Failed promises: Half-a-job Dan Ashworth owes Newcastle United an apology should he join Man Utd

Manchester United are eyeing a deal for Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. The Magpies will reportedly demand a £10m compensation fee.Manchester United are eyeing a deal for Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. The Magpies will reportedly demand a £10m compensation fee.
Manchester United are eyeing a deal for Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. The Magpies will reportedly demand a £10m compensation fee.
Dan Ashworth arrived with at St. James' Park with a fierce reputation. As he plots his exit, Newcastle United supporters are left wondering: what was the point?

Imagine a tradesperson promising to refurbish your garden, only to do a runner once they've ripped up the patio. Zero improvement and a bigger problem than the one you started with. You’d be tempted to vent your spleen all over social media, wouldn’t you? That's exactly how Newcastle United supporters feel about Dan Ashworth. At the time of writing, there has been no confirmation, but all the noises suggest he is jumping ship to Manchester United.

Less than two years ago, the 52-year-old outlined his “vision” on Tyneside - words will be proven empty should his Old Trafford move go ahead. Ashworth outlined: ​​“My job is to sit in the middle of the wheel and just connect the different departments of the club and align everything as best I can.

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“I will try and make sure we’ve got a cohesive way of working, we can pull our resources together, have one plan to try and support the needs of the club going forward. So it’s to drive all of the football areas of the club, bring them together and get everyone working to the same song, to the same vision and the same mission and try to get the club up to where we all want to be.”

Ashworth has overseen £248.5million of investment at St James’ Park since his appointment as sporting director. That is without including Lewis Hall, a probable £28million addition in the summer, or Sven Botman, who signed a month after Ashworth’s arrival but was touted long beforehand.

However, what have Newcastle recouped in return? In his first season at the club, the Magpies qualified for the Champions League but crediting anybody other than Eddie Howe for that achievement would be disingenuous.

Is there any aspect of Newcastle with Ashworth’s fingerprints all over it? Somewhere the everyday fan can point and go ‘That’s his doing’? Aside from the odd academy player bolstering the Benton ranks, you will be left scratching your head. Hardly groundbreaking stuff from a man dubbed the finest in his industry. The reverence of Ashworth - from the national press and Man United fans - appears inaccurate. Nothing he did at Newcastle suggests the former FA and Brighton man will be the answer to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s prayers.

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That is not to predict he will prove a failure at Old Trafford. The truth is, those who have followed Newcastle since his arrival could not give you a straight answer. He simply has not been in the role long enough to have any meaningful impact.

Man United supporters hoping for their new, Ineos-led era to be governed by honesty and transparency, might want to revise Ashworth’s comments when links to the Red Devils emerged last year. He told reporters: “I'm really happy, it's a brilliant city, club and project. I'm thoroughly engaged in throwing myself into all of those things and really enjoying the challenge." Empty words.

Ashworth, at the very least, must give Toon supporters an explanation if he jumps ship to a direct European rival. He vowed to build a shiny new conservatory, but barely dug the foundations before scarpering off to his next job.

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