- News: Ashley ‘would consider selling Newcastle’
Newcastle director of football Joe Kinnear has issued an apology for his tirade against the club’s fans, despite failing to attend a supporters’ group meeting in person.
Kinnear came under huge criticism for his scathing attack against the Magpies fans, which saw him claim in a now-infamous radio interview that he has “got more intelligence than them”.
However, at the latest meeting of the supporters’ umbrella group, NUFC Fans United, the Irishman’s friend, Eddie McIntyre, read out a statement on behalf of the absent former Wimbledon boss.
In his statement, Kinnear, said: “I regret what I said to the supporters in the interview I did on talkSPORT. I wish all the fans the very best at their meeting and I do hope to attend a meeting in future.”
Despite the apology, McIntyre was still heckled as he tried to defend Kinnear’s reasoning for missing the meeting.
“You are asking why Joe Kinnear didn’t come here,” he said. “He was going to come. Since Joe was appointed [last Tuesday], he has never had a day off. He was going to come up on Sunday night and going to come here.
“I spoke to Joe Kinnear in the morning. He was waiting to be picked up by Graham Carr [Newcastle’s chief scout], who lives in Northampton. He was picking Joe up in Mill Hill [North London, where Kinnear lives] and they were having a business lunch. That’s the reason Joe hasn’t been able to come.”
Meanwhile, Kinnear has disputed fans’ claims that he is not well enough to take on his new job at the club.
The 66-year-old was forced to step down from his role of interim manager at Newcastle in 2009 after suffering a heart attack.
“Mike [Ashley], the owner, came round my house and we had a chat,” he said. “He asked me about my medical condition and how I was feeling and one thing and another. I said I’ve been cleared, medically, for the last four or five months.
“I’m coming off my treatment. I’ve lost a stone-and-a-half of weight. I’m very fit, and I’ve been looking after myself. I have been going to the gym a lot and taking walks.”
The supporters’ group ultimately released a statement calling for Ashley to consider selling the club, the unpopular Sports Direct supremo enraging some supporters with his hiring of Kinnear.
“This house declares that Mike Ashley is not a fit and proper custodian of a footballing institution that has a proud history and tradition, and enjoys one of the biggest and most fervent followings in European football,” a statement read.
“We call for Mike Ashley to consider his position as owner of Newcastle United and to begin a process of exiting before he does any more damage to either the club or his own reputation.”