FORMER Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce has claimed Mike Ashley’s takeover prevented the club signing the likes of Luka Modric, Branislav Ivanovic and Phil Jagielka.
Allardyce was appointed United boss in the summer of 2007, weeks before Ashley’s arrival.
He says he had moves lined up for the aforementioned trio, who now star for Real Madrid, Chelsea and Everton respectively.
However, Allardyce claims the takeover of Ashley adversely affected the club’s spending power.
He told the Daily Express: “It was the spending the power of Newcastle that attracted me.
“I’d had limited funds at Bolton and it was the opportunity for the bigger pot – and Freddy (Shepherd) wanted to emulate the success they had in the Kevin Keegan era.
“With Mike taking over those funds never materialised. I had lined up moves for Phil Jagielka, Luka Modric and Branislav Ivanovic – people on my Bolton recruitment database.
“Not big stars but quality players and with the finances I was being promised at Newcastle, we could have done something.”
Allardyce subsequently struggled under Ashley, and was sacked as manager in January 2008.
He feels he may have stood a better chance of not only succeeding at Newcastle, but also at other, “bigger”, clubs, if Shepherd had stayed in charge.
The West Ham manager added: “It ended up where I couldn’t get that bigger or better club, so I think there must have been something in my career that stopped me.
“I think it was Newcastle. Had that been successful with Freddy Shepherd, the man who appointed me, staying on, I might have got an even bigger club than Newcastle.
“I don’t blame Mike Ashley, because when you pay that amount for a football club and you know what you want to do with it, sometimes you like to get rid of the furniture you have inherited.
“But from a career point-of-view it was a massive blow.”