Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley wants club in Europe

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has challenged his side to get themselves into a position where they can challenge for European places on a consistent basis.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

The much-maligned chairman took over the Magpies in 2007, and watched in horror their subsequent slide into the Championship.

However, under the stewardship of Chris Hughton the Toon Army rose back into the top-flight at the first attempt and have maintained a mid-table position throughout this campaign so far, initially under Hughton, and latterly under the leadership of Alan Pardew.

Nevertheless, on the day where the club announced losses of £17.1m for the year ending June 30 2010, Chief Executive Derek Llambias announced that as a part of the sides long-term strategy, they want to be competing at the top end of the Premier League.

“Mike knows where we should be in four or five years” said Llambias.

“We want to be challenging for Europe every season.”

Llambias was also full of praise for Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, who it was today revealed has loaned the club £140m in interest free loans since his arrival at St James’ Park.

“Mike Ashley’s money has kept this club buoyant,” added Llambias.

“Quite honestly, Newcastle United would not be here without him, it is as simple as that.

“He has never taken a penny out of the football club, but he knows what he has to put in every year and he is keen to grow it.”

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About AA_Richards

Football writer & all-round pen for hire. Can tiki-taka or counter-attack at pace. Differentiates Athletic from Atletico. Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/AA_Richards
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