By 90Min
August 13, 2017

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has admitted he made some 'unacceptable' decisions in his early days at the club as a result of his naivety.

The 52-year-old has given a lengthy interview with Sky Sports which is to air on Sunday evening, just hours after their opening Premier League match with Tottenham.

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In it, he takes responsibility for several decisions he has made whilst being at the helm at St. James' Park, including the overly-hasty sacking of Sam Allardyce in 2008.

He told David Craig: "I probably rushed in too early. The first thing, letting Sam Allardyce go, I was probably too keen to get going and make a difference, and I was a bit naïve about how football worked."

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Allardyce was only in the hotseat for eight months before the axe was wielded, and his dismissal was fairly controversial in that he didn't see it coming and had just spoken about managers in the game being given less time in jobs at a news conference - Kevin Keegan was then brought back and he guided the club to a 12th placed finish.

Ashley also regretted the decision to rename St. James' Park as the Sports Direct Arena, and added: "The first thing you feel is stupidity, because as soon as you know the hindsight of something, you know what you were doing wrong.

"I thought it was the right thing to do to generate as much money as possible for Newcastle, so when people say to me: ‘Whatever you do on an interview do not talk about changing the name of St James’ Park!’ Well I’m me, and I’m going to talk about making an error, and I should not have changed the name of St James’ Park. I should not have done that."

Ashley's interview can be caught in full on Sky Sports Premier League at 7pm on Sunday evening.

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