hard to see when it will end.
This article was originally posted here