'Foolish' Dan Ashworth and Man United hammered after signing Newcastle deal he 'doesn't like'

Simon Jordan has hit out at 'foolish' Dan Ashworth for signing a contract with Newcastle United that the outgoing sporting director 'now doesn't like'.

Ashworth is taking Newcastle to arbitration in an effort to force through a move to Manchester United after the 53-year-old was placed on gardening leave back in February. Sir Jim Ratcliffe previously branded Newcastle's initial demands, of up to £20m, as 'silly' and the Manchester United part-owner said it was 'absurd' that Ashworth could be left sidelined until 2025 if the Red Devils did not pay up.

The saga has taken a fresh twist this week after a report in the Daily Mail revealed that Ashworth sent an email to Omar Berrarda, Manchester United's incoming chief executive, confirming that he wanted to become the club's sporting director weeks before the Red Devils had even formally contacted the club. Ashworth pinged a blind copy to his own Newcastle address, which alerted the Magpies to the covert exchange.

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Jordan, who once put Steve Bruce on gardening leave during his time as Crystal Palace owner, felt Ashworth was a 'big boy' when he signed his contract at Newcastle in 2022, which 'gave obligations to him to the football club that are currently employing him'. Jordan has urged Manchester United to 'pay' up after the Red Devils sought to 'pinch someone else's staff'.

"Sir Jim Ratcliffe's thinking is, 'We're Manchester United and we should be able to do precisely what we want when we want and irrespective of whatever contract Dan Ashworth has agreed,'" he told talkSPORT. "In any industry, including the chemical industry, which Jim Ratcliffe originates from, if you have senior executives in your business that will change the direction of your business when they go to a competitor, you put a lockout clause in there. It's a standard form.

"Because it's la, la land football, Jim Ratcliffe is somehow suggesting that it should be different. Newcastle United did their job and the fool of a technical director signed a contract which he now doesn't like.

"If Newcastle said, 'Actually, we don't feel like paying you this month.' 'What do you mean you don't feel like paying me?' 'We just don't.' 'But I've got a contract, you've got to pay me'.

"Now you've got a contract which goes the other way. You've got a notice period you silly sod. You've got to stay with it or negotiate your way out and the way you're going to negotiate you way out is not sending emails to your current employers prejudicing your existing position so they get exasperated by it. It's behaving properly and then getting Man United to pony up the money that you're apparently worth."